Does nibbling sweet apple confections and sipping freshly-made cider while watching your kiddos craft and play sound like the perfect way to spend a fall day? If it does, then you must make sure to join the Portland Nursery as it celebrates the abundance that fall brings at their annual Apple Tasting Event on Oct, 7, 8, 9 and 14, 15, 16. Read on to find out more.

appleTasting

Photo: Corina Rynolds Stearns

Portland Nursery’s 29th Annual Apple Tasting Event
A Portland tradition, the Apple Tasting Event is now in its 29th year and counting. Portland Nursery hosts the event and offers a year-round variety of houseplants, garden vegetables, decorative trees and shrubs, succulents, seeds, and more, and has two locations that serve Portland. The tasting’s activities and events including sampling the fruits, live music, a scarecrow contest, and an activity tent for your littlest apple lovers are held at the Mt. Tabor/Belmont location on SE Stark St. Look for the giant red apple marking the way!

Heirlooms and More
Over 50 varieties of apples and pears will be available for tasting at this year’s event, which is sure to please even the littlest of palates. While the lineup changes each year, your family can count on trying well-known varieties like Gravenstein apples and Red Crimson pears next to more obscure heirloom varieties, like Cox’s Orange Pippin or Orleans Reinette. The tasting lines start first thing each morning with each apple cut up by nursery staff for easier toothpick-grabbing. The whole fruit is labeled and sits next to each plate, so be sure to note which ones are your family members’ favorites! Many varieties will be for sale to take home.

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photo: Liz West via Flickr

Tasting Treats
Your kids will love watching the cider press turn apples into a sweet beverage. Onsite demonstrations are a tradition that give your family members an opportunity to learn the difference between apple juice and fresh-pressed cider and event taste-test for the difference. (Hint: fresh-pressed cider wins every time!) Baked goodies like apple strudel will be offered, as well as foods and treats from many local vendors.

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Photo: Corina Rynolds Stearns

Kids Activities
Portland Nursery didn’t forget about the apple’s littlest fans. Even if after your kiddos’ tummies are full of heirloom fruit varieties, there is plenty to keep them entertained. They can explore the nursery grounds searching for hidden items with the fall-themed scavenger hunt. Painting pumpkins will let them get messy in the safety of the kids’ tent (and not in your home). And the whole family can vote for their favorite scarecrow and dance to live music. If you’re interested in entering the scarecrow contest, check out the details on the website. Past prizes have included Portland Nursery gift cards and apple t-shirts!

When You Go
Be aware that the morning and early afternoon of Friday, October 7th is Field Trip Day, and hundreds of metro area schoolkids will be visiting. The kids tent will be closed, but special presentations are offered instead.

The festival is under the protection of tents, so even if the weather is looking typically October, don’t worry about getting wet! The entire nursery will be open, as well, so you can stock up on fall starts after your fill of apples. Please bring a donation of non-perishable food for the Oregon Food Bank.

5050 SE Stark St.
Oct, 7, 8, 9 and 14, 15, 16
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Online: portlandnursery.com

What is your family’s favorite type of apple? Tell us in the comments below.

—Katrina Emery