If you are driving along Highway #3 in southern British Columbia, it's easy to be in a rush to drive through the small towns along the way but take time to look around and perhaps stop and shop in the Similkameen valley especially around Cawston or Keremeos, where by definition there are the highest concentration of organic farms in Canada.
A Summer Road Trip
During the summer months and especially in the Fall when there is an abundance of fresh ripe produce we feel it is worth a trip from the lower mainland to pick tree ripened fruit and buy organic produce (in bulk) for home canning or freezing. Of course the Farmers Markets are also well worth visiting when you make this trip and we have bought bulk quantities of organic potatoes, garlic and carrots and other chemical free fresh produce. You really can't buy fresher than knowing your food was picked the same day unless you grow it yourself.
There are also several large wholesale and retail fruit stands a few kilometres west of Keremeos on the highway. There is also an organic winery in the area. Over the years we have enjoyed picking our own fruit and as one farm sign succinctly states “Organic fruit at farm prices”.
Bounty of Organic Produce
The variety of organic produce varies from walnuts, strawberries, apples, pears, cherries, onions, to peppers and our favourites garlic and apricots as well as many other fruits and vegetables. So remember next time you are driving through the Southern Okanagan, besides enjoying the absolutely spectacular scenery any time of the year, during the Summer and Fall remember to stop and shop along the way.
We really enjoy being able to talk to the farmers who grow our food.
The southern Okanagan is home to several endangered species including Bighorn Sheep so watch out for them on the highway or try to spot them on the surrounding rugged slopes from one of the viewing areas by the highway
- Other endangered species in the Okanagan are several species of snake, the painted turtle and a burrowing owl
- Here are some more species at risk in the Central Okanagan
- South Okanagan Endangered species
- The Southern Okanagan is reputed to be a desert but is a "shrub steppe" and is home to several species of unique plants, although there is an Okanagan Desert society in the city of Osoyoos
- Organic farms in southern okanagan