Carol Martin

Cider Is The New Beer?

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Carol Martin has been described as the "Match Maker of People to Properties on Gabriola Island". She specializes in Gabriola Island real estate properties, where each transaction is as unique as the island itself. Moving to Gabriola from Vancouver, Carol quickly became immersed in the community of Gabriola through the Lions Club, the Gabriola Arts Council, Gabriola Theatre Festival, the Silva Bay Yacht Club, Silva Bay Kayaking Adventures, Gabriola’s Garden Club, and the Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre. Clearly a people-person, there is nothing more important to Carol than delivering superb customer service.

apples_ravenskillRight under my very nose … I had driven by many times and had thought to myself, “Oh! What industrious people who’ve moved onto Gabriola.” New barn – impressive! Planting acres of apple trees and cultivating 25 varieties of apples seemed an enormous venture to me, the drive-by observer. Ravenskill Orchards has been tending, grafting and watering over the past few years and has evolved into the most expansive pedestrian orchard ever, right here on Gabriola.

apple_pippin_ravenskillKeith and Martie Mackenzie saw the dream. They bought 27 acres of undeveloped land in 2002. Through clearing and cleaning, they opened their piece of heaven under the sunshine of Gabriola, making use of organic methods, composting and water conservation. Many, if not all of the apples they’ve chosen to grow here, are from eastern Canada. Most of the varieties I’ve never heard of, but they are perfect for juicing, making ciders, and working into apple salted caramels and apple butter. Oh! I just ate a bag of the caramels while writing this piece. Addictive!

Ravenskill OrchardIt was the Circle of Friends who descended on Ravenskill Orchards for a tour. We are a group of Island women interested in mostly everything related to living on an island, in particular Gabriola Island. As individuals, we share our interests and support our community. Every once in a while, we come together for laughter and the fun of just being together. We’d love you to join us. And we do welcome men, but usually we find that we are a clutch of women, totally comfortable with ourselves and our lives. Call me if you’d like to know more.

circle of friendsWe were encouraged to pick a few apples from the trees. We did. Ice cream does the trick in the summer, but apples in the fall? Oh yes, we crunched on those easily reached which is why this is called a pedestrian orchard. Trees are cultivated to perhaps a height of 8 feet but no taller, so they are easier to reach than the giants we built our tree houses in when we were a lot younger.

cidery_carol martinWe could talk about the apple pies still warm from the oven but let’s wait a minute on that. We arrived in the presentation room with appreciative ooo’s and aaa’s as we enjoyed the sippings of cider. Here and there were baskets of caramels in their own gift bags. Pushed into square boxes were jars of apple butter saying gently, “pick me for your toast and coffee”. And then, there were the pies.

If you love apple pie, and most of us do, you would have been wowed! Deep dish, about 2 inches deep, made of two varieties, in a lovely flaky crust. Ice cream was not required.

And is cider the new beer?  Check out the Ravenskill website for an interesting look at the origins of cider “back in the day” and why hard cider is making a comeback today.


Carol Martin_featuredCarol Martin, Personal Real Estate Corporation
Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty Gabriola
Email Carol



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