Apple Collection Details – Salt Spring Island Apple Festival

Every year for the Salt Spring Island Apple Festival, on the 4th  Sunday after Labour Day (near the end of September), a collection of every apple variety grown on the island, is brought together at Fulford Hall for the apple display.  It is a community effort, with some grower supplying many, but others just supplying one or two.  We enlist a few volunteers, which we call our APPLE SWAT TEAM, to go collect these varieties.

Three apples of each variety are placed in a paper bag, with the apple variety name on the bag plus the growers name.  Note:  all these apples are grown organically.

At 6 PM on the (Saturday) night before the Apple Festival, all the bags are brought to Fulford Hall, where a dedicated team of roughly 40 people of all ages, gathers to organize and display this collection alphabetically.  The team is very dedicated and the atmosphere is electric.  We are delighted that many children show up.

A great supper is also provided to keep the volunteers energized.  In about 3 hours, the apples are displayed in a beautiful coordinated method.  The aroma is delicious.  No one knows how many varieties are there, until we count them at the end of the night.

The following is a time lapse of the apple collection set up at Fulford Hall in 2010.

…and here are some pictures that show just how much work goes into setting up the display (please click on any image to see a larger version)

We call Salt Spring Island, APPLE HEAVEN, since we have at least 350 varieties of apples grown here, with apple history going back to 1860.

Local photographer, Ron Watts did all the photography, while Harry Burton, edited the video adding the words and music.  The song An Islander is sung by Valdy, our local musical treasure, which we share with the rest of the world.              

This video is shown on the Salt Spring Apple Festival Channel at

History of Apple Festival Display at Fulford Hall

Year  Number of Varieties
2004 (1st all SSI collection) 212
2005 268
2006 296
2007 264
2008 308
2009 316
2010 296 (poorest weather in history)
2011 302

Apple Display Pictures

Click on an image below to select the year you want to view…