Sara and Troy Harker have been named BC’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2013 by Lieutenant Governor Judy Guichon and Canadian OYF president Derek Janzen in January. Since 2006, they have spearheaded their family farm’s diversification into many innovative and  successful ventures that have gained recognition for themselves. 

For instance, Harker’s Organics began a restaurant delivery program. “We deliver fresh, organic produce direct to about 25 restaurants from Osoyoos to Kelowna,” explains Sara Harker. Soon, even the delivery will be green. “We’re looking at converting a truck into using vegetable oil, creating a completely carbon-neutral delivery system.” Working with restaurants is also helping them to develop new products, including a new Snow Apple hard cider that will be available at Manteo Resort in Kelowna.  

The fruit wines of Rustic Roots, made by Winemaker Sara, have been recognized with many awards and medals. The Pippin and Fameuse sparkling wines both finished top 20 in the Canadian Wine Awards, which included traditional sparklers made from grapes. “The sparkling wines are aging beautifully in the bottle.” Harker explains that she has been tasting past vintages each year to see how they develop. When a fruit wine is fermenting, it produces many amazing aromas that stay hidden when first bottled but return with time. “They tend to become more complex. They lose a bit of their acid and you get more of the spicy, floral notes.”

Stop in to Rustic Roots this spring for new vintages of their famous plum wines – the Plum Rosé and the Santa Rosa Plum. Be sure not to miss Rustic Roots 5th Annual Spring in the Similkameen Food and Wine Pairings May 3-12! Enjoy house made Organic Amuse Bouche paired with your Wine Tastings!

~  Luke Whittall