During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, potatoes were being grown commercially on a flat bordering the Smoky River near the homestead of Ancel Maynard Bezanson and not too far from the Bezanson Townsite. Charlie Moon, who was one of the partners in the Riverview Ranching Company, was always on the look-out for ways to diversify his many business ventures. He decided that potatoes would be a profitable crop to be grown on land that he owned in the river valley. As in any river valley, the growing conditions were optimal; rich loam soil and a substantially warmer climate than at higher elevations – all of which contributed to an exceptional high-quality potato crop. The harvested potatoes were transported to Mackie’s Cement Yard in Grande Prairie where an excellent storage facility had been dug into the creek bank and covered with a roof. Although, the venture only lasted a few years, it certainly exemplified the potential of growing a variety of crops, including potatoes, in the Bezanson area.
It wasn’t the first time that vegetables had been planted in the same area of the river valley. A.M. Bezanson had an exceptional turnip crop in 1914 that had been planted not only for feed for his livestock but also for household use.
Written by Wanda Zenner Photo – Wanda Zenner collection
Reference Ross & Theresa
Moon Margaret Moon
Jack Zenner – 1st job after obtaining his driver’s license was hauling potatoes from Moon’s Potato Farm