Jamie and Glenn Rose
“Having spent many vacations in wine country in California we saw how the industry developed with the growth of wineries, restaurants and supplemental businesses that fed into a massive agri-tourism industry,” says Jamie. “We could see this area of Canada developing in the same way and felt it was poised for long term growth.”
Jamie and Glenn Rose were self-proclaimed city folks living in Los Angeles when they decided to switch gears and life and buy a farm in Lake Country. They did their homework: they learned farming from the owner of the property they eventually purchased and other mentors, and developed a detailed business plan. In less than two years, they have added a commercial kitchen, developed a market for baked and canned goods made from their own fruit, increased the diversity of their crops and are learning to make fruit wine.
More revenue streams are planned for the orchard, from educational farm tours to classical music and theatre luncheons. The Roses were recognized for their efforts by the Lake Country Chamber of Commerce with its Agricultural Innovator award for 2016.
“When I was a teenager my grandfather asked me what I would do with the farm if given the chance. I searched a long time for the answer, and when my family saw our first pumpkin patch, I knew I had found it.”
Fourteen years ago Ron and Colleen McMillan gave up their traditional careers in BC’s Lower Mainland to move their family back to the Okanagan and help revive the family farm.
Today, McMillan Farms is often referred to as the Central Okanagan’s “pumpkin farm” enjoyed by thousands of families and school children during the short but busy fall shoulder season. With hayrides, a corn maze, and educational tours rounding out the experience, McMillan Farms is a popular fall destination for locals and visitors. The agri-tourism component draws attention to our agricultural heritage in a fun and educational way while helping make the farm sustainable.