Ministry of Agriculture

Plums


WHAT ARE PLUMS?

A plum is a smooth skinned elliptical, heart-shaped, oblong or round fruit with a flat seed. Prune plums are dark blue in colour with yellow flesh. Other plums have red, golden or black skins with red or yellow flesh.

WHERE ARE PLUMS PRODUCED IN BC?

Plums are grown in the Okanagan, Similkameen, and Kootenay Valleys.

HOW MANY PLUMS DO WE PRODUCE?

BC produces about 2 million kilograms of plums, including about one-half of the Canadian prune plum crop.

HOW ARE PLUMS PRODUCED?

Once plum trees are in production, the orchardist each year must prune, fertilize and keep weeds, insects and diseases under control. In dry areas, trees have to be irrigated. On an annual basis, trees are monitored to ensure they are still producing well. If they aren't, the orchardist will remove them and plant new trees. Prune plums are ripe and ready for drying when the pit separates easily from the flesh. This occurs in the fall. This easy separation is one reason why prune plums are used for prunes.

WHAT DOES A PLUM LOOK LIKE WHEN I USE IT?

Plums are eaten fresh, plain or in fruit salads. They can be canned, stewed, or made into jellies, jams and syrups. When plums are dried they are called prunes. Fresh plums are 79% water, extremely high in fruit sugar, and an excellent source of vitamin A and the B vitamins.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PLUM LEAVES THE FARM?

Fresh plums are refrigerated or cooled immediately after harvest. After harvest the bins are taken directly to the packinghouse, where the plums are graded, packed into boxes and placed in cold storage. They are usually shipped to market in refrigerated trucks within a few days of being picked.

WHAT CHALLENGES DOES THE PLUM PRODUCER FACE?

Because fruit trees are subject to damage by several different kinds of pests, growers must know if pests are present and if they are likely to cause damage to the crop. To do this, they use different detection methods. One such method is the use of pheromone traps. Pheromones are chemical substances secreted by insects to sexually attract others of its species. Pheromone traps will attract and trap insects and by examining and counting the insects caught, the grower can assess what, if any, control measures need to be applied.

WHO'S INVOLVED IN PRODUCING PLUMS?

  • Orchard owner
  • Orchard workers
  • Apiarists
  • Fruit processors
  • Equipment suppliers
  • Transporters
  • Grading and packinghouse manager
  • Packinghouse employees
  • Cardboard box manufacturers and suppliers
  • Horticulturists, entomologists, pathologists and physiologists

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size: 2 medium plums (132g)
Calories 80 Calories from Fat 10
  % Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 6%
Dietary Fibre 2g 8%
Sugars 10g  
Protein 1g  
Vitamin A 6% Vitamin C 20%
Calcium 0% Iron 0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Interesting Fact About Plums:

The plump, juicy fruit called the plum gives us the expression "a plum" meaning the best part of anything or a bonus, as in "That's a plum of an assignment."


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