This is an essay written by my friend Barb Fernald for the Working Waterfront newspaper in Maine. She gives me a big mention! You can click to it here!
Fall has been a season of superlatives in the Cranberry Isles. Along with a November that might turn out to be the warmest on record, in Maine, the foliage has been the brightest we’ve seen in years. A simple walk or trip to the mainland begs one to pull out the camera time and again. Best of all, this has been an amazing fall for apples. All over the islands the trees have been loaded.
On a November Saturday, I caught up with my neighbor, Kaitlyn Duggan, and her two-year-old son, Bode, as they were going down the road by our house. They were each eating an apple from the tree in Mark and Vicky Fernald’s yard.
When I said I was going to write about apples Kaitlyn’s eyes lit up. “I love picking apples on the island. It’s one of my most favorite things to do! Getting outside in the fall sun, picking with a view of the water, it’s the best. And it’s free food!”
We commented on the tree filled with yellow apples by Jack and Ellie’s house on the edge of the Sand Beach.
“I’ve probably picked six grocery bags full from that tree this year,” she said. I and many others have been to the same tree several times, picking up drops and reaching the low branches to pick, with a view of the Islesford harbor.
Kaitlyn’s husband, Cory, has been making cider, experimenting with different blends of island apples. He figures he has pressed, pasteurized and preserved at least 40 gallons this year. Kaitlyn has made several batches of applesauce, adding flavor and color with rose hips from her own garden. I asked if she knew what kind of trees were around the island. She said, “You really should give Eliza a call.”