Okanagan Valley Orchardists

A number of South Okanagan orchardists are now growers of Salish, Aurora Golden Gala, and Nicola apples. We want to give you the opportunity to meet some of these growers.

All of our growers have one thing in common – they work hard and are proud of the bounty they harvest each year. Read through some of their stories and get to know them better. You may be inspired to plan a trip to the Okanagan Valley to get a firsthand view of the life of an orchardist – and buy a bag of apples, “farmgate” style.

Profile: Jim Hermiston – Salish and Aurora Golden Gala Grower


Hermiston Orchards Hermiston Orchards is owned and operated by Jim and Cathy Hermiston and is located in the Prairie Valley area of Summerland. Jim’s grandfather, James Hermiston, began orcharding in 1916, after trading two quarter sections of land in northern Alberta for ten sight unseen acres in Summerland. The farm has since been expanded and […]

Profile: Denise + Richard MacDonald Aurora Golden Grower


Denise and Richard MacDonald are one of about 25 Aurora Golden Gala growers in the Summerland area. They produce 200,000 pounds of apples a year made up of five varieties: Aurora Golden Gala, Jonagold, Gala, Spartan and Ambrosia. The majority of their fruit is sold through the Okanagan Tree Fruit Company, one of the few […]

Profile: Devin Jell – Aurora Golden Gala Grower


Sun-Oka Fruit Farms is owned and operated by Devin and Janine Jell, of Summerland, BC. Devin writes: “We are the fifth generation to manage the family orchard and our current candidates for the sixth generation operators are Emily, 6, Katie, 3, and Alicia, babe in arms.” “Janine and I met in 2000 while completing our […]