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for them, notes Alf. “It has definitely given people

another reason to come to our farm and also has given us another way of creating a different product using some of themany berries we grow each year.” While the 2014 berry crop is

drawing rave reviews for the quality and size of the berries, for Krause it was the taste or flavour of the berries that was outstanding “I thought the taste was second to

none this year, and another highlight was the size of some of our blueberries.” The berry business is amuch

diversified operation, he notes. “You have your peaks where you will

have an over-abundance of berries for a short time. That is when we freeze the berries. You get better juicing and more products out of frozen berries. “We have peaks where we can’t sell

all of themfresh, so we sell IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) berries, and we pick bulk berries which can be used for jams and pies.What this has done is allow us to use almost all of our berries.Wemight leave about two percent of our crop un-harvested at the end of the crop year and they all go into compost.” Blueberry varieties that were grown

this year included Duke, Brigitta, Bluecrop, Draper and Liberty.Malahat was the earliest raspberry and from there the harvest went to Chemainus, Squamish and Cascade Delight. “With the last two varieties it allows

us to have raspberries right into October,” explained Krause. They grow basically three varieties

of strawberries, and the ever-bearing span quite a large time frame. Krause says the biggest problem

occurs in August when they are harvesting strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries all at the same time. He is confident current research

programs will eventually produce new varieties that will producemore berries over a longer season. For people interested in visiting

Krause Berry Farms EstateWinery it is on 248th street in Langley, south of the freeway. Turn off at the 264th interchange south towards Aldergrove and turn right at the first intersection and proceed through to 248th street and turn right again to the farm. The farmis open from9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Announcing a federal grant of $2.1 million, Western Economic Diversification Minister Michelle Rempel (holding sign) is flanked by (from left) dairy farmer Devan Toop, University of the Fraser Valley acting president Jody Gordon, UFV board of governors chair Barry Delaney, Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Mark Strahl and John English, dean of applied and technical studies, which includes overseeing operations of the agricultural school.

Millions for excellence M

By Grant Ullyot

oney to establish the new Agriculture Centre of Excellence didn’t just fall from the sky. It required a collaborative effort by senior governments and the community.

Former Chilliwack MLA John Les kicked off financing efforts for the centre,

which opened officially last April, by convincing the provincial government to provide $1 million. Another major funding provider was the First Heritage Savings Credit Union. Together with additional funds raised by John Jansen, a consultant with the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation (CEPCO), more than $3 million was generated to provide the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack agriculture school with facilities for its livestock and horticulture programs, which include courses involving berry production, working in cooperation with the newly established Pacific Berry Resource Centre, headed up by UFV professor Tom Baumann. This was a stated target to be reached by a joint campaign involving CEPCO,

UFV and other community partners. UFV struck a committee to channel funds and expertise into expanded agricultural development on its new Chilliwack campus located in Canada Education Park on lands formerly occupied by the military. This summer, the federal government provided UFV with a grant of $2.1 million to help train the next generation of agricultural technicians, engineers, researchers, and scientists. The funding, announced by Western Diversification Minister Michelle Rempel, will be used to provide specialized equipment to enhance existing programs and offer two new programs related to designing and implementing automated systems and robotics. It is expected the horticulture courses will focus not only on the basic requirements of the program, but in future will incorporate use of research being conducted by Michael Dorsett into new berry varieties. He had his contract to conduct berry research extended by the federal government to 2018. Dorsett is a former researcher from the Pacific Agriculture Research Centre in

British Columbia Berry Grower • Winter 2014-15 11

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