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Fourth Generation Berry Grower Truck 59 Ciderhouse

Celebrating 60 Years!

St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery Summer 2019 $6.95

Display Until Aug 30, 2019 Publication Mail Agreement No. 40838008 www.orchardandvine.net


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St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery.

CONTENTS 6 Publisher's View – Lisa Olson 8 Calendar 11 News & Events 23 Orchard & Vine Celebrate 60 Years 27 4 Generations of Berry Farmers

23

O&V celebrates 60 years.

30 Truck 59 Ciderhouse Hosts Okanagan Cider Festival 33 St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery 37 Late Harsh Winter Leaves Raspberries in Question 39 Grape Growing Pioneer Earns Award 41 Grower Winery Relations 47 Legal Libations – Denese Espeut-Post 49 Marketing Mix – Leeann Froese

Photos contributed

51 Seeds Of Growth – Glen Lucas

30

Okanagan Cider Festival at Truck 59 Ciderhouse.

54 Canada Fruit Fest On the cover, the view from Black Dog Cellars facing west above Skaha Lake in the South Okanagan. Photo contributed by Beverlee Jones, Black Dog Cellars.

Summer 2019

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 PUBLISHER’S VIEW | LISA OLSON

What’s Changed in 60 Years?

I

spent an interesting morning at the museum the other day, doing some research by looking through past issues of the inaugural edition of Orchard & Vine magazine, ‘The Orchardist”, circa 1959. There were so many old photos and articles that made me say, “Wow, I had no idea that happened”.

Vol. 60, No 3 Summer 2019

I remember growing up hearing ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. It was one of those phrases that were part of life growing up, but little did I know that phrase originated from a study during the early 1960’s at Michigan State University and published in the magazine; it was cool to see the write-up.

Gary Symons

It’s common for vegetarians and vegans to consume large amounts of fruits and veggies; three, four or more apples per day are easily the norm. Other fruits are also being consumed more and are gaining in popularity. The other day, I made a morning smoothie with; one ambrosia apple, 2 bananas, ½ cup of almond milk, it was so creamy and tasty. Other fruits known for their health benefits and eating in large quantities are; berries, grapes and melons. What does all this mean for local fruit growers? I’m thinking, the higher consumption of fruit equals more demand and therefore more sales! Social media influencers are promoting eating more

Publisher Lisa Olson Editor

Graphic Design Stephanie Symons Contributors Photo by Kim Kanduth

Today, studies are being done on adding more plant-based eating. Even bartenders are adding fresh fruits and herbs to their mixes and fruit wines have gained a larger audience.

Established in 1959

fruits and greens, that’s great news for growers. The Canada Fruit Festival is happening August 9 - 12 in the Okanagan. There you will see huge influencers, making their living promoting plant-based eating. See Page 54. Another historical piece of information that came to my attention from 60 years ago is the use of initials in people’s names; J.W. Hughes, R.P. (Tiny) Walrod page 25. Today we are more casual, connecting on a first name basis instead of Mr. and Mrs. and saying hi in place of dear in our emails. But, in the spirit of this historic 60th Anniversary issue, this is L.B. Olson, signing off. Enjoy the magazine!

Michael Botner, Denese Espeut-Post, Leeann Froese, Kim Kanduth, Glen Lucas, Ronda Payne, Tom Walker Contact lisa@orchardandvine.net Orchard & Vine Magazine Ltd. 22-2475 Dobbin Road Suite #578 West Kelowna, BC V4T 2E9 www.orchardandvine.net Phone: 778-754-7078 Fax: 1-866-433-3349 Orchard & Vine Magazine is published six times a year and distributed by addressed mail to growers, suppliers and wineries in the Okanagan, Kootenays, Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Washington State and across Canada. Orchard & Vine is also available online. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40838008 Undeliverable copies should be sent to:

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 SUMMER | CALENDAR

Le Cirque De La Nuit June 15 Kelowna, BC https://bcwinefestival.com Canada’s Farm Progress Show June 19-21 Regina, SK www.myfarmshow.com BC Enology & Viticulture Conference July 15 -16 Penticton, BC www.bcwgc.org International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration July 19-21 Niagara, ON https://www.coolchardonnay.org Supplier to the Commercial Beverage Industry

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Canada Fruit Festival August 9-12 Okanagan Lake, BC https://www.canadafruitfest.ca Feast of Fields Okanagan - August 11 Vancouver Island – August 25 Metro Vancouver - September 8 www.feastoffields.com

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BC Pinot Noir Celebration August 17 Kelowna, BC http://www.bcpinotnoir.ca Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show September 10 -12 Woodstock, ON http://www.outdoorfarmshow.com

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BC Wine Grape Council 19th Annual Enology & Viticulture Conference & Trade Show Monday, July 15 & Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Penticton Trade Show & Convention Centre Wine industry and grape growing collegues are invited to learn about Sustainable Wine Growing! at the 19th Enology & Viticulture Conference & Tradeshow. The show will feature leaders in climate change research, natural and organic wine production and farming practices, and current smoke-taint research and mitigation strategies. Delegates will have the opportunity to participate in sensory sessions that bring industry professionals and researchers together to experience, examine and discuss these issues.

Conference Highlights - International Speakers • Innovation, cooperation and the perceived benefits and costs of sustainable practices, Florence Gras, France • Climate change impacts, Dr, Greg Jones, Oregon • Carbon Farming, Dr. Lucas Patzek, California • Powdery mildew, sustainable and organic practices for control, Dr. Walter Mahaffee, Oregon • Smoke Taint 101, lessons learned from Australian experiences, Dr. Kerry Wilkinson, Australia • Authentic Wine: Toward natural and sustainable winemaking, Dr. Jamie Goode, United Kingdom • Sustainable Agriculture Network, Thomas Divney, Costa Rica • Sustainable winegrowing in theory + practice: A wine glass half-full, Dr. Mike Veseth, Washington In addition to International speakers the conference will include local project updates, Sustainable Winegrowing townhall, research poster walk-through, social sustainability, organic farming panel and grapevine certification workshops.

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 SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS

BC Wine, Cider & Spirits Festival with Le Cirque De La Nuit house at 2092 Enterprise Way to bring you a Cirque show and tasting experience like never before!

BC Wine, Cider & Spirits Festival is seriously upping its game this year with an event in Kelowna that’s even cooler than the drinks being served.

The BC Wine, Cider & Spirits Festival will bring the Calgary based Cirque company’s signature show to Kelowna for the first time and are excited to introduce ‘Wondrous’, which will have the audience enraptured from beginning to end. The Festival and Le Cirque de la Nuit are teaming up in a 78,000 square foot ware-

As the show mesmerizes the guests’ sight and hearing, the BC Wine, Cider & Spirits Festival members will mesmerize their taste and smell as they pour samples of their amazing BC craft products, for a full

Photo contributed

The ‘Wondrous’ show features break dance battles, aerial acrobatics, sultry burlesque and belly dance numbers as well as experiential video production and countless circus arts and theatrics in a continuous journey of interactive performances. This storybook journey brings a battle of good and evil as Alice and the Red Queen will fall deep into the rabbit hole.

Festival organizers are bringing the acclaimed Le Cirque de la Nuit to Kelowna for its June 15th event, to be held in a massive warehouse that will leave room for both the circus acts and for tasting the beverages at the heart of the festival.

Le Cirque de la Nuit performing June 15th..

sensory event experience. Tickets: https://bcwinefestival.com/

Wine & Words at Liquidity Features Top Canadian Authors Steven Price is the author of three novels, Lampedusa (forthcoming August, 2019), By Gaslight (2016), longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Into That Darkness (2011). Also an acclaimed poet, he has written two award-winning poetry books, Anatomy of Keys (2006), winner of the Gerald Lampert Award, and Omens in the Year of the Ox (2012), winner of the ReLit Award.

In partnership with the Vancouver Writers Fest you will have the opportunity to spend time in an intimate winery setting with some of the world’s best literary talents, beginning with acclaimed authors Esi Edugyan & Steven Price. Esi Edugyan has twice won the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novels Washington Black (2018) and Half Blood Blues (2011). Both novels were also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her debut novel, written when she was 25, The Sec-

Photo by Don Denton

Liquidity Winery in Okanagan Falls is adding to its lineup of artistic experiences, with a new event called Wine & Words.

Authors Esi Edugyan & Steven Price.

ond Life of Samuel Tyne, was published internationally. In 2014, she published her first book of non-fiction, Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home.

The event will be held July 27th at 3:00 pm in the Winery Building, with tickets costing $30 per person, and that price also includes one of the authors’ books, as well as special offers from Liquidity & Vancouver’s Writers Fest.

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 SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS

BC Pinot Noir Celebration Pairs Top Pinot Producers With Top Chefs

Now in its fourth year, the BC Pinot Noir Celebration (BCPNC) is bigger than ever before. In total, 42 wineries submitted their wines for the event. After a rigorous tasting by a panel of discerning judges of some of Vancouver’s top sommeliers (DJ Kearney, Christina Hartigan, Alistair Veen, Roger Maniwa, Mark Taylor and Keith Nicholson), the field was whittled down to 35 Pinots which guests will have the chance to sample at the celebration, along with a sparkling wine from Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards. In addition to an increase in the number of wineries, 2019 will also see more chefs participating than ever before. Guests can expect a truly exceptional wine and culinary experience during a courtyard tasting salon with the likes of Joy Road, Waterfront Café and Catering, Frankie We Salute You, Old Vines Restaurant at Quails’ Gate Winery, Vice and Virtue, Start Fresh Catering and Vancouver’s

Photos by Chris Stenburg

The BC Pinot Noir Celebration returns on August 17 with 35 top Pinot Noir producers joining seven of British Columbia’s top chefs for an unforgettable day of wine and food at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus in Kelowna.

Scenes from the 2018 BC Pinot Noir Celebration.

Wildebeest. The evening unfolds with a cocktail-style dinner by Joy Road and Waterfront Café followed by live music featuring The Insiders. “The BC Pinot Noir Celebration initially came together as a way for winemakers to share their love of Pinot and we are blown away by how much the event continues to grow year-after-year,” says David Paterson, GM/Winemaker at Tanta-

lus Vineyards and BCPNC President. “By moving to UBC’s Okanagan Campus this year, we are not only able to increase the level of experience for our guests at the salon tasting and breakout sessions, but also work with their faculty to share some of the amazing research that has been done with our local wineries.” BCPNC offers an immersive experience to learn about and discuss Pinot Noir and compare various styles. This year’s schedule of events includes an information session hosted by UBC’s Okanagan Campus researchers, as well as breakout sessions where guests can delve deeper into their tasting experience with ‘Something Old, Something New’ which looks at how beautifully Pinots age, and ‘Pinot Noir from Coast to Coast’ which will feature wines from BC to Nova Scotia.

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 SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS

Okanagan Valley Pouring Wine From Two New Distinct Areas BC wine consumers will soon be able to purchase bottles with Naramata Bench and Skaha Bench on the label, as the BC government has announced the creation of two new wine appellations in the province. "The Okanagan Valley has always been known as one of our province's premier grape growing regions and today we are taking it a step further by celebrating and showcasing the talent of growers and wineries in Naramata and Skaha," said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. "Most of our B.C. wineries are family owned and operated. They are incredible people, and I am excited to see the new opportunities and continued growth of the sector." There are now four sub-geographical indicators, or sub-appellations, in the province. Wineries in Naramata Bench and Skaha Bench join Okanagan Falls and Golden Mile Bench, near Oliver, as wineries that meet the requirements of the Wines of Marked Quality Regulation. Wines from all four of the sub-appellations can be labelled with a commitment to consumers that at least 95% of the grapes in the bottle come from that specific area. Naramata Bench is roughly defined as the bench lands between Penticton Creek and Okanagan Mountain Park on the east side of Okanagan Lake. Skaha Bench covers a 10-kilometer stretch from the outskirts of Penticton and along the eastern shore of Skaha Lake. From soil to shelf, more than 60 different

grape varieties are produced in the province, including Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. "Being the third region to receive Sub-GI designation is especially exciting for the Naramata Bench as we have a long history of taking great pride in our terroir,” said Kathy Malone, winemaker at Hillside Winery, on the Naramata Bench. “I committed years ago to using only Naramata Bench grown fruit, and we at Hillside, together with our supplying vineyards and our winery neighbours along the Naramata Bench, are pleased that we can now state on the label clearly where the grapes are grown: Naramata Bench--the heart of

the Okanagan Valley." Evelyn Campbell, proprietor at Blasted Church Winery on Skaha Bench added, "We are incredibly excited for the announcement of the Skaha Bench Sub-GI. “With this new designation, we will be able to push forward along with our neighbouring vineyards and wineries to tell the story of our unique terroir while continuing to produce wines that reflect our specific growing conditions. "With just a quick glance at the wine label consumers will be able to identify the wines, helping to provide an all-important sense of place to connect with, and what we're achieving on the Skaha Bench."

