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

Cumberland mayoral debate announced prematurely; Leslie Baird declines invitation

Eduardo Uranga hoped to hold the debate Wednesday evening

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: Care-A-Van offers more than just care in a van

Mobile clinic brings medical and social services to the Valley’s most vulnerable

Comox Valley Regional District seeking input on development of Tsolum River Agricultural Watershed Plan

This fall, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is inviting the community… Continue reading

Lane closure in Courtenay at Lewis Centre

The City of Courtenay will be working on the water distribution system… Continue reading

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Courtenay’s Dingwall Road to be temporarily closed for construction

Next week, the intersection of Dingwall Road and McQuillan Road will be… Continue reading

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Most Read