Peter Warmerdam was born in 1927 in Sassenheim Netherlands. At the time, it was the home of the largest tulip bulb producing area in the world. In 1949, Peter arrived in Canada and worked at whatever jobs were available. His first job was working on a farm in Winnipeg. He moved to the West Coast in the early 1950’s spending some time in logging and eventually working full time in farming.
In 1974, Peter and his family purchased land in the Sumas Prairie Flats in Abbotsford where the farm currently stands.
Peter chose the Sumas area because the sandy soil made harvesting bulbs easier and the steady winds kept foliar diseases at bay. The ownership in the business eventually transferred to his sons and he became fully retired from working on the farm at 87 years of age.
In its 47 years in Abbotsford, the farm has expanded from a small operation to a company of nearly 100 employees. Today, Peter’s son Nick owns and operates Lakeland Flowers which continues to grow millions of beautiful daffodils, tulips, peonies, and sunflowers each year.
Sumas Lake becomes Sumas Prairie
By the 1920’s, engineers drained the lake through the Sumas Lake Canal and into the Fraser River, effectively turning the lake into farmland. The soils from the lakebed are sandy to silty in composition and quite fertile, creating the area into an agricultural hub of the Fraser Valley.