Bruce H. Barritt
1100 N. Western Avenue Wenatchee, WA 9880
(509) 663-8181 (office) Ext. 233 (509) 664-0526 (FAX)
Charles J. Ax, Jr.
14 South Main Street
Middleburg, PA 17842
(office) (570) 837-1551
(home) (570) 539-8300
(FAX) (570) 837-0090


June 2002 – Nova Scotia



Sunday, June 23 – Tuesday, June 25 • Headquarters: Nova Scotia, CN

Don’t forget to fill out the enclosed IDFTA Summer Tour 2002 registration form

Registration required by May 31, 2002

NOVA SCOTIA is a province diverse in both landscape and culture. Settled by the French in 1605, and later taken by the British, Nova Scotia has also seen the influence of Dutch, German and American immigrants. The largest single influx of settlers was 35,000 from New England, who wished to remain loyal to the British Crown after the American Revolution.

The province boasts a population of approximately one million, spread over a land area of 21,500 square miles. The main industries are forestry, fishing, manu-facturing and tourism.

The ocean affects almost every aspect of life in the province. Tourists who take the time to explore the coastal regions of the province often become enthralled by the rugged beauty of the landscape and the friendly, laid back mannerisms of the residents.

The tour will be centered around the Old Orchard Inn in Wolfville, with bus tours departing from there. A Sunday tour will explore some of the scenic areas outside the apple growing area. Monday and Tuesday will be dedicated to the orchards and historical sites of the Annapolis Valley. A lobster supper and casual barbeque will also be part of the program.

Travellers are encouraged to extend their stay with us to explore the Scenic Travelways of the province that include the Evangeline Trail, the Glooscap Trail, Sunrise Trail, Cape Breton Trails, the Marine Drive, the Lighthouse Route, and the Halifax/Dartmouth areas. It is highly recommended to travel to the neighboring province of Prince Edward Island, which is famous for its white sand beaches, deep sea fishing, abundant golf courses, and relaxing pastoral scenery. The Maritime school year is still is session and is an excel-lent relaxing time of year to travel. For those members that intend to travel within Nova Scotia and wish to obtain more information on travel and places to stay in Nova Scotia, check out these two web sites: and , or call toll free in North America – 1-800-565-0000 – for a free 400-page travel guide of Nova Scotia. This comprehensive travel guide is recommended and also details all travel to and from Nova Scotia by land, air, or sea.

Hope to see you there.


Apples have been grown in Nova Scotia since its earliest settlement in 1605. The fruit producing area is known as the Annapolis Valley, which is located about 50 miles west of Halifax. The heyday of the apple indus-try was prior to the Second World War, when the bulk of the fruit was shipped to the British Isles. At that time it was estimated that there were in excess of 30,000 acres of tree fruit. With the loss of the overseas markets after the war, the industry went into a state of decline and acreage has dropped steadily to its present level of 7500 acres, and an annual production of 2.5 million bushels. While many bemoan the loss in acreage, what is being lost, for the most part, are standard size trees of poor strains or obsolete varieties.

The maritime climate is characterized by normally cool summers with regular precipitation. Very few orchards have any form of permanent irrigation. Cool nights and warm days in the early fall make it an ideal climate for producing intense red coloration on the fruit. Lack of intense heat also results in firm fruit texture at harvest. Always popular since its introduction, McIntosh is still king, with at least 30% of the provinces production dedicated to this variety. The province is also home to two pie plants that have created a renewed demand for the Northern Spy; thus there are significant new plantings of this variety. The season is too short for Fuji or Granny Smith, and in some years, the season can be marginal for Golden Delicious. Cortland, Gravenstein, Spartan and Red Delicious are also impor-tant varieties.

Honeycrisp was commercially introduced to this province in 1996, and is now one of the most heavily planted varieties. Honeycrisp develops an intense red coloration in our area, experiencing very little problems with bitterpit or sunburn. Jonagold are still being planted, as they are well colored, firm textured, and store very well under our conditions. Gala is being planted, with the striped strains being preferred by our consumer

Plantings of the Malling series of semi-dwarf root-stocks began in the 1970’s. Many of these plantings were widely spaced and never filled their allotted space, thus low productivity has plagued the industry to the present day. The 1990’s have seen a renewed interest in the apple industry, with a ready acceptance of the close spacings and dwarfing stocks. This tour will focus on a number of plantings, and growers, that best demonstrate what is needed for success in this climate.

