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Photo contributed.

B.C. Opens Canada’s Only Cranberry Research Farm

It doesn’t look like much now with only stakes to indicate where new plants have been placed on the Delta cranberry research farm, but after two years the test plants will be well on their way to showing their strengths and weaknesses for cranberry farmers.

By Grant Ullyot B.C. Cranberry growers were elated to hear their industry is developing the first ever cranberry research farm in Canada. The idea for the farm, says former B.C. Agriculture Minister John Savage of Delta, came from Jack Wessel, the general manager of the BC Cranberry Marketing Commission. “Jack became aware that Gateway Construction, who were building the South Fraser Perimeter Road through Delta, had surplus bog land and he asked me if I thought there was a chance we might get some of it on which to build a cranberry research facility,” explains Savage.

“I then contacted Gateway officials and other key government people, including (former) Agriculture Minister Steve Thomson and Highways Minister Shirley Bond, all of whom were enthusiastic about the idea. Discussions led to our reaching an agreement with Gateway to purchase a 20-acre piece of highway right-of-way on which to place the farm.” Savage says the key goal was to establish a research operation that would allow the industry to evaluate the different varieties grown in the Richmond to Pitt Meadows area and new varieties from other growing areas in North America.

BC Cranberry Association’s Mike Wallis at the new research facility in Richmond, B.C.

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Year End 2013 39

Orchard and Vine Magazine Year End 2013  

Year-in-Review: what happened in grapes, wine, apples, cherries, berries and more! Land, Labour and Liquor Laws. Pacific Agriculture Show S...

Orchard and Vine Magazine Year End 2013  

Year-in-Review: what happened in grapes, wine, apples, cherries, berries and more! Land, Labour and Liquor Laws. Pacific Agriculture Show S...

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