Emma Lea Farms is located in sunny Ladner – just take a drive across the single-lane, century old wooden bridge onto Westham Island and you’ll be returning often. Emma Lea offers u-pick and ready picked berries, a wide variety of BC Grown fruits and vegetables, as well as SPCA Certified beef, homemade jam, pickled veggies, honey, candles and flowers. Their Ice Cream Shoppe offers the perfect summer treats when you are visiting the farm – ice cream, sundaes, smoothies, milkshakes, fresh baked goods and more. There’s even a play area, sandbox and an antique tractor for the kids to play on. And be sure to say hi to the mini donkeys when you are there, Be sure to check out the u-pick pumpkin patch in October!
Emma Lea Farms is a fifth generation, family run farm. The farm has been in the family since 1885, starting with Joseph and Emma Tamboline, and is now run by Kevin and Joanne and the fifth generation of family. They have had their U-Pick farm for over 30 years and enjoy producing great tasting healthy fruit in a sustainable manner. Over the years, they have continued to grow in a healthy, sustainable manner with the hopes of keeping their farm going for future generations.
Open 7 days a week during the season, the farm is also surprisingly close – only 1/2 hour south from Vancouver, and on the way to/from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminals.
Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?
Answer: We are proud to support local as much as we can. We have about 25 suppliers – in addition to purchasing fresh fruit and produce from other B.C. farms, we use 90% B.C.-based suppliers (the other 10% are Canadian owned) – that’s all our accounting & bookkeeping, banking & financial Services, construction, distribution, IT, media (advertising, etc.), recycling, compost & waste management services, repair & maintenance, etc.
Question: What social practices are you proud of?
Answer: We support 10 full-time jobs. All of our full time employees live within Delta and Surrey. We have diversified the crops on our farm to be able to employ 10 full time people year round (and not be forced to lay them off in the off-season). We also have profit sharing and bonuses throughout the year. We pay above minimum wage for our contracted farm labour (40% of our full time employees and 100% of our contracted farm labour have immigrated to Canada). We also hire 40 local employees in the summer, mostly students, to help run our farm direct market.
We hold many fundraisers for our local community throughout the year (The Delta Hospital Foundation, Reach Child and Youth Development Centre, Delta Community Animal Shelter). We are proud to be a member of the Ladner Business Association and were excited to host their Summer BBQ this year!
Question: What environmental practices are you proud of?
Answer: We live on our farm and strive to keep it clean and organized! Here are some of our methods of moving forward and producing a healthy, environmentally safe product that we are proud of: 1) Our farm has an Environmental Farm Plan in place; 2) We use ES Crop Consult to regularly monitor the fields for pests and diseases. Plant diseases can be predicted and prevented early by the frequent and careful monitoring we do; 3) Insects are only treated when they exceed a safe threshold; 4) We exercise crop rotation so that the same crop is not reseeded in the same field year after year, keeping the soils healthier and better balanced; 5) We plant cover crops such as Winter Wheat, Fall Rye, Barley and Oats helping to improve drainage, store nutrients over the winter, and feed the thousands of migratory birds which visit each winter for their resting ground.