Don’t forget to fill out the enclosed IDFTA Summer Tour 2002 registration form

Summer Tour Itinerary

Saturday, June 22
REGISTRATION – Meet & Greet with hors d'oeuvres and cash bar

Sunday, June 23 – PRE-TOUR

The pre-tour has been designed as a very casual and relaxed event, with ample time at the few stops that have been organized to tour and photograph. These stops include the picturesque "Peggy's Cove" and "South Shore" of Nova Scotia. We'll board the buses bright and early for a short trip to a local pancake break-fast consisting of scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausages, toast, juices and coffee/tea. After eating our fill we'll hit the road, heading for one of Atlantic Canada's best known scenic fishing villages - Peggy's Cove. The giant boulders in and around Peggy's Cove are 415 million years old "Devonian" granite that were deposited by the last retreating glaciers. Although Peggy's Cove is a tiny community of about 50 people, its rugged beauty attracts thousands of people from far and wide. While at Peggy's Cove you may wish to visit the DeGarthe Gallery, DeGarthe Marine Studio, the Lighthouse Post Office, or the Sou'wester Gift shop before we board the buses for a brief drive to Whalesback. This is a rocky outstretch of land near Peggy's Cove, where one of two memorials was erected in memory of SwissAir flight 111 and its 229 victims.

From Whalesback, we will head west along Nova Scotia's South Shore stopping briefly in the community of Mahone Bay for a photo opportunity of the famous "Three Churches." Mahone Bay is also home of the equally infamous and very notorious Oak Island, where treasure is said to be buried and not yet recovered. Since the first exploration, over 200 years ago, six people have died attempting to uncover its secret. Legend has it that seven people will die before it is found.

We will drive around the bay on our way to picturesque Lunenburg. On December 6, 1995, Old Town Lunenburg was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Inscription on this list confirms the exceptional universal value of a cultural or natural site.

Old Town Lunenburg, founded in 1753, is an out-standing example of British colonial settlement in North America, in terms both of its conception as a model Town plan and its remarkable level of conservation. There are some 400 major buildings within the old town, and 70 percent of them from the 18th and 19th centuries. Almost all of them wood construction and many colorfully painted. The Town's cultural evolution, based on shipbuilding and the fishing industry, can be seen in the buildings and spaces that exist throughout the Town.

While in Lunenburg we will have lunch at the Old Fish Factory Restaurant, which is located on the historic waterfront with an outstanding view of the harbour. After lunch you may enjoy a leisurely, guided walking tour of Lunenburg where you will find out about its unique architecture, Lunenburg's superstitions, its involvement in rumrunning, and many other interesting things. You may also wish to visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic which is adjacent to the restaurant. It features the world's largest collection of Bluenose artifacts, a comprehensive history of the fishing and whaling industry, along with the gruesome tools of the trade, schooners, side trawlers, films, sea life touch tank and much more.

Lunenburg shipyards produced many swift and able fishing schooners, but none more famous than the Bluenose. Built in 1921, the Bluenose was the undefeated champion of the North Atlantic fishing fleet and winner of four international schooner races. Her fame won her an immortal place on the back of the Canadian dime. Bluenose II, a replica of the original schooner, was built in Lunenburg in 1963 and is open to visitors when in port.

On completion of our stop in Lunenburg we will board the buses and return to the hotel to prepare for that delicacy, "lobster supper," at 7:00 p.m. The menu includes Lobster cooked in the shell, potato salad, fresh rolls with butter, seasonal dessert and tea/coffee.

