Tis the season for holiday celebrations – for gifts and laughter and yummy treats. It’s also a time, in British Columbia, where the weather dips into freezing temperatures, winter storms rage and while many people hunker down at home in front of fireplaces, our farmers are out facing the elements.
Salmon farm sites in British Columbia all require a notable amount of travel – and as a result, farmers work in shifts, living at the farm site for a number of days before taking a turn at home. That means over the holidays, while many of us will be with loved ones opening gifts and indulging on rich treats – some of our farmers will be in the suites at the farm sites, sharing Christmas with their co-workers.
Christmas on the farm is a little different at each site. Many will come together in one area site to share a meal together, often companies send in care packages to help brighten the day in the often-grey BC winter. Farm staff without little ones at home regularly steps up to care for the fish at this time so our parents on staff can be home with their children.
The work this time of year doesn’t change: fish are still monitored closely and the regular operations of the farms – from feeding to maintenance – still have to be taken care of. Of course, this time of year, when temperatures can dip to -10 in some parts (still warm compared to some of our east-coast and other world-wide neighbours!) that work is done with a few extra layers of clothing: like any good Canadian, it means donning mitts and toques – and lots of fleece!
It’s a season of Christmas parties for all of our companies: when each will find some way to recognize the good work of their employees over the past year. It’s also a very generous time of year on behalf of our members – with donations and fundraising driving thousands of dollars into local charities such as the food bank.
So, from our coast to yours – we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May your celebrations be full of cheer, and a warm way to welcome in the new year!