The members of the board of directors, from left to right : (rear) Peter Breton, Francine Caron and Claude Liadouze; and (front) Louise Labonté, Nadia Trudel and Anne-Sophie Renou. – Photo: Marilyn Labrecque
The revitalization of the orchard is intended to be the starting point of a project much more ambitious. – Photo: Francine Caron
The work of volunteers of the corporation is heritage Orchard of Témiscouata was rewarded in another way recently. After a great crop of apples in 2017, that is that the organization has received a boost of 100°, an initiative of Québec en forme, which has granted him a financial assistance of about $10,000.
In all, nine innovative projects in the region of Bas-Saint-Laurent came to the attention of the selection committee and will share the $ 72 270 $ in order to improve the management and accessibility of fruits and vegetables. The Fondation Louis Bonduelle has also joined this call for projects 100° Bas-Saint-Laurent, born thanks to the involvement of the approach COSMOSS.
With this money, the corporation heritage Orchard Témiscouata intends to create a network of producers of fruits and vegetables in the Témiscouata and simplify the logistics to sell their products. “This is not a public market, but rather a place where producers can place their products; there will be someone on site (at orchard House Notre-Dame-des-Champs located in Counties) that will look to make the sale,” said Marilyn Labrecque, project manager. The first step is to identify local producers, whether for fruit, vegetables or handicrafts. The realization of the plans and specifications of a booth is also planned by the leaders.
The second phase of the project will be the construction of the kiosk in which the sale of products could begin in 2019. “We are aware that there may be applications in 2018, but there is no electricity at the orchard. We have to take the time to do things. We believe that a minimum amount of between 25 000 $ and 30 000 $ will be necessary,” said Francine Caron, president of the corporation.
The corporation heritage Orchard Témiscouata has several partners : the Town of Pohénégamook, in the MRC of Témiscouata, the economic development Corporation of the Transcontinental, the SADC of Témiscouata and the Commission scolaire du Fleuve-et-des-Lacs (the owner of the orchard).
16, 000 POUNDS OF APPLES
The last year was very productive for the orchard House Notre-Dame-des-Champs located in front of the École secondaire du Transcontinental and close to the Centre of training in the maple industry of the Commission scolaire du Fleuve-et-des-Lacs. The orchard in 2017, it was : the 1.4 acres of land, 149 apple production ; and 32 new trees ; 26 varieties of apples ; 16, 000 pounds of apples harvested ; 1 400 hours of work.
These data that can be found in the annual report are a reflection of the potential very interesting site. The corporation has multiplied the ways to make the apples in the orchard accessible to local consumers : pick-your-own, sale on-site booth at the country market of Pohenegamook, booth roaming in Rivière-Bleue and Saint-Marc-du-Lac-Long and grocery store green Amaranth Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac (Cabano). More than 6 000 pounds of apples that are made on the table of consumers.
Over 300 pounds of apples have also been distributed to various groups including primary schools and secondary schools of the Counties and the Small Eats the Borders. Finally, the apples have fallen to the ground and less fit for human consumption, were sold to hunters who use them to attract deer to their hunting grounds.
1 700 VISITORS
“People have taken the habit of coming to the orchard, 1 700 visitors last year from across, of people who come to look for apples but also for discovering places,” noted Francine Caron. Several activities were organized during the beautiful season to enjoy the orchard House Notre-Dame-des-Champs.
In march 2017, Guy Langlais, a nurseryman and founder of the company Arbro-Life, proceeded to the 2nd size of the restructuring of the old apple-trees (the first having taken place in 2016). This operation will invigorate the trees and extend the productivity of the orchard. 2017 was also a good year for the control of pests. The achievements described in the report in 2017 would not have been possible without the dedication of 13 citizens who, together, have accumulated more than 950 hours of volunteer work.
At the time of its planting in 1933, the brothers used the orchard to their orphanage-school in order to train good farmers. The orchard House Notre-Dame-des-Champs has about 200 apple trees, including a hundred who are over 80 years old. There are old varieties : Melba, Yellow transparent, Duchess, Alexander, a Famous and Whealty. The second part consists of varieties that are more recent and commercial.
It includes a potential 300 spaces, a goal that could possibly be reached in 2019. In addition, 50 trees will be planted in the fall of 2018 in the wake of grafts performed in order to keep the varieties in the orchard ancestral. “We will also have 10 pear trees, for a change, and see if people like it,” said Ms. Caron. The next season of harvest is also likely to be marked by a first attempt of transformation of the apple orchard, in one or more products that the president has refused to identify for the moment.