Wine Industry Services Congratulations to Orchard & Vine Magazine

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î Ž SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS

Tinhorn Creek & Miradoro Awarded Best BC VQA Wine Pairing BC wineries and top chefs competed in April at the 15th annual Chef Meets BC Grape event, Western Canada's largest tasting of BC VQA Wine and food, to win three coveted awards: Best BC VQA Wine Pairing, Best Dish and Consumer's Choice awards. Hosted by the BC Wine Institute in support of the BC Hospitality Foundation, the sold-out Chef Meets BC Grape event returned to the Vancouver Convention

Chef Meets BC Grape Vancouver Judges (L - R) Sean Nelson, Rhys Pender, Mijune Pak, Tim Pawsey and Joanne Sasvari.

Photos contributed

Centre welcoming 550 guests to taste and enjoy newly released BC VQA wines from 94 BC wineries and creative dishes prepared and served by 16 of BC's top restaurants.

2019 Chef Meets BC Grape winner for Best BC VQA Wine Pairing is Chef Jeff Van Geest of Miradoro Restaurant.

The 2019 Chef Meets BC Grape winner for Best BC VQA Wine Pairing is Chef Jeff Van Geest of Miradoro Restaurant for his Oxtail Arancini dish paired with Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Merlot 2016 BC VQA from the Okanagan Valley, BC. Mijune Pak, a judge on Food Network's

Top Chef Canada and Iron Chef Canada, served as the evenings' emcee for the third consecutive year. Pak judged alongside a panel of four expert wine and food critics as they tasted and scored the 16 dishes and BC VQA wine pairings. "It's a good sign when the judges are arguing over who should win," said Pak. "The competition was tight this year, and the standard of dishes and wine pairings showcasing beautiful BC was nothing but impressive."

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 SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS

Okanagan Spring Wine Festival Puts on Epic Event for 2019 Wine lovers got to experience the best of the Okanagan’s bounty this past May during the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society’s Spring Wine Festival. Taking place from May 1 to May 12. The festival highlighted local wineries and featured over 90 wine-centric events, taking place up and down the entire valley. It’s a well-kept industry secret that wine aficionados love to visit the Okanagan in the springtime, when wineries aren’t busy with the Christmas rush or summer tourists, and winemakers can instead focus on connecting with guests and sharing their vineyard’s story.

Next up for The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is their Summer Festi-

Scenes from the 2019 Spring Festival. Photos contributed

Guests of this year’s festival experienced a variety of events, from pet-friendly vineyard tours, to star gazing wine pairings, to classic chef dinners featuring new spring releases. One of the society’s most popular events, the signature Spring WestJet Wine Tastings, was a hit once more, selling hundreds of tickets and featuring dozens of wineries and over 100 wines for guests to try, as well as live music and nibbles. New to the festival this year was Putting & Bubbles, an afternoon guests spent at Sunset Ranch Golf and Country Club tasting whites, rosés and bubbles, while enjoying the green working with local pros on their putt.

val set to take place in Kelowna, and promises to feature the best wines in the valley. For more information go to www.thewinefestivals.com.

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 SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS

TIME Winery Captures Captures Best in Show Award TIME Winery won a rare double honour at this year’s Best of Varietal Awards at the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival. TIME Winery CEO Harry McWatters and winemakers Graham Pierce and Nadine Allander were thrilled when it was announced that TIME Winery won Best of Varietal for the 2017 Riesling, but when the presenters announced that, for the first time ever, the competition is awarding a Best of Show, and it was for the same wine, the team was shocked. Photo contributed

"I have been to this festival since its inception," notes the 51year industry veteran and CEO of TIME Winery Harry McWatters. "To receive the first Best in Show award is such an honour. I am so proud of our winemaking team of Graham Pierce, Nadine Allander, and Darrien McWatters." TIME Winery CEO & winemakers Nadine Allander and Graham Pierce celebrate their wins at the BC Best of Varietals Competition.

Monte Creek Ranch has a New Executive Chef Monte Creek Ranch Winery has announced a new partnership with Chef Romeo and Uptown Chefs Catering & Events to further elevate the restaurant experience at the winery’s Terrace restaurant, as well as our event options for our guests.

Photo by Aspect Arts

The new menu will be bright and fresh with Chef Romeo’s unique style,” said Danett Fisher, Monte Creek Ranch Winery Tasting Room Manager. “Uptown Chefs Catering Company offers the culinary experience that we were looking for. We feel very confident our guests will have everything they hoped for when they plan their event with us. “ “This is a really unique partnership that’s unlike anything we’ve ever done before and we’re really proud to help showcase one of the region’s premier destinations for wine,” said Chef Romeo Oloresisimo. Chef Romeo concentrating at work.

For Sale or Lease Farm Gate Winery Opportunity – Osoyoos • 6.3 ac. property, 700’ Hwy 97 excellent exposure, legal access, large parking area, M1 / AG zoning. • 11 yr old 3.6 ac vineyard, 3 premium Rhone white varietals, wind machine, available for 2019 crush. • 1850 sq’ Commercial quality masonry winery building, partial 18’ ceiling, 2500 sq’ crush pad area, 760 sq’ office/ tasting area, air compressor, 400A 3 phase electrical service. • 3400 sq’ (total) utility building, + 1400 sq’ older home. • All machinery required to run the farm and forklift available, apply for a license, bring your winery equipment and start.

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 SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS

Saltspring Baker Publishes Cookbook of Comfort Foods Jana Roerick, the owner and baker behind Jana’s Bake Shop, is now sharing her critically acclaimed recipes in a new book, ‘The Little Island Bake Shop; Heirloom Recipes Made for Sharing.”

baked muffins to irresistible cookies to crowdpleasing pies and cakes, these recipes remind us that baked goods are fun to make and best when shared.

“Jana’s Bake Shop has been churning out ridiculously delicious desserts for decades. From espresso cookies and pecan caramel squares to a strawberry rhubarb pie, there is something for everyone,” says Acquisitions Editor Michelle Meade of Figure 1 Publishing.

Already, the long-time baker/first-time author has garnered some great reviews for her first cookbook. World famous kids’ singer Raffi is a big fan, saying “This book is a feast of good taste and quality is the prime ingredient,” while CBC food columnist Julie van Rosendaal says, “Jana has a talent for comfort baking: pies, cakes, cookies and all those treats that remind you of home.”

The Little Island Bake Shop features a comforting collection of 80 easy to make recipes designed to satisfy almost any craving. From freshly

SE KELOWNA Breathtaking Okanagan Lake views from this 14.6 acre estate on Stewart and Saucier Roads in South Kelowna. The home shows like new and features 10’ ceilings, spacious rooms and a unique design set around a courtyard overlooking the vineyard and view. MLS® $3,150,000

SE KELOWNA 14.17 acre orchard estate with expansive pastoral, lake, city & mountain views, with an impressive main home + 2 farm help dwellings. Turn-key meticulous farm comes with a complete equipment package & a productive apple orchard with modern varieties. MLS® $2,890,000

LAKE COUNTRY SW Profitable turn-key greenhouse operation, retail store & solid 1500 sf rancher home with caretaker suite & unfinished basement on almost 10 acres of ALR land. Lakeview, highway frontage, strategically located within 10 mins of the Kelowna Airport. MLS® $1,999,000

CAWSTON 25 acres freehold organic orchard & primarily class 1 vineyard land in Cawston. Spacious 3300 sf (approx) home, bunk house, original farm house, packing shed, greenhouse & fencing for horses. Two wells + gravity fed irrigation from 2 water licenses. MLS® $ 2,395,000

OLIVER 10 acres of peaches, prune plums and gala apples. Approx. 6 acres very well suited to vineyard. 380’ of highway frontage. 2 bay fruit stand w/3 piece bathroom and separate shop. Attached storage room w/ farm machinery storage below. 4 bdr home. High production well. MLS® $1,389,000

OYAMA Astounding views of Wood & Kalamalka lakes. 9.76 acres. Custom ‘92 built (approx) 3786sf home & fully irrigated apple orchard. Full-on western exposure. Immaculate, original walk-out rancher and 3 car garage. Orchard is older Mac and Delicious, well maintained and picturesque. New roof in 2016. MLS® $1,650,000

LAKE COUNTRY SW Established fruit stand & almost 10 acres of irrigated orchard land strategically situated between Shanks Road & Highway 97 in Lake Country. Mixed mature & older orchard with cherries, peaches, nectarines, apples etc. Fourplex and farm house. MLS® $1,750,000

PEACHLAND Phenomenal lake views & income from this Peachland acreage! 10 acre parcel, approx 7.5 acres planted to Stacatto cherries. Great elevation for late cherries. 4 bdr main house, detached oversize garage/workshop. MLS® $1,599,000

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 SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS

BC Tree Fruits Cooperative Announces New CEO and CFO

“We are extremely excited to welcome two solid leaders to the Cooperative,” says Chairman of the Board Jeet Dukhia. “The Board of Directors went through an extensive search for the past number of months to ensure we find the right individuals that will excel in these positions on behalf of our grower members.” McMyn joins the Cooperative with previous experience as a CEO where he led a successful manufacturing and trading corporation involved in high tech products infrastructure, as well as consulting on various agricultural and farming projects globally. McMyn brings a global perspective and has travelled to more than 50 countries

setting up distribution and business. He has participated in international trade missions with the BC government. A graduate of Simon Fraser University (SFU), Todd has been trained and instituted Total Quality Management manufacturing standards with a number of global companies. “I’m thrilled to join the Cooperative as the new CEO,” said McMyn. “I am excited for the future of our Cooperative and l want to ensure we are leaders in the industry not only in the Okanagan Valley and British Columbia, but worldwide.” Ross joins the Cooperative with a strong background in finance and a wealth of knowledge and strategic ability to help move the organization forward. As a CPA and CA, Ross brings with him 15 plus years’ experience in both public practice and industry. “Thank you to the Board of Directors and to Mr. McMyn for providing me the op-

Photo contributed

BC Tree Fruits Cooperative has completed its top level restructuring, appointing Todd McMyn as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Ross Dwhytie as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). McMyn joined the Cooperative effective April 1 and Dwhytie on April 8.

Mr. Todd McMyn is the new CEO of BCTF.

portunity to join such a strong, reputable organization as the new CFO,” states Mr. Ross Dwhytie. “I look forward to working with both our staff and growers and help guide our Cooperative into a prosperous future.”

BC Tree Fruits Cooperative Announces Purchase of 85 Acres The BC Tree Fruits Cooperative (BCTFC) has purchased 85 acres of land in Kelowna, BC, with the purpose of building a new facility under the Cooperative’s new “One Roof” plan. In conjunction with this purchase, BCTFC has an agreement in place to sell their property in Penticton, BC. Both transactions will be completed by May 31, 2019. “Today is an exciting day for all of us at the Cooperative,” said Todd McMyn, CEO

of the BCTFC. “This purchase signals our commitment to the industry, our growers, our staff and the Valley and will give us the ability to compete on a global scale moving forward.” “I’m thrilled for the future of our Cooperative following today’s news,” says BC Tree Fruits Cooperative Chairperson Jeet Dukhia. “On behalf of the rest of the Board of Directors of the Cooperative, we are looking forward to working closely

with the senior management as we design and build a world class facility that all of our grower members and staff can be proud of.” When complete the new facility located on Old Vernon Road will see a consolidation of all of the Co-op’s northern facilities into this new facility, which will house state of the art apple, cherry, pear and soft fruit packing lines, office space, cider production and a “destination” cidery.

