1252 Indian RD, Creston BC • 1-250-428-2734
In 1938-1939 logging and mining entrepreneurs Frank Staples and his brother Roy turned their business and entrepreneurial interests to farming. With permission from the Canadian government, the brothers began dyking a 7500 acre portion of the Creston flats. The Canadian government and the Staple’s brothers entered into a conditional agreement that stipulated if they were able to prevent the land from flooding for a period of 2 years then the land would become theirs.
In a risky, financial move, they pre-sold most of the land to pay for the dyke and kept roughly 1000 acres for themselves. After years of arduous work, the brothers were successful. Frank farmed his portion of the land growing grain, gladiolas, strawberries and hay. After some time, Frank’s daughter Marion Staples inherited the land that would eventually become Sutcliffe farms. Marion married Art Sutcliffe in 1948 and together the couple began farming.
Art experimented with many crops trying to determine what crops were best suited to growing well in the Creston Valley. He raised cattle, grew grain, hay, corn and a variety of vegetable crops. Eventually, Art planted a small 5 acre plot of asparagus and the crop thrived. During the next 10 years Art continued to plant asparagus expanding the crop to 30 acres.
In 1973, Art’s 19 year old son Doug, while pursuing an Agriculture Diploma at Olds College, bought the 135 acre cattle farm adjacent to his father’s farm. After 2 years, Doug sold all the cattle, began growing grain and worked with his father on the two farms. Doug eventually converted his grain fields into asparagus and merged his asparagus operation with that of his Dad’s; thus becoming western Canada’s largest asparagus farm.
In 1996, Art semi-retired but found it difficult to stay away from the farm. Art worked with Doug until his passing in 2000. Doug, his wife Dianne and 3 boys Kenton, Connor and Brett now run Sutcliffe Farms. While asparagus remains the number one crop at Sutcliffe Farms, canola for oil, alfalfa grass hay, timothy hay for compression for export to Japan and sweet corn is also grown.