Picking strawberries in the summer
Richmond, being located on an island at the mouth of the Fraser river, has some of the best quality soil in all of BC for agriculture. As a result, Richmond's first European settlers (mainly of Irish and Scottish descent) came to the island in the mid 1800's to farm. [Side note: many of Richmond's schools are named after these first pioneer farmers.]
While the boggy lands were drained by ditches and a dyking system was set up to prevent flooding, farming never took off in Richmond to the same extent that fishing did. Still, Richmond was predominately agricultural and remained that way until after the second world war.
Luckily, the Richmond township council were ahead of the game when they decided to designate large plots of land as agricultural reserves. Essentially no development could take place on this land unless it served agricultural purposes. This is one of my favourite things about Richmond. It's because of those reserves that a portion of Richmond hasn't been drained, paved, and developed into suburbs, strip malls or industrial parks. A visit to these parts of Richmond will feel like you're stepping back in time.
As a result, Richmond is unique for these agricultural reserves. It is here where the old way of Richmond life still exists. It's here where you'll find the strawberry fields, the pumpkin patches, the dairy farms, the English riding stables, the cabbage fields, the blueberry patches, but most famously, the cranberry farms. Cranberry farms dominate the north-eastern corner of Richmond as the soils here are acidic bogs; ideal growing conditions for the berry. Richmond, as a result, is the "cranberry capital of the world" because it produces so many cranberries. It's very likely that the cranberries in your juice or with your turkey dinner were grown in Richmond! A favourite activity in the summer was to drive to the agricultural reserves in the southern and eastern parts of Richmond to pick strawberries. All you had to do was follow the "U-pick" signs and you had several strawberry farms to choose from.
These farms are a part of Richmond's agricultural legacy.