Frozen, Refrigerated & Dry Storage Spaces 250-938-5062 cooling@ranchovignola.com ranchocooling.com 3155 Pleasant Valley Rd • Armstrong, BC • V0E 1B2 18 Summer 2019


 SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS

B.C. Land Matching Program Brings Opportunities for Young Farmers New and young farmers throughout B.C. are seeing results and getting agricultural land into production, thanks to the support of regional land matchers and the B.C. Land Matching Program, delivered by Young Agrarians. “The challenge for young and new farmers entering the agricultural industry is acquiring affordable farmland that they can farm,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Since expanding the B.C. Land Matching Program last summer, we’ve seen successful matches throughout the province, ensuring more B.C. farmland is in production and helping secure our farming industry and food security for future generations.” After launching as a pilot in Metro Vancouver in 2016, the program expanded across southern B.C. in July 2018. Since 2018, the B.C. Land Matching Program has helped 19 new farmers and farming families connect with landowners in the province to sign farming agreements, with a total of 26.71 hectares (66 acres) brought into, or maintained in, agricultural production. The Province has committed $375,000 in funding to build on the success of the program for the 201920 fiscal year. Land matchers assigned to Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan and Columbia Basin have been working closely with farmers, landowners, local governments and agricultural organizations to help facilitate agreements between farmers and land owners. Tucked away between orchards and wineries overlooking Powers Creek in West Kelowna, Popham visited Alpine Roots Farm to meet with farmer Eoin Carey and landowners John and Anne Whittall, as well as their land matcher Tessa Wetherill, for a tour of their property. She announced the results of the B.C. Land Matching Program there, as well as additional funding for the program for 2019-20. The land owners and the farmer signed their lease this past January, and Carey and his family have already started to

till the land for what will be a 0.80-hectare (two-acre) market garden, selling to community-supported agriculture members. They also plan to partner with local restaurants throughout Kelowna and the region and are excited to offer chefs the option of having grow-to-order unique, or hard-to-find, varieties of produce.

For the Whittalls, both retired, this was an opportunity to see the agricultural land they own and steward in full production, while allowing them to keep the land’s farm-classification status, which will support them as they age in place on a fixed income.

26.82 ACRES BELGO ESTATE This unique property offers a secluded country setting close to town. Features approx. 10 acre Belgo pond, an oasis for wildlife & migratory birds. Surrounding the pond is approx. 10 acres of vineyard planted to table grapes( Bath & Coronation varieties). Property has 3 legal Titles. There are 2 homes on 10.83 acres. The other 2 Titles, 3.63 acres & 12.35 acres can be built on. $4,995,000 MLSr 10182340

21.61 ACRES S.E. KELOWNA With approx 17 Acres planted to apple orchard. Features a custom built Craftsman style home with formal floor plan, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, approx. 4,580 sqft + unfinished basement with suite potential. This beautiful estate property has privacy & panoramic valley views + 18 x 38 ft in-ground pool, triple garage, a detached work shop, 4,400 sqft barn + a small farm worker cottage. $3,995,000 MLSr 10181676

10 ACRES IN RUTLAND AREA Prime flat farm land with luxurious custom home with bright great room concept, 20 ft ceilings, extensive hardwood floors, gas fireplace, Kitchen with granite Island, SS appliances. Main floor master bedroom has 5 piece ensuite, heated tile floors, tub, steam shower. Upper level has a games room, library & family room. Unfinished basement + 2 car garage +2 car detached garage. $2,495,000 MLSr10179775

10.3 ACRES IN GLENMORE AREA KELOWNA Panoramic valley, City and lake views! This is a perfect spot to build an estate home and operate a farm in the heart of Kelowna. This property has gentle slope with a SW exposure & has full irrigation water available from GEID. Land is suitable for a wide variety of agricultural crops or run a few horses. This property Zoned A1 & in the Agricultural Land Reserve ALR. $1,395,000 MLSr10182352

DAVID JUROME 250-862-1888 davidjurome@gmail.com

www.davidjurome.com

JAXON JUROME 250-300-0375 jaxonjurome@gmail.com Summer 2019

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 SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS

The Future is Bright Blue as Richmond Hosts the IBO Summitt The global blueberry industry is set to meet from June 24-26 in Richmond, BC, where the International Blueberry Organization (IBO) Summit will bring together experts to discuss the biggest opportunities and challenges for the industry worldwide. The agenda is full of top-notch speakers, a full-day tour that includes a retail shop, blueberry field and processing facility tour, giving the attendees an overview of one of the world’s most experienced blueberry industries. “The IBO summit brings the global blueberry industry together under one roof to address challenges and explore opportunities moving forward,” said Anju Gill, executive director of the BC Blueberry Council. “The international delegation will experience first-hand the natural beauty of British Columbia, the largest high bush blueberry-growing region in Canada. We are pleased to announce a superb lineup of industry specialists, and ‘on-the-ground’ panelists, including fruit quality experts, breeders, retailers and exporters from around the world.” The IBO Summit is held in a different blueberry-producing country every 18 months, highlighting the interconnectedness of the global blueberry industry as both demand and production continue to grow at astonishing rates all around the world. Canada ranks third globally behind the U.S. and Chile in terms of production volume.

“British Columbia leads in packing and processing technology advancement and grows some of the best quality blueberries for the global markets,” said Parm Bains, chair of the IBO Organizing Committee. “Along with some of the most ideal growing conditions and high food safety standards, BC blueberries have the trust for quality and food safety, putting them in high demand from customers around the world.

The Future is Bright Blue Join us in beautiful Richmond, BC, Canada for the 2019 IBO Summit. Through continuous research and innovation, we are setting standards and winning fans among consumers and industry alike. From food safety to sustainable practices, ours is an industry that is building strength on strength. Today the blueberry industry holds endless opportunities for growth

Contact: info@bcblueberry.com 20 Summer 2019

June 24-26 2019 Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel 7551 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC bcblueberry.com


 SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS

OSF Receives FDA Approval to Grow Arctic Fuji Apples in US

“Completion of this FDA review is important news for our company as it marks the last step needed for Arctic® Fuji to officially join our commercial orchards,” explained Neal Carter, President of OSF. “We get a lot of feedback from people about what Arctic® variety they’re excited to see next, and this latest announcement allows us to provide consumers with even more choice when it comes to purchasing value-added fruits for their families to enjoy.”

Through biotechnology, the enzyme in Arctic® apples responsible for browning has been turned off. This can significantly impact unnecessary food waste when it comes to apples that would normally get thrown out after they have turned brown from getting bruised, sliced, or bitten, enabling the unique non-browning trait to benefit every sector of the supply chain. Arctic® apples were commercially available for the first time in the fall of 2017 in select U.S. cities.

Photo by Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s (OSF) newest non-browning Arctic® apple variety, Arctic® Fuji, completed the voluntary review process with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today. Arctic® Fuji’s are the third apple variety OSF has been approved to grow, along with Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny apples that previously received regulatory approval in 2015.

“There have been some major developments for OSF recently, and I’m excited to see what comes next as this is definitely just the start for us,” says Carter. The FDA is expected to post a letter announcing the completion of their evaluation on their website in the coming weeks. This was the final step required in the regulatory process.

OSF's newest non-browning apple the Arctic® Fuji.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. Honored with Role Model Award annual Consumer Connection conference on April 23rd in Scottsdale, AZ.

Photo by Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. (OSF) is being honoured for the fifth consecutive year with the Fruits & Veggies – More Matters® Industry Role Model award.

Neal Carter, President of OSF.

“Healthy eating is a key initiative for our company and our industry. We are proud to be contributing to this cause and honoured to be recognized for our efforts,” said Jessica Brady, Manager of Industry Relations and Education for OSF. “We would like to thank PBH for all the work they do every day to promote the consumption of fruit and veggies

The award recognizes initiatives that help promote fruit and vegetable consumption as part of a healthy lifestyle. The Fruit & Veggies – More Matters® program is managed by Produce for Better Health (PBH) and the award was presented during their

across the nation.” OSF is the developer of Arctic® apples which have a beneficial trait that prevents apples from turning brown when bitten, sliced or bruised. “Studies show that children are substantially more likely to eat fruit if it is sliced,” says Neal Carter, President of OSF. “Our non-browning Arctic® apple fresh slices are more appealing and make it more convenient for families to increase their fruit intake.”

Toll Free: 877-979-8940 | Tel: 403-278-8940 | Fax: 403-225-1696 | customerservice@ak-westinc.com | www.ak-westinc.com

Summer 2019

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1959-2019 Celebrates 60 Years in Publishing

THANK YOU! Readers, Writers, Advertisers and All those who help make Orchard & Vine what it is today!

Berries and BC Bud Emissions Impossible Four Fab Fruit Wineries ALR Review Behind Closed Doors 2015 BUYERS' GUIDE Arctic Apple Approved How Wine Came to Lillooet Growth in Similkameen Wineries The Family That Farms Together... 2014 Tractor Guide

Converting to Cannabis Creating a Succession Plan New Fraser Valley Winery Diversification at Davison Blueberry Research

New Stone Fruit Varieties Recruiting the Samurai Wasp

Wine Industry Comings & Goings

Protecting Marsh Habitat 2016 BUYER'S GUIDE

Time for Harry McWatters

Today's Farmers Chef + Hobby Farm = Culinary Magic Wine & Liquor Laws Explained

Innovation at Dhaliwal Farms Growing Better Trees Sperling Vineyard Going Organic Keeping an Eagle Eye on Pest Control The Challenge of Selling Wine to China

Marketing Savvy at Liquidity Cherry Orchards Heading North Responsible Water Use

2018 Tractor Issue

Originated as the British Columbia Orchardist

778-754-7078 | lisa@orchardandvine.net | orchardandvine.net


Orchard & Vine Magazine Celebrates 60 Years To celebrate our 60th Anniversay Orchard & Vine magazine is reprinting a few of our historical articles and ads that highlight how the industry has changed. Below is our first editorial, to the right is our first cover. Below is a selection of real estate ads and on the following pages, excerpts and an update on the wine industry circa January 1968.

B.C. ORCHARDIST NOVEMBER 1959

Introducing Why "The British Columbia Orchardist?" A fair enough question. We'll try to answer it. First — We hope to make a dollar. Second — We believe that there is a place in the B.C. tree fruit industry for a first class, informative, thought-provoking magazine dedicated to the betterment of the industry. A magazine which will provide a clearing house for ideas, and a medium through which growers can air their viewpoints and ask questions. We might point out that every fruit growing area of consequence has at least one, in some case two, three and four magazines devoted to the tree fruit industry in their areas. Here is British Columbia there is not one such magazine, other than this, which you are now holding in your hand. The magazine has no official backing and we do not seek it. We intend to keep our editorial independence and to call the cards as we see them. You will find an example on this on the next page. What we do need is grower support. We need your subscrip

your magazine tion (you can get it now for $1.00 if you are a registered grower). Without your subscription the magazine will die, for while the subscription dollar is a drop in the bucket related to publishing costs, we need near saturation circulation in the B.C. tree fruit growing areas to secure adequate advertising revenue to carry on. Perhaps we should have nailed our colours to the mast before making our sales pitch, but before you hand over your dollar we would have you take note that "the British Columbia Orchardist" stands 100 per cent behind the principle of central selling and the growers' organization the BCFGA. We know that these are hard times in the fruit industry. We know that grower returns do not make economic sense, but we are also convinced that without the strength of organization, without the spear point of Central Selling the grower would be in a much worst position. And so we give you "The British Columbia Orchardist" Volume 1 No. 1. We sincerely hope you will like it and subscribe to it. •

REAL ESTATE 4 Acre Orchard

Grape Growers Opportunity

Planted to apricots and peaches. Level land, Sprinkler System. 3 room cabin. Full price $7,000 with terms, or would consider cash offer.

