This project began when the BBFG wanted to find a way to commemorate the 50th Ripley Fall Fair. At the same time, the Township of Huron-Kinloss was redeveloping the Ripley Rail Trail, a walking trail along the abandoned rail line across from the Gardens. Inspired by the many apple trees along the rail line, the Township and the BBFG came up with a plan to rename the trail to The Ripley Apple Rail Trail and develop a unique apple tree based on the trees along the line.
To begin, BBFG volunteers identified three wild apple trees from hundreds of trees along the existing rail trail that were heavy producers and were producing fruit with certain specifications; e.g., good and consistent shape, colour, size, texture, etc. Next, the three apples were presented at Ripley's 150th Fall Fair where 324 people taste-tested and voted on the apple they felt was best suited to be named the Ripley Apple. Finally, the Pine River Watershed Initiative Network generously sponsored the grafting procedure and the winning tree was reproduced by heirloom apple experts, Bill and Lyn O'Keefe at O'Keefe Grange near Dobbinton, Ontario. The first sales of the trees took place to mark the 2015 Ripley Reunion.
Trees planted in the commemorative orchard in honour of loved ones were dedicated on Earth Day, April 22, 2016.
We regret that due to harsh winter conditions in 2016/2017, there are no apple trees available for sale. However, please let us know if you have an interest in purchasing a Ripley Apple and if enough interest is expresssed, we will approach O'Keefe Grange to produce more. Send your expression of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.