The winter is reluctant to leave, but nonetheless, people are getting eager to get started on their gardens. They know that dreary weather can only hold the skies for so long, and while we are off to a cold start again this year, the BC almanac shows promising weather coming in the latter half of April, May, and June. Be ready – if BC weather turns with the rest of the provinces, the timing might be all at once.

The US Midwest is heating up, and if it’s any indication of what’s to come, this spring is going to take off. This should be especially true in BC. A volatile stock market, high interest rates, and the threat of recession has led to conservative and cautious moods. However, delayed construction projects are now bustling, which means landscape plants are in high demand. If real estate is a good predictor of economic activity, it seems we have passed the bottom and have started to recover. Inflation continues to be high in Canada, but a recent report shows a slight decline in the USA, which should lead to lower interest rates here too. Although we are told a recession is on the horizon, unemployment is low, which should be a recipe for strong consumer demand.

With talk of a looming global recession, climate change, war, and lingering Covid-19, it’s hard to find a lot of positive news stories. In the past, our industry has proven to be resilient in hard economic times, and let’s remember that our industry holds many of the tools that will be used to create sustainability, and put us at the forefront of fighting climate change.

The BC Ministry of Agriculture has released a framework for industry funding for the next few years. To qualify, you need to make sure your Environmental Farm Plan is up to date. There is mounting pressure to make significant changes to adapt to sustainable practices, however, the industry must be allowed some autonomy to flourish and have freedom from excessive overregulation. What is clear is that if the industry is to make ambitious changes, we must plan carefully, and allow enough time for farmers to adapt and be proactive rather than reactive, in order to offer solutions rather than roadblocks.

We need to work together with our industry and the government. BCLNA is an important vehicle that will continue to navigate these challenges for the nursery industry.

I give my sincere thanks for everyone’s continued support for BCLNA.