200 acres virgin land, electricity and water available, good grape soil on South slope. ALSO

VALLEY AGENCIES

We have several home owners who wish to trade their homes on Orchard properties For further information on above please contact.

Real Estate & Insurance 534 Main Street Penticton, BC HYatt 2-2640

B.C. ORCHARDIST MARCH-APRIL,1961

P.E. KNOWLES LTD. REALTORS 618 Main Street Penticton, BC Dial HY 2-3815

Summer 2019

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ORCHARD RUN Revolution in Agriculture This is the time of the year for reviewing past performances, analyzing the results and planning for the years to come. If we could look into the future we would be a lot wiser but probably we would not be any happier, so it is just as well that much of the future is hidden in a veil of secrecy. Man can, however, make a fair guess as to the general outline of the shape of things to come. We know the record of the past; we see certain well-defined trends; by the application of reason and logic we arrive at certain conclusions. Those conclusions could be wrong, of course, but some kind of plan is required to guide us in our building for the coming years. Nobody knows exactly where we are going, but agriculture is certainly in the throes of a revolution so vast and complicated that even the experts are confused. Farm Factory is Here Contract farming, vertical integration, technological changes, improved varieties and mass production are bringing about a tremendous increase in food production. Big money, with its efficiency experts and highly trained technicians has entered the farming business, and the family farm is giving way to the farm factory with its production line and its balance sheet.

by Wally Smith Slow But Sure So far all this has had little noticeable effect on the Okanagan fruit industry but there is no reason to believe that fruit growing will remain untouched by this revolution in agriculture. By its very nature tree fruit farming is less adaptable to change and adjustment than are most lines of agriculture, but adjustments are bound to come and some are well on the way now. Processing is on the increase, especially freezing in the citrus industry, a strong competitor to Okanagan fruit. Modern methods of merchandising have laid emphasis on the importance of attractive appearance and good quality. Fruit has to sell itself just by appearance alone… Controlled atmosphere storage is on the increase and could bring about changes in storage methods and varieties grown… What the Okanagan does with its five percent of the North American fruit production will have little effect on the industry as a whole. What the industry as a whole does is bound to have a profound effect on Okanagan growers. If we are to survive as a commercial fruit growing unit we will have to make adjustments to meet competition,to fit in with the needs of tomorrow's markets, and to withstand the economic strains of the business world. One of the difficulties facing our industry is a large number of small growers. In his enquiry

into the Okanagan tree fruit industry. Dean E.D. MacPhee found that nearly half the growers farmed only five acres or less. A great many growers and many larger acreages are obliged to find off-the-farm work in order to earn enough income to maintain the standard of living they desire. May Be Our Destiny This kind of farming may be an ideal way of life but can it long survive the results of agricultural revolution? Perhaps it can if this beautiful Okanagan Valley continues to increase in popularity as a playground and vacation land. Maybe that is where we are headed for, with more and more large orchards being subdivided into smaller holdings, and with more fruit being sold at the roadside, direct from producer to consumer. Extensively subdividing will result in the reduction in tonnage of fruit produced. As the population of British Columbia increased we may reach the point where our whole crop can be marketed within the boundaries of this province. Such a development is a distant possibility on the far horizon but only the passage of time will supply the complete answer to that question, "What lies ahead?" In the meantime, we have problems that must be met and solve now if we are to go on from here.

AN APPLE A DAY Bearing out the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", tests at Michigan State University show that students who eat apples regularly are more likely to enjoy better health than do non-apple eaters. The studies have not yet been completed, but if they continue to produce the results revealed thus far they will be of great value to the industry.

Federal Gov't Crop Insurance Plan Announced MODERN PACKAGING B.C. Tree Fruits Limited apples are packed for the consumer in a wide variety of ways, but five packages are best known.… Seasonal supplies influence the packaging program, but all the fruit is packed to the same rigid conditions and grade standards, each carton with the distinctive "B.C." leaf — now famous the world over for quality, and proven "bestknown" and "best-liked" by Western Canadian consumer surveys. B.C. ORCHARDIST JANUARY 1968 24 Summer 2019

Federal assistance to provinces wishing to participate in crop Insurance Act piloted through the House of Commons by Agriculture Minister, Hon. Douglas S. Harkness. The legislation is the first firm step by a government in Canada to wards a policy which has been debated, studied and urged for many years. Briefly, the bill authorizes the minister to sign separate agreements with provinces which wish to undertake crop insurance and will set up and administer the scheme. B.C. ORCHARDIST NOVEMBER 1959


ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW WINERY BOOST TO INTERIOR GRAPE GROWING "We see no reason why the Okanagan should not become as famous for vintage quality wines as it is today for its apples." That belief is expressed by R.P. "Tiny" Walrod and valley growers and businessmen is being backed by hard cash and an immediate start on building of a new winery, and purchase and development of a supporting vineyard. "With this new venture added it will require at least a total of 4,000 acres to support the B.C. industry over the course of the next

decade," Mr. Walrod said. Announcement of the new venture was made recently. Two companies have been organized, the Mission Hill Vineyards Ltd., which will proceed immediately with an extensive grape planting program to be carried out over the next five years, for the production of high quality wine. Mr. Walrod said success of the venture depends upon the ability of the Okanagan to grow hybrid grapes required for high quality wine production. B.C. ORCHARDIST AUGUST 1965

B.C. ORCHARDIST JANUARY 1966

Grape Growing Provides Diversification For the B.C. Interior Fruit Industry D.V Fisher Head, Pomology Section Research Station, Canada Agriculture Summerland, B.C. At a time when most deciduous fruits appear headed for serious over-production, increased interest is turning to grapes as a means of crop diversification. Grape growing in the

Interior is by no means new, having been pioneered by J.W.Hughes of Kelowna who established his first ("Pioneer") vineyard in 1926. Production stayed relatively small (around 1500 tons) from the 1930's until a renewed interest in grape culture, especially in wine varieties, swelled the crop in 1964 to 2900 tons.

Okanagan Grown Grapes Make Fine B.C. Wine Wine Consumption in Canada has increased markedly during the past two decades. This trend has come about owing to a number of causes. As the level of income has risen, people are in a position to experiment with foods and drinks they could not possibly afford previously. More Canadians are able to travel overseas where they find good quality wines at reasonable prices. Returning tourists will often have developed into enthusiastic

wine drinkers. Large numbers of new Canadians are from countries where wine is a usual accompaniment to food. These people continue to use wine, and often influence the tastes of their neighbours. These, and other factors have has an influence on Canadian made wines which have improved greatly in the past few years in quality and in the variety of wine types available.

GROWERS! There is a FUTURE IN GRAPES In The Southern Interior of B.C. It has been estimated that 4000 acres of grapes will be required for wine production in B.C. within ten years. Less than half this acreage has now been planted. We believe that favorable opportunity exists in production from select hybrid varieties for growers with suitable soils located in areas with sufficient heat units. Few plants are available this year but we believe that pre-plan ning is important. We therefore invite interested growers to discuss their plans with us.

MISSION HILL WINES LTD. Temporary Office at 434 Lawrence Ave., Kelowna PHONE 763-2500

B.C. ORCHARDIST OCTOBER 1965

Summer 2019

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B.C. ORCHARDIST JANUARY 1968

Wineries Spur Demand for Interior Grapes Establishment of two new wineries in the Okanagan, both of which crushed their first grapes in the fall of 1966, was a big stimulus to the Okanagan grape growing industry. Now there are seven wineries using Okangan grown grapes and there is still not enough grapes grown to meet the demand. Mission Hill Wines at Westbank and Casabello Wines at Penticton are the two new wineries with Calona Wines Ltd. the first and longest established winery still doing a thriving big business out of Kelowna. The Okanagan and Similkameen have proven excellent wine producing areas. With a few exceptions seasonal heat accumulation and mean monthly temperatures fall within a remarkable similar range for the B.C. Interior, Germany, Northern France and Washington and Ontario, New York and Washington are somewhat higher. Grapes have been grown in the Okanagan since the early nineteen hundreds. As long ago as 1905 European varieties such as Ribier, Tokay, Alicante-Borechet, White Malaga, Sweetwater, Black Hamburg and Muscat of Alexandria were grown in Summerland. These were later discarded since they did not ripen. Black Hamburg is still grown with some success in the Osoyoos area today. The first commercial vineyards were planted in the Kelowna area in the mid 1920's. Credit for pioneering the grape industry goes to J.W. Hughes. Mr. Hughes increased his plantings to a total of 270 acres by 1939. Among the early varieties were Diamond, Campbell's Early, Patricia and Delaware, all of which are still grown today. The Rittich Brothers established a commercial vineyard of European grapes in the Kelowna area in the 1930's. The varieties tried were Pearl of Csaba, red and White Chasselas, Muscat Ferdinand Lesseps. Excellent, Muscat 26 Summer 2019

Ottonel and Blue Burgunder, and Seibel 5279 (Hybrid). Some of these varieties were covered with six inches of soil in the fall as protection against cold winters. These vines were later replaced by American type grapes. Of these varieties, Pearl of Csaba is still grown commercially today. The acreage of grapes continued to grow. By 1952 there were 425 acres of vineyards. In 1952 the B.C. Department of Agriculture introduced the Bath and Himrod varieties. Both of these are widely grown today. The wineries and growers have also introduced new varieties. Among these are some of Seibels of which more than 600 acres are grown today. Acreage nearly doubled between 1952 and 1962. Substantial plantings were set out in Westbank, in the South

Okanagan and the Similkameen. By 1967 there were over 2200 acres of grapes planted in the Okanagan. Accompanying the development of the grape acreage was the development of two markets. The basket trade and the winery trade. Before 1934, 100% of the grape crop was sold in baskets. This gradually changed. In 1950, 60% of a 1,109,472 pound crop was sold on the fresh market. Prices received by growers for an 8 lb. basket was about 40 cents. In 1966, 11% of the 6,001,890 pound crop was sold on a fresh market. Prices received by growers for eight pound baskets averaged 72 cents. One cannot help but be optimistic about the future of this dynamic industry. In 1966 there were 1,864 acres of grapes operated by 116 producers. There will be changes in mechanization. Permanently installed overhead irrigation systems, mechanical harvesting, and mechanical pruning are presently used in various grape producing areas. Permanently installed overhead irrigation systems are being used in Okanagan vineyards at present. It will not be long before both mechanical harvesting and mechanical pruning will be used in the Okanagan.


Photos by Ronda Payne

Jack Braich in a relatively newly planted field of strawberries.

4 Generations of Berry Farmers

By Ronda Payne Abbotsford is home to a lot of large farming families and the Braichs are a typical example of the expansion, contraction, diversity and shared management seen in many multi-generational operations that span the decades. JK Agro Industries began in 1975 when Kehar Braich purchased a 10-acre raspberry farm for his sons to provide extra income for the growing family. Kehar was an early immigrant from India to Canada, settling in the Fraser Valley in 1945 after his brother arrived in 1940. His sons Sher, Jagdish and Ken embraced the farm business and took it to new levels, using it as their father intended to supplement their income as foremen in the lumber industry. They would work at the mill all day, then come home and work on the farm. Kehar’s grandson Jack Braich (son of Jagdish) says the original 10-acre farm was the catalyst leading to a raspberry operation that at its peak had up to 400 pickers in the field during harvest. The 10-acre farm was purchased from the Faulk family who remained in their house

Dave Mattu, David Braich and Jack Braich standing in front of one of the tractors from the early days of the farm.

next door and helped the fledgling farmers understand the business of growing berries. “Back then, we had big families, so this [farming] was just for extra money,” Jack’s cousin David (son of Sher) says. “We learned [farming] from Janice Faulk.”

