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August 17, 2010
A Preview of FOF's Brock Farm
In the photo: Feast of Fields Okanagan Co-ordinator Rhys Pender on the property at Brock Farm. (See more photos below.)

The Second Annual Feast of Fields Okanagan is coming up this weekend with 29 participating local chefs and caterers, each partnered with local winemakers, brewmasters and craft spirit makers. Each will be presenting the best locally grown or produced edibles the area has to offer. See the full details here in our calendar.

This year the event takes place at Brock Farm, a property in Okanagan Falls (adjacent to Blue Mountain Winery) that is so below the radar, even some of the local residents of the Penticton area are unfamilar with it. Yet the land is rich with local history that dates back to before the 1930's and connects to some of the most notable founding families of the pre-WWII era.

This is something we became aware of when one of the Brock Farm owners graciously provided us with a 2-sheet typed memoir recalling the heyday of the fruit industry in the '40s, when the farm was known as "Oliver Ranch" and ruled by the colourful and dynamic Charlie Oliver.

We've transcribed it here as "Charlie and the Giant Peach " and reading it is a history brushup in itself because the author mentions many names that we now associate with Okanagan wineries, vineyards and reserve bottlings, although at one time they were instantly recognized as the monikers of area pioneers -- Hester, Hatfield, Nichol, and of course... Oliver.

A few weeks ago we walked the property with Rhys Pender, the Co-ordinator of the Feast. We've attached a few photos from that afternoon to give you an idea of what landscape to expect if you are attending the festival this weekend. A small word of warning: Yes, it's likely to be hot weather, but be careful wandering into weedy areas if your feet and legs are bare. Poison ivy is a local plant too.

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