Cordell Klippenstein, originally from Manitoba, has been picking daffodils at Longview Farms in Central Saanich for two years. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

Daffodils’ early arrival has Central Saanich Farm scrambling for pickers

Warm weather has flowers blooming early

Flowers don’t know that there aren’t enough people to pick them out of thousands; all they know is what Mother Nature tells them.

And right now, they’re being told to bloom.

That has Central Saanich’s Longview Farms scrambling to find enough pickers to keep up. Ryan Vantreight, the farm’s general manager, says the recent spate of warmer, wet weather has caused their daffodil bulbs to start blooming a lot earlier than expected. That means they have fewer workers available to harvest them — so the farm is putting out the call for more pickers.

“We’re not losing anything yet,” he said of the ongoing harvest. “Usually we have lots of people working or on a waiting list for call outs … but that list isn’t large right now.”

That’s because there is usually a late season cold snap in the region that keeps the daffodils underground. That hasn’t happened and now the farm is reacting to the daffodils’ timetable. So, the farm needs workers to keep up as the flowers emerge, ensuring they have enough supply on hand to meetcustomer demand. If the flowers aren’t picked when they’re ready, a crop can be lost.

“Right now, we can put people to work as soon as possible,” Vantreight said. “We’ve been flat out the last couple days.”

The farm has advertisements for pickers on buses, on billboards and Vantreight said he’s reaching out to his friends in the media to help get the word out. Longview Farms is looking for around 20 workers right now — and plenty more as their harvest season picks up this spring. Interested workers can visit daffodil.com or call their hotline at 250-652-1131 to find out more.

Longview Farms is Canada’s largest daffodil producer. Vantreight said they’re on track to harvest around three million daffodils this season. That’s actually down from their typical harvest of between seven and nine million flowers, as the farm has been replacing its bulb stock to make better use of their fields in the years to come.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Area residents concerned about aftermath of McKenzie interchange construction

Ministry says neighbours’ concerns being heard, will be addressed

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension allowing up to five days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

West Shore’s 10 worst intersections for crashes in 2019

Millstream Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway area continues to be a hotspot

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Lower Mainland woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

VIDEO: B.C. community rallies to save snared eagle

Revelstoke climber scales tree to save the raptor

Most Read