He adds that soon after purchasing the first raspberry farm, the family bought a laying hen operation next door. “We sold that and bought more acreage,” he explains. “Another 18 acres.” That acreage was soon planted in raspberries: Willamette, Meeker and Haida. Summer 2019

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Then the family acquired a lease for 100 acres of farmland at the Abbotsfordbased Matsqui prison in 1980. “We were one of the only families that got a lease for the prison farm,” David says. “We had strawberries around the prison,” added Jack. “We had cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, raspberries and blueberries as well.” Shortly afterwards, they leased another 100-acre farm where they planted strawberries: Sumas, Hood and Totem. “We were running about 550 acres at one point,” Jack says. “In the early ‘80s we bought our first processing plant. It burnt down. Then we built Clearbrook Packers and sold it to Abby Growers.” The first two generations of the berrygrowing Braich family had managed to build a sizeable operation spanning hundreds of acres and employing hundreds of people, but the family was far from done. It didn’t take long before the grandchildren were involved in the operation and putting their own mark on it. Sher’s children Jim, Channi and David; Jagdish’s kids Jack and Sonyia; and Ken’s children Brandon, Aliesha and Haley all moved on to work in the farm business. David now manages the farm full time with the help of Dave Mattu, who has worked for the family for decades, along with the input and assistance from the family members, and it all happened because the sons of the second generation established a three-way partnership which they passed down to their children, the third generation of farmers. Now, that legacy is being passed on yet again, as the great-grandkids of the original owners are now moving into the business. “I’m the third generation,” Jack says proudly, “and my son is the fourth generation.” JK Agro now grows about 150 acres of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries on plots within seven square blocks near the Abbotsford Airport. The contraction of the lands came as a result of the challenges faced by many berry farmers: labour shortages, cheap import berries and rising costs of doing business that hit in the late 90s and early 2000s. That’s when the family started scaling back.

28 Summer 2019

The view north west of one of the properties with the farms below.

By looking at the land from different points of view, maintaining a number of side businesses and diversifying the crops on the farm, it’s a family business that continues to thrive. The timing wasn’t all bad. The prison was ready to expand and wanted the land back. The family sold off the smaller parcels and kept the large ones actively producing. As well, like their parents, these enterprising third generation farmers have side businesses. Jack, for example, is involved in the trucking industry. “We like to keep busy,” he says, with classic understatement. When looking at the berry varieties they grow now, Jack feels their Chemainus raspberries are a strong, fresh variety and it’s one of the family’s favourites. He says they machine harvest so well that it’s hard to tell if they are machine or handpicked. They’ve come a long way from the berries of 1975.

“We used to hand-pick everything back in the day,” David says. “A lot of careers started here.” More careers are starting on the fields today. Many of the fourth generation family members are taking part in continuing the berry-growing legacy. David’s 15-year-old daughter Nya started driving the tractor over a year ago. His 12year old daughter Jaya is getting more involved as is Jack’s 14-year-old son Jaxson along with other fourth-generation Braich family members. These youngsters will have more to do in the future as the berry-producing lands are again growing in acreage, but in more deliberate and gradual steps than in the past.


Photos by Ronda Payne

Tied up raspberry canes in the Braich fields show little winter damage.

“Every year, we’re expanding two acres in strawberries,” Jack says. “We just planted 25 more acres of raspberries, Chemainus, Squamish and Rudi. We used to do Meeker, but the climate has changed.”

He says growing good raspberries and strawberries requires a constant investment. There is no plan to change these existing farm practices. As the saying goes, ‘If it aint broke, don’t fix it’.”

Fortunately, the raspberry varieties the family chose weren’t hard hit by the late winter that will cause problems for the industry this season. The most damage seen was in the older plants – those more than 13 years old – and the brand new plantings.

In addition to the strawberries and raspberries, the Braichs have 25 acres of Northland blueberries. These bushes were planted in 1987 and are a popular variety, but will be coming out soon for another drain rock reclamation project.

Another 20-acre parcel is on reclaimed land. Lafarge quarried and removed drain rock from the field, then restored it and the Braich family replanted seven acres of strawberries and 13 acres of raspberries. The land took a couple of years to settle, but Jack says it’s now performing well and drainage isn’t an issue. All of the strawberries grown by JK Agro are fresh, ever-bearing varieties like Albion, Sweetscape, Rainier and Sunrise. “We put a lot of work into our strawberries,” Jack explains. “I run the strawberry part of it.”

There are thoughts of putting strawberry greenhouses up in the future and the family regularly considers and explores new options. It’s this kind of ‘bigger thinking’ and diversification that Jack feels has kept the business successful over four generations of farming. By looking at the land from different points of view, maintaining a number of side businesses and diversifying the crops on the farm, it’s a family business that continues to thrive. “It’s going to be passed on to my son and David’s daughters and the other fourth generation kids,” Jack says of the business.

Jaxson and Jack Braich in the fields.

Now, at nearly 45 years in business, the fourth generation is likely to keep JK Agro going long into the future with the same enthusiasm for berry growing practiced by their great-grandfather. ■ Summer 2019

29


Truck 59 Ciderhouse Hosts Cider New kid on the cider block has a scientific background and dreams for a bright future in West Kelowna. By Ronda Payne The Truck 59 Ciderhouse pops up as a pleasant surprise as one drives south on tiny Brown Road, a dead-end street leading off the main retail area in West Kelowna. A bit out of the way but still near the town’s main drag, the drive to Truck 59 takes you through a quiet residential street and then suddenly unveils a funky, slightly retro ciderhouse and tasting room, with stunning, unobstructed views over a verdant green orchard to Okanagan Lake, glittering in the distance. This small but already accomplished cidery may be the new kid on the block, but it’s also working hard to show off its chops in the rapidly growing BC cider industry. As part of that drive to establish a rep in this highly competitive business, Truck 59 hosted the Okanagan Cider Festival this year. Russ Johnson, owner and cider maker with Truck 59, opened his cidery one year ago, on June 1, 2018. Johnson was Ten cents is donated to the West Kelowna Firefighters’ charity of choice for every bottle cap brought back to the

The Okanagan Cider Festival… It's huge, I think it is crucial for our industry and it's a hell of a lot of fun.

Photo contributed

Russ Johnson

Russ Johnson, owner and cider maker with Truck 59, opened his cidery on June 1, 2018. 30 Summer 2019

a pharmacist, but before that, he grew up on the prairies where his family raised beef and grains like barley, wheat and corn, so switching careers into the physical, labour intensive world of orcharding wasn’t too much of a stretch, and making cider is a labour of love that is enhanced by his knowledge of science and formulas.

what gives me the ability to combine my science background and let me be artistic.”

“This is like a second career for me,” Johnson says. “I’ve always been a big liquor fan, and I think the passion for it is

“We decided that there’s such a great opportunity for a cidery,” Johnson says. “The property the cidery is sitting on, we

Johnson and his wife Helen planted two-and-a-half acres of six cider-variety apples at the Truck 59 site; something he describes as “a bit of a grind.” In two years, he’ll plant more on the adjoining property.


Festival 2019 der course in Oregon. Then, he started guessing, playing and making use of that scientific brain of his.

There are currently eight different ciders on the menu at Truck 59 Ciderhouse. The modern semi-dry and the Cherry n’ Apple are joined by classic dry, bourbon blackberry, raspberry infused and others.

ciderhouse and for every bottle opened in the tasting room.

Photo by Gary Symons

When asked about the thought process behind the bourbon blackberry, Johnson explains, “I wanted to do some barrelaged ciders. I was thinking, what’s going

Photo by Gary Symons

“Our core ciders that we came out with last year, we started with two: our modern semi-dry and our cherry and apple,” he explains. “And then from there, we were sort of waiting for the aging process for our classic dry which is an English-style dry cider. Then we came out with a can. We came out with a raspberry

infused cider. And after that it kind of took off.”

Truck 59 showcases firefighter memorabilia in their tasting room, and back it up with donations to the West Kelowna firehall's charities.

bought specifically for this. I didn’t know anything about orcharding, but I knew what farming was all about,” he says. “I knew what I was getting into. It’s a lot of hard work, but it can be very gratifying.” Things that don’t cause Johnson a problem are running machinery and fixing things. Things that do cause a problem include pests and pruning. “You have to learn what kinds of pests you have, and then pruning. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing with pruning,” he says. “It’s a process, it’s learning, but it’s a tree. You know it’s going to grow.”

Photo contributed

Finding the right kinds of apple trees to plant wasn’t exactly easy for him either. He reached out to others in the industry, like Missy Dobernigg of BX Press Cidery in Vernon. He read a lot. He took the ci

Summer 2019

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to pair really well with the cider? You never want to lose the cider, the cider has to be first. Then you want that bourbon and the blackberries. Blackberry isn’t a berry that is super forward. It gives it that bit of unique flavour. You can still taste that bourbon but you’ve got the cider. It’s just thinking what’s going to pair to make this all come together.” More ideas will be on tap this summer … literally. Johnson will play around with flavours in small cask release type formats, to see what resonates with customers in a fun way to do R&D. “We’re just going to put them on tap, so the only way you can get them is a growler or as a flight,” he explains. “We’ve got one that’s coming out not too long from now that’s going to be a hop apricot.” With the business more established, Johnson was ready to host the Okanagan Cider Festival in early May. It was an option last year, but it was too early for the site. With 22 cideries, three chefs,

Scenes from the 2019 Okanagan Cider Festival.

two bands, vendors and more, it was one heck of a rocking party to celebrate cider. The chefs each created a cider-inspired dish, while vendors were also food based except for a potter and the apiarist who works with Truck 59. “It’s huge,” Johnson says of the event. “It puts cider in more people’s eyes. More people can turn around and appreciate all these amazing cider-makers and what they’ve come up with. I think it’s crucial for our industry and it’s just a hell of a lot of fun.” The event may also help to put Truck 59 on people’s radars as they drive through West Kelowna. There isn’t a kitchen at the site, but three food trucks take turns

setting up Thursday through Sunday to ensure customers can get their cider and eats at the same place. Johnson is also thinking about putting in a charcuterie cooler in the future. “There’s going to be a little bit of growing pains,” he says. “Although we’re right off the highway a lot of people don’t know we’re here yet. We’re on the Westside (Wine) Trail now and we’ve got some of the wineries helping us promote, so it’s just kind of one step at a time.” When Johnson and his wife bought the property eight years ago, it was pretty bare, save an apple orchard that they farmed. They hoped to change that and the ideas to do so are sprouting. Jason Parkes at Hatch Wines is expected to put a winery kitty-corner from Truck 59. Another winery will be going in as well, along with the possibility of a brewery. “Were making our own cool little pocket,” he explains. “We’ve got this vision or walking trails so that you’ll be able to move from the wineries to the cidery and that kind of stuff.”

Photos contributed

The big dream is to continue to grow and establish Truck 59 Ciderhouse and maybe even add southern BBQ to the mix. Some days, Johnson says, there isn’t always that spring in his step and oomph to dive into work, but he loves the challenge. “When I look back, two years ago, there was nothing here,” he says. “It was just an empty piece of land and now, we’re having that vision come to fruition.” ■ 32 Summer 2019


Photos contributed

Balancing Hard Work with Quality of Life St. Hubertus riesling harvest.

