For the Lakeside Leader
A greenhouse operator and a beekeeper in the region are optimistic about a fruitful season.
Christie’s Gardens and Greenhouses owner Christie Pollack predicts a healthy and rosy year for that industry, as more people consider growing a garden to get fresher produce at a lower cost.
“Similar to last year, vegetable gardening is becoming more popular,” says Pollack, who operates a greenhouse in the High Prairie area. “People love the idea of growing their own food, so we predict that fruit and vegetable plants will be what people are looking for this spring.”
Pollack goes on to say sales last year were “slightly bear-ish due to the economy; however, many greenhouses had seen an increase in the number of customers.”
Beekeepers also expect to have a good year.
“We were hit hard with the price last year,” says Grant Hicks of McLennan, “but looks like we’re rebounding.”
Hicks recently completed a five-year term as president of the Alberta Beekeepers Association.
Honey sold to the United States was at $.95 U.S. a pound last November and increased to $1.10 – $1.15 by the end of February.
“It’s a bit early to know how much winter loss we’ll have,” Hicks says. “I expect it will be in the average range – 15-20 per cent.”
Alberta is the top honey producer among Canadian provinces. The majority of its hives are around the greater Edmonton area and in the Peace Country.