Learning on farm bike tour in Maple Ridge

On Sunday, Kim Lauzon of the Golden Ears Community Co-op and several members of our HUB committee...

On Sunday, Kim Lauzon of the Golden Ears Community Co-op and several members of our HUB committee took a group of people on our second Bike to Farms tour in Maple Ridge.

It was our biggest ride yet.

We led a group of 39 cyclists, young and old, along a 15-kilometre route of quiet roads and pathways, and visited Brookfield Farm, Lorea McCready’s vegetable garden and Red Barn Plants and Produce along the way.

The purpose was not only to get people out on their bikes, but also to learn more about our local farms and to support the Golden Ears Community Co-op.

From Matt and Deanna Laity, we heard about some of the history of the Laity family, who built Brookfield Farm in 1879 and have been running it since.

For me, the cozy old-fashioned cow barn brought back fond memories of the adventures I had as a young kid at similar farms in Holland in the ’60s, when I accompanied my veterinarian dad on his farm visits during school holidays. You may think I’m weird, but for the first time in my life I started thinking about cows’ personalities while listening to Matt talking about his cows. How many of us do that when we buy a jug of milk or piece of packaged beef from the grocery store?

Supermom-gardener Lorea McCready is a firm believer in healthy, homegrown food. Her vegetarian family eats what’s grown around the house all year through. Apart from stocking several freezers to last through the winter, she manages to sell some of her beautiful, tasty fresh produce straight from her garden to local markets and restaurants, as well.  She also loves to pass on her inspiration, seeds, plants and produce, whenever available, to anyone who’s interested in growing and eating healthy, organic food, albeit the growing part probably at a more modest scale than Lorea does herself.

There was more to learn at Red Barn. Ken Knechtel showed us around the farm while Elke fed us delicious sweet little grapes, as well as some lovely juicy peaches, both from their farm in the Okanagan. The more I learn about our local farmers and what they do, the more I appreciate them. It takes a lot of hard work, and it should make us all think about how little we’re really willing to pay for high quality, locally grown food, while we’re profiting from cheap labour elsewhere, where labour standards and wages are much lower than in Canada.

Before we can go on a ride like this, whether we have 10 or 100 cyclists, we have to apply for several permits, in this case three. More than a dozen people – at City of Maple Ridge, parks and leisure, RCMP, fire hall, and, in this case, Metro Vancouver parks – have to give their permission and approve the route. HUB needs to provide insurance coverage for the cities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows and others.

I wish the whole process could be simplified. Mind you, everyone I dealt with was very helpful.

Me, I’d much rather be spending my unpaid time working in my vegetable garden than deal with the unnecessary bureaucracy.

The worst thing of all is that lawyers and the insurance company want us to warn participants, in the waivers they have to sign, that riding on the road can be dangerous and result in injury or death – and as organizers we have to emphasize that to any participating youngsters.

Why, on the other hand, is nobody giving kids similar warnings when they start driving a car?

They should be told that they are operating murderous vehicles weighing several tons, which can and do cause lots of destruction on our roads on a daily basis.

Fortunately, the only feedback I got after the ride had nothing to do with the dangers that people had been warned of. It was all positive: “We really enjoyed it and found the farms very interesting”; “What a great experience.”

Another participant said, “The ride was a blast. I had fun.”

And a third told me: “I enjoyed all visits, especially the Brookfield Farm. I learned a great deal about farm life and also bought some really tasty grapes from the Red Barn.”

What? No traumatic experiences?

Well, perhaps we’ll do it again next year.

We’ll just copy all the e-mails, permits, posters, and everything else, so it’ll be a breeze.

Jackie Chow is a member of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows

chapter of HUB.

 

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

Just Posted

Pamela Franklin captured this picture of a raccoon in Maple Ridge, “chilling” in her backyard, on her storage bin. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Lounging in the spring sun

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Debbie Noseworthy snapped a sunset picture the first day of daylight savings as seen from the dikes off 216th Street in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Sky on fire over Maple Ridge dikes

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Darlene Martin captured this ‘breathtaking’ view of a sunset and the Fraser River as taken from Osprey Village. (Special to The News)
SHARE: View from Osprey Village breathtaking

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 11

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

The Maple Ridge Community Foundation is hosting a trivia night fundraiser on Hit TV. (Special to The News)
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

Most Read