Saint Joseph-du-Lac: The Big Apple (of Quebec)
Saint Joseph-du-Lac is a town completely devoted to planting, growing, cultivating, juicing, and baking apples. In short, everything to do with apples except picking them - that you have to do yourself.
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A sunny late September Saturday seems to be le tout Quebec's idea of the perfect day for a drive in the country. Route 640 is a parade of station wagons crawling along, being tempted by growers waving flags promoting their apple orchards. Since we were banished from all the places with tractor rides because we had our dog with us, we joined some other dogs in the un-crowded Verger Julien et Alain Lauzon.
After playing Adam and Eve and William Tell, having smooshy apple fights with 5 varieties, climbing trees and ladders, pulling each other in a wagon, and generally regressing in age, we emerged 20 pounds of apples heavier (and that's not counting the ones we sampled among the trees). As if that were not enough to keep the doctor away for weeks, there were also pears and plums (pre-picked) for sale.
We also bought some home-made pickles from the farm stand, some raspberry jam, cider, Oka cheese, and some fresh bread for a delicious picnic. All in all, it was a very pleasant afternoon. The only question now is what are we going to do with all those apples.
Apple season lasts until the end of October. So get moving: Take Route 15 to 640.
Le Verger Julien et Alain Lauzon
707 chemin Principal