Rural roots in B.C's fastest growing city

In addition to dealing with big-city issues like crime and poverty, Surrey also has to manage a strong agricultural industry. No one knows that industry better than Michael Bose - his family has been farming in the area for generations.
Mike Bose, centre, speaks to the CBC's Jim Brown and Geoff Turner on his farm - a family business for the last 100 years. (Kathryn Marlow/CBC)

It's hard to imagine that fifteen minutes away from the gleam of the new downtown core and the grit of the Whalley strip, is the bucolic scene at Mike Bose's farm. 

But Surrey is hard to define with any one term. 

Bose's family has been farming in the area for generations.  

One third of the land in the city is devoted to agriculture — fields of silage corn, hay, dairy and poultry barns,  and most of all, blueberries. 

(Kathryn Marlow/CBC )

Mike Bose's family has been working the land since 1891. Bose says he's always looked to the generations before him for inspiration and he's proud to add that the tradition won't end with him — both his sons are involved with the business. 

(Kathryn Marlow/CBC )

In addition to sweet corn and small lot vegetables, Bose's main operation is turkeys. He estimates he sells 75 000 turkeys a year. 

The Bose family farm in the foreground, with a growing housing development in the background. (Kathryn Marlow/CBC)

Bose's land sits across the road from a growing housing development. While you might expect him to worry about the sprawl around his farm, he says all he sees is a growing market for his products. 

(Kathryn Marlow/CBC)

Grain silos on the Bose farm hold up to 300 tonnes of feed 

(Kathryn Marlow/CBC)

Bose says he's excited by the growing interest in locally farmed foods. He says this September, a number of the city's restaurants will provide feature a fixed menu that features locally sourced food. 


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