Cloverdale’s Bose Farms opens barn doors this weekend

CLOVERDALE — As leaves change colour and the smell of firewood lingers in the air, Bose Farm will open its doors to the public on Saturday, Oct. 11 during a second annual fall harvest celebration in Cloverdale.

Located at 16390 64 Ave., the site was established in 1892 and was farmed until 2009. Today, it has become one of Surrey’s largest conservation projects in recent history.

Three buildings are in the process of being restored – the family home, the potato barn and the milk parlour.

The company building the adjacent 253 condo units, RDG Ridge Development Ltd., claims The Ridge at Bose Farms is selling at a pace three to four times faster than other developments.

"It’s really about country living and farm life," said Roger, grandson of founder Henry Bose. "There will be many opportunities to have barn dances, tea and maybe even weddings."

The plan is to construct four condo buildings over eight acres of land. A set of single-family homes to the east of the complex is also on the drawing board, but with the promise to protect 12 acres of forest.

The family home will be used as guest suites, while the potato barn will be a communal amenity centre for residents.

The milk parlour will serve as a tool shed for the community garden.

The story of the Bose family emigrating from England to British Columbia is one Surrey resident Susan Boyce is very familiar with.

Author of "The Ridge at Bose Farm," Boyce plans to read a few colourful excerpts at the fall harvest.

"One of my favourites Roger told me is about his time plowing. The coyotes would come right up and around the base. When he put his foot down, they were gone. The thing was that while he was on his tractor, he was no real threat to them, he was a bonus of turning up all the mice and critters for the coyotes," she said.

The book came about after what Boyce called a "serendipitous" meeting at last year’s inaugural festival.

"I realized what a wonderful story teller he was and that this was clearly a book in the making. What was really interesting was when I looked into it more, it’s not just Roger. That whole family has been so much a part of Surrey forever," she said.

At the peak of production, there were 75 milking cows and the farm produced 1,000 tons of potatoes, hay and grain.

But Roger admitted farming has definitely seen a change in the last two decades.

"When we were farming, the way we were operating farms was entirely different. There’s so much more mechanization now that we did not have."

Barn doors will be open between 12 and 4 p.m. this Saturday.

There will be music and food. Admission is free.

Other attractions at the harvest festival include sidewalk sales, farmers’ markets and vendor booths.

For more information about the Bose family history, visit Surreyhistory.ca/bosefarm.html.

tverenca@gmail.com

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