What to grow in Langley, BC for a Small Business
Answered by: Rick Miller
Question from: Darlene
Posted on: September 30, 2009

We have a couple of acres available for planting in Langley, B.C. It is more of a sandy soil (one acre) while the other acre is more fertile. We have an irrigation system (10 gpm) that is more than adequate for watering. We would like to start a small business, utilizing these pastures, but don’t know what would be profitable/marketable to grow in the area. Any ideas? We thought of lavender, but previous posts sounded discouraging. There are grape growers in the area, but are unsure if this is something that can grow in these soil conditions. Any ideas or suggestions?

Well, I have written on Lavender, and you know my responses to that crop. I did 42 acres on the Klammath, and know the crop well. It does like a slight sloop on riverbanks, as it loves water, but must not log.

Back in January, I responded to a grower near Lake Okanagan. While Langley is not the Kootenays, your soil and small acreage is very similar. And, your goals (as I sense them) are also similar, making my response valid.

I wrote back then: Most field crops do not yield more than $8,000/acre, unless there is value added. And, the only crops to even yield this kind of income requires a lot of hand-work (like flowers). Baby’s Breath can be upward of $4,000/acre when growing in a wild situation. Cultivation can increase this yield to the $8,000/acre mark, high density use of the field.

Now, if this crop is then bleached and glycerin treated known as "Angle White), that can yield upward of $40,000/acre = similar to intensive truck farming for local and regional grocery outlets. Most of those incomes go toward labor (you and your children, That’s why rural neighborhoods can begin to abound again.

What this all means is that there is now going to be another major "return to the country life-style, similar to that experienced in the mid-seventies. And, those that grow food, flowers, or some form of labor-added value to field crops will be the one who survive and flourish. I have seen this happen twice already in my life, and "here it comes again."

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