By Michael Botner A brand new Gregoire grape harvester in the fields at the St. Hubertus and Oak Bay Estate Winery is a sign of the owner’s philosophy of balancing hard work with an enjoyable quality of life. “We traded in the old one for the latest technology which includes destemming or “clean stemming” the bunches and leaving non-grape material in the vineyard as a by-product,” says Leo Gebert, viticulturist and co-owner of St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery (St. Hubertus). “If you are looking for a flashy success story, or a winery restaurant, you’ve come to the wrong place,” he adds. “We want to keep it as a family operation that we can manage ourselves. I like to close the gate at 6 pm and be done, so I can go kayaking!” While some wineries are aggressively dedicated to continuing growth, the Gebert family focuses on putting out a qual

ity product, running a solid business, but taking time for family and friends. Even the tasting room has remained unchanged since the great Okanagan Mountain Park fire of 2003, which blasted through the property “like mortar fire during a Swiss Army training exercise” on the evening of August 22, buffeted by 50 mile-an-hour winds. While the fire destroyed the winery, built in the 1930s, and ruined the entire 2003 harvest, it spared the nearby warehouse along with the entire stock of the previous years’ wine. “We knocked a hole in the wall and moved the tasting room into the warehouse, opening for business almost immediately,” says Andy Gebert, Leo’s younger brother and winery co-owner, adding, “the shop remains there to this day.” After taking a quick course in vineyard operation in Switzerland, Leo Gebert

Susanne, Andy, Reto, Leo Gebert and Barbara Gebert.

moved to the Okanagan in 1984 in search of a property suitable for farming, an option that would have been impossible back home where landholdings are small and extremely expensive. Soon followed by his wife Barbara, an experienced vineyard worker, they took over one of the oldest vineyards in the Okanagan Mission, first planted by pioSummer 2019

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Our plan is to produce wine from 100% organically grown grapes exclusively from our own vineyards… The main goal is to use our own grapes and run the business the way it is right now, thank you very much. Leo Gebert neering Kelowna horticulturist J.W. Hughes in 1928. Save for a 4.5 acre block of Riesling, which is used today to make an old vines Riesling, and Chasselas plantings, a delicately fruity, aromatic white variety popular in Switzerland, the Geberts removed and replanted all of the labrusca and hybrid vines with vinifera and suitable hybrids. He also considers a block of Pinot Blanc planted in 1985 as worthy of old vine status. When younger brother Andy Gebert and his wife Susanne moved to Canada in 1990, the family divvied up the vineyards based on a ravine that conveniently runs through the property, with Leo Gebert keeping the larger two-thirds portion, referred to as the St. Hubertus Vineyard. Andy’s parcel became known as Oak Bay Vineyard, apparently in recognition of his partiality for varieties and wines with oak aging as opposed to the fresh white wine style typical of Switzerland preferred by Leo. The winery officially opened in 1992, the third largest in Kelowna at the time, af-

ter Calona Vineyards and Uniacke, apparently edging out Summerhill which also opened in 1992, according to Leo Gebert. It was set up as a limited company in the early years with Leo and Andy as equal shareholders in the business. They adhere to the principle that good fences make good neighbours by clearly separating duties in an orderly fashion. “That way we know what everyone is doing and it helps us get along better,” says Leo Gebert. “When we started Barbara and I were doing everything, including making the wine. The inclusion of Andy and Susanne in the business meant we could focus on caring for the vines, our greatest interest. I still do the accounting and reporting as well which keeps me in the office longer than I wish.” The Geberts are always looking for ways to make life easier and less back-breaking in the vineyard. “Trading in the old model for the latest usually means less work and maintenance,” says Andy Gebert of the new harvester, the pre-season pruning tractor accessory, and new, suThe new Gregoire grape harvester at work.

per-light electric pruning shears. The other new addition to the winery operation is Leo and Barbara Gebert’s son Reto, who joined the family business a few years ago after graduating from the Niagara College Viticulture/Enology Program and working in New Zealand. “His main forte is working in the vineyard, giving us the flexibility to take a day or two off occasionally,” says Leo.

Photos contributed

While Leo and Reto work the fields, Andy is in charge of the “liquid” side of the business, namely production, working with winemaker Bill Pearson, plus sales and marketing which includes the in-house bottling line and label design. Recently, he received his remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) certificate Reto and Barbara Gebert pruning. 34 Summer 2019


whacker trimmer/mower that goes in and out, between and around the vines as well as between the rows. Instead of sulphur for powdery mildew, which can be harmful, we prefer a pure horticultural oil spray, a milder alternative to protect vines against insects, mites and disease. “Our plan is to produce wine from 100% organically grown grapes exclusively from our own vineyards,” he says. “There are no plans to expand production over the current 12,000 cases, which is based on 55 acres under vine yielding about 3½ tons per acre. The main goal is to use our own grapes and run the business the way it is right now, thank you very much.” Due to Andy’s influence, the proportion of red wines, 45% of the total, is higher than is typical for producers grounded in Swiss winemaking practices. There are more than 120 of the 125-litre French oak barrels used for aging Pinot Noir, Meritage and sometimes Gamay. Labelled under the Oak Bay Family Reserve label, both the silky smooth, delicately floral 2016 Pinot Noir and intensely rich, layered 2016 Meritage are superb wines.

from Transport Canada which allows him to fly up to five drones simultaneously. “Now drones are better, easier to use and only a fraction of the price than when I started to fly remote controlled helicopters which I assembled myself in 2001,” Andy says. “With GPS, all you do is use software to program fly zones and push a button, almost like using a smartphone. It is pre-built, modular fashion, so it is simply a matter of replacing a part if it breaks. They are used primarily for taking promotional photos and videos of the vineyard. “Like an early-warning system, they also give us a helping hand in the vineyard by locating issues that need attention such as frost damage or a broken irrigation pump. You still need to go in the vineyard to see what’s going on. Drones are help

ing out during St. Hubertus’ transition to full organic certification in 2020, by letting us know how we’re progressing with the changeover to new fertilizers.” “The Okanagan lends itself to organic grape growing,” says Leo Gebert. “We’ve always used natural products but now there’s a lot more paperwork involved - a full paper trail is required and there are spot checks with no warning - to make sure we are always using approved, nonstale dated, made in Canada products,” he adds. “For example, we employ leaf fertilizer from seaweed and seafood, but we have to make sure it is organic and from an approved supplier. The biggest challenge is controlling weeds without systemic chemical sprays which destroy microbes in the soil. We use a special new weed

Andy Gebert sees a future for East Kelowna and Lakeshore Drive vineyards as a possible Sub-Geographic Indicator (GI) called South Kelowna Slopes. Situated on fairly steep, south and west-facing hillsides with uniformly poor soils forcing roots to go deep, wineries along Lakeshore Drive boast unique factors such as lake influence, air and water drainage and the right micro-climate for growing vines. Prosperity is not taken for granted by the Gebert brothers. “When we started, banks laughed at you if you wanted money,” says Andy. “So, you had to learn to be self-sufficient.” But the formula is far from typical. “Our business model allows us to make money on $12.50 wine,” he says, referring to Great Canadian Red and Great White North which have both received excellent reviews. “The key is to make great wine at an affordable price… because wine should be on the dinner table, not just sold as a status symbol.” That philosophy is typical of a family that believes the winemaking business, like wine itself, is something that should be savoured and enjoyed, and that the quality of one’s life is more important than the size of one’s bank account. ■ Summer 2019

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Can the BC Raspberry Industry Survive By Ronda Payne Abbotsford has been known as the raspberry capital of Canada since the early 1980s, but February’s late, harsh winter has left the title in question by damaging many canes and further dropping yield estimates for the 2019 season to 13.75 million pounds or less. Fraser Valley harvests in the heydays of the berry, in the late 80s and early 90s, were more than 40 million pounds.

Raspberry Industry Development Council chair James Bergen notes the winter damage has added insult to injury. “There is some concern right now,” he says. “There’s certain fields where people saw the damage and they haven’t tied

Photo by Ronda Payne

Yields have been on the decline in recent years, but this latest blow may be the proverbial nail in the coffin for the struggling fruit. Cheap imports, poor fruit pricing, growers converting to other crops and other issues have all contributed to the declining yields.

Raspberry canes showing winter damage.

to do it. I don’t know how many acres there are like that. I know of at least two fields.”

[the canes] yet. They’re not going to tie. They aren’t going to harvest at all, or they are waiting a ridiculously long time

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Acreage of raspberries is down to about 2,200 acres or less based on Statistics Canada’s estimate of 2,900 acres in 2018, 3,185 in 2016 and 3,637 in 2014.

A few growers, like Jack Braich of JK Agro Industries, are continuing with their raspberries and believe the industry could recover.

The greatest cane damage seems to be in Meeker and Wakefield varieties, but brand new or significantly older fields of other varieties are also seeing canes unlikely to produce. In some fields, damage that was seen as significant in early to mid-April wasn’t as bad by early May, but many growers may see it as reason enough to give up on the crop.

“What we need is a new variety,” says Bergen. “I don’t know if the climate has changed so that [Meeker] isn’t able to handle the climate or if this is an anomaly. We will continue working with our breeding program to find a new variety that is specifically suited to the climate for the Fraser Valley and that is high yielding, disease resistant, has good or

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exceptional fruit quality, taste, and is machine harvestable.” Braich believes the climate has changed to the point where Meeker is no longer viable. Unfortunately, the raspberry breeding program that would bring new varieties wasn’t without challenges last year. At the RIDC AGM in March, BC Berry Cultivar Development Inc. research scientist Michael Dossett noted the cooler where plants were stored experienced an undetected temperature rise leading to the plants breaking from dormancy. They were moved to the greenhouse before being planted in the field. This blip in maturity caused lower growth than expected. Dossett said new selections from 2015 and 2016 crosses are looking good. He considers BC 1653.7 the most promising. “It’s about a Chemainus-sized berry, very firm,” Dossett said. “It looks like it’s going to machine harvest really well, but the more exciting thing is it has up to 30 berries per lateral. It just looks so promising that we’re bulking it up for trials.” The hope is to have the variety planted in grower fields this year for trial with a large number available for production in 2020. It’s too early to speculate on whether these new varieties can help save the raspberry industry, and it is unknown at this time what kind of pricing the growers who are hanging on to the fruit can expect. “There’s the lower prices the growers are expecting as well as the yields are going to be down,” says Bergen. “I am sure that growers are going to be seeking insurance, (but) if we get something that produces 10,000 pounds per acre, you can do the math to see how quickly we can get to 17 million pounds.”

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The future of the raspberry industry in BC is uncertain, but hopefully, with new varieties and growers who want to keep the fruit productive, the Fraser Valley might be able to hang on to its capital status. ■

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Grape Growing Pioneer Earns Award By Tom Walker The Province of BC’s former grape industry specialist, John Vielvoye, was honoured with the first Lifetime Achievement award from the BC Grapegrowers Association (BCGA) and the BC Wine Grape Council (BCWGC). As well, John Bayley of Blasted Church Estate Winery was chosen as the new President of the BCGA. The two organizations representing grape growers in British Columbia held their first joint AGM in Penticton, and chose that time to honour Vielvoye with 140 growers and vintners in attendance.

Photo by Tom Walker

Speakers at the meeting said that, while Vielvoye may not be a household name among consumers, growers and winemakers know him as the man who helped build the foundation for the entire modern wine industry in BC. Vielvoye dedicated over 50 years of service to the industry, through the Ministry Of Agriculture from 1966 to 1997 and later as a consultant. Vielvoye is best known for establishing the Becker project that guided the BC industry away from the French hybrids that made the sweeter wines of the 1970’s and 80’s, to the Vitis viniferas that support the world class wines that BC produces today.

John Vielvoye (right), was honoured with the first Lifetime Achievement award with Mason Spink Dirty Laundry outgoing BCGA president .

Bielert, a former BCGA administrator, recounted that one of the best ways to connect with John was to join him as he drove across the Okanagan to a meeting or to visit a vineyard site.

He is also credited with recognizing the potential of the Lillooet region for wine grapes, where he helped establish the Fort Berens winery, and more recently in the Kootenay Boundary Region.

“He would turn and talk to us in the car, and that would continue as he drove his car up and down the vineyard rows,” quipped Bielert. “He had to convince many that the Becker project was worth doing, but that was John.”

“This is long overdue for the industry to honour John,” said Doug Sperling of Kelowna’s Sperling Vineyards, who along with Connie Bielert inducted John Vielvoye.

Industry veteran Harry McWatters sent a note that summed up the thoughts of many in the room.

Sperling recounted Vielvoye’s years of service and noted his strength in gathering knowledge and providing outreach education to growers, a role he continued as a consultant after he retired from government service.

“You made such a significant difference to the success of the British Columbia grape and wine industry over a very long period of time,” McWatters wrote. “I am sure that many new-

Congratulations to Orchard & Vine Magazine on 60 Years

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Summer 2019

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comers to the industry have no idea what they owe you or maybe even who you are, but they have a much easier road today because of your dedication to the industry.” The award is one of two new awards established by the BCGA and announced at the AGM: Viticulturalist of the Year, and the Lifetime Achievement Award. “We hope to recognize individuals who grow the very best wine grapes,” explains John Bayley. “These are the people who are responsible for each bunch that comes off the vine and the decisions that directly

guide the daily operations of the vineyard.” The first award will be presented in the spring of 2020. “The lifetime achievement award is to support the people who have grown our industry and made significant contributions,” says Bayley. It will be awarded every second year.” New President John Bayley Looks to the Future John Bayley, the viticulture manager for the acclaimed Blasted Church winery in Penticton, is the new president of the

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Newly elected BCGA president John Bayley.

