Getting To Live The Dream
Updated: Apr 13, 2021
Once a vibrant apricot orchard, this little neighborhood gem became neglected and forgotten. We hope to resurrect this diamond in the rough and create a place that Lakeview Heights residents can be proud to say is part of their neighborhood.
When you think of the Okanagan, what comes to mind? For me, it is the fruit orchards more than the wineries. Fruit orchards bring me back to my childhood and the memories of climbing the picking ladders, eating the fresh fruits and spending time with my grandparents.
How it Came To Be
When we purchased our home on Thacker Drive in 2014 the little orchard next door was infrequently mowed and never watered but there was something still quaint and majestic about it, someone even used the term magical. We fell in love with that piece of property, it represented what the Okanagan was to me, amidst all the new houses and construction going on around us. West Kelowna is such a beautiful place with the water and the vineyards but the vineyards were never part of my childhood, orchards were. I wanted this orchard. Maybe its because it reminds me of my grandparents, who are now almost 90, maybe I wanted to show them that they had gifted me with a love for this life and I was ready to carry it on.
The property came up for sale in August of 2018 and we were ready. It didn't take much convincing to the rest of the family that this property should be ours. However, once the papers were signed and the orchard handed over, I think it set in what a real mess this place was that we purchased. The trees were overgrown and in desperate need of pruning, the weeds were so tall it was like wading in a lake, the sheds were full of junk, and the amount of dry pine needles lying around the property necessitated multiple utility trailer loads to the dump. However, it was the small farm house.....oh that farm house that really got to me. The house had not been inhabited by humans for a few years, other residents had definitely taken over. There was no salvaging anything left in there really, furniture, dishes, clothes, bedding and photos all had to be tossed. It was sad really to me. I did manage to find a couple pictures and a painting that were not damaged, I kept those, maybe to pay homage to those homesteaders at a later date.
My parents knew we were feeling overwhelmed as we have 5 children on top of jobs so in November, 2018 they quit their jobs, packed up their Alberta home and "retired" here to work the orchard. They have done quite the job, constantly mowing and weeding and checking the trees. One day they will also rebuild on the old farmhouse site, bringing even more beauty back to property.
Our hope is that this orchard becomes a place where Lakeview Heights residents go for their fruit, we hope to grow the best produce we can for those in the community. We plan to have a little of everything, we want to stay small and get to know those around us! Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and introduced yourself. Thank you for making us feel our work is appreciated. We look forward to meeting everyone as our tree begin to produce!