Coming up in Cowichan

Rhododendron fair, Green Community fundraiser and square dancing

Rhododendron society puts on popular annual garden fair

Valley gardeners can hardly wait for the plant sale extravaganza of the year, April 30 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at the Cowichan Exhibition in Duncan.

Carrie Nelson, president of the Cowichan Valley Rhododendron Society, which hosts the fair says, “we are ready for this very popular event which boasts 14 growers of unusual and hard to find rhodos, azaleas, Japanese maples, perennials and more. Garden art, birdhouses, pots, tools, fairy paraphernalia, mulch and arborist services are also for sale on site.

“Our expert growers and volunteers can help you find the right plant for your conditions or a special gift for Mother’s Day. Enjoy the fabulous truss display of locally grown rhododendrons.”

The first 100 paying customers will receive a free plant. Admission, parking and coffee are free. Proceeds go toward the education of the genus rhododendron and the beautification of public gardens on Vancouver Island.

“This year we will donate plants to Providence Farm,” said Nelson. “I hope to see you there.”

For information on vendors and gold sponsors see: www.cowichanvalleygardenfair.com.

Fundraiser for Cowichan Green Community teaching kitchen

Bill Jones of Deerholme Farm, along with the Cowichan Chefs’ Collaborative is hosting a fundraiser for Cowichan Green Community’s teaching kitchen.

Scheduled for May 1, at the Old Firehouse Wine and Cocktail Bar, this afternoon event (12-4 p.m.) will feature individual courses paired with local wine and cider.

Local chefs Bill Jones, Dan Hudson (Hudson’s on First), Fatima da Silva (Vinoteca), Ian Blom (Old Firehouse Wine and Cocktail Bar), and Marissa Goodwin (Organic Fair) will each feature local food in a separate course, including ingredients such as blueberries, nettles, wild mushrooms, and cheese.

The menu has just been announced and will include an absinthe-cured confit raincoast trout, a smoked turkey and stinging nettle strata, a nettle and hazelnut ravioli, and more. This fundraiser will also feature a silent auction of memorable local experiences.

Proceeds from the Taste of Spring fundraiser will go towards upgrading CGC’s teaching kitchen.

“CGC needs to upgrade some of the kitchen’s key infrastructure, including the walk-in cooler and its storage capacities,” said Nadeane Nelson, CGC’s board vice-president. “The kitchen is in high demand, and we are so grateful to Bill Jones, Jeff Downie, and the Cowichan Chefs’ Collaborative for generously offering to host this event.”

Tickets are $115 per person and can be purchased online through CGC’s website (www.cowichangreencommunity.org), at the Garden Pantry Store (360 Duncan St.), and at the Old Firehouse Wine and Cocktail Bar (40 Ingram St.).

For more information on this fundraiser, please contact the Cowichan Green Community at 250-748-8506 or email info@cowichangreencommunity.org

Square dance at The Hub open to anyone aged 12 and over

The next square dance at The Hub in Cowichan Station will take place on Friday, May 6 starting at 7:30 p.m. The dance is open to all 12 years and older, and the suggested donation is only $5.

Music is provided by The Shady Grove Dance Band, no experience is necessary, and all dances are taught by the callers, led by Peter Sussman.

Want to learn more? Call Sussman at 250-929-8226.