Here is a little video I made for Westcoast Seeds this year about how we gardened organically in the hot Okanagan sun. It was uploaded to their YouTube channel and shows me, the very serious gardener, talking about techniques we discovered to cope with the heat.
If you are not familiar with the Okanagan valley, it is in British Columbia, Canada. It is an interior area that has a few ecological transition zones. The southern part on the border with Washington State is the very northern tip of the Sonoran desert that stretches all the way into Mexico. (Read about the First Nations of the Okanagan here.)
The valley bottom is blessed with a series of waterways and lakes that attracted growers from many parts of the world: England, Portugal, Scotland, Italy, Greece, India, France, Japan and China. The climate is hot in summer and cool in winter with snow rarely in the south while quite abundant in the northern Okanagan and on the mountains that form the height of land in the region. A lot of really tasty things are grown here organically, like grapes.
Until proven otherwise, Canada’s best wines are made here. There are over 200 small vineyards and 120 wineries. Most are open to visitors and you can just drop in to taste wines for a small charge that is refunded if you make a purchase.
This year, we had great grapes and Alanna has made some fantastic grape juices. In the video, behind me in one shot, you see our fig. It has grown out of control and we are trying to figure out what to do with them all. What a problem.