Sunday, September 3, 2017

Denman Island Blackberry Faire 2017

Produce judging and displays
"The biggest little parade this side of the Salish Sea"
Denman Island celebrates the end of summer with the annual Blackberry Faire. The festivities kick off early morning with the Blackberry Run/Walk. An 8.5 km course that takes participants up the big hill then onto Pickles, Lake and Northwest Roads. All proceeds from the run are donated to Canadian Breast Cancer Research. After the run the Blackberry Faire follows on the Community Hall grounds... a parade, food booths, a book sale for fundraising, music, produce judging and displays and craft booths. This is also the venue for the famous Denman Island Zucchini Races, where the only rule is that 'all axles must go through the zucchini'!

The parade assembly takes place at the Guest House then travels to the Community Hall field. Named in The Flagstone as "the biggest little parade this side of the Salish Sea", this year did not disappoint. Lead by a couple of frisky, side stepping horses, along with music and costumes there were kids on bikes, miniature goats with fairy wings and a tutu, baton twirling, a ewe pulling a cart of tiny fairies, assorted canines, an old truck, farm tractors, flashing lights of the Ambulance and Denman Island Volunteer Fire Department trucks and the grand finale, a beautiful, white steed sprinkled with glitter, complete with a flower wreath and braided tail with flowers.
Produce entries from my garden
I decided to enter some of my fabulous garlic for judging this year. The Hornby Island Fair has Denman judges who rave about the participation there. Our competitive nature has created a bit of a buzz on Denman this year to up our game for the judges who come over from Hornby Island. 

While watering the garden the night before Faire day, I realized there is more here to enter than just garlic!
Heirloom Tomato Collection takes first place!
The first ripe Aunt Ruby's German Green tomato was staring me in the face, the Seascape Strawberries are always a show stopper... and I pick Corentine cukes every 3-4 days!

I managed to round up five good looking entries; two varieties of hardneck garlic, my favorite Corentine cornichons in two sizes, an Heirloom Tomato Collection (Aunt Ruby's German Green, Sally's Salsa and Yellow Hawaiian) and last but not least, twelve stunning, huge Seascape Strawberries. 
Seascape Strawberries take second in the Berry Category

It was a busy day with lots of activity, socializing and fun. The weather was beautiful, although the afternoon got a bit hot for some of us. The Denman Island Garden Club ran the Produce Competition for the first time this year and I send out many thanks to all those involved in organizing all the activities that go into this annual event.

It was a great day on Denman! Now those winning tomatoes will become delicious sandwiches for dinner... and seeds will be collected and saved for next year!
Winner winner, makes great dinner!
Till next time... stay cool and Bon App├ętit!

Photos by Sally Rae
Organic produce lovingly grown, watered and cared for by Sally Rae