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Fundraiser this Saturday for farming legend John Ryser

89-year-old recovering after losing leg in accident
John Ryser
John Ryser on his tractor at his farm near Stoner.

Helping one of the area's noted food producers enter a new chapter in his life will be at the centre of a fundraising event this Saturday at the Prince George Farmers' Market.

For more than 80 years, John Ryser had been growing potatoes for the local market. But all that came to an end in late June when he went to change a large tractor tire on his three-acre plot near Stoner. 

He lost his footing and the tire fell on him and he was pinned on the ground outside overnight and at the start of the heat wave. He was found the next day and rushed to the hospital. 

Given his age, 89, it was a miracle he survived, but while doctors did everything they could, they eventually had to amputate his lower left leg.

According to a biography provided by his niece, Laura Murphy, he developed his  first farm in Moore’s Meadow in the 1950s. He recognized a need for seed potatoes and the rest is history. 

"In 1963, new regulations meant that John had to register his seed potatoes. From then on, his seed potato operations grew. In fact, John has been delivering seed potatoes to Art Knapps for 50 years," Murphy said.

Other customers have included the Buffalo Brewing Company, Husky restaurant, Crossroads, the Twisted Cork, Northern Hardware, Williams Northwest and Cimo's restaurant. 

And in case you're wondering, the Legendary John’s Spud Truck is named after him and the poutine it serves is made from the potatoes he's grown (as are the pumpkins to be given away as part of the Downtown Fallfest).

"John remains an inspiration to his family and friends as he recovers to work through these challenges and enjoy the next chapter of his life," Murphy said. "We extend our gratitude for all of the logistical and emotional support provided by the Prince George Farmer’s Market."

The Farmers' Market runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Third Avenue from Quebec Street to Dominion Street.