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.

Just Posted

Grey, damp, warm week ahead in Okanagan, Shuswap, Columbia

Environment Canada calling for clouds and showers, and warm temperatures, throughout the area

‘If we do nothing, the herd will certainly be extirpated’: Caribou maternity pen proposed in Nakusp

The Arrow Lakes Caribou Society is waiting for a response from the province

Revelstoke roads and weather: avalanche control planned today

Highway 1 west of Revelstoke will be closed intermittently for avalanche control

Advance voting in 2019 federal election begins

Voting at advance polling stations has become a popular choice in Canada over the years

Revelstoke’s federal candidates talk Temporary Foreign Workers

Businesses in Revelstoke regularly struggle with finding and retaining staff members. One… Continue reading

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Boats once plied Okanagan Lake

Lake was used as transportation corridor connecting communities in the valley

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

Most Read