Rétropomme: Preserving Switzerland’s Heritage Apples

retropomme apples

During a recent Sunday walk with my family, we stumbled upon a fête d’automne hosted by Rétropomme, a nonprofit organization helping to preserve heritage apples and other fruits in Suisse Romande. With over 300 varieties of fruit on display for the event, we marveled at the colorful trays of fresh apples and pears. Visitors could use their Swiss Army knives to slice and taste the fruit, in order to determine which tree to purchase for their garden or home orchard.

retropomme pears

Rétropomme currently manages five orchards in Suisse Romande with a total area of about 25 acres (10 hectares), according to its website. The festival was held at Rétropomme’s orchard at Pierre-à-Bot (Neuchâtel). This time of year we found that most of the trees were absent of fruit, but many had beautiful fall foliage. We sampled fresh apple cider, which my kids pressed themselves (the highlight of their day).

retropomme poster

retropomme fruit trees

Rétropomme has several ways you can get involved, if you’re interested in apples, planting fruit trees or preserving heritage fruits:

  • Courses: Want to learn about growing fruit trees? Rétropomme offers courses on pruning and grafting.
  • Membership: An individual membership to Rétropomme costs CHF 40 per year. With this membership you can receive discounts on the purchase of fruit trees, courses and publications.
  • Events: The autumn festival we attended is just one example of various events hosted and attended by Rétropomme. For example, later this month it will host a bio-Marché, also at its Pierre-à-Bot site.

crates of apples

I want to try some baking experiments with puff pastry and apples soon. What’s your favorite fall recipe with apples? Please send me an email or leave a comment below. Happy baking, and have a wonderful weekend.

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