Agriculture

Getting Out of Town

History eventually becomes the present. For instance, to look back to the day when the entire Okanagan was a part of Oregon and the only business going was the raising of cattle for the gold fields of the Cariboo, we need go no further than the Kelowna suburb of Lake Country.

Range Horses and Incoming Flight to Ellison Field

1858, the year in which Father Pandosy fled the Indian Wars of Yakima for Kelowna and Frank Richter fled them for Chopaka, when the Okanagan was still the Okanogan and the US-Canadian border wasn’t even a glint in its Mommy and Daddy’s eyes, lives on.

The past is not a far country.130 years ago, five white men owned the Okanagan north of Osoyoos. It was a country of grass. Everything else was a subdivision.Just downhill from these grasslands, that different, and less easy-going, conflict of histories is taking place. Here we are in the town of Winfield, once an apple-growing town, then a suburb of Kelowna, and now? Well, look:

Subdividing Subdivisions
Grass = ranch = fruit farm + regional supply centre = retail fruit stand.

And a little bit to the right…

A Bedroom Community Subdivided
Bedroom community + urban community = a lot of orchards turning into grass. All of history in one glance, all strangely twisted by the camera lens. Thank you, Lumix.

Of course, the Syxilt history is missing from this. Ah, here they are in West Kelowna, once nicely tucked away across the lake but now the biggest land developers in the valley (history seems to love irony):

West Bank Indian Band Grand Stand …
… with a big word for anyone with a zoom lens.

So, what of Kelowna itself? Has it gone past the urban history of its suburbs towards something else? Let’s take a stroll, shall we. Things are a moving and shaking, here in the old fruit industry hardware store and banking centre.

Banking Industry in Kelowna
The global view?

How does that impact the retail trade? Have a look:

Retail Industry in Kelowna Draws on Life Experience
I think the conversation might be like this … “WTF, there’s no one shopping, let’s slash prices on all these clothes, model (without them) for some life drawing classes, and with the money we make skip town for some music from anywhere but here.

Still, the shops in town doing the best business appear to be, hands on, the bridal industry. Their window displays can be quite stunning:


Bride with Cardboard Vampire

Any guy will, apparently, do…as long as he’s not human. In East Germany, this was known as internal migration. When there’s nowhere to go, you travel in your mind.

A better solution might be what the Quilleute community of La Push, Washington had to say after the Twilight movie craze descended on the largely white and vampire-loving logging town of Forks, just up the road:

Getting Real in La Push Source

It was the American transcendentalist writer, Henry David Thoreau, who said that as soon as all apples were grown from clones and grafted trees, in tight rows in dedicated orchards, democracy would no longer exist. What we got from that was Father Pandosy’s one apple tree in Kelowna, and Frank Richter’s orchard at Richter Lake … and the long, long road through galoshes and maples leaves back to our American roots again.

Post-Canadian Clothing Store for Vampires and their Gals

Oh, but look … even they’re having an end of season sale.

Maybe the border will be the next to go. What say we go off to that World Music Festival and play them a little Okanagan/Okanogan music? I already have the back up singers:

Tweet Tweet

Tomorrow: grape vines are up to something mighty interesting. A story of photosynthesis, wine, and green energy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.