Author: La Casa

okanagan fruit
Aug07

Where to pick your own Okanagan fruit 

Everyone knows that the Okanagan region throws up some delicious fresh fruits.  Why wouldn’t it? With all its hours of sunshine, it’s got the perfect climate for fruit to grow.  The season generally begins in June and ends around September with the ripening of the apples.  Instead of grabbing the local produce from the grocery store, why not make a day of it and take the family out to a Pick-your-own farm?

Here’s a round-up of the best places to do this across the region:

  • Kempf Orchards – This is a beautiful family-friendly cherry-picking orchard. Be sure to check on their website which fruits are currently available as some varieties sell out fast. If you’re tired of picking cherries, they also sell pre-picked apricots and peaches – all ready to go in that fruit salad you’re making
  • Caldwell Heritage FarmCaldwell Heritage Farm is a favourite among all ages. Why not make friends with the animals, pick some fruit, help grow vegetables and then take a stroll past tractors, trucks and other historical agricultural items? What a perfect afternoon in the countryside.
  • Sun City Cherries Ltd. – Your go-to for fresh fruits, homemade jams and honey! They specialize in cherries though, so be sure to swing by and try some.
  • Paynters Fruit MarketWhat a gem this fruit market is! You have the option to pick your own cherries, apricots, peaches, plums and pears. There’s nothing like eating a peach straight off the tree; biting into the juicy flesh whilst baking in the Okanagan sun.   Enjoy the fruit picking experience and treat yourself to an ice cream at the end.
  • Arndt OrchardsAnother gorgeous cherry-picking farm in Kelowna! They also accept cherry picking orders for pick-up if you’re on a time limit and don’t have time to do the work yourself.

You also might want to check out:

  • Function Junction Fruit StandOpen 7 days a week in the summer, Function Junction Fruit Stand is a must-do. They are known for their plump blackberries – they’ll be great on their own, as a conserve or as a cheesecake topping! Not only this but Function Junction also produces 100% pure apple juice as well as four fruit iced ciders. You can taste these in the tasting room just beside the fruit stand… Let us know which one is your favourite.  Will it be the Fuji Iced Cider or the Pear Iced Cider? It’s a hard call!
  • Gambell FarmsGambell Farms is all for the healthy lifestyle and encourages you to try their high-quality produce. There is a large variety of fresh goods grown here, so you’ll probably be able to find all the veggies on your shopping list.  Try one of their fruit pies – sure to be extra tasty.
  • Duggan Farms – This local farm has a wide range of fruit AND vegetables that you can pick. Culinary herbs are also available seasonally.  Get all your salad ingredients here!

 okanagan fruit

Remember:  Contact the farms first before planning a visit – sometimes they sell out of fruit, or harvests of certain varieties are delayed! 

 

Written by Hannah Poaros

Jul31

Summer Events in the Okanagan – August

Wondering what’s happening this August in the Okanagan? As always, there’s lots of events and activities to keep you occupied on your summer break.  For those of you visiting us over the August long weekend, we’ve also got you covered in the events listed below.

Festivals

There’s plenty of festivals coming up, so why not plan your visit around one of these?

  • Do you love arts, crafts, food and music?  If the answer is yes, then check out the Lumby Art & Music Festival which is happening August 11th to August 13th. This is a free 3 day festival that features local musicians, artists and over 200 vendors. There will be homemade jams, fresh baked goods, recycled art and a range of other interesting treats.  On Friday night, they are selling tickets for a Wild Dance Party – families are encouraged to attend – featuring a funky bluegrass and folk band named Blackberry Wood.  Their music encompasses a bit of everything so get on your dancing shoes, snag some tickets (only $20 for a family of 4) and prepare for a high-energy event!

 

  • If you’re in the Okanagan between August 12th & August 19th, then be sure to join in the Okanagan Pride Festival.  This is the 10th anniversary of Okanagan Pride so it’s going to be full of celebration.  They have a lot of fun, quirky events scheduled such as an 18-Carat Golf Tournament on August 14th and Kelowna’s Next Drag Superstar on August 18th.  Don’t miss the Pride March & Festival in the Park though – this one’s going to be epic! The theme this year is ‘Shine Bright’ so get out the glitter, gemstones and diamonds. We hope to see you there!

