Farmers' Markets

From Farm to Market: The Story of Kelowna's Local Produce

A person in a red plaid shirt and wide-brimmed hat picking fruit from a tree in Okanagan.

In British Columbia, where lush landscapes meet crystal-clear waters, lies a city whose relationship with the earth is as rich as the soil itself. Kelowna, a name derived from the indigenous word for "Grizzly bear," isn't just a hub of urban activity; it's an enduring legacy of agriculture, where the journey from farm to market encapsulates a story of dedication, community, and nature's bounty.

Historical Context

The Indigenous Foundations

Kelowna's agriculture is woven deeply with the threads of the Syilx or Okanagan people, who have nurtured this land for millennia. Their intimate knowledge of the terrain and sustainable practices laid the groundwork for the agricultural prosperity that Kelowna enjoys today. The Syilx's profound respect for the land remains an intrinsic part of Kelowna's farming ethos.

European Influence and Agricultural Expansion

The mid-19th century saw European settlers, led by Father Charles Pandosy, sow the seeds of modern agriculture in Kelowna. Establishing the Okanagan Mission, these pioneers transformed Kelowna into a significant agricultural centre. The turn of the 20th century marked another milestone with the establishment of the region's first commercial orchard, heralding the beginning of Kelowna's renowned fruit farming and viticulture.

Kelowna’s Farms and Orchards

In Kelowna, the land is more than just a resource; it's a partner in producing a variety of high-quality produce. The unique micro-climate and fertile lands yield an abundance of fruits and vegetables, making local farms pivotal in defining Kelowna's identity. These farms, often family-owned and operated, are not just food producers; they are custodians of the region's agricultural heritage.

Seasonal Produce: A Year-Round Cornucopia

Kelowna's produce is a celebration of the seasons. Spring welcomes leafy greens and rhubarb, while summer ushers in a burst of cherries and peaches. Autumn is a time of bountiful harvests, with apples and pumpkins taking center stage. Even in winter, local farms offer hearty root vegetables, preserving the continuity of fresh produce throughout the year.

Journey From Farm to Market

The journey from Kelowna's farms to its markets is a story of passion and commitment. It begins with the meticulous cultivation of crops, followed by a careful harvest, and culminates in the display at local markets. This process is underpinned by a dedication to sustainable practices, ensuring that the produce not only tastes good but also contributes positively to the environment.

Kelowna’s Farmers' Markets

The Kelowna Farmers' and Crafters' Market is a mix of local produce and crafts. Here, the community comes together to celebrate the fruits of their labour, literally and metaphorically. The market is a bustling hub where farmers, artisans, and consumers connect, creating an atmosphere that embodies Kelowna's spirit.

Environmental and Economic Impact

Choosing local produce in Kelowna isn't just a culinary preference; it's a sustainable choice. The food's journey from farm to market is a short one, significantly reducing the carbon footprint compared to imported goods. Moreover, supporting local farmers and artisans bolsters the local economy, fostering a community-centric approach to commerce.


Kelowna's agricultural story is one of harmony between people and nature. It's a narrative that highlights the importance of local produce in our lives, not just as a source of sustenance but as a catalyst for community bonding and environmental stewardship. This journey from farm to market is a journey worth experiencing, one basket of fresh produce at a time.