Lettuce and peas are growing well, as France Bournazel shows. Russell Farm Market, way off in the distance, should be opening again by mid-July. The Garden Centre, however, is back in business. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Lettuce and peas are growing well, as France Bournazel shows. Russell Farm Market, way off in the distance, should be opening again by mid-July. The Garden Centre, however, is back in business. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Crops ready, but Russell Farm Market still a month away from reopening

Garden Centre doing a blazing business with everyone taking up gardening

Four months after flood waters submerged the Westholme area during a 24-hour period of heavy rain Feb.1, Russell Farm Market & Garden Centre owner France Bournazel is just getting her head above water.

Insurance matters have all been finalized and On Side Restoration’s work inside the market is progressing toward reopening around mid-July.

“Today’s the first day they’re working on that market site,” said Bournazel last Thursday, June 4. “That’s how long it took.”

Related: Russell Farm Market refurbishing for spring opening well underway

The Garden Centre at least got back into operation sooner rather than later for three days a week at first and then expanding to five days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, around the first of May.

“I had enough people to do five days a week,” said Bournazel. “It’s the people who want to work in the front line. They came to me and said, ‘OK, France, this is what we’re going to do for you.’”

There wasn’t quite enough personnel to stretch it to seven days a week at this point and the last thing Bournazel wanted was to offer less than top-notch service on those days.

“They’re very qualified,” she said of her staff. Many are also working in unfamiliar positions for now.

If they haven’t got an immediate answer for you, they’ll find it.

It’s been extremely busy at the Garden Centre since it reopened.

“The Garden Centre is doing amazing,” Bournazel indicated. “I got so much support.

“I never sold so much tomato plants in March. Everybody wants to grow a garden.”

The problem for Bournazel now is getting her ripening crops to the public, with the market still closed.

“My farm is ready and my market is not ready,” she noted. “I’ve got so much stuff coming out.”

Opening a small stall with some potatoes and lettuce is helping, but sales there are slow. “I need to have the big market open,” Bournazel stressed.

In order to alleviate the crop overload, she’s made plans to sell at the Duncan Farmers Market on Saturdays and in Cedar Sundays.

“I don’t have a choice,” Bournazel admitted. “I grow for my market. We’re trying to see how it’s going to work.”

All going well, things will be back as close to normal as possible in a month with an abundance of seasonal vegetables and fruit available in the market.

In the back of her mind, Bournazel is continually thinking about the nearby Chemainus River and the prospects of further flooding becoming a constant seasonal threat.

“I can’t afford to have another year like that,” she conceded.

Businessflooding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Russell Farm Market & Garden Centre’s France Bournazel has rhubarb growing in abundance. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Russell Farm Market & Garden Centre’s France Bournazel has rhubarb growing in abundance. (Photo by Don Bodger)

France Bournazel works on keeping the grass trimmed at the farm. (Photo by Don Bodger)

France Bournazel works on keeping the grass trimmed at the farm. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The Garden Centre has at least been up and operating again for a while at Russell Farm Market & Garden Centre. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The Garden Centre has at least been up and operating again for a while at Russell Farm Market & Garden Centre. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Eliot Kinsey runs T3ch For the People at Ladysmith Secondary. (Jennifer Fink photo)
High school student joins program to improve access to technology

By George Brockhurst, LSS Student Writer As the world moves forward, people… Continue reading

Lymphedema is often treated with medical devices such as compression garments, pneumatic compression pumps, or specialized custom wraps and bandages. (Submitted photo)
March 6 marks World Lymphedema Day

Lymphedema is caused by damage to the lymphatic system, and afflictings millions worldwide

Work has begun on the Downtown Public Washroom on 1st Avenue. (Submitted photo)
Work has begun on the Ladysmith Downtown Public Washroom

The project is expected to be finished in the spring

An architectural rendering of the five storey condo building at 201/203 Dogwood Drive. (BJK Architecture photo)
Five storey condo building proposal at Dalby’s proceeds to public hearing stage

Frank and Mike Crucil of FMC Holdings are hoping to turn Dalby’s Automotive into a five storey condo

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read