What is the history behind Warmerdam flowers? What made you get into the flower business?
Warmerdam Flowers goes back to when Peter Warmerdam and his family came to Canada from the Netherlands after World War II. Eventually, they found themselves in Aldergrove and later bought land in 1974 in the Sumas Prairie Flats in Abbotsford where the farm currently stands. Peter chose the Sumas area because the sandy soil and the wind was good for growing gladiolas. In its 44 years in Abbotsford, the farm has expanded from the small operation it used to be. Currently, it grows cut peonies, sunflowers, daffodils, and tulips. The family business now spans over three generations.
How do you ensure that your flowers are always the best quality?
The flowers are picked at the correct stage (on the tighter side) and are then maintained in post-harvest coolers so they can be delivered to customers fresh, and ready to be put into vases the day of the market.
What are your favorite flowers?
Out of the flowers we sell my favourite are the gladiolas. They look deceivingly boring when tight, but when they open up, they are stunning! My favourite flower overall is definitely a tropical called Passiflora incarnata, otherwise known as purple passionflower. They have beautiful section of it at Vandusen Botanical garden in Vancouver worth checking out!
What do you enjoy the most about selling at farmers markets?
What I enjoy most about the markets is getting to see the day to day interactions that go on between the vendors and customers. Every week I see people learn or get to try something new, which is great. I also just really enjoy making people’s days with flowers whether they are getting them as a gift, treating themselves, or even coming to the booth to smell them!
Why is supporting local important to you?
Supporting local is a beautiful thing. Shopping at the market not only makes us conscientious shoppers, but it also allows us to form a direct relationship with the producer.