 

  • On August 26th & 27th, Kelowna is putting on their annual Dragon Boat Festival.  The festival is taking place at Tugboat Bay in Waterfront Park, Kelowna. There are quite a few teams registered to compete this year, so why not pop down to the bay and see the action?  If anything, this makes for an awesome photo opportunity and if you’ve never seen Dragon Boat racing – now is your chance! Pick your team and cheer them on. It’ll be great fun all round.

Farms, Wines & Museums

Everyone knows that the Okanagan is Wine Country.  Let’s take a look at the upcoming events happening at local Farms & Vineyards.

  • Are the kids a bit restless? Tired of sitting at the pool?  Well, we’ve got just the thing.  Take them down to the Kelowna Orchard & Wine Museum on August 9th or August 11th between 10:00am and 14:00pm and they can learn all about pollination with the Bee an Okanagan Pollinator Protector event.  This educational, family activity runs each week with no registration required.  What a great opportunity to get the young ones interested in saving the bees and the butterflies!

 

  • On August 13th, it is the 9th Annual Okanagan Feast of Fields. This is a three hour event that takes guests around Caldwell Heritage Farm on the hunt for local gourmet food.  You’ll get to taste yummy plates whislst wandering through a beautiful farm – there is also live music!  This is sure to be an event worth buying tickets too.  Don’t miss out on trying all sorts of creations sourced from BC’s top chefs, bakers, brewers and more!  Perhaps the most lovely aspect of this festival is that all proceeds fundraised go to support FarmFolk CityFolk’s work to sustain local food systems.   Tickets are likely to sell fast so reserve your place here (and then, tell us all about it!).

 

  • Every Wednesday and Friday night during August, Blind Tiger Vineyards are putting on a Live in the Vineyard event.  Join them for wood fired pizzas, music and wine of course.  This vineyard is in Lake Country (around an hour away from La Casa Cottage Resort) but enjoy the beautiful drive around Lake Okanagan and reward yourself with a refreshing glass of pinot when you arrive at the Vineyard.  They even offer a brilliant dessert pizza with cream cheese icing – if that’s not enough reason to brace the one hour drive, then what is?!

Something Different?

Looking for something a bit out of the ordinary to complete the perfect holiday itinerary?  Here are our favourite upcoming special events.

  • On August 5th & August 6th you can participate in Big White Ski Resort’s GEO Hiking.  This is the perfect excuse to get the whole family out on the mountain.  There are prizes to be won and hidden treasures to find – an adventure for all ages! The hiking trails on Big White offer gorgeous views of nature so be sure to take your camera.  If you want to take part in this exciting event, just register at the Concierge Desk in the Village Centre Mall and pick up your GPS system.

 

  • What about watching an opera?  This summer Opera Kelowna are putting on Puccini’s La Boheme, one of the most popular operas in the world.  Looking to be a stunning production about art and love, with a storyline that is relevant even now, this will be a night out you won’t regret.  Performance are on August 18th & August 19th at the Kelowna Community Theatre.  If you’re not sure whether opera is your thing but want to give it a try, you could attend Opera in the Park on August 2nd, 3rd & 4th. This is a summer concert series – the perfect introduction to classical music!  Bring the family, grab a picnic spot in one of Kelowna’s parks (different locations depending on the date) and relax under the stars.

 

  • Every Friday you have the chance to watch The Cowboy Dinner Show at O’Keefe Ranch in Vernon.  O’Keefe Ranch is a historic attraction which tells stories of BC ranching.  Journey to Canada’s wild west with song, music, re-enactments and more! The evening includes a traditional cowboy dinner of juicy steak and a campfire finale. Interested?  We thought so.

 

And that’s all for now! We’re excited – are you?  Looks like August is going to treat us to awesome weather, delicious food and action-packed day trips.  We can’t wait to hear what you get up to!

Click here to see our other suggestions of things to do in the Okanagan.

summer okanagan august

Written by Hannah Poaros

summer-okanagan-july
Jul10

Summer Events in the Okanagan – July

So you’ve got to your La Casa Cottage and you’re wondering what to do next? There’s a lot happening across the Okanagan this summer, especially in nearby locations such as Kelowna and Vernon.  Check out our guide on where to go and what to do.

