Specializing in BC’s fresh produce, as well as Okanagan’s scrumptious in-season fruit, our family owned & operated business and family farm has grown steadily over the years. This year we are pleased to announce our second harvest of blueberries, fresh from our field, are now available at our market! Where potatoes once grew on our family farm since the early 90’s, has been replaced several years ago, by our new blueberry field full of duke and blue crop varieties. Okanagan cherries and apricots are now in at our market and boy are they juicy! A few other local favourites are our raspberries, lettuces, peppers, nugget potatoes, cukes and more. Look forward to upcoming frequent deliveries this summer of Okanagan peaches, plums, pears and from fresh from Abbotsford, strawberries.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane as we share the story of how Ralph’s Farm Market began….
Ralph’s parents – Rudy and Marian Merk – purchased a small Osoyoos cherry orchard in the early 1980’s as they embarked on ‘retirement’. This business opportunity gave Ralph the privilege of working alongside his parents. In 1984, Ralph married Elizabeth and they joyfully rolled up their sleeves to promote fresh BC fruits and vegetables – out of the back of their old, yellow van.
Establishing a more permanent produce location at Granville Island Public Market (Vancouver, BC) took place in 1985. That’s where RALPH’S gained the reputation for offering fair prices, good old fashioned family service, and fresh produce from the orchards and fields of the Okanagan. It was with great blessings when Ralph’s sister and brother-in-law (Dianne and Murray Redekop) joined the team in 1987. They brought their twin daughters (Julie and Karen) from Saskatchewan who have grown up to become very hardworking, cheerful members of RALPH’S current staff. With 22 years at Granville Island, becoming experts in the produce industry was firmly rooted.
The Merk’s purchased a family farm in 1989 located in Langley, BC. Meanwhile, Ralph & Elizabeth’s own family has been growing: With a span of 16 years between Jason, Jennifer, Steven, Vanessa, and Sara they all experienced the joys of farm life and have been learning how to ‘bear fruit’ in the family business. They’re all involved in the business in some way, whether they’re coordinating the next delivery of Okanagan fruit from our farmers, helping Elizabeth in the office, helping Ralph with our harvest or deciding on the next post for our Instagram Page!
By 1991, produce sales began on a hay wagon. Due to customer loyalty, these country farmer beginnings were replaced with Ralph’s road-side Murrayville farm market and today, our 11,000 square foot brand new market, offering much more. Since opening year-round in 1998, residents from all over the Fraser Valley choose Ralph’s as part of their weekly shopping routine. A farm experience where country meets the city! We’re delighted to note that in the same year, harvest contributions began fresh from Ralph’s field!
The Farm Fresh Reference Guide is produced by the Fraser Valley Farm Direct Marketing Association in cooperation with the BC Ministry of Agriculture.
For information on participating in the 2018 – 2019 Farm Fresh Reference Guide or bcfarmfresh.com, contact us at:
24565 Dewdney Trunk Road
Maple Ridge, BC V4R 1W9