HOME SWEET HOME Almost all of BC’s apples are grown in the province’s southern Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. However, the Okanagan hasn’t always been BC’s biggest apple-growing region. In the late 1800’s, the Gulf Islands produced more apples than anywhere else in the province. BC apples are also grown in the Kootenays, the Fraser Valley, and on Vancouver Island. All together, BC farmers grow over one billion apples per year.
BC producers specialize in growing over 12 types of apples, producing mostly Gala, Ambrosia, McIntosh, Honeycrisp and Spartan — but Pink Lady is gaining in popularity. The Ambrosia apple was found as a chance seedling by a BC orchardist in the 1990's.
Where are apples produced in BC? About 98% of BC apples are produced in the Okanagan-Similkameen Valleys. The rest are grown in the Fraser Valley and in the Kootenay areas. The hot, dry weather in the Okanagan is ideal for growing Red and Golden Delicious apples. High sunlight and temperature levels are ideal for apple colouring and yield. The low rainfall level reduces the impact of disease. Most orchards are on slopes near lakes. This moderates the temperature and reduces the risk of winter injury and spring frost.