Fresh fruit and summer go hand in hand. During the warmer months it's easy to find your favourite berries and apples at farmers' markets, pick-your-own patches, and even grocery stores. Most people become dedicated to shopping local, but when the leaves turn, a lot of shoppers don't know where to continue the practice. However, the Strathcona and Downtown markets run all year! And we're there in the winter with our fruit. How do we make this work?
At both our farm in Oliver and our warehouse in Devon, we have climate controlled coolers. These coolers keep our products at the perfect temperature so they stay fresh and delicious while in storage. There is absolutely nothing unnatural about it - we don't use any chemical sprays to prolong the shelf life of our fruits. Over the years we've learned which fruits keep the best over the winter. Macintosh apples are by far the hardest to store, as they soften up quite a bit, whereas Pink Ladies are the easiest! This is why you only see certain varieties at our stand over the winter.
So, what happens to our orchard in the off season? After we pick our last variety of apples (Pink Ladies), we prune the trees and get everything cleaned up for the springtime! The fall and winter is when we can replant, cut, burn, and otherwise organize our farm for the upcoming busy summer.
We're committed to only putting our best products on our market stands. In terms of apples, Pink Ladies are hands down the best apples over the winter. When first picked they are quite tart, however they sweeten up in storage. Our Harrowcrisp pears will be here until the end of December, when they'll be replaced by Harrowsweet and then Conference pears!
Come visit us at one of the markets this winter! Who doesn't want fresh, delicious fruit all year long?