I remember growing up in Agassiz, and how cold our winters were. It was almost with pride that we bragged about how many days of school we got off compared to Chilliwack and the rest of the Valley. It was those chilling Arctic outflows that kept certain pests and destructive crop-eating insects at bay.
Today, as our ice caps melt and our oceans warm, we are seeing drastic changes, even to our local climate. This has now come to the point that we have to seriously re-evaluate what types of crops we can grow.
No longer can we take for granted any of the historical agriculture that we all have become used to.
The perfect example of this is the Filbert Blight, the disease that devastated our hazelnut farms. It had become apparent that the blight thrived in our new climate and that serious adaptations needed to be made to the types of crops we grow.
It has also become all too apparent that our behavior as human beings is slowly changing our planet for the worse.
Hopefully, as stated by local hazelnut growers, these types of trees can be replaced to a more blight-resistant type and we can continue to grow hazelnuts.
This is a wakeup call, not only to the hazelnut growers of Agassiz, but to all growers and all people from all walks of life.
It doesn’t matter what we do, or where we do it; it must be done with thought and consideration for both our ecosystems and future generations, or we risk losing both.
– Art Green, Hope