Agriculture

Settler Culture = Terroir

Here’s the grape terroir in the Similkameen Valley.

That’s right. There are no grape plants. They would die here. Should one plant them (and someone has across the road behind us), one would have to level this precious shrub steppe, till it, plant grapes, and irrigate them. The terroir would then be the eradication of 12,000 years of Smalqmx history and land-care, and the growing of grapes in an industrial setting that replaced it. In other words, in a parking lot. Here’s the terroir of apples in the North Okanagan Valley:

Notice that I’m not showing you the aspect of the sun and the profile of the soil that is the definition of terroir. What I’m showing you instead is a 20-year-old graft union on a dwarf apple tree. Budagosky 9 for the root and Royal Gala for the top. They don’t, as you can see from the tortured swelling, particularly get along. That is the journey the juice in every apple has to make from that black hose before it swells in the fruit. Any other talk of sun and soil has to go through this knot, which is to say, this is the real terroir. Here’s another view:

This is not a healthy orchard. Basically, small twigs are catching the flow from a river, which has no estuary. Look up:

Instead of a lead bud in the January sun to signal the roots to begin feeding bacterial colonies in the soil, under the snow, there is just a wound, created by hacking all the growth off to get some sun on the apples in September, and some colour and sweetness, because without violence this form of terroir is simply a field of shade. In other words, this terroir…

… is no place for apples to grow, or, as I was saying:

It doesn’t have to be this way.

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