In the blink of an eye, it seems, Meaford’s apple (and cherry) trees are in blossom, and a stroll by one of our orchards can intoxicate you with the scent.
As early as 1837, settlers on Cape Rich, just northwest of Meaford, had planted McIntosh Red apple seedlings they’d brought with them. They’d planned to be able to harvest the apples from a few trees for themselves, maybe selling a few here and there. But their small orchard soon revealed that the region was perfect for apple growing, with the moderating influence of the Bay and the steep rise of the Niagara Escarpment cradling the microclimate. And it was the beginning of the Southern Georgian Bay apple growing industry.
Today, while industry pressures and new growing practices have brought changes to the traditional apple orchard, you can still pull into your favourite local orchard for such popular varieties as Northern Spy, Russet and McIntosh Red, as well as Empire, Gala, Honey Crisp and others.
Meaford’s connection to the apple industry is apparent in our tourism booth – a ripe red apple on the main street – and in the Municipality’s new slogan: “the other big apple”.
And in the last few years, a delightful byproduct of our local apples, Peeler Cider, has been growing (pun intended) in popularity. More on that soon.