Peter Breederland with his crop of goji berries at Aldergrove's Topgro Greenhouses.

Peter Breederland with his crop of goji berries at Aldergrove's Topgro Greenhouses.

Goji berry crop opens to U-pickers

An Aldergrove grower of goji berries is opening his farm to "U-pickers" for the first time this month.

An Aldergrove grower of goji berries is opening his farm to “U-pickers” for the first time this month.

Peter Breederland has the only goji berry farm in Canada

The goji is a bright orange-red, bean-shaped berry which contains a mix of vitamins A and C, antioxidants, minerals, amino acids and protein, and studies have shown they can boost energy and metabolism.

They have a sweet, tart taste and have long been a staple of the Asian diet.

The goji berry’s nickname is the “happy berry,” which is how Gojoy got their name.

Peter Breederland has been a farmer for close to 40 years. He started in the industry when he was 16 years old in his native Holland and carried on when he came to Canada 27 years ago.

For the past 23 years, the now 54-year-old has successfully run Topgro Greenhouses Ltd. on his 50-acre property in Aldergrove. But his greenhouse operation was only using 10 acres of his property to produce sweet miniature bell peppers and he was looking to expand, so he set out to find his next venture.

What followed next was a great deal of research and different experiments with goji berries, despite many telling Peter that goji berries could not be grown in Canada. The goji berry is native to China, which made learning about it all the more difficult for Breederland.

Some of the research included how to grow the plants, how to fertilize, which fertilizer to use, how to prune the bushes, possible insects, and more.

All of this was done from scratch, with Breederland relying on his farming know-how, as well as some trial and error.

And in 2004, he produced his first crop of goji berries.

Breederland now has 10 acres on his property devoted to growing goji berries.

The farm will be open for U-pickers on the next two weekends, Fridays and Saturdays, June 17-18, and June 24-25.

The price on U-pick goji berries is $20 per kg (equivalent to $9 lb), and if you pick three kilograms or more you receive 10 per cent off.

Topgro will also have goji plants for sale in a range of sizes for your garden.

Topgro is located at 1110 – 264 St.

Just Posted

SFN councillor Joanne Charles, White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker and Coun. David Chesney listen to welcoming remarks from Chief Harley Chappell (Xwopokton). (FIle photo)
White Rock, SFN grieve together on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Residents encouraged to wear orange on Canada Day

This year’s Virtual Hike for Hospice raised just over $30,000 with the support of participants including Marlene. (Contributed photo)
PHOTOS: Virtual hike raises $30K for Peace Arch Hospice Society

Community support smashes fundraising goal

Surrey RCMP are investigating after shots were fired at a white Jeep Saturday evening in Newton. (Shane MacKichan photo)
UPDATE: Surrey RCMP asking for video after shots fired in Newton

Surrey RCMP said a silver SUV shot at a white Jeep

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

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

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read