November 23rd, 2017

Apple festival celebrates sustainability

By Lethbridge Herald on August 13, 2017.

J.W. Schnarr Fruit Rescue volunteer Jennifer Tarnowsky bottles apple juice at Applefest in Galt Gardens on Saturday.

J.W. Schnarr
Lethbridge Herald

An annual festival celebrating sustainability had Galt Gardens smelling like apples on Saturday.

Applefest! is the flagship event of the Lethbridge Sustainable Living Association as it seeks to engage the public and provide a fun atmosphere with a focus on education. The event is now in its fifth year.

Dil Jopp, event c-oordinator for Applefest!, said the event celebrates all things sustainable pertaining to Lethbridge in particular.

“We work to connect the public to local vendors who are sustainable in their thinking and the ways they do their work.”

The LSLA is a local organization that works to further sustainability in the city through maintaining and fostering relationships with businesses, individuals, and organizations. It seeks to address problems with food production, ecologically sound building practices, local currencies and sustainable energy.

The event itself is a celebration of local people, businesses, and organizations working toward a sustainable future.

Applefest! also kicks off the annual Fruit Rescue Program in the city, which helps avoid food waste.
Residents who have fruit trees or bushes on their property but have no means or no interest in harvesting that fruit can have a group of volunteers do it for them.

The program diverts thousands of pounds of fruit annually which would normally go to rot, and instead can be given to local food banks or the soup kitchen. Property owners and volunteers alike may also keep some of the harvested fruit for themselves.

Apples are collected during the weeks leading up to Applefest! and then, during the festival, those apples are crushed, pasteurized, and bottled — with plenty available for attendees to sample for themselves.

Jennifer Tarnowsky, a Fruit Rescue volunteer co-ordinator, said there are many people in Lethbridge who contact the LSLA about the fruit trees they have but that they cannot harvest themselves.

“There are hundreds, if not thousands of backyard fruit trees that go to waste every year,” she said. “Food security is a big part of what the LSLA looks at as far as making use of what we have in our area.

“We don’t have to ship apples from California because we have them right here. WE have lots of them. And we have many different varieties.”

For more information on the fruit rescue program, please email or visit for more information on the LSLA.

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