BCGA, and spoke to O&V about his hopes for the future. “I hope to be able to carry forward what we do,” says John Bayley. “Our mission is to help all growers improve, so continuing the annual workshops such as pruning, irrigation and canopy management is important.” “There is a lot of potential for quality grapes and wines in the Okanagan and Similkameen,” says Bayley, who is the viticulture manager for Blasted Church winery on the east side of Skaha lake, just north of Okanagan Falls. “But there is still a lot of work for growers to do, and education and information is a really critical part of that.” Working in a top wine retail shop got Bayley started in the business. He qualified as a sommelier, worked a couple of harvests and took formal training at the University of Lincoln in New Zealand with a diploma viticulture and oenology. His 13 years in the industry have taken him to Oregon and Burgundy as well. This is his fourth season at Blasted Church. “I think understanding both sides of the equation has been hugely helpful,” says Bayley. “Starting in a speciality store gave me great exposure. I am driven much more by the wine that comes out of my fruit, rather than just growing a commodity.” ■


Improve Grower/Winery Relations By Tom Walker A panel of wine and grape growing experts in BC have concluded that improving relationships and communication between growers and wineries will result in better wines.

“In the old days of the grape marketing board it was almost ‘us against them’ when we sat down to negotiate a price for our grapes,” recalls Fritz Hollenbach. “Back then, the biggest pest in the vineyard was the winemaker!” The afternoon education session of the BC Grapegrowers Association and the BC Wine Grape Council AGM, was devoted to the panel discussion of grower and winery relations. Sandra Oldfield, with the Business Alliance for Artisan Fermenters and Distillers/Fortify, was the moderator for the panel. Fritz Hollenbach, of Hollenbach Family Vineyards and Rod King of King Family Farms, provided a grower’s point of view. Severine Pinte, winemaker, viticulturist and a managing partner at Enotecca Wineries and Mike Watson, senior viticulturist for Arterra wines, provided a wineries’ perspective.

Photo by Tom Walker

Unfortunately that has not always been the case, say some growers, and the result has sometimes been friction between winemakers and the growers who supply their main product.

Sandra Oldfield, Fritz Hollenbach, Rod King, Severine Pinte and Mike Watson.

Communication is Key As with any relationship, communication is key, the growers said. “It is very important to have a winery that talks to you on a regular basis,” says King. ‘Not just to check in in the fall, to arrange a date for picking. It is also important for growers to step beyond the vineyard and

develop an understanding of the challenges that the winery faces. Go in and talk and taste tank samples if they have kept the batches separate, because that is your product.” Working on relationships is equally important for the winemaker, said Pinte. Sitting down and talking with growers

Develop a relationship All members of the panel spoke of the relationship between the grower and the winery as key. “It all begins with a long-term trusting relationship,” says Rod King. “What I look for in a winery partner is someone who I know is solid,” adds Hollenbach. “My relationships are long-term and they have grown into friendships (but) I’ve seen some growers jump to another winery for $100 a ton.” That does not promote a good long-term relationship.” That relationship is a backstop when things don’t go as planned. “It is so important to have a winery who is there for you when Mother Nature steps on you,” says King.

Summer 2019

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allows Pinte to help develop grapes for the wine she has in mind. “I might ask if a grower is willing to try a certain block for a rosé,” she says. “We would grow that differently than to make a very structured red wine. “That communication also allows me to suggest why we might want to manage two rows this way and the rest of the block another way,” Pinte adds. A Written Contract Supports that Relationship A contract is simply a “written handshake” and an extension of that relationship King says. “It is useful if situations arise that are unusual and that neither party could even dream of at the time, such as an illness.” Hollenbach explained that of the three wineries he grows for, he only has a written contract with one of them. “For the other two, given the trust and the long-term relationship that I have with the winery, I have never considered that I needed one,” he explains. “If you have trust, they are going to treat you fairly, and if you have trust they are going to pay you fairly.”

Arterra has a different take due to their size, explains Mike Watson. “We have 1200 acres of our own and we are expanding our grower base from the current 650 acres and 15 growers,” he says. “We have some family growers who we have been with since the 1990’s and some who are brand new. “We do have a 14-page written contract, but the nuts and bolts of those contracts are the relationships we have had with growers over the past 25 years.” The contract works for both sides of the agreement, Watson points out. ” “It has expectations for the grower, but it also tells the grower about their rights and what they can expect from us,” explains Watson. Three Year Renewable is the Industry Standard “The contract that I do have is an evergreen contract (automatic renewal unless one of the parties gives notice to change),” says Hollenbach. “I think that protects both the grower and the winery. If somebody wanted to get out of it then you have a certain amount of time to make that happen.”

“For my piece of mind, I think that the longer the term for the evergreen the better,” says King. “I think the norm for the industry is three years. I would prefer something around five years.” Again King refers to the relationship. “If things change and a winery does not have as much need for a certain varietal for example, you hope that they will recognize that it will take seven to eight years to recover your costs of replanting,” he points out. “A longer contract would recognize that risk.” A longer-term contract provides stability for the winery as well, notes Pinte. “If we like the terroir and the grapes, we would like to continue to have that complexity in our wine over the years.” she says. “A longer term is piece of mind for the winery.” Arterra has had a range of contracts over the years, notes Watson. “We had some for three, five, and ten years. I even found some that were open ended and signed in 1996,” he says. “Several years back we decided we wanted to get everybody standardized.” The standard for Arterra is now three-year evergreen

contracts, Watson says. But given the current market for grapes, growers might be able to get longer terms. “Wineries have been a bit more bullish and flexible with terms,” he says. ‘If we go back to where we were four or five years ago, and I hope we don’t, it could be a lot tougher to get evergreens.” “We recognize the expense for a grower putting in a new planting,” says Watson. “If it is the right varietal, in the right site, on the right rootstock, then we would be willing to look at a long-term deal.” Recognize the Grower The growers say they would like to be recognized for their efforts. “We are very proud of what we do,” Hollenbach says. “The wineries get all the awards. We would like to be acknowledged too.” Severine Pinte agreed on the importance of recognition. “When I can go back to a grower and say this is your wine and it is being sold in a top restaurant in Vancouver, the look on that grower’s face is amazing,” she says. “It makes me proud that I have turned their grapes into that wine.” ■

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Striking the perfect balance. Whether making wine, running a business or managing work & life priorities, that’s the ideal we all strive for. In viticulture, perhaps more than any other industry, our success tomorrow is rooted in being a good steward of the land and environment today. It is our shared commitment to protecting the delicate balance of the terroir, by marshalling our resources and minimizing our environmental footprint as business owners. For grape growers, the Okanagan’s own Turbo-Mist Sprayer is where it begins. Sustainability starts at the molecular level. Turbo-Mist crop sprayers and Grape Towers allow you to reduce your water, fuel and chemical consumption, while consistently improving crop yield. That’s money in the bank, both financially and environmentally. It begins with the water molecule: with the Turbo-Mist Airblast Sprayer and Grape Tower, you control the size of the water molecule, optimizing it for conditions as needed through nozzling and calibration; you control air behaviour across the RPM range, allowing you to slow the speed of the fan while retaining airflow consistency. This allows for

accurate targeting of the spray, eliminating waste and maximizing coverage at a lower horsepower. Gear Up Throttle Down: Save money, water, fuel and chemicals. Only the Turbo-Mist sprayer can maintain perfectly consistent airflow without full tractor power, so why waste fuel? By shifting to a higher tractor gear (Gearing up) and slowing engine rpm’s (Throttling down) to maintain your desired ground speed, The Turbo-Mist Sprayer enables you to save up to 40% on fuel. At the same time, by lobbing the spray into the plume, rather than blasting through it, you are increasing your coverage, resulting in fewer required sprays. What does that mean? You save on fuel, and save

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A vineyard on Naramata Road overlooking Okanagan Lake. 44 Summer 2019

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 LEGAL LIBATIONS | DENESE ESPEUT-POST

Buying Land? Get Ready for the Taxes!

W

e have all heard of the saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin,“…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” These words can not be truer about the taxation of real property in BC. In 2018, both provincial and municipal governments took steps which changed the face of BC real property taxation in an effort to increase the availability of affordable housing for local residents. If you are considering buying land in BC, these tax changes may significantly impact your decision. It will be very important to obtain sound advice regarding the real property taxes before you sign on the dotted line.

BC Property Transfer Tax – When registered ownership of property is sold or transferred, the transfer of the property must be registered in the land title office. At the same time, property transfer tax is paid to the Minister of Finance by the buyer of the property. Property transfer tax applies to property where ever located in the province and is generally payable whenever there is a registrable change in ownership of real property. The rate of tax is one per cent of the first $200,000 of property value, two per cent of property value between $200,000 and $2,000,000. In 2018, the tax rate was increased from 3 per cent to 5 per cent for property value over $3,000,000.

District, but in 2018 the areas being taxed expanded to the Capital Regional District, the Regional District of Central Okanagan, the Fraser Valley Regional District and the Regional District of Nanaimo. Also, in 2018, the rate of tax was increased by five per cent to 20 per cent of the property value. The tax paid by a foreign entity will be proportionate to its interest in residential property. Speculation and Vacancy Tax – Subject to specific exemptions, speculation and vacancy tax is paid by owners of property located in the Metro Vancouver Regional District (subject to certain area exclusions), the Capital Regional District (subject to certain area exclusions), Kelowna,

Foreign Buyer’s Tax – Foreign entities (which includes foreign nationals and foreign corporations) must pay a foreign buyer’s tax in addition to property transfer tax. When this tax was first introduced, the application of the tax was geographically limited to the Metro Vancouver Regional

West Kelowna, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission and Nanaimo-Lantzville. This tax applies as of January 1, 2018. For Canadian residents and permanent citizen, the tax rate is 0.5 per cent of the property’s assessed value; as of January 1, 2019, for “untaxed worldwide earners” (persons who report less than 50 per cent of their worldwide income combined with the income of their spouse in Canada), the tax rate is two per cent. The two primary exemptions for the speculation and vacancy tax are the principal residence exemption and the tenanted property exemption. For the principal residence exemption, as of December 31, the property must be owned by an adult resident

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of BC who occupied the property in the calendar year for a period of time longer than anywhere else. For the tenanted property exemption, the property must be rented for at least three months in 2018 and, for 2019 onward, six months; the rental periods much not be less than 30 days. If you own property in Kelowna which is not your principal residence, the tenanted property exemption may apply if: 1) you rent to an arms-length tenant, enter into a written rental agreement and your tenant makes the property their home; 2) you are not an untaxed worldwide earner, you rent to a nonarm’s-length tenant who has the right to occupy the property and the tenant lived in the property longer than anywhere else during the month; or 3) you are an untaxed worldwide earner, you rent to a non-arm’s length tenant and the tenant has a certain level of income subject to BC income tax. Vancouver Vacant Home Tax – Owners of property in Vancouver must pay vacant home tax if the property is “unoccupied property”. This empty homes’ tax was introduced in 2018. The tax rate is one per cent of the assessed value of the property. This tax does not apply to a principal residence. A rental property that is rented for at least 30 days in a row and is not unoccupied for more than 180 days in a year may be exempted from the tax. The details of the taxes described above are set out in a very general way. There may be additional requirements to qualify for an exemption that are not fully set out as well as other exemptions which apply to a particular situation beyond those described in this column. In addition, when considering estate planning or business transactions, it will be important to keep the impact of these taxes in mind. See your professional advisor for additional information. ■ Denese Espeut-Post is an Okanaganbased lawyer and owns Avery Law Office. Her primary areas of practice include wine and business law. www.averylawoffice.ca

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 MARKETING MIX | LEEANN FROESE

Making the Most of Media Coverage. news with your trade customers and suppliers. You may even want to acknowledge their role in your success. When your customers see your press coverage, they can use it as a talking point to help sell your cider.

by amplifying your content across several different channels. This way you can reach a more diverse audience over a longer period. Here are eight practical ways to get the most out of your press coverage.

