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 guided participants around showing their process for growing and packaging green peppers for sale via Windset Farms. Next the tour visited Heppell’s Potato Corporation 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.
Lunch was held at Krause Berry Farm and was hosted 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 a little about how he has used his access to the general population to inform their understanding of how their food is produced the necessary “tools” he uses to do so, 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. Finally the day finished off at Bill Zylmans’ beautiful home where participants were treated to a barbecue by Bill and his wife and family.
A very big thank you to all those who hosted us throughout the day as well as to the tour sponsors: BC Blueberry Council, BCfresh, BC Vegetable Marketing Commission, BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association, Farm Credit Canada, Calais Farms, TerraLink Horticulture and BC Cranberry Marketing Commission.