Greenhouse grower becomes a goji trailblazer

It may have been the third annual BC Veggie Day in the rest of the province but at TopGro Greenhouses in Aldergrove, it was also BC Goji Day.

TopGro was one of four Delta, Aldergrove and Abbotsford greenhouses to open their doors to the public earlier this spring, but owner Peter Breederland was just as interested in showing people his 10-acre goji berry orchard as his 10-acre pepper house.

After growing bell peppers for almost 20 years, Breederland made some major changes in 2010-11. Inside the greenhouse, he switched to growing mini sweet peppers while outside the greenhouse he planted a 10-acre goji orchard as well as another half acre under tunnel housing.  “I like to be innovative and adventurous,” he said.

Native to China, the nutrient-rich bright orange -red berries are highly-prized for their health properties with some claiming the goji berry is a veritable fountain of youth. Despite that, goji berries are still largely unknown and his 10-acre orchard makes Breederland the largest commercial goji berry grower in North America.

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