Parker Springford of Nanoose Bay’s Springford Farm earned the junior grand champion grower award in his first appearance at the annual Coombs Fair Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. He is the seventh generation of his family to exhibit at a fair on Vancouver Island. — J.R. Rardon photo

Six-year-old farmer debuts with Coombs Fair trophy

Seven generations of family have exhibited at Island fairs

Vancouver Island fair exhibitors hoping to break the Springford family’s stranglehold on award ribbons may have a long wait in front of them.

Six-year-old Parker Springford, scion of Nanoose Bay’s Springford Farm, became the seventh generation of his family to enter exhibits into a Vancouver Island fair last weekend. And he walked away with the Junior Grand Champion grower’s award at the 104th annual Coombs Fair.

“I didn’t know I’d be the best junior,” Springford said after showing off his award-winning cucumber, beets, beans, peas and other vegetables at the Coombs Fairgrounds. “I just thought I’d get a blue ribbon.”

His father, Ross Springford, won the top prize for hay at the fair, held Aug. 12-13, while his grandfather, Colin, won several ribbons in the adult class of the growers’ category.

“We’ve had seven generations of the family exhibit on the Island,” said Diane Springford, Parker’s grandmother. “Agriculture is in our blood.”

The family’s Island farming history began in 1853. Colin and Diane relocated from Saanich to Nanoose Bay in 1975 and established Springford Farm, which offers beef, poultry and eggs and produce while offering space to guest market vendors and artisans.

The family has been exhibiting in the Coombs Fair since its arrival, and “Papa” Springford, Parker’s grandfather, has been exhibiting for more than 40 years at the long-running fair.

Last weekend marked Parker’s debut at the Coombs Fair, and his accumulation of produce was enough to earn him top overall points in the junior class. He follows in the footsteps of his aunt, Clarice Springford, who won the Junior Grand Champion trophy in the 1987 fair.

“He asked his papa for a little patch in his garden this year, and grew all his own vegetables,” Diane said of her grandson.

One of the fair organizers said she was told by the judges that Parker’s cucumber entry was good enough to have won the open class.

Asked what he like best about gardening, Parker thought it over for a moment.

“Sneaking peas when they’re first ready,” he said.

The youngster has no plans to retire at the top of his game. He may even take a run at Papa’s streak of 40 years at the fair, “Yes, I’m going to try this again,” he said.

jr.rardon@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Parksville mayor announces he won’t run again

Lefebvre endorses Coun. Kirk Oates for mayor ahead of Oct. 20 election

Supportive housing project divides Parksville

Hundreds attend public hearing for 222 Corfield St. rezoning

Woman steps on dirty needle in Qualicum Beach

Delegation suggests Vancouver Island Health Authority distributes retractable needles

Accomplished British chef creating at Crown Mansion restaurant in Qualicum Beach

Butlers at the Mansion gets new executive chef, formerly with Gordon Ramsay’s Claridges

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

Vancouver Island nursery property sells in historic deal

Green Thumb Garden Centre and Nurseries in north Nanaimo sold

GoFundMe page launched for families of missing Vancouver Island fishermen

Search for three men whose vessel capsized near Tofino on June 15 continues.

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Most Read