Lentelus Farms owner and operator Dave Semmelink is photographed on his farm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Farmer bringing back classic farm stand in Courtenay

Farmer Dave Semmelink is opening the Lentelus Farms Stand on Comox Road Saturday

While he may be relatively new to the Comox Valley, Dave Semmelink is looking forward to restoring a long-standing tradition.

Semmelink, who immigrated to Canada from South Africa just over five years ago, farms the back fields of what is known as Farquharson Farms in Courtenay, and on Saturday, is planning to open the Comox Bay Farm Stand – similar to one Jean and Jack Farquharson operated decades ago.

“I’m so excited,” said Semmelink, who farms a variety of produce along with pork, chicken and lamb. “The Valley has been so supportive.”

RELATED: Iconic Comox Valley farmer passes away at 90

John (known as Jack) Farquharson, grew and sold produce at his farm for many years. At first, he sold produce out of the trunk of his car on the side of the road, but along with his wife Jean, the pair eventually owned 192 acres of farmland in the middle of the city and built a small store.

The produce store expanded into a garden centre after the Farquharsons’ business grew over the years, and many Comox Valley youth picked produce, like strawberries, as summer jobs at the farm.

Farquharson sold the land to Ducks Unlimited Canada in 1998 when he decided to retire.

Semmelink made a connection with the organization as a few of his professors worked with them when he was completing his degree at the University of British Columbia.

He was able to sign a 20-year lease and said his values lined up with that of the organization.

“I’m very conservation-driven, and I really put the environment first when I farm. I think it’s one of the reasons Ducks Unlimited took me on because we have similar goals and environmental ethics. I’m a young, immigrant farmer and this is truly everything that Canada stands for.”

Semmelink noted the stand, which officially opens for its ’soft launch’ Saturday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m., will feature squash, corn, garlic, salad greens, tomatoes and other produce, along with pastured meats from the farm including pork, chicken and lamb.

He may feature honey, bread and flowers from other local producers, but this year he added he will “see what works and play with hours,” while preparing for next year when he plans on featuring even more items from other growers and small-scale farmers.

Additionally, Semmelink is donating one per cent of all his revenue from the stand back to Ducks Unlimited.

“It’s for conservation projects as a thank you for the opportunity that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.”

Lentelus Farms Stand is located at 1300 Comox Road, and will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. throughout September. Parking is available on site.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

New bench boss re-builds Comox Valley Glacier Kings

The new head coach/general manager of the beleaguered Comox Valley Glacier Kings… Continue reading

Courtenay clothing store continues to thrive 25 years later

Sharon Anderson continues to see some of the same customers she served… Continue reading

Float-plane crash near Oyster River leaves pilot injured

The plane crashed shortly after take-off from a private property and had no other passengers on board

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

BC Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson in Courtenay to campaign with Brennan Day

BC Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson was in Courtenay Tuesday, helping local… Continue reading

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

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

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Most Read