Food & Drink » Glenda Bartosh on Food

Food and drink: How green is your valley?

Between Whistler and the Okanagan, paradise found and lost

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But what can one reasonably expect when the packing houses offered 2.5 cents a pound this summer for hail-damaged tree fruit, and Washington growers continue to dump their fruit like so much dirty laundry into B.C. markets at prices Okanagan orchardists can't match?

Dirty Laundry, by the way, is the name of one of the newer vineyards, one of about 70 that now dot the valley. They occupy some 5,000 acres and vie for ever-catchier names and ever-scarcer nooks and crannies to grab on to, with viticulturalists annually pumping millions of gallons of water out of Lake Okanagan while pumping on to the vines millions of pounds of fertilizers and sprays - how about 100 kg of 10-20-20 per hectare? - much of which runs off, back into the lake.

The watershed, by the way, is one of the most contaminated in Canada, and local First Nations, even as they develop Nk'mip Cellars into a stellar resort in Osoyoos, are joining others concerned about the impact on the watershed all this grape watering etc. will have.

All juice has its price, you know.

So to all our friends and compadres, the self-proclaimed Whistler alumni, who have moved to the sweet Okanagan, I say good on you and good for you. Enjoy. We can only hope you take some of the truly "green" values you loved about Whistler and transplant them to your new home.

 

Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning freelance writer who cried her eyes out as a kid when it was time to leave her Auntie Bea's and Uncle Hec's cherry orchard.

 

 

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