When you take a scroll through the BC Farm Fresh Guide list of the many bountiful crops produced in our fertile Fraser Valley, you will notice that there are a larger number of growers of the to-be-expected from berries, veggies, and grains. What stands out the most, though, are the crops on the list that are identified with a (1) to the right of them. Juicy, seasonal blueberries are generally consumed like candy but don’t rob your palette of a new adventurous journey. We encourage you to pack up your friends or family and head out on a short drive to the Valley to visit u-pick farms or farm stores!
Available for only a short time as the season average six to eight weeks, depending on the weather, fresh goji berries (gojis) are tiny red berries that have traditionally been grown in Asia, but are now grown right here in Aldergrove. Gojis are labelled a superfruit and are nutrient-rich with antioxidants. Gojis pack a bunch of awesome-ness into their sweet little selves. While imported, dehydrated berries are readily available fresh gojis are new and Aldergrove’s farmer, Peter Breederland: Owner of Gojoy Berries, is the only farmer that has gone to market in all of Canada. U-pick has started!
Did you know that the only rice paddies in Canada, that are also the most northerly rice production region in the world, exist right here in Abbotsford? Local and organically- grown rice…so nice! The Fraser Valley is optimal for a number of reasons, and the sake rice grown by Masa Shiroki is perfect for fermenting for sake wine. You can buy locally grown rice at Nature’s Pickin’s.
While kiwis are native to China and New Zealand, this fuzzy-skinned, wonderful fruit has made the Fraser Valley a place to call ‘home’. Kiwis are not an easy crop to grow, particularly given on our weather in the Lower Mainland, but Petkov Kiwi Production managed to do it! Available from June to September.
Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with yeast and water, and sometimes different kinds of fruit, but every good mead wine has to start with high quality honey. No pun intended, but Fraser Valley honey is creating quite the buzz. Farms like Campbells Honey Gold also take the time to educate their guests about bees and honey production. These super-striped fliers are un-bee-lievably important to the production of almost every crop grown in the Fraser Valley.
Persimmons & PawPaws
Both are grown organically right here in the Fraser Valley. A Paw-Paw is a tropical fruit that tastes like a banana-mango-citrus fruit all in one sweet little package. Hard to grow here? Yes! (and organically to boot) But definitely worth the trouble. A Persimmon looks like a tomato on the outside, but the flavour can best be described as a pudding-like apricot when ripe. Like most unique crops, persimmons are not native to the Fraser Valley, but with our mild climate-offering, growers are experiencing great success when taking a chance on growing interesting crops.
New products are “cropping” up thanks to bold and innovative farmers near you.
Thanks to Summer Dhillon of Slap Communications for this article!