The Arts

  • Fancy spending your evening at the theatre?  Well there is a production of The Glass Menagerie at the Kelowna’s Actors Studio until July 22nd. Evening performances also include a four course meal so why not be decadent!
  • If you’re into art, then Kelowna Art Gallery has some excellent exhibitions on display at the moment.  We recommend A Legacy of Canadian Art from Kelowna Collectionswhich celebrates Canada’s 150th Anniversary with a showcase of marvellous historical Canadian artwork. While you’re at the Gallery, perhaps pop into The Games We Play exhibition which is all about our love for games! The kids are sure to enjoy this one too.  Join their special games night on July 20th between 6.00pm and 9.00pm where they are inviting everyone to come and play some well-loved favourites.
  • What about taking a stroll through the streets of Kelowna on the Walking Through Time: Secrets of Early Kelowna outdoor walking tour? This begins at the Okanagan Heritage Museum, features past stories and interesting facts, and operates daily between 10.00am and 11.30am.  What a great way to learn about the city!

Wine & Music

  • Every Saturday afternoon you can watch local musicians at the Vibes @ the Vine event at The Vibrant Vine.  This is sure to be a lovely treat between 1.30pm and 4.30pm – just sit back and relax whilst tasting some new wines. If you’re not around on a Saturday, then they also have various other events happening throughout the week all summer.
  • Have you ever wanted to learn a second language? This summer might inspire you to start! At Summerhill Pyramid Winery, every Wednesday you can learn Spanish whilst drinking wine. Drop ins are welcome so why not try something new and make some friends while you’re at it – the perfect holiday past time.
  • If you’re keen to try out some singing yourself, then Monday nights is Karaoke Madness at O’Flannigan’s Pub. Arrive at this traditional Irish pub for 8.30pm, grab a Guinness and be prepared to stay until you know all the words to Celine Dion.

Fitness & Sports Activities

  • Craving a sports fix? Well why not get tickets to see the Kelowna Falcons take on the Wenatchee Applesox on July 14th, 15th or 16th. There’s nothing like watching a good game on a hot sunny day after all.
  • If you didn’t already know, there’s a new quirky fitness trend in town – Yoga with Goats. We’re not quite sure how this has become so popular so quickly, and if you are as intrigued as we are, why not take a class at Hoof Prints Barnyard in Kelowna.  They offer classes with these inquisitive animals every Sunday between 12pm and 1pm. What’s also lovely is that you are offered a complimentary beverage after class and a chance to see the petting zoo. Give this a try!
  • For those that would rather get fit by practising those dance moves, then we’ve found just the activity for you. Every Wednesday in July and August there is free Dancing in The Park at Stuart Park in Kelowna between 7.00pm – 8.30pm. Check out their website for details of the dance schedule – this is something for everyone!

Family Favourites

  • For the young ones in the family, the Okanagan Science Centre is showing Dinosaurs Unearthed – an interactive exhibition with animatronic dinosaurs. The exhibition aims to unlock the fascination surrounding these majestic creatures and is sure to keep the whole family entertained!  Who doesn’t like learning about dinosaurs? This special exhibit is on until August so make sure to see it while you can.
  • If you’re more interested in seeing some live animals, then why not take a trip to watch the Raptor Flight Demonstrations at Allan Brooks Nature Centre.  These demos, beginning on July 18th, are offered at various times during the week and are an awesome way to see these beautiful birds of prey take flight metres in front of you.
  • Bored of watching re-runs on TV in the evenings? Well if you’re wanting to get the kids outdoors but they insist on watching a movie, you could go check out The Starlight Drive-InThis is one of North America’s largest drive-in screens and there are a range of current releases on show this summer.  The only thing to note here is that it is up to an hours drive away and located in Enderby.

