Horticulture is thriving on the west coast

L-R: A tour of a vegetable greenhouse was enjoyed by: Peter Swetnam, CHC Board Member; Joe Peschisolido, MP Steveston - Richmond East: Linda Delli Santi, BC Greenhouse Growers' Association; and Ray VanMarrewyk Westcoast Vegetables, Westcoast Produce and Westcoast Greenhouse Holdings, Surrey, B.C.
Tour participants learned about the manufacturing line for Hardbite chips at Heppell’s Potato Corporation, Surrey, B.C.
(L-R) Alf Krause, Keith Kuhl, CHC chair and Sandee Krause are pictured at Krause Berry Farms, Langley, B.C.
This vast packing operation of blueberries is viewed at Driediger Farms,  Langley, B.C. Photos courtesy of Trevor Eggleton.

On July 7, CHC held its annual Summer Tour in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.  The day-long tour brought together industry leaders, growers and Members of Parliament to explore and learn about various aspects of Canada’s horticulture industry.

The tour’s first stop was Sunnyside Greenhouses where Sunnyside owners, Jos and Bram Moerman and Ray VanMarrewyk of Westcoast Produce showed their process for growing and packaging green peppers for sale via Windset Farms. Next the tour visited Heppell’s PotatoCorporation which is about to become the home of Hardbite Potato Chips.  Heppell’s CEO Pete Schouten introduced participants to the plant which is being built on the Heppell’s farm and will produce a variety of chips including potato, beet and carrot.


Consumer education     


Lunch was held at Krause Berry Farm and was hosted by Alf and Sandee Krause who gave us a history lesson about the farm and their rise from selling fruit out of the back of a van in the ‘70s to a beacon of agritourism today. Alf Krause spoke about how he informs consumers about necessary “tools” to produce food including pesticides and Integrated Pest Management practices.         

After lunch, participants were shown how blueberries go straight from farm to frozen at Driediger Farms, then visited Westcoast lawn/Envirosmart Organics where owner Daryl Goodwin demonstrated how they fill a vital and often overlooked need in the sector by turning food waste into soil. 

Tour sponsors included BC Blueberry Council, BCfresh, BC Vegetable Marketing Commission, BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association, Farm Credit Canada, Calais Farms, TerraLink Horticulture and BC Cranberry Marketing Commission.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

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