This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
No room here for negative spins Up Front

By Bryden Winsby I

f ever there was a time to look for those proverbial silver linings in the clouds, this is it.

From a meteorological standpoint, the spring we’ve been going through has been cooler and wetter than normal. Not fun to work in, and miserable for barbecues — but hey, it’s helped ease fears of another smoke- filled summer.

At the time of this writing, however, nobody was about to predict with certainty that we won’t get weeks of hot, dry weather. So it still made sense to devote some of the pages in this issue to what growers can do to mitigate the effects if damp turns to drought.

By definition, of course, that silver lining phrase is used to comfort people who are beset with problems — that it’s always possible to get something positive out of a situation, no matter how unpleasant, difficult or painful it might seem.

Well, things definitely have been unpleasant, difficult and painful for the tree fruit industry lately. So in reading this issue you might suspect that we set out deliberately to find silver linings. There’s a positive spin to much of the content, but it wasn’t deliberate, and neither was it accidental. Sort of in-between. There are positive things happening, like the result of efforts by people such as Karnail Singh Sidhu, whose organic grape-growing expertise has led to some prestigious prizes for the recently-established Kalala Estate Winery in West Kelowna.

As Associate Editor Judie Steeves discovered, Sidhu’s can-do attitude is infectious. (“I believe by saying ‘No’ you’ve failed before you even try,” he says).

Then there are farmers finding success by remaining agile and adaptive in the face of change and uncertainty, as is the case with Dave and Arlene Sloan, whose Matheson Creek Farm in Okanagan Falls is the subject of a feature article by Susan McIver.

And while the feds and province cry poor (or whatever) in response to appeals for financial help, we find that consumers seem to be rallying behind the ‘buy local’ movement, and in a sense are helping to sustain a


struggling industry by showing faith in the quality and safety of B.C. brand fruit. Meanwhile, the province’s ever- growing wine industry hasn’t yet topped out, but there’s no shortage of competition for the

consumer dollar. Rather than battle it out individually, we're seeing many wineries in the Okanagan- Similkameen joining forces to take full advantage of that lucrative aspect of the business — tours and tastings — to establish specially- designated routes in the region. So we’re putting the focus on another one of them — Bottleneck Drive in Summerland — to get a fix on what, why and how they’re doing. More positive stuff: The work being done by the Okanagan Plant Improvement Corporation (aka PICO) in its budwood orchard, and $2 million in research money for the B.C. Wine Grape Council from the federal Growing Forward program for seven research projects, two wine-related and five viticulture. Not so positive is the situation affecting the province’s beekeepers, who are an essential component of

the agriculture industry. You can find out more in our profile of Kelowna apiarist Bob Chisholm. And if you haven’t heard of resveratrol (try saying that with a mouthful of crackers), the substance believed to give wine its health- boosting qualities, our resident cellar-dweller, Gary Strachan, will fill you in on what it is, and the scientific controversy surrounding it.

And finally, I rather like a phrase in the lead paragraph in a story by Kelowna Daily Courier reporter Steve MacNaull about the forecast for the local and national economy. Much like the weather we’ve been having: partly sunny with a chance of showers.

In other words, economists whose crystal balls allow them to say it are predicting that the outlook is pretty good. While inflation and interest rates are inching up, commodity prices have been rising and business confidence is strengthening. Works for me.

Have a great summer.

Everything you need, carried in stock: - Stock corrugated produce boxes - Handi-paks - Customizable boxes and labels

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Summer 2010

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32
Produced with Yudu -