Cranberry picker baskets were used to harvest the berries before the practice of flooding the fields became commonplace. Ann Blaauw donated these vintage baskets to the B.C. Farm Museum. Volunteer Mike Prangnell shows the two baskets. (B.C. Farm Museum)

Cranberry picker baskets were used to harvest the berries before the practice of flooding the fields became commonplace. Ann Blaauw donated these vintage baskets to the B.C. Farm Museum. Volunteer Mike Prangnell shows the two baskets. (B.C. Farm Museum)

Langley’s farm museum welcomes generous donation

Volunteer-run B.C. Farm Museum recognizes two local supporters

The B.C. Farm Museum will be able to turn its wish list of projects into a to do list thanks to a $250,000 donation from a local farmer.

Ann Blaauw made the donation recently and museum vice president Syd Pickerell said it will help secure the future for the 54-year-old facility.

“She recognizes that the farm museum, it’s all done by volunteers, and we struggle a bit like all museums do,” he said.

A coronavirus-safe event allowed the BC Farm Museum to recognize her and former MLA Rich Coleman who have supported the volunteer-run museum over the years.

Cake, physical distancing &and masks were all part of the brief informal appreciation morning coffee at the BC Farm Museum in Fort Langley on Monday, Nov. 2.

“A few directors and some of the regular volunteers gathered to say thank you to two individuals who have been very supportive of the museum’s efforts to preserve our pioneer life heritage,” said Grace Muller.

The museum board presented an award to Rich Coleman for his support during his many years as MLA.

“As the government representative Rich has been available and supportive of Farm Museum activities,” Muller said. “His advice and support has been much appreciated.”

• READ MORE: Firefighters gala raises $600,000 for hospital ER expansion

A crystal award was also presented to Blaauw.

Pickerell said the donation came about after casual conversations between Ann and the Township. She then contacted the museum about donating.

Ann and her late husband, Tom, originally emigrated from Holland and farmed in Langley for many years. They had a poultry operation and were one of the first local farms to go into cranberry growing.

After his death, she sold the farm and has given donations to a variety of causes including the ER expansion at Langley Memorial Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children – the only pediatric rehabilitation and developmental services facility of its kind in B.C., and more than $5 million towards the purchase and preservation of a 30-acre Glen Valley eco forest now owned by Trinity Western University and bearing the Blaauw family name.

Just a few months ago, Ann Blaauw donated some farming artifacts to the museum, including a two-handed cranberry picker basket circa 1950s.

Nowadays, farmers flood the fields to let the water remove the berries from the bushes.

“Before that people picked them dry,” he explained.

The cranberry baskets are perfect examples of the lessons of the farm museum – how technology has changed over time and introduced labour-saving devices that changed people’s lives and livelihoods.

“That’s what the museum is all about, trying to show people how the progression has moved along,” Pickerell said.

• READ MORE: Langley family gives generously to B.C.’s sick kids

The museum has received other financial donations, but the Blaauw contribution is the largest it has ever received with no strings attached, meaning the museum’s volunteer board can decide how to best spend the money.

“We can use it in so many things. We have so many projects on the go,” Pickerell said.

Currently the museum volunteers are working on a project to have better lighting on the artifacts and examining a radiant tube heating system to provide better temperature control in the large museum buildings.

Pickerell explained that would allow more use in the off-season, making it more comfortable for seniors tours, school groups and others. The museum board is examining having 4-H groups use the space for meetings, for instance.

“We would love to expand,” he added. “We really have more artifacts than we have room for. Temporarily we are housing some of them at close-by farms, but we really need to bring them home to the farm museum.”

The museum is staying where it is but would like to secure some nearby property, he said.

The museum is closed for the winter season but will reopen April 1, 2021.

The facility was open for part of the season this year with COVID-19 protocols in place, Pickerell explained, so the board is confident about welcoming back the public in a few months.

September the 30th, the last day of our open season. Reopening again on the 1st April. It's not too late for a visit….

Posted by BC Farm Museum on Wednesday, September 30, 2020

.


Got a news tip?

Email: heather.colpitts@langleyadvancetimes.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

FarminghistoryMuseum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Rich Coleman was given an award by B.C.Farm Museum vice president Syd Pickerell for his support of the Fort Langley museum over the years. (Mike Prangnell/B.C. Farm Museum)

Rich Coleman was given an award by B.C.Farm Museum vice president Syd Pickerell for his support of the Fort Langley museum over the years. (Mike Prangnell/B.C. Farm Museum)

A small gathering at the B.C. Farm Museum on Monday, Nov. 2 allowed the volunteer-run facility to honour Ann Blaauw and former MLA Rich Coleman. (Mike Prangnell/B.C. Farm Museum)

A small gathering at the B.C. Farm Museum on Monday, Nov. 2 allowed the volunteer-run facility to honour Ann Blaauw and former MLA Rich Coleman. (Mike Prangnell/B.C. Farm Museum)

B.C. Farm Museum volunteers continue with improvements of the 54-year-old facility in Fort Langley, including better lighting. (Mike Prangnell/B.C. Farm Museum)

B.C. Farm Museum volunteers continue with improvements of the 54-year-old facility in Fort Langley, including better lighting. (Mike Prangnell/B.C. Farm Museum)

Just Posted

The Langley School District has issued COVID-19 notifications for two more schools. (Langley Schools)
Two more Langley schools added to COVID exposure list

District says individuals are isolating at home

Eleven bags of litter along 200th Street was collected by seven volunteers on the weekend. (Jocelyn Titus/Special to The Star)
Seven volunteers pick eleven bags worth of trash along 200th Street in Langley

Jocelyn Titus, founder of Earth Ninjas and Clean Up Aldergrove group held a pick on Sunday

The lease on Hangar 17 at Langley Regional Airport is being disputed in court, as the Township tries to end it and the tenant tries to hold on. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Battle over Langley Airport hangar goes to Court of Appeal

A judge has frozen any eviction until the case is decided

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

Photo: Surrey RCMP
Surrey RCMP arrests two boys, age 16, during dial-a-dope investigation in Whalley

Sergeant Elenore Sturko said one boy is ‘alleged to have been in possession of a loaded handgun at the time of his arrest’

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Most Read