Okana apples

Okana apples, at left, compared to Spartan apples at right. (David Evans)

An Okanagan orchardist has fulfilled a dream more than two decades in the making by developing a new apple variety he calls Okana apples. 

"It's a sweet apple," says David Evans of Oliver, B.C.

"If it's properly matured, it's very sweet ... It's a hard apple, it doesn't bruise easily."

The 80-year-old discovered the tree that produces the apples on his orchard 25 years ago, and has since developed the apple by grafting it onto trees. 

This year it was accepted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as a new variety — an accomplishment Evans is quite proud of given the agency only registers one or two new varieties a year. 

While few of the new varieties prove to be successful with growers or customers, Evans has high hopes for his Okanas. 

"This apple is grower friendly, it's picker friendly and it's consumer acceptable," he says. 

With files from the CBC's Brady Strachan