Chilliwack’s Katherine Palmer named top student in a certificate program at UFV

Career change and love for gardening plants seed for Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Katherine Palmer

Baby goats and tarragon twigs are keeping Katherine Palmer of Chilliwack busy this spring, but it wasn’t always that way.

It took time for her true passion to bear fruit — or more accurately herbs — but thanks to two agricultural certificate programs at UFV, she’s doing what she loves while working as her own boss.

And now that’s led to a prestigious award.

After excelling in UFV’s Horticulture Crop Production and Protection and Integrated Pest Management Essentials programs, Palmer has been chosen as the 2018 winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal as the top student in a certificate program at UFV.

“I loved that the programs allowed us to get a lot of hands-on experience,” she says.

“The instructors are really personable, and smaller classrooms gave us the chance for constant feedback. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

The seeds were planted for Palmer’s love of gardening at a very early age.

Starting around the age of three, she’d grow “whatever my mom would let me.”

Living in Fort St John meant an unusual growing season compared to the Fraser Valley. While fewer growing months were available due to longer winters, the Peace River region enjoys longer stretches of daylight, sometimes lasting until nearly midnight.

When her parents decided to move to the Lower Mainland, a new life started taking root almost immediately.

Palmer left her hometown, and her career as a special education teacher, and plunged into UFV’s agriculture courses.

A friend with property near Ryder Lake was moving to Hong Kong and needed someone to tend to his farm. Katherine and her husband Doug stepped in, starting their own business, Kiss the Earth Herb Company.

While working long hours on quiet farm miles from most amenities might seem daunting to some, Palmer embraces the lifestyle. Besides, along with husband Doug, she has chickens, ducks, geese, goats, sheep, and dogs to keep her company.

Their array of culinary and medicinal herbs are sold online and at local farmers’ markets, including the Eco Market every Wednesday in Chilliwack. They focus on growing that’s chemical-free and pollinator friendly.

When asked how often her UFV training helps her on the farm, Palmer doesn’t miss a beat.

“Every single day.”

In addition to her impressive 4.26 GPA, Palmer was a regular volunteer in the UFV’s greenhouse and barn, and at related community events.

Thanks in part to UFV’s credit laddering structure, she’s only two courses shy of completing UFV’s Agriculture Technology diploma program.

“I’m just fascinated by plants. I love being and working outside, and my courses at UFV have helped make that a daily reality. I get to be my own boss, and love what I do,” she says.

“Fate just kind of fell into place.”

Palmer received her award Wednesday, June 6, during UFV’s afternoon Convocation ceremony.

Just Posted

Top Canadian curlers clash at 2019 Everest senior men’s and women’s championships

It’s the first big event at the just-opened Chilliwack Curling Club, and features an exciting field.

Chilliwack mayor takes taxi transfer topic to Vancouver

Meeting with the mayor, health minister and Fraser Health CEO confirmed that taxi transfers happen

Chilliwack Chiefs learn hard lessons in BCHL playoff defeat

Lots went wrong for the junior A club, but coach Brian Maloney found some silver linings.

March heat wave arrives with spring in Chilliwack

Two record high maximum temps recorded in Chilliwack with spring warmth

Harrison musician Todd Richard gearing up for album release party in Chilliwack

Todd Richard’s third album, Live Your Life, features all ‘true-story’ songs

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

B.C. launches immunization program at schools to stamp out measles resurgence

Vaccination records to be checked at B.C. schools next fall

Most Read