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

Tweedsmuir Park wildfires grow to encompass more than 200,000 hectares

Four fires now managed under one as Tweedsmuir Complex, evacation orders and alerts still in place

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Vehicle fire on the Coquihalla

Heavy congestion in north bound lanes

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Most Read