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Gellatly Nut Farm

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Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park is 4 hectares of a working heritage farm. The park is a significant and unique site because of the heritage components as well as the recreational, archaeological, and educational values.  ( Directions to Park)

All funds from the annual nut harvest go right back into the park to assist with upkeep and improvements. Your purchase of nuts directly contributes to restoration of the heritage buildings and enhancements to the park. All nuts from the nut orchard must be purchased- once you've gathered nuts in the orchard please pay for them at Gellatly House. 

Take a virtual tour of Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park

You may notice that metal tags have been placed on all of the nut trees and shrubs in the park. These tags are unique to each tree and let us identify each of the near 800 nut trees and shrubs in the park. The project of cataloging of all the nut trees in Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park will allow Regional Parks' planners to make a long-term plan to ensure the sustainability and health of the nut orchard for decades to come. This project was made possible in part by a grant from TD Green Streets and Tree Canada. View News Release.

Please do not remove or damage these tags as they are an important part of the long-term management of Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park.

Features:

  • Nut harvest and nut sales - late September to early November
  • Nut tree seedlings for sale
  • 485 feet of lake front
  • Children's Play Structure
  • Washroom facilities
  • A heritage house
  • Log cabin
  • Wedding Arbor (to book your wedding ceremony call 250-469-6139)
  • Various other heritage buildings and articles that have been collected by the Gellatly family over the years

Things To Do:

  • Stroll the pathways
     
  • Take a self guided tour of the nut orchard -during the summer months special park interpretation programs are offered.  Check out the Parks Guide for details and special programs in the park.
     
  • Walk along the waterfront and beach.
     
  • Come down to the farm and enjoy the fall harvest!  You can purchase nuts from volunteers of the Gellatly Nut Farm Society by the pound, or experience the farm firsthand by picking them yourself, with proceeds from the nut sales going to future park enhancement.  Volunteers will be available at Gellatly House in the park each day from late September to early November from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Varieties for sale include:  Walnuts, Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, Butternuts and more. Nut Sale and Storage Information Sheet
  • BC's oldest nut farm hosts the annual, Fall Harvest Fair held every September.  Tour the heritage farm, enjoy musical entertainment and other activities.  Volunteers from the Gellatly Nut Farm Society will also be on hand selling nuts and trees from the orchard.  As well you can check out the booths displaying the works of local artists and the produce of local farmers!  
     
  • Spooktacular Halloween Pumpkin Walk' - in late October before Halloween carved pumpkins are placed alongside the pathways in the orchard.  Visitors dress up, bring a food bank donation and view the glowing pumpkins, voting for their favourites and enjoy the entertainment and treats.  2011 News Release and Photos
     
  • Heritage Winter Picnic - held in late February to wrap up Heritage Week in the Central Okanagan with a family picnic, games and other events to celebrate our heritage and winter!

The park is open year-round dawn to dusk. 

Overnight camping, and open fires are not permitted.  Smoking is not permitted in any Regional District park. 

Dogs are only permitted on the trail that leads through the parking lot and the trail from the parking area to the Cove Resort and owners must clean up after their pet.  Dogs are not allowed on the orchard trails.  No dogs are allowed along the waterfront or in the beach area past notification signs.

History:

David Erskine Gellatly, his wife Eliza, and their eldest son David Jr. emigrated from Scotland to Ontario in 1883.  They spent ten years in Ontario before heading west.  They first settled at Shorts Point (now known as Fintry).  In 1900 they purchased 320 acres at what is now known as Gellatly Point.  The family laboriously cleared the land by hand and began planting crops.

In 1910 David Sr. bought an additional 350 acres at Boucherie Flats.  His farm was prospering and the family venture now included the largest greenhouse in the interior, a box factory, packing house, and a wharf for dispatch of produce by boat. The wharf was used by lake traffic, including the sternwheelers Aberdeen, Okanagan, and Sicamous.  It was known as Gellatly Landing and had its own post office for twenty-three years beginning in 1903.

In 1905 David Sr. divided off two - ten acre parcels for his two eldest sons.  David Jr. began testing nuts suitable for cultivation in Canada.  In 1920 his brother John (known as Jack), joined him and began experimenting with nut growing.  His objective was to develop cultivars that combined high quality kernels with tree and bud hardiness.  The Gellatly Nut Farm became the cradle of hardy nut growing and breeding in North America. 

Jack developed a delicious candy from ground nuts and honey.  He creamed his tea with finely ground filberts.  He also worked with syrup made from the condensed sap of walnut trees.  Although similar to maple syrup, it had a somewhat bitter taste.

Jack died in 1969 and operations fell to his brother Bill who did his best to keep it up for many years.

In 1998 a developer made an offer to purchase the ten acre nut farm property to convert it to a lakeside condo resort complete with marina.  Nearby residents petitioned the Regional District of Central Okanagan to halt the rezoning application and convinced the Regional District to purchase the property to preserve it as a park.  This group of residents formed the Gellatly Nut Farm Society (GNFS).    The park opened to the public in September 2005. 

The farm is a work in progress with ambitious plans underway to preserve, stabilize, restore, renovate, and rehabilitate the heritage buildings.  The GNFS's role is that of advisory/fundraising duties as well as managing the annual nut harvest which runs from mid August to mid November depending on the current year's growing conditions.  100% of proceeds from nut and seedling sales help support our plans for the protection of the historic Gellatly Nut Farm.

The Gellatly Nut Farm is significant within the region as the last remnant of a pioneer enterprise that was the mainstay of the historic community at Gellatly Point, which played an important role in shaping the farming patterns of the entire Okanagan Valley.

Contact the Gellatly Nut Farm Society

The Gellatly Nut Farm Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the hundred year old orchard and trees in perpetuity. The Society is still accepting donations towards restoration and development of the park and is seeking volunteers to help with the annual nut harvest. ( View 2011 Annual Report)

For more information about the Gellatly Nut Farm Society please direct correspondence to: 
2375 Whitworth Road, West Kelowna, BC, V4T 2K3 or email gellatlynutfarm@telus.net.

Directions:

To get to the park follow Gellatly Road from Hwy 97 to Whitworth Road in West Kelowna.  (Link to Map)

Planning Initiatives and Document Links

Other park master plans such as Mission Creek Regional Park and Scenic Canyon Regional Park are also available by  contacting the Regional Parks Office.

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