Summerland orchardist finds joy in the fruits of his labours

Lutz family has been part of Summerland’s agricultural tradition

When Derek Lutz gave up his teaching career in Alberta to operate an orchard in Summerland, it was a natural fit.

The six-hectare orchard, in the Canyon View area, is the farm where he grew up.

“It wasn’t a hard transition to come back to it at all,” he said.

His parents began farming in Summerland 40 years ago, but he began working the orchard eight years ago, in 2012.

However, he and his brother had been involved with Okanagan fruit before he returned to the farm.

While he was in Alberta, he and his brother worked at farmers markets, selling fruit from the orchard.

Today, they continue to sell to Alberta. Derek Lutz grows the fruit while his brother, brother in law and others are in charge of selling it.

READ ALSO: Okanagan orchard left rigid after worst season in 11 years

READ ALSO: Barclay once owned Trout Creek Ranch in Summerland

Lutz also operates Granny’s Fruit Stand in Summerland.

And during the winter, he is also able to work as a substitute teacher when needed.

The orchard grows a variety of tree fruits including cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, apples and pears, as well as table grapes and wine grapes, tomatoes and melons.

“You get to see the fruits of your labours,” he said. “There’s pride and accomplishment in that.”

Over the years, the orchard has gone through changes, as some varieties have been changed or replanted over the years.

Last year, he planted peaches and for next year, he plans to plant early variety cherries.

Over the years, he has seen changes in various fruit varieties, as well as some fad fruits, such as pluots, which are a cross between a plum and an apricot.

In addition, agriculture in Summerland and the rest of the Okanagan Valley has been changing as new varieties are grown and as the wine industry continues to expand.

While Lutz is growing some wine grapes on his property, he said he does not plan to move away from tree fruit farming.

The work is demanding and at times unpredictable.

For instance, this year, he and others hired helicopters to blow the water from cherry trees following late spring rains.

“There’s always something different every year in farming,” he said. “It’s a challenge, but it’s never boring.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local Food Initiative wants public feedback for possible Garden Tour

Survey suggests some people are concerned about the RCMP, after last year’s tour

MP Morrison pushes for accountability following federal fiscal update

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian says it is time to restart the economy

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Updated: Revelstoke RCMP searching Columbia River for possible body

Three boats and a helicopter searched the river and the shoreline in the area

Revelstoke Save-On-Foods compaign raised almost $2,000 for food bank

The grocery chain raised $300,000 for food banks across western Canada

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Summerland approves solar project

Despite community opposition, council voted 4-3 for Cartwright Mountain location

Police search for suspect in assault on woman in downtown Kelowna

Kelowna police received a report a woman had been assaulted by an unknown man on July 12

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Two positive COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm

The risk of exposure to the general public related to this farm is considered to be low

Oliver Town Hall closed to public as staffer displays COVID-19 symptoms

One staff member at Oliver Town Hall is being tested for coronavirus

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Horoscopes for the week of July 13

Weekly horoscopes by Morgan Fava

Most Read