Friday, November 26, 2010

Oliver, BC ~ Okanagan Valley ~ Orchards ~ Autumn Colors

We love RVing for many reasons.  We are able to have a new adventure wherever we may go and that may happen anytime of year.  A visit to the Okanagan Valley is southern BC holds a multitude of treats for the tastebuds most of the year from the vineyards and orchards but the feast for the eyes in autumn is absolutely amazing!

Autumn colors of the Okanagan Valley, BC
Long before Oliver was known as the Wine Capital of Canada, it was an orchard mecca for fruit lovers.  The first fruit tree planted in the Okanagan Valley was in the mid 1800’s and it has flourished ever since.  To this day there are still many fruit orchards and their color in autumn time is absolutely incredible.

Autumn colors reflect in the pond in Oliver, BC
There are small treasures scattered around the area and I found one of those as I was out walking.  This pretty pond was not a five minute walk from our RV park and right behind the airstrip as our dog Maggie and I walked to take pictures of the nearby orchards.

Autumn colors of the diversified landscape in Oliver, BC
The Okanagan Valley has a diverse landscape with hills and valleys that offers dry air, wind patterns, different soil and proximity to water from the “Ditch” which creates a growers paradise. 

Standing above the vineyards looking down onto the orchards
Due to the hot and dry desert-like climate, there are few bugs, fungi or disease so less pesticides are used than in many other fruit growing areas. This is a big bonus in today’s awareness of creating a green footprint.
A bed of fallen leaves between the rows
Several varieties of many fruits are grown in the Okanagan Valley including apples, peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries and more.  This allows those living in Canada, especially British Columbia to have access to these fruits throughout most of the year.

A hazy colorful valley in Oliver, BC
I admit that I am not sure which fruit tree is in some of these orchards in the distance, but the colors are the beauty of the autumn and the reason for the pictures.  I believe there are different colored leaves for different fruit trees. The vineyards do not have the same intensity of color in their changing leaves.

Rows of old apple trees are a sight to behold 
Apple varieties grown here include Ambrosia, which in Greek means ‘food of the gods’. The Spartan apple, which is a varietal with Macintosh parents was first developed in the Summerland Research Station in 1936 and has been a worldwide favorite ever since.  Spartans keep well in cold storage therefore are available most of the year.

Delicious colors of orchards in autumn

These same Okanagan Valley orchards share much of the production of fruit in Canada.  They produce 60% of Canadian cherries, 50% of the Bartlett pears, 33% of Canadian apples, plus prune plums, peaches and assorted berries.

The beautiful Okanagan Valley at Oliver, BC
We can enjoy the colors of the trees and marvel at this valley but a very important thing for us to remember is to support local growers in order to keep them producing the delicious fruit of the beautiful Okanagan Valley.  Not only does that mean they benefit from our support but we reap our rewards by eating healthier fresh fruit produced in our own back yard for most of the year.


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