Pender Islands Fall Fair – “Celebrating Local Food”. This year the Farmers’ Institute would like to welcome all to the Fair with entrance by donation only, so that everyone in the community can attend. With this leap of faith, we would appreciate donations to the Fair to help with the costs of putting on this huge event. Businesses and individuals can sponsor the fair, with special sponsorship packages according to the level of donation; $200 for a Blue Ribbon sponsor, $100 for a Red Ribbon sponsor, $50 for Yellow Ribbon sponsors. We would especially like to thank those long-standing donors to the Fair, who have donated in the past to help with prize monies, children’s games, entertainment and other expenses. Sponsors will receive special recognition at the gate and on the grounds, and in a special “Thank You” in the Pender Post and in announcements at the Fair. Donations may be sent to Pender Island Farmers’ Institute PO Box 38 Pender Island BC V0N 2M0. Young People’s Agriculture has some deadlines that are earlier than others for the Fair: Section L, Class 21b Garden Challenge for Young People (11 to 15 years old); We invite the young people of Pender Island to grow a garden, any type – without the use of chemical fertilizer or pesticides – with a minimum of 6 crops. Your garden will need to be visited and evaluated sometime in August prior to the Fall Fair. To ensure that your garden is judged, make sure you contact the Convener at 629-3811 and pre-register by July 13. Then create and enter a photo display of your garden with a sample of your 6 crops and how you grew them. There is also Class 21a Garden Challenge for Children (up to 10 years old) to grow a garden without chemical fertilizers or pesticides with a minimum of four crops – floral, vegetable, and/or herbal, create a photo display of our garden with samples of your four crops and descriptions of how you grew them. Mentoring Program: If you would like a volunteer Master Gardener to visit your garden for consultation and to act as a mentor, contact the Convener Julie Johnston at 629-3811. The catalogue for the Fair and other announcements is posted on our website www.pifi.ca. Entry forms and catalogue copies are at the Library and the Farmers’ Market. You can also have a catalogue emailed to you. The Farmers’ Institute assistant events coordinator, Natasha Bhola, will be available on Saturdays at the Farmers’ Market and on Wednesdays at the Community Hall in the afternoons if you want to speak with her about the Fair – she can also be contacted at email@example.com or 250-415-7804. Fall Fair meetings will be 4:30 pm on every Wednesday until the Fair from now on! Stop by if you want to help us, or find out something about the section you are helping with or just want to ask a question. You may also contact Barbara Johnstone Grimmer firstname.lastname@example.org or call 629-3819 (home) or 3817 (office).
Pender Island Farmers' Institute Report Farewell and Best Wishes to Natasha The Farmers’ Institute said goodbye to our business co-op student from UVic, Natasha Bhola, in August, as she heads to Sweden for a year at Stockholm University. Natasha was involved in organizing the Farmers’ Market and helping organize the Fall Fair this summer for her co-op program work experience. She enjoyed Pender Island and even spent a day at the Nu-to-You as a volunteer this summer, and she hopes to come back next summer as a volunteer for the Fall Fair! We wish her well in all her future endeavours. Nick Frappell, who has been helping with set up and take down of the market, will be filling in for Natasha for her Farmers’ Market duties while he attends UVic in the fall, and he also helped with fall fair set up, take down and the Kids Zone. We were fortunate to have such enthusiastic young people helping us this summer. District A Farmers’ Institute Meeting with Ministry of Agriculture Deputy Minister and Staff On June 28th five Farmers’ Institute representative from Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands and Powell River met with Ministry staff in Victoria. We discussed several key issues: Meat regulations impacts, wildlife/agriculture conflicts and predation, invasive species and their impact on agriculture, the potential for year-round covered Farmers’ Markets, and the importance of the community agriculture sector and how our sector can be most effectively represented to the Ministry. The Ministry representatives included the Deputy and Assistant Deputy Ministers of Agriculture, the Superintendent of Farmers’ Institutes, and the Operations Manager of the Meat Inspection Program in BC. The meeting was productive and ministry staff were helpful and receptive.