Fresh from Fraserland Organics – Meet Farmer Shelly Harris
Step into the world of Fraserland Organics and you’ll find yourself in the capable hands of Shelly Harris, the heart and soul behind this thriving farm nestled in the heart of Delta, British Columbia. With a sprawling 2000 acres of land under her stewardship, Shelly wears the hats of both farm manager and proud owner. But Fraserland Organics is more than just a piece of land—it’s a legacy that Shelly and her family have been cultivating since 1989.
Guided by a passion for organic farming, Shelly and her husband, who proudly carries the torch as a 5th generation farmer, nurture an array of treasures in their fertile soil. Potatoes, peas, beans, barley, and an array of other crops flourish under their watchful care. Yet, what truly sets Fraserland Organics apart is the unwavering dedication that Shelly and her family invest in each growing season.
For the Harris family, farming is a labour of love. As one chapter of the year’s agricultural calendar comes to a close, another opens with anticipation and excitement. The transition from one season to the next at Fraserland Organics is seamless, a testament to the family’s commitment to their craft. Before the last layers of winter vanish, they blanket their fields in preparation for the grand awakening of spring. It’s a delicate ritual that breathes life into the soil, ensuring it’s ready to cradle the promise of new life.
Come April, the stage is set for tillage and planting. This intricate work continues through to June, as the sun, earth and seeds work their magic. Yet, the journey is not without its challenges. The growing season demands vigilant guardianship against the inevitable arrival of weeds, and and a very close eye on water levels and irrigation. And as summer draws to a close, the farm transforms into a bounty of harvest—a time of reaping what has been sown with love.
Numbers tell only a fraction of the tale. Behind every sack of potatoes from Fraserland Organics, there lies a tapestry of dedication. Hundreds of tonnes of seeds, an orchestra of 30 tractors, countless gallons of fuel, and an astonishing 13,000 hours of labor—all offered to the land that sustains us. It’s an investment of love that pays dividends in the form of nourishment and connection.
Mother Nature, as we know, can be unpredictable as the changing climate continues. In recent years, shifting weather patterns have emerged as a formidable challenge for Shelly and her team. The deluge of heavy rain in 2022 tested their mettle, yielding a harvest that fell short of expectations. Increasingly, the challenges are unrelenting. It’s a dance of adaptability, as the farm must pivot gracefully to meet nature’s ever-changing rhythms.
Through it all, Shelly’s spirit remains steady in her approach. While the days are often long and the obstacles can feel like many, there’s an undeniable joy that emanates from her—joy in feeding Canadians, joy in being a steward of the land, and most importantly, joy in seeing the fruits (and potatoes) of her labor embraced by those who enjoy them.
And speaking of potatoes – Shelley confesses that the entire team shares a deep-seated affection for these humble tubers. It’s a love affair that’s nurtured from seed to table, culminating in a variety of culinary delights.
Shelley’s Top Potato Storage Tip: Store these treasures away from the light to avoid unwanted greening, and in a cool sanctuary to prevent any unwelcome sprouting. Whether roasted, mashed, boiled, or gloriously smashed, the flavors of these potatoes are a testament to the care and dedication invested in their growth.