Tony and Marilyn Kraayvanger from Invermere

Tony and Marilyn Kraayvanger from Invermere

Soda Creek Corn draws travellers

Williams Lake may be known for its Stampede, but corn could be a new draw.

Williams Lake may be known for its Stampede, but corn could be a new draw.

On a hot September Thursday afternoon, everyone picking at Soda Creek Corn U-Pick had come from outside the region.

“We are going to visit our daughter in Quesnel,” Tony and Marilyn Kraayvanger from Invermere said. “She told us to buy some corn for supper and we saw the sign on the highway and came down here.”

G. James, en route to Prince George to visit a friend, said he didn’t want to show up empty handed for dinner.

“I’ve never picked corn before,” he said with a shrug.

Another couple from Grande Prairie held up a camera and asked if they could have a photograph taken too.

It’s their first time picking corn so why not get a photograph to prove it, they said.

Proprietor Linda Kaufman said her signs on the highway were made a few years ago by Schickworks in Williams Lake.

The family has had the u-pick for 31 years and has a huge number of return customers.

“Often I’ll see families two or three times in a season,” Kaufman said, noting people will return to pick the fresh corn for their freezers.

Kaufmans opened for picking on Aug. 12, which is two weeks earlier than normal.

“Our record-to-date was Aug. 15,” Kaufman said, adding business has been steady.

Aside from the u-pick they have a commercial corn picker, used to prepare shipments to destinations between Prince George and 100 Mile House.

“We also have been supplying the Langley warehouse for the Overwaitea Food Group for the past three years,” Kaufman said.

Recently a customer told Kaufman’s husband a compelling story about corn.

The man was in the German army. When Germany lost the Second World War, many starving soldiers, returning home on foot, stopped in a farmer’s field to rummage for food.

“That was the last time he’d eaten corn, and now he was visiting in Canada, and came with relatives to pick corn, and was exclaiming in German and broken English, ‘oh my God, this is delicious,’.”

It was nothing like what he’d eaten in the field so many decades ago, he said.

When asked if the bears frequent the 12 acres of u-pick corn fields she said the bears prefer the 80 acres of feed corn.

“We call it cow corn. It’s just straight starch — huge cobs. There’s nothing sweet about that corn at all.”

Under the shade of a small tree, Kaufman’s mother-in-law Margie was peeling apples.

She pointed to a restored 1941 restored John Deere Model B tractor.

“It had no electric starter, had to be started by turning over the fly wheel by hand,” Maggie explained. “It ran on gas or what was know at that time as tractor gas, similar to kerosene.”

It had 27 h.p on gas, 23 on tractor gas and was a very popular tractor.

At that time farms were smaller and every farmer needed a tractor. and 336,000 of these tractors were sold because they were small, cheap, and reliable.

The tractor was used by Kaufmans for several years in the early 60s, then retired, and was restored last year by her son.

 

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

Just Posted

A detour via Mission Road is in place Sunday, Feb. 28 due to a vehicle incident. (Anna Fait photo)
Highway 97 closed south of Williams Lake Sunday morning, detour in place

Overnight, Williams Lake saw six centimetres of snowfall, according to Environment Canada

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

Mclean Silverton rides a rail in Boitanio Park - one of seven new features installed by the city this past week. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Snow park in Boitanio open for riding

If any users find that the park requires attention, please contact city hall at 250-392-2311

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

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

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read