Lois Hole An Al­berta icon

Alberta Gardener Magazine - - News -

Lois Hole may well be one of Canada’s most well-known and iconic gar­den­ers. She, and in­deed the en­tire Hole fam­ily, have earned their place in Al­berta’s gar­den­ing his­tory.

Lois Vere­gin was born and raised in Saskatchewan. She moved to Ed­mon­ton as a teenager to com­plete her ed­u­ca­tion. Here, she met her hus­band, Ted Hole. In 1952 they pur­chased a 200-acre mixed farm at St. Al­bert, Alta. They tried to raise wheat, then chicks, pigs, tur­key and cat­tle but it was the veg­etable gar­den that proved suc­cess­ful. By 1960, they had be­gun sell­ing fresh veg­eta­bles and then gar­den sup­plies from their back door. Their pro­duce and sales grad­u­ally be­came their main busi­ness. They built their first green­house in 1967; an­nu­als were one of their pro­duc­tion sta­ples. Their boys, Bill and Jim, be­gan work­ing the fam­ily busi­ness and by 1979 they be­gan op­er­at­ing as Hole’s Green­houses and Gar­dens Ltd. The busi­ness con­tin­ues to grow and has be­come one of the largest op­er­a­tions in west­ern Canada.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­woman, Lois was a best­selling au­thor, pen­ning sev­eral books on grow­ing and life in Al­berta. Her books were widely em­braced by the pub­lic, per­haps be­cause they were ed­u­ca­tional and writ­ten in her easy go­ing, com­mon-sense style, or per­haps be­cause of her and her open and car­ing na­ture. In ad­di­tion to best-sell­ing books she con­trib­uted ar­ti­cles to the Globe and Mail, Ed­mon­ton Jour­nal and Ed­mon­ton Sun; sub­mit­ted Cana­dian con­tent for the 1999 Old Farmer’s Almanac Gar­den­ing Com­pan­ion and ap­peared on CBC TV’S Cana­dian Gar­dener as a reg­u­lar guest.

Lois was an ad­vo­cate of li­braries and ed­u­ca­tion, health­care and the arts. Al­ways a will­ing par­tic­i­pant, Lois had a gen­uine in­ter­est in help­ing others. Whether it was smaller green­houses and grow­ers in small com­mu­ni­ties around the prov­ince who looked to her for ad­vice or her ad­vo­cacy for a cause, you could count on Lois.

She be­came in­volved as a trustee for two school di­vi­sions and chan­cel­lor of

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