Pumpkin spice was in the air at the Clearwater Farmer’s Market last Saturday, Sept. 25, as folks gathered for the Harvest Faire.
Events ranged from seed cleaning and a pumpkin pie contest to bannock, honey tasting and a cider press.
Pumpkin and squash competitions were also held, with local gardeners vying for the top spot with their heaviest pumpkin or squash and most unique pumpkin or squash. There also was a secret weight competition held, where a pumpkin or squash closest to the secret weight wins.
The scale to weigh the special vegetables broke at the 11th hour, said coordinator Joanna Hurst, but all was okay as the weights were “determined super-scientifically by feel and secret weight was determined by overall contestant cuteness and charm.”
Winners of the contests were:
– Best pumpkin pie: Amanda Drescher, runner-up Sharon Neufeld
– Heaviest pumpkin: Oliver Earle, runner-up Jordon Mclin
– Heaviest squash: Sharon Neufeld, runner-up Tamara Thorpe
– Most unique pumpkin or squash: the Masse family, runner-up Kim Thomas
– Secret weight: Jacquelin Mclin
The pumpkin pies were judged by Mayor Merlin Blackwell, local restaurateur Sharon Chaytor and Thompson-Nicola Regional District services coordinator Sherri Madden. A tough job, but it had to be done.
The Clearwater Bee Club brought honey from eight different apiaries and beekeepers from around the Valley. Each honey had its own unique flavour profile and character, said Hurst.
While the final has not yet been determined, it’s estimated over $500 was raised for the Yellowhead Community Services Food Security Program, Indigenous and Early Years Programs from the cider press, pumpkin patch photo booth and bannock booth.
Hurst said she’d like to thank the following people: David Catzel from FarmFolk CityFolk for bringing the mobile seed cleaner; the United Way TNC for their generous financial support for the event; to the Clearwater Bee Club for running the honey tasting booth; the North Thompson Arts Council for sharing their Arts Alive project; to Calliope for their musical entertainment.
A thank you also goes out to all the awesome volunteers and donors that helped make the event a success: Merlin, Mandy, Kristal, Lisa, Hudson, Lynne, Denica, Cindy, Rose, Steve, the Soles, Mike and Kira.
The Harvest Faire was hosted by the YCS Food Security Program in partnership with FarmFolk CityFolk, North Thompson Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Clearwater Bee Club and YCS Early Years Program.