Love Local: Agriculture farm

Video: ‘Love Local’ shines a light on Penticton’s agricultural roots

Tag(s): Living Here, Love Local

This Love Local video was created by Chris Stenberg of Video Research.

From Farm to Table

Penticton has long been recognized for its bounty of locally grown fruits and vegetables. We’re also known for our fabulous wines, craft beer and restaurants serving the freshest farm-to-table ingredients.

We take pride in our agricultural landscape and cheer on our local growers. We shop at the Penticton Farmers’ Market for produce harvested fresh that very morning. We drink locally crafted beverages and enjoy some of Canada’s sweetest fruits.

And for these reasons, we Love Local.

Penticton’s latest Love Local video pays tribute to our agricultural business community. Here are just a few of the many incredible people who make this city what it is today.

Karla Cox, farmer and designer at Plot Twist Farms

The story begins at ground level. All throughout Penticton, farmers tend to their crops, orchards and vines. For Karla Cox, who moved to Penticton to start a new life as a farmer, she has found her true passion in the fields.

Plot Twist Farms uses natural fertilizers, no chemicals, and traditional methods of farming.

“We really focus on soil health and maintaining a balance with nature,” she said. “Being here and doing what I love, it’s a win-win. The people here are so connected with their food and the beauty of this place – it’s a perfect fit.”

The farm focuses on community-supported agriculture. Garden boxes are delivered to local homes and restaurants.

“Harvests are done in the morning and are on the table at local restaurants that afternoon,” said Cox.

Dan Vichitthavong, head chef of The Hooded Merganser Restaurant

This highly acclaimed chef of 15 years started his career in Toronto, moved to Vancouver in 2016 (see this Vancouver Sun article) and then recently moved to Penticton with his partner to join The Hooded Merganser.

“We had an opportunity to move out here and we jumped on it right away,” he says.

The restaurant sources its produce from its own farm – Valley View Farm.

“Everything that’s grown on the farm we’ll use on our menus, from vegetables in our features to berries in your desserts. Everything’s going to get used, from root to shoot,” said Vichitthavong.

He cites his style as ingredient-focused and technique-driven.

“Being ingredient-focused is really using that ingredient, showcasing it in the best way possible, in the height of the season. Being technique-driven for me is about using proper technique done thoughtfully and creatively.”

Pénélope Roche, viticulturist and proprietor of Roche Wines

It’s astounding to think that Penticton and the surrounding area has more than 88 wineries. And let’s also not forget the craft breweries, cideries and distilleries.

For Pénélope and Dylan Roche, who moved here in 2011 to start Roche Wines, they are proud to be part of this community’s thriving food and drink culture scene. Pénélope comes from a family of winemakers from Bordeaux, France, and Dylan, raised in North Vancouver, is a winemaker with global experience.

When Pénélope’s family sold their family vineyard in France, the couple decided to move to Canada to start up their own operation. They bring an old-world style of winemaking to their practices, also using organic grapes and farming methods.

“Here, we can grow so many things. It’s really a bountiful place and people really realize that. There are chefs and winemakers coming from all over the world because it’s such a special place,” said Pénélope.

How to Support Local

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Shop at the Penticton Farmers’ Market on Saturdays to nab food straight from the farm and local producers.
  • Shop at a fruit stand. Peruse a list of Penticton-area fruit stands.
  • Try contacting the farms directly or check out their websites or Facebook pages. Some, such as Plot Twist Farms, offer food boxes of produce delivered weekly to your door.
  • Pop in to your favourite craft brewery or any of the dozens of local wineries to pick up beverages to go.
  • Dine in or order pickup. Phone the restaurant directly to place your order, rather than using an external delivery service.

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