BC Cranberry Grower
THE BOG Riverside Cranberry Farm is in beautiful Fort Langley, British Columbia. Brian and Mandy Dewit (and their children Caleb, Beckem, Gavin, Kenzie and Lexie) have deep roots in farming and are proud to continue the tradition of producing food for their community. They have 35 acres of cranberry bogs and produce an average of 1-million pounds of cranberries each year. Read their profile for more info on how the Dewit family grows delicious berries while caring for their land and respecting natural resources.
How did you get started in cranberry farming?
Brian and Mandy: Our farm, THE BOG Riverside Cranberries began in 2010, but the Dewit family (Brian’s parents) has been cranberry farming across the road since 1999. The family also operated a dairy farm and a hog farm. Brian’s grandparents on both sides were farmers as well (dairy and poultry). Growing up on a family farm instilled a deep connection with the farming lifestyle and working and caring for the land.
How does your family care for the environment and use natural resources responsibly?
B&M: Good farm stewardship is incredibly important to us as cranberry growers. Caring for our bogs
with yearly ongoing maintenance of sanding, fertilizing, weeding and irrigating reflects our goal of sustainable farming. Taking care of the land in a responsible way helps to produce great fruit yields but also supports a balanced ecological system that will flourish year in and year out.
Cranberry farming is unique in how we use water to help collect and move the cranberries after they have been ‘beaten’ from the vine. Throughout the year we collect water in lagoons/water reservoirs and then we recycle it during our harvest. The water is pumped from one bog into another and finally recollected and drained back into our lagoons.
What are some of the ways you ensure that your cranberries are safe, nutritious, and high-quality?
B&M: Crop farmers like ourselves care deeply about the quality of the fruit we grow. We pay attention to the small details and are constantly learning how to better improve our methods. We follow strict parameters and records around the use of any products that are used on our crop (e.g. insecticides). Before harvest, a sample of cranberries is tested to ensure there are no residues on the fruit. We are confident in the consumable quality of our cranberries and are proud to share them with the local community.
Each year we open our farm to the public during harvest. Our goal is to build consumer knowledge about our farming process, and with that, the confidence in buying our B.C. grown cranberries.