I am situated in the very fertile Big Bend area of Burnaby, also known locally as the flats. This area has one of the most fertile agriculture soils in the country. While a small farm (one acre in size plus), I grow quality plants and produce.
Most of the growing is done in eight metal/wood poly covered greenhouses, with a total area of almost 20,000 square feet sized between 1100 and 3400 square feet each. One greenhouse is heated when needed for seed starting and cuttings. Electrical heated cables are used for bottom heating of the rooting zone. Bedding plant starters are grown in the greenhouses on top of portable tables 5 feet wide by 8 to 14 feet in length each. These tables are then removed for the growing of produce and sometimes turned vertically to support produce such as melons and cucumbers. My newest greenhouse is 390 square feet, double poly, concrete paving stone floor, 3" styrofoam, underslab heating piping. I grow new seedlings in this greenhouse on a two level cart especially designed plus third level on the floor. The cart levels are heated and lighted with the old style of fluorescent fixtures. 112 four foot tubes in this greenhouse. These carts measure 8 ft long x 2.5 ft wide x 5 ft high and weigh 200 lbs each.with wheels so they move around the greenhouse easily. This way I can get far more plants in the greenhouse saving heating costs. I am considering a solar heating system and may decide before next years crop season..
Produce is grown both in the ground and in containers which would be similar to raised bed gardens. Container or raised bed growing has many advantages including the normally higher soil temperature when positioned above the soil surface rather than below grade. A higher soil temperature in most cases, and depending on the type of plant, means faster growing, better looking, and better tasting produce. Important as well, the container or raised beds may control a plant for dry soil conditions easier. This is important on my farm as this area is wet and bogy. The soils and growing media are tested several times for nutrients during the growing season in order to optimize the effectiveness of the fertilizers. Fertilizers are added mostly in the form of compost and manure (turkey). Others used compost, fish fertilizer and lime are also used to compliment the mix. I do not use any chemical herbicide or pesticides, or bio-engineered seeds or fungicides or chemical firtilizers. In short, I grow as you would in your own garden, which results in a quality good tasting vegetable.
Speaking of pesticides, I was approached by a group of three federally licensed marijuana user/grower (for personally medicinal use) who collectively have three licenses for 132 plants. They wanted to rent one of my greenhouses for temporary use to keep 34 plants. I was to receive $1000 for two months with option to renew. The plants grow very fast (as much as one inch per day) and are very much attracted to insects of all sorts. Before moving in the plants they wanted to “sanitize” my greenhouse by using a special aerosol can, punching a hole in the can, sealing the greenhouse for 24 hours. I asked if this was a pesticide and I was assured this was just a “gas”. Turns out it was very much a pesticide and so I did not accept their offer. I value too much my customers who want pesticide free produce.
Sales of all our products, plants and produce are sold off the farm, at farmer markets only. I take pride in being the closest farm of all farmers at the Vancouver farmers market (well with in the '100 mile diet'). For you, the customer, it means fresher produce as I pick everything I sell the day of or day before the market, and since I have not far to go to the market, our product are 'greener'. Less truck pollutants emitted in the atmosphere.
If you have a restaurant or retail store, I welcome you to purchase my product at the farmers market. Unfortunately I would be unable to deliver to your store as this would be breaking vegetable marketing board rules and I could be subject to huge fines. This is one of BC provincial legislation which protects the large corporate farms against the chaos no doubt that small farms can cause the corporate elite. Certified organic is exempt from this legislation, as well as areas outside of the outside the lower mainland / fraser valley or beyond provincial boundaries. The further away produce is brought into the Vancouver area seems to get benefits the very local farmers do not get. Seem to be only one of many benefits that local growing misses out on. Others are cost of truck insurance. Very expensive here as opposed to other parts of the province.
I do grow 'pesticide and herbicide free products however I am considering getting organic certification in the coming years. My property is only 125 feet wide and current rules of organic certification are that there must be a 30 foot buffer at the property line. One way around this is when I complete my perimeter with greenhouses, this then would act as a barrier at my property line. This as well as a few other changes I will have to make in the next few years. Please enjoy my produce in the meantime and consider it as transitional.
New for the year 2009 is the addition of almost 3/4 more land for growing. This land was sitting unused for several years and needed a tremendous amount of cleanup. Hopefully I can utilize much of this year to bring you more produce and plants. If you would like something specific plants grown (farm or business) let me know and we will plan something for next year.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Farm contact phone - 604 525 7890
Fax - 604 525 7890