AN INTERVIEW with Gaye Trombley of Avalon Orchards in Innisfil Ontario who grows 17 varieties of apples. Freedom, Goldrush, Liberty, Novamac, Novaspy, Priscila, Pristine, Redfree are just a few mentioned apples that Gaye started planting from scratch many years ago and wait a couple of years to have the first harvest.
Danuta: How did you become organic grower? Most people go through health issues to learn about organic. Was this your case also?
Gaye: Nothing like that. I wanted to have a sustainable orchard. I was already aware and conscious of the health benefits of organic. When we bought this property there were few wild apples that gave me an idea to have an apple orchard here.
Danuta: What is your favourite product made from apples?
Gaye: Apple cider vinegar. I drink apple cider vinegar every day. We make fresh cider every week. 100% pure unpasteurized cider using tree apples, wash and brush them and we make our own certified apple cider vinegar. It takes about 2 years to make a batch.
Danuta: I read somewhere that it has to be fermented in a special way, twice, is that true?
Gaye: yes, it goes through fermentation and then it goes through another process exposing the cider to oxygen.
Danuta: What is your advice for new aspiring growers?
Gaye: Do not do it for the money or to become rich. Your soul will get rich but not your pocket. There are some years that you will not have a harvest. Our best harvest was 3 yrs ago and 2 years ago we had none.
Danuta: What is your biggest challenge in growing apples?
Gaye: Insects. We are organic growers so we are restricted in that matter. I do not use fertilizer, I use compost only on my babies trees. I plant seabuckthorn companion planting and nitrogen fixer.
Danuta: If you ended up on the deserted island which apple would you take with you?
Gaye: Liberty type of apple with white flesh and tougher skin for insects
To learn more about the Avalon Orchards, visit: http://www.avalonorchards.net/index.html