Don’t forget to fill out the enclosed IDFTA Summer Tour 2002 registration form

Monday, June 24 8:00 A.M. – DEPART FROM HOTEL

1. SPURR BROTHERS FARM Fourth generation farmers Bill and Gordon Spurr continue on in the tradition of their father Lawrence, and their uncle Cameron. This farm has been featured on many previous orchard tours due to the innovative cultural techniques utilized on the farm, as well as the attention paid to every detail. This farm has had apples since the mid 1800’s, and actually had one of the first blocks of McIntosh in Nova Scotia. In more recent times, the farm also had one of the first commercial plantings of Jonagold in 1985, and Honeycrisp in 1996. The farm consists of about 150 acres of apples, mainly on M-26, M9-MM111 inter-stem, M-4, MM-106 and MM-111. New plantings are made every year with special emphasis on soil preparation, irrigation and tree train-ing. The Spurr brothers have hosted a number of cooperative research projects that will be viewed at the stop. The farm also grows and packs 250 acres of early potatoes and 35 acres of onions. Winter wheat and grain corn are also grown in rotation.

2. THE HABITATION – 10:30 A.M. This is where it all began for the North American tree fruit industry. We will view a reconstruction of the first permanent European settlement in North America, and the site where the first apple trees were planted by the early French settlers. This settlement dates back to 1605 when Samuel de Champlain established a colony for King Henry IV of France. The facility is complete with park interpreters dressed in period costumes performing the tasks of the day.


4. JOHNSON’S CRANBERRY MARSH – 1:45 P.M. Nova Scotia is one of North America’s oldest com-mercial cranberry producing regions. Recently there has been a surge of new plantings in this area, unfortunately coinciding with a continent wide decline in prices. Blake Johnson operates one of the oldest commercial plantings in the province, focusing entirely on growing and packing for the fresh fruit market. We will see the large expansion in plantings, and large investment in infrastructure made by the Johnson family over the last several years.

5. CRAIG NICHOLS FARMS – 3:00 P.M. Also a fourth generation farmer, Craig Nichols grows about 150 acres of apples, 5 acres of high-bush blue berries and 2 acres of raspberries. Craig also grows about 4000 hogs per year, and owns an excavation and construction operation. Most of the mature orchard is on MM-111 rootstock, with Northern Spy, Spartan, McIntosh, Idared and Cortland being the main varieties. New plantings have been primarily on M-26 rootstock, and have included Northern Spy, Novaspy and Honeycrisp. The highlight of the tour will be a 20-acre planting of Honeycrisp started in 1998. The block has trees on MM-111, MM-106, CG-30 and M-26. We will view Honeycrisp on MM-111 at spacings of 7’x18,’ 6’x18’ and 5’x18.’

6. BARBEQUE – 4:00 P.M. The barbeque has been organized to be a casual and enjoyable evening. It will be held at the farm of Lloyd and Barb Dyck who purchased the property in 1999 in order to start a second career or hobby. Lloyd farms eighty acres at this site and eighteen acres of high density in the Woodville area. This is also the home of the Royal Court and the Scotia MacIntosh. The barbeque is being done by a local hog farmer, Jim Lamb. Jim is well known in the Annapolis Valley for his excellent culinary skills and starts the process approxi-mately 24 hours in advance. The evening will be enhanced with Maritime culture featuring “LOCH HABER” with background music for the barbeque along with a 45 minute crowd interaction performance consisting of Gaelic, Celtic and Acadian flare to follow. A MUST ATTEND.


Nova Scotia BBQ Buffet

Two entree choices-
BBQ Pork or BBQ Hip of Beef
Green Salads and Dressings
Cabbage Cole Slaw
Carrot/Raisin Salad
Potato Salad
Fresh Rolls/Butter
Chef's Dessert Selection
Coffee, Tea
Cash bar

Don’t forget to fill out the enclosed IDFTA Summer Tour 2002 registration form

Tuesday, June 25 8:00 A.M. – DEPART FROM HOTEL

1. KENTVILLE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER This research facility has been the home to much of the early work on Integrated Pest Management and has also hosted both a rootstock and cultivar breeding program. The station continues to be in the forefront of research into various aspects of tree fruit physiology, pest management, food processing and storage physi-ology. We will be viewing some of the trials conducted by Charlie Embree and his colleagues. This station continues to participate in the NC-140 and NE-183 plantings.

