Let MidFEx (Midwest Fruit Explorers - www.midfex.org) help you decide which of
the many varieties of apples and fruiting plants to grow. At our Fall Harvest
Festival we will have on display over 100 different varieties of apples, many
antique or heritage varieties, some of them going back to colonial and even
Roman times, and also the best of the new. You will find sweet, tart, dessert,
and russet apples that were bred for taste, not for long shelf life and
appearance like supermarket apples.
MidFEx is a non-profit backyard fruit-growing club for the Midwest. Our Fall
Harvest Festival is held at the Chicago Botanic Gardens on Saturday October 18
and Sunday October 19, between 10 AM and 4:00 PM. MidFEx members will be on
hand to display fruit grown in their yards, and give you advice on how to
chose, purchase, plant, and take care of fruit trees. Starting at 1:00 PM on
Sunday, the second day of the show, all the fruit on display will be cut up so
you can sample its taste. This includes all the apples, pears, and other
interesting and unusual fruit including Asian pears and paw-paw. You can decide
which variety to plant, picking out the flavor and texture that pleases you the
Do you want to buy some of these apples to take home? Selected varieties will
be offered for sale. Also, apple and peach butters, taffy apples, and apple
cider will be for sale. We will offer demonstrations at various times daily on
making apple cider using our club's cider press.
You can also enjoy the many permanent garden exhibits at the Chicago Botanic
Gardens such as the Japanese Garden, the English Walled Garden, and the Fruit
and Vegetable Garden which is on its own 4 acre island. Visit this island and
see many uncommon fruiting plants like kiwi, paw paw, elderberry, juneberry,
examples of espalier fruit growing; and a series of identical apple trees
growing on different dwarfing rootstock.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is located about 15 miles north of Chicago. Parking
for non-members of Chicago Botanic Gardens is $8.75, but all the exhibits are
free. For detailed directions to the Botanic Garden and a complete description
of our festival check out the MidFEx web site at www.midfex.org. Our web site
is chock full of info for the backyard fruit grower, including recommended
varieties of fruits and nuts and a virtual tour of a 50 by 50 foot backyard
with 97 mini-dwarf apple trees (94 different varieties!).