Paramjit came to Canada in 1994. Not knowing the English language, yet determined to work, he began working for fruit growers in the Oyama/Kelowna areas. In order to learn the English language, Paramjit took ESL classes through the Sikh temple in Vernon.
By 2006, Paramjit had learned the skills needed to run and manage his own orchard. He then decided to lease his own orchard and, as a result, he now manages 40-45 acres of various apple varieties in the Oyama area. He also has successfully replanted two orchards.
When asked, “Why do you enjoy farming”, his response is that he enjoys managing his day to ensure that he can spend time with his wife and two children.
The biggest struggle Paramjit finds with farming is the labour. “You think you have a good worker, and then he finds work elsewhere and decides not to show up at the orchard.”
What makes a grower successful? “It is a combination of things. For starters, you need good equipment. Equipment must be well-maintained and in good working order to do the job properly and to avoid frustration. You need to keep up with weed control and keep your orchard clean. Pruning, thinning and proper nutrition are also very important. It is not ‘one thing’ that makes a grower successful; it is many things.”