2. CANARD ORCHARDS – 10:00 A.M. A long time participant in IDFTA functions, Peter VanOstrum and his sons Gerry and Henry continue to be innovative in the planting and training of new orchard. After planting on a variety of rootstocks includ-ing M26 and Ottawa 3, the VanOstrum’s are now planting almost exclusively M-9, as it has performed very well on this site. The main varieties grown are McIntosh, Jonagold, Northern Spy, Gala, Cortland and Idared. We will also see a variety of training and support systems, including slender spindle and super spindle.

3. EISSES FAMILY FARM – 11:00 A.M. Arriving from Holland at the tender age of six, John Eisses was farming on his own by the age of 23. He quickly decided what his passions in life would be. In addition to being a successful farmer, John and his family have also performed missionary work in various areas around the world. Originally a dairy farmer, John now farms about 100 acres of apples, 60 acres of field peas and beans, and 60 acres of winter wheat. The farm is situated on one of the best natural sites for orchard in the Annapolis Valley. John has planted dwarfing stock extensively since 1992, and we will view a variety of plantings made on M-9, M-26, Ottawa 3, M-7 and MM106. Of special interest will be the progression of support systems and training methods, including single stake, V-trellis, and conduit.


5. SARSFIELD FARMS Sarsfield Farms is located in the shadow of Cape Blomidon, one of the most scenic areas of Nova Scotia. The farm’s proximity to the Minas Basin also gives it one of the longest frost-free seasons in the province. Operated by Blake Sarsfield, the farm consists of 267 acres of apples, equally divided between the processing and fresh fruit market. The farm produces a large volume of Northern Spy, and the new scab resistant variety Novaspy, for the family’s pie plant. We will be looking at some of the new plantings made since 1991 on M-26, M7, M4 and MM-111. Of special interest will be the extensive plantings of Honeycrisp and Novaspy.

6. GRAND PRE NATIONAL PARK – 3:15 P.M. This national historic site is located near the point where the French Acadians were rounded up by British troops and expelled in 1755. Many were shipped to Louisiana, where the “Cajun” culture continues to this day. The site overlooks some of the dyke-lands in the province, which were formed when these early French settlers constructed earthen walls to keep the tidal waters off the land. Remarkably, these structures are still functioning 300 years later.

7. GRAND PRE WINES – 4:30 P.M. Overlooking the site of the infamous expulsion of the Acadians, Grand Pre Wines was the first cottage winery in Nova Scotia. After changing owners several times, the winery was purchased by the family of Hans Peter Stutz, who transformed it into a world class operation. The original vineyard has been replanted to premium varieties, and new acreage has been added. A new restaurant has been added, and the winery facilities totally reconstructed. The winery has produced a number of award winning wines, and has recently introduced a premium line of hard cider

8. ARRIVE AT HOTEL – 5:15 P.M.


In the Bay of Fundy on Canada’s eastern shore, the world’s highest tides surge along a rugged coastline before they sweep into the beautiful Minas Basin of Nova Scotia. Here, overlooking Cape Blomindon and those phenomenal tides, the Old Orchard Inn crowns a hill, just one hour from Halifax. The property is a welcome retreat for both business and leisure travellers with a winning combination of on-site facilities and nearby attractions. The Old Orchard Inn is holding a block of rooms for IDFTA attendees on first come, first serve basis with cut-off being 10th June. Rooms are $85.00 Cdn for single and $95.00 Cdn for a double. (taxes not included). For reservations, call toll free 800-561-8090, (902-542-5751) fax: 902-542-2276; e-mail ; or visit the website at

HALIFAX AIRPORT AREA HOTEL-AIRPORT HOTEL OR INN ON THE LAKE For attendees who wish to stay in the vicinity of the Halifax airport on arrival or departure, we recommend the Airport Hotel, call toll free: 800-667-3333, or on-line at We also recommend the Inn on the Lake – toll free: 800-463-6465, or

Don’t forget to fill out the enclosed IDFTA Summer Tour 2002 registration form

Printable PDF Version of this Conference Bulletin

Return to IDFTA Home