Y

ou have a great story that has been picked up by the press, and now you need to make the most of it. Use these techniques and amplify your media coverage. Getting press coverage is hard work, so it is worth celebrating. Press coverage alone is only the first step in getting your message out to your audience. You want to make your coverage work for you

REFERENCE THE COVERAGE ON YOUR WEBSITE

FIND YOUR MENTIONS It’s free and comes into your inbox as often as you sign up for: use Google Alerts to gather mentions you’ve received.

Publicize an article on your website such as on your Home page, Media page or About Us page. It’s a missed opportunity and shocking how few wineries or cideries take advantage of keeping press mentions on their own websites. If you don’t have a suitable area on your site to post mentions, you might think about creating a page where you can celebrate your best coverage.

SHARE INTERNALLY Tell your people. Share a link to the coverage internally with your colleagues, family and friends. Ask them to share the news on their professional or personal social networks. SHARE WITH CUSTOMERS You should share all good

INCLUDE THE COVERAGE IN YOUR EMAIL NEWSLETTER If you have a list you regularly send email newsletters to, you should add the article to your next email. I’ve seen some people go one step further and include their latest coverage as a link in their email signatures. GET SOCIAL WITH IT Share any links on your social media channels, and tag both the outlets and reporters wherever possible. Go to websites like bit.ly and shorten any links to your coverage, so they are easier to share on Twitter or use as a link in your bio on Instagram. Make it a habit of sharing each piece of coverage a few times throughout the following month or two.

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BRING THE COVERAGE TO REAL LIFE

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A case study on some media exposure brought to life: our PR team worked with a news publication to curate a fun story on pairing Easter candies with our BC wine clients’ products. This story was very well received and was shared many times in many outlets.

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As we do, our team then shared the link to the coverage with our clients, but we went one step further and did a mini photo shoot, taking a photo of each of the different wines & candy pairing suggestions. We sent both the link to coverage plus a photo to the client as a value add to our PR service, in case they want to use the link and picture together on their own social channels. As we recommended, the clients then shared the photo of their wine and its candy pairings and the story link on their social media. And one winery client went one step further. The wine shop manager also purchased the candy that was mentioned in the article and had it in the wine shop. When customers visited the winery staff said ‘why don’t you try the pairing suggestion that was in the paper?’ This is a great example of how media coverage can be leveraged to be made the most of. They’re not only having the exposure of the people who come across the article on their own, but they took the article and re-shared it through their own channels; they also exposed it to walk-up traffic; and they lent the suggestion of candy and wine some legitimacy by showing them this third-party exposure. MOST IMPORTANT: THANK THE MEDIA! Let the outlet know that you are grateful for the coverage and let them know that you shared the article with your audiences. If you contribute to the overall success of a piece, the reporter may be more willing to talk to you again. PR is all about maintaining good relationships after all. Let the outlet know that you are grateful for the coverage and let them know that you shared the article with your audiences. If you contribute to the overall success of a piece, the reporter may be more willing to talk to you again. PR is all about maintaining good relationships after all. ■ Leeann Froese owns Vancouver-based Town Hall Brands – a full service marketing agency that specializes in wine, food, and hospitality. See Leeann’s work at townhallbrands.com or follow online at @townhallbrands

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 SEEDS OF GROWTH | GLEN LUCAS

Congratulations Orchard & Vine - Where to Now? 1933 –A Cent A Pound Or On The Ground – grower protest 1936 – Spartan apple developed at Summerland Research Centre (Dr. R.C. Palmer) 1939 – B.C. Tree Fruits Limited formed by BCFGA 1946 – B.C. Fruit Processors (later SunRype) formed by BCFGA 1950 – Over 350,000 fruit trees in the Okanagan killed by cold winter temperatures 1956 – Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage introduced 1958 – Royal Commission on the BC Fruit Industry 1969 – First BCFGA Horticultural Forum held 1970 – First Golden Apple Award – Jim Stuart of Kelowna 1973 – Agricultural Land

Vine’s milestone, it is interesting to reflect on some of the history of the tree fruit sector.

T

he Agriculture Sector in the Okanagan has long roots, and the BCFGA appreciates Orchard & Vine Magazine’s similarly long coverage of current events, issues and best horticultural practices. Once known as “The Orchardist”, the magazine was, at times in the past, a partnership with some BCFGA investment. Now Orchard & Vine is fully independent. The roots of Orchard & Vine go back 60 years, to 1959. The Beatles were formed in 1960! As we celebrate Orchard &

1811 – McIntosh apple discovered in Ontario 1889 – British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association (BCFGA) established 1905 – Approximately 30,000 acres under tree fruit cultivation 1911 – Approximately 2,000,000 apple trees planted 1914 – BCFGA membership rose to almost 700 1914 – Summerland Research Centre established 1919 – Soldier resettlement irrigation project started in south Okanagan 1920 – Public irrigation districts enabled 1931 – BCFGA purchases “Country Life in BC” newspaper

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Reserve (ALR) established 1975 – Sweetheart cherry developed at Summerland Research Station – released in 1994 1979 – Tetra packaging introduced by Sun-Rype Products Ltd. 1981 – First trees planted in BCFGA Test Orchard 1988 – More than 27,000 acres of fruit orchards reported in BC 1989 – BCFGA Centennial celebration 1990 – Lusztig report released on the state of the BC tree fruit industry 1991 – Replant Program introduced to renew orchards - high density apples new standard 1992 – Ambrosia apple discovered by Wilf and Sally Mennel as a chance seedling

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We finance the PEOPLE the DREAMS the FUTURE of Canadian ag 1-800-387-3232 | fcc.ca

in an orchard in Cawston. 1992 - Sterile Insect Release Program established 1996 – Sun-Rype Products Ltd. listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange 2004 – Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program launched (Mexico, Caribbean) 2006 - New Variety Development Council established to promote new varieties (now Ambrosia) 2008 – Cooperative amalgamation completed - at one time over 20, now 1. 2014 - Web-based Tree Fruit Production Guide Introduced (www.bctfpg.com) 2018 - Decision Aid System (DAS) introduced by SIR program Where will we go next? If the rest of the economy is any guide, the future holds many new technological advances. Our crystal ball includes: robotic harvesters, minimal or no pesticide programs as new ways of controlling pests are discovered; and more automation of packinghouses including new ways of determining storage and eating quality to optimize grower returns. We will also see more control of the orchard microclimate using light-reflecting fabric, possibly shading if climate change creates intensive heat and sun issues, and improved use of irrigation water (with governance that assures affordable water for agriculture, now that those public irrigation districts are disappearing).

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Labour needs, though reduced, will continue to be sourced from off-shore, but Mexico’s new affluence will mean that new groups of migrant workers from other countries will travel to work in Okanagan orchards. Orchard conditions will be remotely monitored and workers, orchardists, and the service sector will be connected and create a highly managed orchard that targets specific markets. For example, the apples from a block will be destined for a specific retailer in a specific country. The cidery industry will mature and be considered along with the Okanagan wine industry as a world leader. But one thing will never change, and that is the great reputation of BC farmers and the best growing climate for apples and cherries in the world! Thanks to Orchard and Vine for contributing to the industry’s success! ■ BCFGA: www.bcfga.com


Summer 2019

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Canada's Biggest Plant Based Health & Wellness 2nd Annual Canada Fruit Festival A festival that celebrates fruit, veggies, music and movement. August 9-12 at the Komasket Campgrounds on Okanagan Lake (On Westside Road in between Kelowna and Vernon) Supporting the gathering of people who follow or want to learn more about eating healthy raw food and /or vegan plant-based eating. Social Media Influencers from all over the world will be attending and conducting inspiring workshops on a variety of topics. Learn about raw foods, nutrition, yoga, meditation, gardening, social media influencing, entrepreneurship and personal development Festival provides four days of all you can eat fresh fruits and veggies, showers, toilets and running water for all attendees. Just bring your tent, pillow, and sleeping bag. Go online and purchase a One day or Full Access Pass for the whole weekend. hello@ canadafruitfest.ca www.canadafruitfest.ca Kids 10 & under come free! Local BC fruit sponsored by Nature’s Fresh Fruits

54 Summer 2019


Event – August 9-12 at Komasket Campground Here are just a few of the presenters – start following them today to learn more.

Andrea from Sun & Sprout - at 15 started endurance running on a plant based diet, recruited to run Cross Country and Track at Northwestern University. In 2014 she adopted a fruitarian lifestyle and she set her personal records in the 10k, 6k, 5k, 3k, and 1500m, as well the university’s record in the 3k - proving that athletes can thrive on a fruit based diet. www.instagram.com/sunandsprout/

Ted Carr – former semi-professional triathlete, founder of the Canada Fruit Fest, a major influence on the Vegan and Raw Vegan community. www.instagram.com/fruitarian

Nathan Maris – vegan since 2013 when his 11-year-old son decided to change his diet. Then seeing his mother heal herself from cancer with a raw food diet, he decided to try it himself. www.instagram.com/rawnattyn8/

Chris Kendall - Registered Holistic Nutritionist, 15 years raw vegan. His raw recipe ebooks and free raw recipes app are considered to be some of he best in the world, skateboarder and avid surfer, best known for his Frickin Rawsome Recipes. www.instagram.com/therawadvantage/

Don Bennett – 45 years vegan, 25 year all-raw foodist. At a young age, he uncovered inconsistencies within the health field, such as doctors who smoked, and nutritionists who ate foods that were known to be harmful. He set out to learn for himself. 45 years later, he authored “How to Avoid Degenerative Disease” http://www.health101.org/

Dr. Samuel A. Mielcarski - licensed physical therapist over 22 years, Dr. SAM helps evoke the beneficial changes needed to thrive and prosper at a higher level, author of “Feel Good Now!” He could not only change your life, it may even help save it! www.instagram.com/drsampt3/ Dr. Areli K-Cuevas Ocampo - The Raw Vegan Doctor .Neuropathologist, UK. US American College of Pathology Board-Certified, her research focuses on genetic, epigenetic and epidemiological risk factors of brain tumours and neurodegenerative diseases and on implementing health strategies to decrease the incidence and prevalence of these conditions through lifestyle modifications, specifically via a whole food plant based diet with an emphasis on raw fruits and vegetables. www.instagram.com/rawvegandoctor/ Greg Xavier - plant-based nutritionist, founder Plant Based Ireland. Inspired by Canada’s recent dietary changes, he is actively lobbying the Irish Minister for Health to see a similar leap forward in Ireland. www.instagram.com/plantbased_greg/ Melissa Raimondi - natural health world for over 15 years, raw vegan in 2014 she lost 70 lbs, author of 4 raw vegan recipe books. www.instagram.com/rawfoodromance/ Karen Ranzi - M.A., CCC-SLP, 25 year raw vegan, award-winning author of Creating Healthy Children, Raw Vegan Recipe Fun for Families, SuperHealthyChildren.com. www.instagram.com/superhealthyraw/ Grant Campbell - Raw Aussie Athlete, 14 years raw vegan, ultra marathon runner, author of “Inspired To Run” http://www.rawaussieathlete.com/ Jake Mace - 18 years vegan, huge following on You Tube; "Kung Fu & Tai Chi with Jake Mace" 1.2 Million Subscribers and "Vegan Athlete" has 145,000 Subscribers and Over 17 Million Views. ww.instagram.com/jakeoffgrid/

Summer 2019

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Profile for Orchard & Vine Magazine

Orchard & Vine Magazine Summer 2019  

Inside the Summer Issue of Orchard & Vine we continue to celebrate our 60th Anniversary with a feature on our magazine from the 1960s as wel...

Orchard & Vine Magazine Summer 2019  

Inside the Summer Issue of Orchard & Vine we continue to celebrate our 60th Anniversary with a feature on our magazine from the 1960s as wel...

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