Okanogan Explosion: Final Task

By:Wyatt Olsson

The History of farming/agriculture in the Okanogan valley


The agriculture in the Okanagan first started in the year 1862, when Father pandosy planted the first apple tree. for several years his orchard was the only one in the okanagan valley. Father Pandosy died in 1891 and on the same year Lord Aberdeen purchased 13000 acres of land for farming. In 1892 two 100 acre lots were turned into orchard consisting of apricots, peaches, apples, crab apples, prunes, cherries, plums, raspberry canes and strawberries.the Aberdeens subdivided parts of their land and sold it off as pieces of land for other settler's orchards. this made a huge increase on the amount of people that settled in the okanagan valley because it was a good investment. It took a few years for the orchards to start producing huge amount of fruit but the farmers pushed through and were rewarded. in the year of 1905 the first wine grapes were grown in the Okanagan valley.In 1906 a board of trade was made for advertising the Okanagan orchards.

Role of the Fur Brigade Trail

the fur brigade trail provided a way for people to come to the Okanagan and settle. Many farmers took this route to get here. When there was a big gold rush here it brought a wave of people to the Okanagan valley. They used the fur brigade trail to get here and when the gold rush died down some of them settled in the valley and started up farms. This trail also was where the farmers brought the fruit down to other places to sell.

Early European Profile: Giovanni Casorso

Early History

Giovanni Casorso was born in Tonco, Italy in 1848.He worked as a digger in Italy. When he and his family came to North america to find a better life he left before them and found a job with Father Pandosy. His wife and kids (ages 3,4,5) came later. They took a ship from Genoa, Italy to San Francisco where they found the bell that was being shipped to the Okanagan mission. They followed the bell all the way to the Okanagan where they surprised Giovanni.

Reasons for Settlement

Giovanni Casorso and his family were looking for work. After he got the offer from Father Pandosy he realized that this was a great opportunity to settle and make some money. If he was to come to the valley he would be given a piece of land that was rich in nutrients and a great farming area. he realized that after a few years he could start his own farm.

Early Accomplishments

When he first arrived in Kelowna he worked for Father Pandosy. He did what ever Father Pandosy needed him to do from a cook to a ranch hand, or a carpenter. he worked from 6 am to 6pm everyday. He slowly built up his land and his animals. He then built a log cabin with a sod roof. Giovanni's farm was one of the most successful farms in the Okanagan valley. His farm was renowned for having the best onions and onion seed in the Okanagan.

Legacy Today

Giovanni's legacy still continues today and he is recognized as one of the first settlers in the Okanagan valley. he is still recognized for helping the orchard industry along its way , and for being one of the first people to start the wine grape growing in the Okanagan valley. His relatives still live in the same house he built , and they still farm the same area. even though the family sold off part of the land, most of it is still owned by the family. Another way his legacy still lives on is that in grade 7 I had one of his relatives as my teacher, Mr Casorso.

Interesting facts

1. The aberdeens were a huge part in the orchard history because they bought huge pieces of land then subdivided them and sold them to settlers for a decent price. this brought anymore settlers and it increased the popularity of orchard in the okanogan

2. The Casorso's had the best onions in the Okanagan valley and they were wildly known for them. The sold both the onions and the onion seeds.

Driving Question

The early Europeans played a huge role in the history of the Okanagan valley. They were the 1st people to discover it other than the 1st nations. The man that I was studying played a huge role as well. Giovanni Casorso had an impact on the growth and development in the valley. he impacted this valley because he was one of the very first people to settle in the valley. He tried new things that made the Okanagan valley more desirable to live in such as when he helped start the first orchard and started the first winery. People wanted to come here after these discoveries because this was a good life for them. This was a good income and the people could live comfortably.
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Casorso's Land Roughly

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Picture of Giovanni Casorso

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The Casorso's 3rd house