Putting the “F” back in fruit!

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She says:

Okay, so maybe the title this week is a bit obtuse… not my idea but I am going to try and bring you around to the chef’s creative allusion, so bear with me.

When the Okanagan was known more for its fruit orchards than its wineries, the technology may have been simpler but the philosophy was much the same – the key to success is in marketing a product that the consumers can identify as special, treated with care.

My Mom did some of her growing up here, and she still talks about the days when peaches were so big they took two hands to hold, and getting a case of Okanagan fruit was a prized gift, each piece hand-wrapped in paper and presented like a box from Holt Renfrew. These precious boxes were Fancy (hence the F) and of course they were Fresh and in season only, as in tree-ripened fresh, not induced by some chemical process (another important F – now are you seeing where he was heading??)

You will know by now if you are a regular reader that we do have a fondness for nostalgia (hey, there is an F in fondness, too! – maybe that is pushing it…). So, we are hoping you will indulge us for another week and think of times gone by when you knew the people who grew your food and help us to support the return of that.

Martin has a client whose business is bringing back the fruit boxes of old, and I would like to mention a few other options you may want to explore as the garden season starts to wind down and we change our eating habits:
Urban Harvest will actually deliver a selected box of organic produce from local producers to your door weekly – how wonderful is that?!

This is a great option for adventurous eaters, as they may include something fun and funky in your box!

Choices Market opens next Friday and their focus is on offering natural and organic foods. They are a large retailer, but still family owned and operated. It is well worth your while to visit them on Harvey Avenue, just past Spall.

If you buy meat directly from a farm, you may be interested to know of some new legislation coming in that will prevent that – check out the link here to see the reasons why some people don’t like this plan (I am not trying to sway your vote I just think it is worth our while to be informed.)

Maybe it is naïve to think that we can still have a world that resembles a Norman Rockwell painting, where you might stop and chat to the greengrocer or the butcher, but isn’t a nice ideal to aspire to?

He says:

A client of mine has spent many years in the cutthroat real estate business which must be how she got the drive to start a new company right here in Kelowna. She now has built a beautiful home on 30 plus acres surrounded by agricultural land in the Mission area.

Her approach to fruits in the Okanagan is simple: she wants to market the fruits she grows the way they used to be offered years ago. In a time before I was living here, Okanagan fruits used to be regarded as the best.

They used to be packaged like precious diamonds, individually wrapped and in wooden crates. Now what we see in the grocery stores like Save on Food and Superstore look like they are mass produced with total disregard for the amusingness of the process. They plunk them in a bin with half of them bruised beyond recognition, which usually means much of the stock is then further reduced and devalued in the consumer’s eyes.

Harvest Ridge Estates has started to sell Okanagan fruits with a high end tone to it. Not many farmers have a website or even a new approach to selling good products. Not only has she got top quality hand picked fruits, but she sells them at fair prices considering the whole package.

I hope that Karen gets her shipping system more conducive to the gift idea, because 5 boxes are a bit much to buy as a gift. If I could ship only one box at a time anywhere in Canada, maybe I could have some peaches shipped to my mom back east next summer and have her find out why I live in Kelowna.

Anyway, to all the fruit lovers out there please keep an eye on Harvest Ridge Estate.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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