Delta Farming History

Delta is known for its farmer's markets throughout the summer months, but did you know that farming in Delta dates back to the 19th century?


As summertime comes around, we often look forward to the many farmers' markets, fresh fruits and vegetables, and picnics in the park. Come visit Delta and discover the rich history of farming.

Early Days

With events like the Ladner Village Market and the farms centralized around Ladner it’s no wonder this is where the farming in Delta began back in 1868. Two brothers, Thomas and William Ladner, started developing the land for some of the first major Delta farms in the late 1800’s - to which the area is now named after. Since then, Ladner became a major centre for agriculture in the Delta area and continues to be today. Founded in 1888, the Delta Agricultural Society hosted the first agriculture show in 1893.

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Throughout the Twentieth Century, Delta farming continued to grow and expand across what we now know as the communities of Tsawwassen and North Delta, with a central hub in Ladner. Most farms had to support a lot of hay and pasture for their animals as they did the major grunt work of hauling and transporting products to the surrounding communities.

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At first, Delta farms were mostly grains, dairy, and beef, but later expanded vegetables, grains, and hay. Many farms first started out growing multiple crops of their own, but over time, regulations created more need for farmers to sustain their financial livelihood by choosing one main crop for their farms as their focus.

Further improvements to technology and transportation, and the exciting addition of connections like the George Massey Tunnel, Deas Island Tunnel, Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, Hwy 99, and the Alex Fraser Bridge have added to the success and growth of Delta farms.

Three Communities

Today, Delta farms continue to provide fresh produce to communities across the country and into the United States. With the rise in technology and better access to roadways and neighbouring cities, Delta farms can maintain their impact and sustain the demand for their products. 

Many farms have now moved more towards newer crops since their humble beginnings in the early years of farming. Many farms now grow berries, green-house produced products, or use other technologies to help support their farms. Our beloved Delta farms are still thriving today and we have a significant role to play in sustaining our farming heritage by supporting local farmers.

Come visit a Delta farm today! #ExploreDelta Farms

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