by Chiara Meijers
HISTORY OF FARMERS IN THE OKANAGAN VALLEY
"Where did the first fruit trees come from?" said Charles Ora Card in 1886. The first fruit trees planted in Okanagan were planted by Hiran F. "Okanagan" Smith in 1857. He carried his first trees into the valley from Hope.
Agriculture started in the Okanagan when father Pandosy planted apple trees. Since the 1880's the fruit business has grown steadily and it is interesting see how it has developed over the years.
The earliest recorded date of grapes being grown in the Okanagan was in 1905. The machinery was first introduced to the fruit industry in 1921, for packing houses in the apple industry and in 1930 shipping was all done by train.
REASONS FOR SETTLEMENTS IN THE OKANAGAN VALLEY
When the grape industry slowed down, J.W. Hughes got the grape business going again in 1928, he thought that Kelowna was the perfect place to grow grapes.
He called his first vineyard, pioneer vineyards, and he was on top of business and still growing grapes. Instead of shipping through packing houses, he wanted to ship the grapes by his own. So he sold his own grapes, and shipped in small loads.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN OKANAGAN VALLEY
Started growing grapes in 1926 expanding from 45 acres near Okanagan to 75 acres by 1933, eventually he had over 300 acres. He was one of the earlier growers in Kelowna to produce grapes, which has become a leading agricultural industry.
What was the impact of the early Europeans on the growth and development of the Okanagan valley?
The impact J.W. Hughes had on the growth and development of the Okanagan valley was:
He was the largest grower of grapes, and when the grape business was slow he got it going again. He was one of the earliest growers in Kelowna to produce grapes, which he made a leading agriculture industry, and had over 300 acres.
- Besides growing grapes he also grew cucumbers, asparagus, raspberries, flowers and sold vegetable seeds, and he experimented with game and poultry farming in the 1940s.
- J.W. Hughes planed St Hubertus and Oak Vineyards in 1928, and those are one of the only wineries in British Columbia producing Chasselas (primary white grape grown in Switzerland also known as Fedant.)
J.W. Hughes house on 806 Bernard Avenue,
Orignial Bernard Avenue
Originally Bernard Avenue.
Originally J.W's house on the street which is now a big shopping area in Kelowna.