Skip to content

Denman Island Festival of Apples and Nuts features a full day of workshops, potluck dinner

Have you ever made an apple pie with a nut crust? Maybe you want to start growing these foods?

Have you ever made an apple pie with a nut crust? Maybe you want to start growing these foods?

Whether you are an apple and nut expert or want to learn more about these amazing local delicacies, you are invited to the Denman Island Growers and Producers Alliance’s Festival of Apples and Nuts.

The event takes place on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. to celebrate both of these wonderful and important local foods.

The day will begin at the farmers market (9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.) with the classic pie fundraising table. Frozen apple pies will be for sale as well as pie by the slice. There will also be apple juice for sale, and a demonstration of an old-fashioned cider press. For those who aren’t just fruity, there will also be nuts for sale, as well as the wonderful weekly market full of local vendors.

The main event will be at the Community Hall all day from 9:30am onwards. At the apple and nut display you will be able to learn the names of the many varieties of each that are grown here. Denman’s resident apple ID detective will be on hand to answer your apple variety mysteries, so bring them in (best if you can bring a few specimens and a small branch from your mystery tree). Angela Boss, an agrologist from the Ministry of Agriculture, will be hosting a booth on the BC Hazelnut Renewal Program. The Apple Cafe will have soup, tea, and coffee with pie by the slice and an apple and nut tasting table. There will be a kid’s table, decorations, and a steady stream of interesting things happening. For example, did you know there is a proper way to eat an apple? Come by for a tutorial from Maxine Matilpi.

Throughout the afternoon we are offering a wide array of workshops about nuts for every taste.

Noon: Co-founders of Nutcase Nursery, Nick Montgomery and Dylan Gale, will present Nutty Societies: Nut Culture Past, Present and Future. They will be discussing the history of nuts in human societies and making the case for making our society nuttier. The key questions of the presentation will be: What is nut culture? How do we get it? Where does it come from?

1 p.m. Workshop in the kitchen showing how to make your own nut milk and hazelnut-corn halva with Magdalene Joly.

2 p.m. Bonnie Zand of Bonnie’s Bugs will be speaking about nut and apple pests and diseases. Bonnie works in Integrated Pest Management assisting growers with managing their pest issues, and to better appreciate beneficial insects.

3 p.m. There will be another kitchen workshop with Joan Donaghey on making a cake with all local ingredients. Featuring… you guessed it… apples and nuts.

4 p.m. Thom O’Dell, North Island Regional Agrologist, nut expert and owner of Nature Tech Nursery, will be offering a talk called “Why Hazelnuts?” In this talk, Thom will touch on the hazelnut blight and a few resistant varieties for the West Coast.

5 p.m. “Go Nuts.” Our afternoon of talks and learning will finish off with a panel and open discussion about growing nuts on Denman and throughout the region. We welcome folks to bring their questions and nut-growing experiences to share.

To help cover the costs of speakers and ingredients we are asking for a sliding scale donation of $10-$30 for attending the workshop portion of the festival. If this is not in your means (or if you want to donate more) that is just fine.

6 p.m. After a sweet, juicy but slightly nutty day of workshops and talks, please join us for a Potluck Harvest Feast at the Community Hall. Come eat with your friends, neighbours and fellow food enthusiasts to celebrate and enjoy the delicious foods cultivated in this community.

There will be a curated discussion around the table touching on topics such as “how to create local food resilience in our community” and “what inspired and challenged you over this growing season.”

Please bring a dish to share for the Potluck Harvest Feast featuring as many local ingredients as you like. Prizes will be given for the dish with the most local ingredients in it, as well as for the dish with the most creative use of nuts. Kindly label the ingredients in your dish. Attendees will also be able to sample the culinary fruits of the cooking workshops held during the day.

After what promises to be a delicious meal the local band Death Eats and Orange will play a lively blend of acoustic folk music for your listening and dancing pleasures.

Organizers are looking for volunteers to help with gleaning, making pies, set-up, take-down, and running the festivities on the day of. Join the team to help make this event a success, it will be fun. Contact festival co-ordinator, Magdalene Joly at

A big thanks to DenmanWORKS, for supporting the GPA in expanding the festival to include nuts this year.