Food feature – Forest Hill Orchard

Forest Hill Orchard
Owners: Ron & Melody Arnhold
Where: Pinery Flea & Farmers’ Market

While they carry a whole variety of produce, this time of year is prime time for their harvest apple, the Lodi.
“It’s the old-time favourite harvest apple. It’s fantastic because people can make applesauce and they don’t have to peel it. They boil it down and all they need is a sieve to remove the skins and the seeds. It’s tart and when it first comes off it’s nice and crisp. As it ages, like any early apple, it will go softer and then at that stage it’s for sauce only.
“They have a unique flavour that is a quality of that apple. I can tell an Ida Red pie and a Spy pie. This one’s nice and tangy; it’s refreshing.
“These apples should be refrigerated. They’ll break down real quick.
They’re picked and packed the day before market, and we store them in our cooler.
“Our price is high because the labour we pay in this country is what we have to pay. For the imports, the pickers are being paid $1 a day. I can’t pay someone $1 a day.
“A lot of people don’t know what season their food is grown in anymore. People in Toronto are asking me for cherries in May because they see them in the stores and they don’t realize cherry season is the end of June to the end of July. As a society, we don’t know our growing seasons and we don’t have the appreciation for food we once had.”