As Gale mentioned in her May 3 Blog, during the past year we have reviewed three BC history journals searching for articles that can be considered “food history”. Our goal was to identify published articles that were specifically about food history in BC; and to create a reference for researchers interested in BC Food History.
Okanagan History is described as an annual report of the Okanagan Historical Society. The Okanagan Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation of local history and it published its first Report in 1926. Each issue is a collection of stories and histories of Okanagan personalities, institutions and events. The contents of issues up to 2010 can be accessed online: https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/ohs
Details on purchasing and accessing the Report, and contents in the current issue are detailed at: http://okanaganhistoricalsociety.org/wordpress/publications/
Using the complete collection of Okanagan History available in the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, I examined all copies to the present for articles related to food history. I chose a hard copy search because the Report contains a number of articles that are personal memories and from the title alone cannot be identified as food history.
The food history bibliography is located in the Resources section of the BC Food History website (or click on the underlined link).
The articles are organized in the bibliography by ten subject headings and alphabetical by author under each heading. The ten headings are: Agriculture, Farming and Food Production, Alcohol and Beer, Canning Industry, First Nations and Indigenous Food Sources, Fish, Fruit Growing and Marketing, Grist and Flour Mills, Memories, Packing Houses, and Tobacco.
The articles in Okanagan History definitely fulfill the Society mandate of focusing on local history. The largest numbers of articles are in the categories related to fruit farming and marketing and those that relate to general agriculture grist and flourmills. The Report is definitely the “go to” source for information on fruit farming in the region. There are noticeable gaps in the food history preserved in the pages of the Report such as nothing definitive on Bulman’s or Roger’s Foods, both significant industries in the North Okanagan. But these are only two of many possibilities that are missing. There is a lot of food history in the Okanagan Valley since it is a major food growing region in British Columbia and the history is yet to be written.