Free Events

  • On July 22nd there is the 28th Annual Downtown Kelowna Block PartyThis is a free community event with art, food, shopping and entertainment in downtown Kelowna.  There will be three stages and over 100 vendors so definitely enough to keep you busy!  The event is on between 10.00am – 4.00pm and is a fantastic opportunity to meet the locals.
  • Need to stock up on some groceries?  Take a wander down to the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market – every Wednesday and Saturday from 8.00am – 1.00pm.  This is a wonderful opportunity to scout out new tasty produce and bag some handmade bargains! In addition to the original market, they are also running a Cherry Festival on July 22nd which features cherry tasting, cherry pip spitting and lots of prizes.  Don’t skip this one!

 

And that’s all for now! Be sure to check out the Tourism Kelowna and Tourism Vernon websites for up to date information on local events.  What takes your fancy?

summer okanagan July

Written by Hannah Poaros

Jun30

Lake Update: June 30th 2017

 

Happy Long Weekend Everyone!

 

UPDATE JULY 14 – 

One Aqua Park and the swim platform went out yesterday! In addition, with the lake levels dropping the marina is on track to open Monday July 17th!

There’s been a lot of speculation and confusion about whether the use of motorized boats on Lake Okanagan is currently permitted.  So to help you out, we’re sharing the most up to date information here for you.

Due to the rising lake waters in the region we have been advised by the strata office that the Marina, La Casa boat launch, and Fintry boat launch will remain closed until further notice .  In addition the strata has noted that they will not be putting out their water trampoline this summer. Please see the update at the top of this post!

Closures are preemptive safety procedures. There may be debris in the water including objects that cannot be seen e.g buoys.

At this time boating is not recommended and low wake/no wake rules are in place.  Please see the 2 helpful maps/documents below for more detailed information about low wake/no wake zones!

Water lovers are encouraged to try wake-free options to enjoy Okanagan Lake.  Stand Up Paddleboards and Kayaks are perfect for exploring the lake and can be rented from us through Guest Services.  Please call our guest services number on +1 250 542 0515 for more information on this.  There are also many recreation and leisure activities open throughout the region.  Hundreds of parks and trails offer great options for picnics or exploring nature.

Guests can watch for any changes/updates to be posted around the resort.

If you would like more information, please see the advice provided from the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

While lake levels in the Central Okanagan slowly decline, temperatures in the Okanagan quickly rise attracting water sports enthusiasts and visitors alike.

As boaters make plans to venture out on the lake, it’s important to remember that lake levels remain the highest seen in decades and some planning is necessary before heading out on the water.

A no wake, low wake, a guideline for respectful boating in the Okanagan has been created to raise awareness of boating practices during high water levels to minimize the erosion of vulnerable shoreline and damage of property in Kalamalka, Okanagan, Ellison/Duck and Wood lakes.

With some area lake levels being nearly 60 cm over full pool, below are some tips for boaters to ensure their safety and minimize further damage to the foreshore.

Know before you go. Find out which boat launches and fueling stations are open in the area. Most boat launches have been closed for safety reasons.

• Visit cordmergency.ca/map to view the 2017 Freshet Boating Wake Map No Wake to plan routes, familiarize where vulnerable shorelines are located and follow the wake zone guidelines.

• Low wake zones mean no hydroplaning… for now. It takes some effort to get the vessel off the water and results in damaging waves. Wake height should be no more than 30 centimetres (1 foot).

• Large and heavier boats create damaging waves even at low speeds. Extra caution is needed when cruising the lake. Keep in the centre whenever possible.

• Small and light boats should remain 300 metres from the shoreline whenever possible or travel in the centre of the lake when approaching vulnerable shorelines. Go “dead slow” when travelling within 300 metres of the shoreline.

• When operating at no-wake speed, trim the drive or outboard to allow the boat to proceed with smallest wake possible.

• Watch for debris and submerged docks.
Once lake levels reach a more reasonable levels, regular boating activities can resume.

Sun worshippers are encouraged to try wake-free options to enjoy Central Okanagan lakes or the many recreation and leisure activities. Stand Up Paddleboards, kayaks and canoes are perfect for exploring the lakes and a number of beaches are open throughout the region. Hundreds of parks and trails offer great options for picnics or exploring nature.

For more information, visit www.cordemergency.ca, sign up for e-updates or call the information line at 250-469-8490.