Tourists to Canada’s Okanagan Valley can thank the glaciers for carving the wonderful views in southern British Columbia, but local growers look to the future by growing new varieties and crops on the fertile benches the glaciers left behind.
On the first day of the 2018 International Fruit Tree Association study tour in July, Carl Withler, an industry specialist for the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture, summed up what we’d learn over the next couple of days: B.C. growers are facing change head-on.
Local growers are looking to cherries, wine grapes, cider and agritainment in areas where stone fruit and apples once dominated, all due to market changes, strong local research into new cherry varieties and rising temperatures in the warmest part of the province.
Here’s a quick look at a few stops on the tour.
—by TJ Mullinax