Better year for Heath Orchard
After a disastrous apple season last year, when the orchard was hit by a severe hail storm not once but three times, the Heath Orchard was luckier this year and now has an excellent crop of apples. “It started off a good year and it’s becoming a great year, especially for the late apples. Our prices at the u-pick are 20% lower than they were in 2014, to thank those who came last year,” said owner Chris Rawlings. “We received some hail on our early apples and we had some dryness in the orchard, but the apples have gotten big lately. If there is a damaged apple on the tree they usually fall off, and then the other apples get better,” explained Mr. Rawlings.
“We have tons of Cortlands, McIntoshes and even Lobos, and the Spartans will be ready to pick this weekend. We’ll have to wait another week for the Golden Russets,” said Chris. The full list of varieties offered at the Heath Orchard, along with picking dates, can be found on their website. There is also lots of squash and pumpkins available.
“We’ve continued our relationship with the Eden Ice Cider company. They came last year after they heard about the hail and wanted to help out,” said Mr. Rawlings. The American company helped by picking apples and then using them to make sparkling cider. “They’re very selective about the varieties they use. They were thrilled to get some Joyce and Melba apples, the Kerr and Dolgo crabapples. Now they’re interested in the Golden Russets and the Wealthy apples.”
In the Eastern Townships, an abundant crop of smaller than usual apples has been reported, caused by the overly dry summer. There was good flowering on the trees in the spring, the best in 35 years and a result of the mild winter. A contagious blight has also been affecting apples in some areas of the province. he Stanstead College varsity girls hockey team, who won the NAPHA league and championship last season along with several tournaments, will kick off their season at home in the Pat Burns Arena this weekend. Playing Rothesay Netherwood School, from New Brunswick, the first game begins on Saturday at 6:30 pm, and the second is on Sunday at 1:30 pm.
The team looks strong again this year, so strong in fact that five of the players will miss these first two games after being invited to the Quebec U18 team. Those players are Tamara Thierus, Ariane Julien, Audrey-Anne Veillette, Rosalie Demers and Alexis Guay. Alexis, a grade ten student from Magog, has recently committed to play for Boston College for the 20192020 season. “The girls had a fantastic year last season and we have some new