BC Blueberry Season Is On

It’s the Bluest Time Of Year

by | Jul 20, 2021 | Farm Life

Alf Krause, owner of Krause Berry Farms, hangs out by a fence

Photo | Abby Wiseman

Blueberry season is upon us, and to mark this year’s harvest, the BC Blueberry Council invited us out to Krause Berry Farms in Langley to galavant in the fields and chow down on blueberry waffles.

We caught up with Alf Krause, who owns and runs Krause Berry Farms, between bites of waffles drizzled with blueberry syrup, custard-filled croissants from Beaucoup Bakery, and scones and crostatas from Gabi & Jules. to talk about the farm and the impact of the recent heatwave on his crops. 

Krause has been farming raspberries, strawberries and blueberries since 1974 when blueberries were considered “the little ones” in comparison to other berries. At the time he sold directly to packing plants. However, in 2000, berries stagnated while the cost to grow and harvest them went up. 

Taking the farm into his own hands, Krause decided to diversify the crops and turn Krause Berry Farm into an experience. 

“We don’t sell anything to the packing house now,” said Krause. “Our goal was to sell everything either fresh or frozen or in another form.”

Now, the farm has its market with berries, donuts, pies, and much more (we nabbed some blueberry syrup). It also has an estate winery and a drive-thru waffle stand.

Heatwave Havoc

There are consistently two challenges farmers face: labour and weather. This year has been no exception. Labour shortages have increased due to closed borders making it harder for migrant workers to come to Canada. Then there was the recent heatwave which devastated crops across BC. 

Fortunately, Krause diversified his crops long ago so that he could stretch out the growing season. He uses four or five different varieties of each berry that grow at different times of the year, which lessen the blow. 

“Weather is always a challenge, but this year the heatwave finished off the last of the June strawberries, wrecked the beginning of the raspberry season, and burnt any blueberries that were getting close,” said Krause. “We saw a lot of damage, but we’ve had some good product since.”

The official BC Blueberry celebration will run until Aug. 2nd. The celebration is to encourage locals to buy BC blueberries and learn more about BC Blueberries through how-to videos and interviews with chefs and growers. They’ve also linked up with White Spot to do some awesome contests. Learn more at GoBlueBC.ca.

 

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Excellent work. Well done you. Bravo.

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