Providence Farm executive director Tracy Parow holds up a pumpkin from the farm’s pumpkin patch. (Submitted photo)

Providence Farm executive director Tracy Parow holds up a pumpkin from the farm’s pumpkin patch. (Submitted photo)

Business notes: Providence Farm’s pumpkin patch opened for business

A look at what’s happening in Cowichan’s business community

The Providence Farm pumpkin patch is open again this year.

The farm’s executive director Tracy Parow said there’s a pumpkin for everyone and visitors will have the fun of choosing it right in the field where it grew.

“Our pumpkin patch is big enough for folks to safely walk in search of the perfect pumpkin,” she said.

“The patch is open this year Oct. 7-31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The pumpkin patch is accessible from Donnay Drive only. In addition, we will be hosting the masked hay rides on Oct. 23 and 24, also from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., first come first served.”

Providence Farm is a therapeutic community and charity whose mission is the stewardship of 400 acres of land and the delivery of programs for people with mental health issues.


The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is looking for people to serve on its board of directors in 2020-21.

Directors lead the strategic direction of the organization and play a vital role in supporting and advocating for the Cowichan business community.

“If you have energy and ideas, if you want to create positive impact in your community and contribute to the success of the chamber, if you have five to seven hours per month to contribute, and if you are a chamber member in good standing, we would love to have a chat about the opportunity to serve on our board of directors,” said the chambers executive director Sonja Nagel.

“We will be accepting applications until Oct. 16. The chamber’s AGM will be held on Nov. 24 where there will be an election for the board of directors. At this time, we are considering a hybrid AGM (in-person and Zoom).”

Call 250-748-1111 or email to learn more and what the role of the director entails.


The Coastal Community Credit Union is extending a helping hand to non-profit community organizations across the islands.

From losing expected funding to quickly evolving their service delivery, these organizations have had to navigate a very difficult landscape in the last six months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help continue their valuable community work, the credit union decided to redesign its Building Healthier Community Fund.

Renamed the Relief and Resiliency Fund, the retooled program will help non-profits through the pandemic as they adjust to the “new normal.”

The initiative offers one-time funds to community organizations who are facing new needs as a result of COVID-19. Applications are now open and people can go to for more information.

“We know how far reaching the benefits are of working together to strengthen communities,” said Allyson Prescesky, senior manager of community and communications for the credit union.

“This crisis has had a huge impact on so many organizations and people. It’s our responsibility and our vision to find ways to help.”


A bottle drive is being held on Oct. 11, with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity.

Organizer Pam Mitchell said bottles will be collected in the parking lot of the Duncan ReStore between 10 a.m. and noon on that day.

She said she has created accounts for Habitat for Humanity at the Cobble Hill and Duncan Return-It centres.

“Bottles can be dropped off at these centres any time, and we are hoping for donations and community support with collection,” Mitchell said.

“I am also hosting a bottle drive on Oct. 9 at Mill Bay Nature School and at the Nanaimo ReStore on Oct. 25. I am working collaboratively with other families who have also been awarded homes in Duncan by Habitat for Humanity. This fundraiser is helping us to earn volunteer hours that go toward the 500 volunteer hours we require for home ownership.”


The Vancouver Island Regional Library is thrilled to partner with the Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area to offer an exciting new social distance activity for children and families.

This month, from Oct. 24-31, people are invited take part in a fun Halloween “Storywalk”.

A storywalk is a series of large boards with blown up pages of a story on them.

Participants are invited to read the story Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Buntin and Jan Brett displayed on boards in the windows of participating businesses, while you enjoy the downtown area.

The Halloween story includes 17 boards and each board is 12 feet by 22 feet.

Usually these boards are attached to posts that are placed in the ground.

Families can then read a bit of the book as they walk around downtown.

There are 17 businesses in Duncan’s downtown core participating in Storywalk, including Peacock Photos, Martin’s Menswear, Alley Cat Hair Design and the Red Balloon Toy Store.

“We are thrilled to partner with Downtown Duncan BIA,” says Nariel Davis, the children’s librarian at the Cowichan branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library.

“We think this is a great opportunity for children and parents to enjoy reading together while also enjoying a coffee, shopping, and other great activities in downtown Duncan,” says Amanda Vance, executive director of the DDBIA.


Business Development Canada is hosting a Virtual Small Business Week starting Oct. 18.

Members may find useful certain webinars including “get started with eCommerce” on Oct. 21 at 3 p.m., or “how to make the holidays count for retail entrepreneurs” at 2 p.m. on Oct. 22.

People can register for these events at

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