Archive | Agriculture


Laura Rose – Canada’s Dairying Queen

Laura Rose Stephen (1866-1963) was Canada’s Dairying Queen. Until big business took over the Canadian dairying industry she had a profound influence on quality and production of dairy products. She was born at Georgetown, Ontario, daughter of Lawrence Rose, a flour mill owner and had at least one sister and five brothers. The famous “Five […]

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Bee Cee Honey

If you grew up in BC you’ll probably recognize the Bee Cee Honey trademark[i].  It was owned by Hodgson Bee Supplied Ltd. located in New Westminister, BC. Established in the late 1940s/early 1950s, the Bee Cee Honey packing plant handled honey from the Peace River District and became a popular recognizable brand throughout the province […]

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Tomatillos, Groundcherries and Chinese Lanterns

Tomatillos, groundcherries and Chinese lanterns look a lot alike, but they are not the same. Tomatillos are like tomatoes; groundcherries are sweet; and Chinese lanterns are poisonous. That’s incentive enough to make sure you can tell one from the other. These three plants are part of one of the greatest food exchanges in history, beginning […]

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Chinese Market Gardening in BC

While many Canadians happily celebrated Canada 150 on  1 July, 2017, Stephen Hume[i] in a Vancouver Sun article reminded us that British Columbia was late to the party and didn’t join Canada until 1871.  He mentions that in 1867, “news that a Chinese gardener had driven over from Quesnel with a load of fresh lettuce, […]

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How Honeybees Came to BC

The hard work by honeybees to produce honey is critically important to agriculture and food production in Canada and around the world. Right now there is a lot of interest in bees because they pollinate plants that produce fruit, nuts and seeds.  Honeybees are the most recognizable bees and they aren’t even native to BC […]

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Virus-Free Potatoes

Virus-Free Potatoes Pemberton potatoes are virus-free. The geographic isolation of the Pemberton Valley, one hour north of Whistler, has made it a world-wide source of virus-free seed potatoes that will protect future generations from potato famines such as the Irish Hunger Famine of the 1840s. The blight that destroyed crops overnight and caused at least […]

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Hop farming is coming back

Hops are an essential ingredient in Canadian beer along with water, barley and yeast, and hop farms are coming back to British Columbia. Hops have been grown in BC since the 1860s when two prominent Victoria brewers, Arthur Bunster and Alfred Elliot decided to stop importing the crop from the United States and instead offered […]

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Fall Fairs

Fall fairs have been a community tradition since the concept of agricultural fairs was brought to Canada by the early British settlers. A familiar refrain for many people in British Columbia at this time of year, is “I’ll see you at the fair”. Fairs have been held throughout the ages and some trace the heritage to […]

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Macs are Rolling

When I attended elementary school in Manitoba in the 1950s, our  grade 4 or 5 reader was Wide Open Windows (Copp Clark, 1947) and one story we read was “Macs are Rolling‘ by Helen Dickson.  My sister and I were fascinated by it then and still talk about it. It was probably of interest to us […]

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Growing BC Garlic

This has been a very good year for  growing garlic in the North Okanagan – enough moisture but not too much, and a warm spring that encouraged the growth of large bulbs. It’s easy to grow – plant early to mid-October (separate bulbs into cloves), 5 cm. deep and 15 to 20 cm. apart, mulch […]

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