The Harker (nee Manery) Family settled in the Similkameen Valley in 1888, just 17 years after British Columbia became Canada’s sixth Province. The 1st Generation, William James Manery came west from Ontario in the mid 1880’s.
The 2nd Generation, Samuel James Manery, the father of Marjorie Harker was the fourth settler’s baby born in the Similkameen Valley. Over the last 120 years the farm has hosted dairy, cattle rearing, ground crops and various tree fruits. One of the first trees planted on the property in 1914, a Snow Apple or Fameuse tree, still stands on the farm today. Below is a photo of Samuel Manery on horseback!
The 3rd Generation, Ken and Marjorie Harker (The transition from Manery to Harker) took the farm to a new level with the addition of a retail market in 1961. Below is a photo of Kenneth Harker picking Apples!
The 4th Generation, Bruce and wife Kathy Harker took over the family farm in 1973. Upon their arrival, came the expansion of the wholesale and packing of fruit for other growers. With the arrival of the 5th Generation, their four children, Jason, Tyla, Troy and Alysha Harker came the need for sustainability and the move back to Organics. Bruce and Kathy expanded the road side stand to the beautiful Organic Market that stands today. Below is a photo of Bruce Harker picking carrots!
With the arrival of the 5th Generation, Troy and Sara Harker, came more diversification. In 2008, the family added a fruit winery in which they produce their wine from 100% Certified Organic fruit from the Similkameen. This adds another dimension of sustainability to the family business. The mandate is to sustain local food, so the use of the present tree fruit industry allows the family to do just that. In addition to the Winery, also came a restaurant program. The family started working with a few restaurants in the South Okanagan, servicing the Sonora Room at the Burrowing Owl and Passa Tempo at Spirit Ridge. The program took off, as the need and demand for local, organic, sustainable produce. With the transition of Chef Bernard from the Sonora Room to the Wild Apple in Kelowna came the expansion of the program once again. The program went from servicing 2 restaurants in 2008 to over 18 restaurants in 2010. We look forward to expanding the program once again in the 2011 season. Below is a photo of Troy on the Tractor, Jason picking Corn, Tyla milking the cow, Alysha in the Pumpkins, and Sara as a child on her family farm in Oliver!
It is hoped that the farm will see a 6th Generation as their 8 grandchildren also experience the benefits of sustainably growing organic food.
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