Okanagan Explosion

By Bryce Manders Block: G

The Development of Early Agriculture

  • The valley had perfect soil and great drainage for growing fruit
  • The climate is perfect for growing fruit. The summers are hot and dry and the winters complement the trees very well
  • Machinery was first introduced to the fruit industry in 1921
  • The first fruit trees planted in the Okanagan in 1857
  • A revolutionary agriculturist, J.W. Hughes, got the grape industry growing again with new growing techniques
  • The main fruit suppliers of fruit in Canada
  • Eugene Rittich from Hungary performed a different test on Black Mountain, Using forty varieties of grapes, only 11 survived because the temperature is too low

Early European Profile - Giovanni Casorso

Giovanni Casorso was born around 1948 in the Piedmont area of Italy close to the present day city of Turin. Before he came to Canada he got married in 1872 to a woman named Rosa Bevi Lacqua who later encouraged him to leave Italy for the New World. After Casorso left his homeland of Italy for North America he arrived in the Okanagan Misson in the summer of 1883. Once he arrived he started working for the Oblate Fathers for $15 a month if they helped him pre-empt some land. Over the years now, the Casorsos have been pioneers in: Cattle ranching, raising hogs, growing vegetables, tobaco, fruit, and grapes. He was part of a grooup of agriculturists who set a very important trading warehhouse near the CPR tracks in Sandon(which is in the Kootenays).

Interesting Facts

  1. Giovanni Casorso's name was switched to John Casorso when a schoolteacher couldn't spell it.
  2. He got the nickname "The Onion King" after his onions spread all the way to a Montreal market and all through Canada as his onions were apparently the best.
  3. The final house that Giovanni bought which is where he built up his farm is still being upkept by his descendants.

Driving Question

Giovanni Casorso had a very large impact on the growth and development of the valley as he was one of the first farmers and one of the most important agriculturists of the Okanagan. He was a main helper with expanding the markets throughout Canada and he helped attract settlers to the valley because of his work with Father Pandosy. Casorso also played a crucial role in hte spreading of the fruit industry by helping set up warehouses and markets. He also made the best onions in the country having go all the way across the country.