Rain cannot stop orchard fest in Hope
Hope — Despite a day of rain, people braved the elements Oct. 9 to celebrate the orchard festival at Hope Orchards. A wide variety of apples were available, along with pumpkins, squash and gourds, and craftspeople and vendors from the area displayed their wares underneath tents at the orchard's entrance.
Owners Brien and Emily Davis were on hand, greeting visitors and offering samples of several types of apples. When asked if the dry summer affected the apple crop this year, Brien Davis said, "Not really, only in size."
Emily Davis added that the apple harvest was so large this year that, "We have more apples than we know what to do with!" To solve this overabundance, the fruit is re-purposed in a number of forms. In addition to cider, Hope Orchards offers dried apple rings and butters, jams, and vinegars made from the fruit.
Although the rain prevents a handful of vendors from attending the event, customers browsed tents of fiber art and jewelry by local artisans and snacked on sandwiches from Washington General Store. From underneath a porch, Rosey & the Wayfaring Strangers provided music for the event. Inside the orchard store, people could watch apples being sorted by a 60-year-old sizing machine which ran the length of a wall, and examine the cider press which is used every Friday to produce fresh apple cider.
Varieties of apples such as McIntosh, Cortland, Honey Crisp and Macoun were available washed, sorted and bagged within the store, and some adventurous attendees of the festival roamed the wet orchards to picked their own. The growing season is far from over: in the coming weeks, favorites like Golden Delicious and less-known varieties such as Black Oxford and Snow Sweet will be available. Hope Orchards is located at 434 Camden Road in Hope.