In a near-desert landscape, no claim to the land is worth anything if it isn’t also a claim to the water. It’s a truism about First Nations Land Claims. It’s the same for the land claims anyone must make.
These apricot trees, survive on snowfall and rain, in between the two factories in Okanagan Falls that have replaced them. Ironically, their fruit, although small, is juicy and sweet.
The following photograph, however, is a story about water (although if you’ve ever bitten into one of these woody guys, you could be forgiven for doubting it) …
Depending upon who is interpreting the North American Free Trade Agreement at any particular moment, Canadian water is or is not a commodity that must, by law, be exported to the United States. It bears pointing out that Okanagans (and Okanogans) export water all the time. Every bottle of wine, every apple or peach or quince or apricot or hormonally-enhanced cherry bound for Hong Kong is really a water export. It has just been turned into a cultural artifact. It has been value-added.
Meanwhile, our cities seem intent on pushing it away, wherever it falls from the sky.
Maybe it’s because it is possible to grow fruit on dryland hillsides, without disrupting their ecologies with water.
And if that’s the case, it’s not really about water at all.
Tomorrow: Wild Cherries.