It’s going to be a gorgeous sunny weekend, undoubtedly turning our thoughts to summer and all the fresh, local produce that will soon overflow in our market bins. So it’s time for a fruit and veggie update, and I’ll start with the good news. You can almost hear the strawberries ripening in this warm weather, and we should be seeing juicy local strawberries appearing in the market within a few short weeks. The corn stalks have poked their noses out of the ground, and we’re preparing the fields for cucumber and pumpkin plants.  It’s been a beautiful spring for Fraser Valley fruit and veggies. In Osoyoos, bees have finished pollinating the cherry trees, and they’re loaded with little lime-green orbs, happily absorbing the Okanagan sunshine and maturing into juicy, crimson cherries. The apple trees are almost finished blossoming and will soon start sprouting their fruit. 



However, there’s just no way to soften the news about what comes in between the cherry and apple season, and I will give it to you straight. There will be no Okanagan stone fruit this year; the deep January freeze wiped out this summer’s crop of apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums in the entire Okanagan valley. It takes my breath away just to say that, and when I told our granddaughter the news, she burst into tears.  “Nana, what do you mean there won’t be any peaches??” You may be experiencing the same emotions. 

Here’s the short version of what happened. After harvest, the buds for next year’s fruit begin to form in the existing wood. With fall’s typically lower temperatures and shorter days, the trees start to harden off and prepare for the coming harsh winter conditions. However, the trees didn’t harden off this past year as usual due to last fall’s unseasonably warm temperatures. When the record-breaking deep freeze and icy winds hit for almost a week in January, the trees weren’t ready for it, and all the blossoms froze. Thankfully, the trees survived, but all we have this year are leafy, green trees without any fruit. Why did the apple and cherry blossoms survive? They’re just hardier trees and were able to withstand the extreme cold.  



The produce department will look slightly different this summer without the fragrant Okanagan stone fruits we love. Rob is trying his best to see if he can source peaches and nectarines from outside BC, likely Ontario, Washington or even as far south as Georgia. So be prepared to adjust your typical timeline for these fruits, and if you see them in the market, grab them while you can.

 As always, we are so grateful for your continued support of our market, our farms and the local farming community. With our incredible team, we’ll weather this storm like many others we’ve experienced, and we’ll continue bringing you the freshest local produce we can find! 

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