Okanagan U-Pick cherries & RV Camping - Dickinson Family Farm - Summerland, B.C.

About Us

Early family carIt began in 1910 when the first Dickinson ancestor immigrated to Canada from Bolton, Lancashire, England. Frank, the second son of Samuel and Emma Dickinson, instead of following in his father’s trade of wheelwright decided to be more venturesome and with his wife Maryanne and children Isabel and Frank Jr. struck out for Canada. They arrived at an unknown port in eastern Canada and made their way westward arriving in Manitoba where they spent the winter. One prairie winter was enough for the family and the following year they made their way to British Columbia, settling in Summerland. The first farm consisted of 4 acres located off Logie Road which they soon traded for a 10 acre parcel located in the Garnet Valley, Summerland. The year was 1912 just ten years after J.M. Robinson founded the town of Summerland. No doubt our ancestor saw an advertisement in one of the British papers begging for young English families to come and farm the orchards of the Okanagan. Little did they know instead of the much-touted Shangri-La, they would find raw land needing an irrigation system before even a weed could grow and their 10 acres was no exception.

Mr. DickinsonWith great perseverance and a community spirit they set to work hand picking the stones that covered the land where eventually there would be a lovely apple orchard. Both the skills and determination to run a viable orchard operation were passed down from father to son.

Frank Dickinson senior, my grandfather farmed the land until an accident resulting in broken backs for both him and his son Albert, rendered them incapable of doing their regular orchard duties.

My father Frank, having returned home from the war and living in Oliver, took over the every day operation. Frank Dickinson ran the apple crew and in 1946 purchased his own orchard on Whitfield road in Summerland and farmed this with his best friend Woody Gillespie.

Dwane DickinsonAt the age of 22, having learned the trade of orcharding from my father Frank, I purchased Woody's orchard and house in 1965. Five years later I formed the company Sunshine Fruit and in 1974 my brother John became my partner. At the height of our farming venture, between owning and leasing, we had close to 100 acres planted in orchard in and around Summerland.

Our packinghouse was built in 1992 and before this (1988-1992) we packed our fruit in a small shed near our house. John retired in 1998 and I resumed sole operation with my wife Renee.

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