Local Farm Feature: Heppell’s Farms

We are proud to have a partnership with local Fraser Valley Potato Farm, Heppell’s Potatoes!

History of Heppell’s (from http://heppells.ca)

“The foundation of Heppells farm was laid in the early 1920s. Dairy and potato farming was the main business. Initially the farming practices were quite labour intensive and involved lifting the harvest on top of the ground to the truck, handpicking potatoes, packing in 100lb bags, stacking the bags in storage barn and so on. The potatoes were sold unwashed and grading was almost negligible.

Our farm got a complete change over in 1963 when Ron and Dave Heppell bought it. The Heppell brothers embraced automation for growing potato. The change took place at every stage of potato production, right from sowing the seed to harvesting. Almost everything was done mechanically at the farm. However, a few of the labour-intensive farming practices were maintained however limited to hand cutting the potato seed.  Along with potatoes, Ron and Dave also focused on other vegetables, and turkey farming.

Consistently practicing effectual integrated farming techniques and updating the farm with the latest equipment automation gave fruitful results and the potato acreage swelled to around 200 acres.  Automation helped to earn better profits as the crops were now harvested before the rains (in October) unlike before when the harvest and logistics of the vegetables used to take place after October leading to losses.

Heppell brothers didn’t leave any stone unturned to make the farm reach the zenith. They concentrated on farming methods and production but were always sincerely thoughtful towards Human Resources on the farm. All the employees were bonded with a strong work ethic. Self-empowerment of each and every employee was also one the main concerns for Ron and Dave Heppell.

In 1993, the second generation of the Heppell’s family, Wes Heppell and Pete Schouten joined the business to carry the legacy with the same ethics and dignity. They were trained to manage farm operations from the grass roots level until final implementation; effectively and efficiently.

Today, HPC has become more than a small business. At peak harvest time, the company employs approximately 70 people (full and part time) for growing, harvesting, grading, packaging and shipping vegetables. HPC’s farm produce is grown, washed, packed and then delivered to customers at more than 12,000 tons of potatoes, more then 1200 tons of squash and various other commodities as cover and land rotational crops. Over 80% of HPC crops are shipped locally within a 100-mile radius. Heppell’s name is synonymous with quality for customers, as they know if it is Heppells it means farm fresh.

We are proud to sell Heppell’s Potatoes in all 3 of our Meridian Farm Market Locations in Maple Ridge, Tsawwassen and North Vancouver.

Learn more about Heppell’s Farm by clicking here.

 

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