Master Gardener title up for grabs at Sunday’s Fall Fair

  • Jul. 31, 2008 8:00 a.m.

By Heather RamsayTlell Fall Fair 2007 master gardener Rick Grange says his prize-winning giant raspberries won’t be making an appearance at this year’s fair, because they aren’t ripe yet. “It’s been a poor growing season so far,” he says. Even though his greenhouse-grown cauliflowers and scarlet runners are doing fine, the Tow Hill Road-based gardener has decided not to enter the 26th annual event, which will be held this Sunday (Aug. 3) at the fairgrounds in Tlell. As far as the fruit category goes, he suspects he may have been out of luck. “I wouldn’t have had any this year,” he says. If the cool summer wasn’t enough to deter this year’s gardeners vying for top spots in the fruit, vegetable and flower categories, then the 72 km/h winds on July 28 might have. One of last year’s prize winners, Florida Froese of Port Clements, watched in horror as her flowers were whipped around in the storm. But Mrs. Froese says she’s got enough protected areas at her home to keep her blooms safe and she will have some entries this year. There are lots of other categories to check out in the main hall at this year’s fair, say organizers Doug and Linda Louis, including Arts and Crafts, Home Baking, Farm Produce, Livestock, Poultry and more. “Come on out and see what your fellow islanders have been creating and growing since the last fair,” says Mrs. Louis. Challenges for farmers, bakers and crafters this year include the Decorated Shovel, Floral Arrangement, Duct Tape Creation, Veggie Sculptures, Decorated Cake and Decorated Cupcake for the kids. “This is where you get to vote for your favourite,” said Mrs. Louis. “All of the winners are decided by your votes, but please – only one vote per challenge.” Two popular past entertainers are coming back, folk musicians Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard, along with Al Simmons, the one-man comedy, magic, song and dance show for the kids. Other activities for children include the fish pond, story tent and more. Admission for the fair has been increased for the first time in 25 years. Admission for those 16 years and older is $10, for 5-15 years it’s $1 and for under 5, it’s still free. Only one entry gate will be open by the parking area and will be well posted. The Tlell Volunteer Firefighters will coordinate parking. Those who require handicapped parking should have their placards visible and let parking attendants know. Parking will be allowed in designated areas only and not allowed on the sides of the highway. To help celebrate BC’s 150 birthday, a special exhibit showcasing the history of agriculture, from Haida to homesteaders to today’s farms and ranches, will be on display.

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