Fruit of their labour featured at Cherry Fair
July 28, 2009 By Holly Miyasaki
July 28, 2009 – Brant Farrell examines some cherries at his farm Westbank Harvest. The
orchardist participates in the annual Cherry Fair, wich takes place
July 28, 2009 – Brant Farrell examines some cherries at his farm Westbank Harvest. The orchardist participates in the annual Cherry Fair, wich takes place next weekend.
They can be sweet, tangy or tart and some families devote their lives to them.
Cherries will be the centre of attention at the annual Cherry Fair held next weekend.
Brant Farrell and his dad Farlie Paynter will be at the fair handing out samples of their hard work, as they have in years past.
“It’s a year-round process,” explains Farrell as he walks between trees in the family’s orchard. In total, he estimates, eight months of the year are devoted to the cherry.
There’s a lot to do when it comes to growing and harvesting cherries, which are very susceptible to damage whether it’s too hot or too rainy.
In addition to protecting them from Mother Nature, the farmers also try to use as few pesticides as possible. And where more commercial orchards use smaller trees and secure them to posts or wires, Farrell’s family uses the actual trees–800 of them producing 12 different varieties.
Farrell and Paynter run Westbank Harvest, where they grow cherries, apples and other fruits. The bulk of their harvest goes to Paynter’s Fruit Market where it is sold to locals and tourists alike.
Farrell says he hopes to have samples of a new variety of cherry he’s currently attempting to patent–the marble cherry, at the fair.
The marble cherry is a hybrid between lapin and white flesh, which happened by accident at Westbank Harvest, and is recognizable by a red crease down its centre. And when you bite into it, half is white and half is red.
The fair is now in its 14th year and gives the community an opportunity a chance to taste and learn more about the different varieties of cherry grown in the Okanagan Valley.
“It brings different members of the community together,” says Risti Nykiforuk, marketing and special events co-ordinator for the Kelowna Museum. “We’ve got the museum, different growers, the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association, businesses and sponsors.”
She adds the event brings forward certain aspects of Kelowna that people doesn’t always think about, such as orcharding.
In addition to samples, there will also be cherries and fruit products to buy as well as games and events for children.
The 14th annual Cherry Fair takes place at 1380 Ellis St. from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
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