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All About Fruit

There is an abundance of fruit to be found in and around Penticton, starting in the spring and running through to the fall

OKANAGAN FRUIT

Here we have tried to provide a summary of the fruit you will find in the Okanagan, and the times of the year you will find them being harvested.

Please note that every year temperature and weather can have a significant impact on timing of the harvest. For example, in 2016, because it was such a warm spring, the cherries and peaches were three weeks early. While this might have meant the rest of the crops would be early as well, it cooled off a bit in July so fruits that are typically ready in the fall ended up being right on schedule.

2017 was off to a slow start.  Spring temperatures remained low for a long time.  But June ended up being quite warm, and July also turned out to be pretty hot.  Which means strawberries were a bit late getting started but cherries were only a week or so late getting started, and peaches were more or less “on time”.

2018 saw a reasonably cool spring at the outset, such that the strawberries were a little behind schedule.   It got suddenly quite hot near the last week of May and into June, which put some stress on the cherries and the grapes, as they don’t like constant 30 degree weather.   It did cool off again mid June –  before entering a sweltering July.   The peaches were sweet and tasty as a result of all the sun shine.   The Okanagan managed to avoid some of the fires of the past years, and therefore the air was for the most part unencumbered by smoke.    This helped the fruit ripen faster, and taste that much better!    

Ripening Schedule

Strawberries  – May is the best time.   There are some available into the fall.

Raspberries – June 20 through July 15

Cherries – June 20 – July 12

Peaches – July through September

Apricots – July through September

Plums – August 15 through September

Apples – late July through October

Pears – August 20 through September

Grapes – August through October

What will 2019 bring?    We had a late snowfall this year that may have stopped some early spring flowers in their tracks.    But once the snow melted, we had a reasonably “normal” spring with temperatures between 15-20 degrees during the day.  The strawberries seem to be “on time”, and so far the cherries will likely be as well.

Where to Find Fruit

The roadside from Summerland to Osoyoos has clusters of fruit stands every few miles, so it impossible to miss out.  

Some of the stops offer U-Pick,  which really doesn’t take that long for the amount you probably want to consume, so it is often worth the adventure.    A bonus is that you know absolutely for sure that this is the freshest fruit you could possibly have gotten your hands on!

If you are stationed in town and can’t go for a drive down the highway, you will find plenty of fresh fruit and veggies at the farmers market throughout the summer.

Penticton has a huge farmers market on Saturdays right downtown on Main street.  Summerland has a somewhat smaller market on Sundays in their downtown area, and Naramata has a fun little market on Wednesday afternoons you can check out.