Unseasonably early daffodils prompt wish for cold weather on B.C. farm

Longview Farms just north of Victoria says mild weather a problem for seasonal farming

As residents in parts of B.C. dig out from recent heavy snowfalls and think fondly of spring, a farmer on southern Vancouver Island is cursing that region’s mild weather and wishing for a cold snap.

Ryan Vantreight is the general manager of Longview Farms, Canada’s largest daffodil farm, just north of Victoria.

Spring-like conditions have coaxed out some early blooms, and Vantreight said he’s scrambling to hire about 20 workers to cut the still-budding flowers before they burst into their full golden glory.

“If you see yellow in the field, I’m seeing red,” Vantreight said of the early season, which he describes as second only to a harvest several years ago that began in January.

READ MORE: Central Saanich’s Longview Farms clearing the horizon

“Cold is good for us right now because it will slow things down,” he said. “What it does do is give us a little bit more even growth and gives us a little bit more chance to get them before they pop.”

“Once they bloom, they are gone. We can’t sell them,” Vantreight said, adding customers want tight heads and tight bunches so the daffodils open in arrangements at home.

“It’s always a race beyond time to try to get the flowers before they bloom and before they become unsellable.”

The farm has more than 28 hectares of land devoted to growing and exporting at least three million daffodils, Vantreight said.

While he’s looking for 20 pickers are right away, more than 150 will be needed by the height of the season, he said.

The farm sends its blooms across North America, and markets include the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days campaign, held in March.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Giants winning streak halts against Everett Friday at home in Langley

Following their first loss since November, G-Men hope to regroup and defeat Victoria on Saturday.

Two local squads meet up at senior girls tourney in Langley

The 2018 Girls Tsumura Invitational continues Saturday with the finals.

Kazakhstan’s U20 team takes 4-3 win over Langley university squad

Thursday night’s game is one of three the visitors are playing at the Langley Events Centre.

VIDEO: Langley realtor builds holiday party for kids

Realtor Matthew Rufh hosted a gingerbread house-building party for the Langley Boys and Girls Club.

Charges pending for driver who sped away from police in Langley, crashed

A simple traffic stop escalated into a pileup on 56th Avenue.

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

MAP: Christmas light displays in the Lower Mainland

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read