October 1st, 2011 was a great day for the annual Heritage Apple Day event held in Derby Reach Regional Park. The weather kept the numbers down but the event went off without a hitch due to the efforts of all the volunteers and apple experts, Metro Vancouver staff and the many organizations that participated.
Visitors sampled apples, bought trees and mingled on the common learning about Derby Reach Regional Park, with historical re-enactments and orchard and heritage tours. Plein air artists painted in the open air dotting the route of the apple orchard tour for all to enjoy. Always a family orientated festival, kids could play in the haystack and emerge covered in straw to run off and participate in other kid friendly events such as milking cows, digging for potatoes, finding eggs and making hats.
This year’s event included the unveiling of the new “old” apple orchard. The orchard, located near the historic Houston house on Allard Crescent, northwest of the village of Fort Langley, was resurrected from cuttings of the historic fruit varieties found in the Derby Reach Park. A plaque, honouring the principle contributors for the Heritage Apple Orchard, including Vancity, Township of Langley, Rotary of Langley Sunrise, Derby Reach Brae Island Parks Association, Metro Vancouver, and Pacific Parklands Foundation, was also unveiled.