To the editor:
I want to comment on the story by Judie Steeves: Growing On the Land, Capital News, Nov. 25.
I happen to be one of those lucky people who grew up on the land, a lovely 12-acre apple orchard in Osoyoos. It was bought by my father in 1930 and has remained in the family ever since.
I’m confused by people like realtor Pat Duggan, who states that farmers are handcuffed to the land and if in the apple business aren’t making any money. I can only speak here from our own experience, and what we did was to treat farming as a business, and roll with the times.
I suppose my mother could’ve kept the stately old red and golden delicious apples that my dad planted in the ’60s and ’70s, but it wasn’t profitable. Thanks to a grant from the B.C. government a few years ago, my mom decided to re-plant in soft fruits, and now the orchard is all dwarf peaches and other fruit, but no apples.
While I was growing up, the topic of farmers who couldn’t make money on their land often came up, and they were dismissed by my father as “bad farmers.” So while I don’t want to blame farmers who can’t make a living, I do want to suggest that not all farmers are going belly-up.
I’m alarmed when people speak against the ALR, using examples of people who may not be the best representatives of why it is bad policy. One day, when we no longer have any land left for growing food, and China decides they need all of their food for themselves, we’ll be thinking back fondly to the days of the ALR.