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How do you like them apples?

September, 2010

It’s a long walk from the bank to the apple orchard, but it’s a move that offers bushels of rewards.

“It’s a semi-retirement,” says André Simoneau of his decision to leave the financial world and – if I may – trade oranges for apples.

Simoneau occupies a booth at Atwater Market, but the core of his operation is Verger du Flâneur.

Verger du Flâneur orchard in Rougemont produces 18 varieties of apples. Photo: Hayley Juhl

“It means ‘to hang around’,” he explains with a twinkle.

The Rougemont orchard boasts 5,000 trees producing 18 varieties of apples. The orchard welcomes guests who want to pick their own apples; they also sell to juice-makers and grocery-store suppliers.

In 2005, Quebec produced 78,000 kilos of apples, a healthy slice of Canada’s 433,000 kilos. Of Quebec’s total, 35 per cent is produced in the Montérégie, which encompasses Rougemont.

“It’s a nice place in nature,” Simoneau says. He waves an arm to indicate dozens of plastic buckets full of fresh, shiny fruit. “It keeps me busy.”

Verger du Flâneur’s booth is at the south end of Atwater Market, just outside the café’s doors. The U-pick orchard is at 161 la Petit Caroline, Rougemont. 450-469-3178.



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