What’s In Store: Fluttery, fun fundraiser

Having witnessed first-hand the magic of the inaugural butterfly release at Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery last year through the eyes of a mesmerized three-year-old, Langley Advance Editor Roxanne Hooper invites others to discover this “incredible” event when it returns this weekend.

On Saturday, the farm is once again hosting a fundraiser for the Langley Hospice Society and Langley Lodge with a release of hundreds of Monarch butterflies.

There will also be entertainment provided by Langley’s own Trevor Murray.

The event, which runs from 1 to 3 p.m. is free, but people can release their own butterfly with a $20 donation. The butterfly release will happen at promptly 1:30 p.m. Since there are only 300 Monarch butterflies taking flight, the opportunity to release one is limited, so people are asked to pre-order fiat www.langleyhospice.com/butterflies or by calling 604-530-1115, in advance. Orders can also be submitted in person at Krause or Langley Lodge.

If you need an excuse to head out to the farm, then consider this it.

Watching the butterflies flutter about in the gardens, and watching the magical delight and amazement on all the kids faces, proved an incredibly moving experience for this grandma (I personally prefer Nana).

But knowing I could drop some money into a donation container and help two worthwhile local organizations, that made it even better.

The farm is located at 6179 248th Street, and in addition to the great farmgate store on site, you might want to visit the winery, too. Whether you chose to imbibe in any of their product line, is up to you.

If you want to know more about either of the organizations being assisted, visit www.langleyhospice.com or www.langleylodge.org. If you need to learn more about Krause, or get directions, check out their website at www.krauseberryfarms.com.

• Off to discover

Speaking of Krause farms, this seems like the perfect time to tell you about some other local farmgate operations in Langley, and specifically the annual self-guided Circle Farm Tour – even though Krause is not part of the tours, this year.

If you haven’t explored some of this community’s farms, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Through the regional tour website [www.circlefarmtour.com] you can get a road map that takes you to a variety of specialty farm gate vendors, markets, charming eateries, heritage sites, and agri-tourism events in and around our community.

The Langley tour – which has been building for the past eight years – is made up of 16 farm partners, including returning participants from Vista D’Oro Farms & Winery, Chaberton Estate Winery and their Bacchus Bistro, Backyard Vineyards, Kensington Prairie Farm, Misean Shoppe, JD Farms Specialty Turkey Store, The Fort Wine Company, Aldor Acres Dairy, Milner Valley Cheese, Langley Community Farmers Market, Cedar Rim Nursery, Fort Langley Village Farmers Market, Driediger Farms Market, and Thunderbird Show Park.

New on the tour this year is Township 7 Vineyard and Winery, and the Falconglen Organic Farms.

Originally in this space, I reported that the 216th Street Milner Village Garden Centre seemed to have sadly disappeared. But I stand corrected. They’re just ont on the list for active tours this season because they’re moving, or so Tourism Langley marketing manager Christina Marchand assures me.

"Milner Village Garden Centre moved this Spring to a greenhouse on the same property instead of the red barn, and is now closed, but will reopen next month. They are a seasonal partner," Marchand said. Cool news, because I feared they’d closed down, and I quite enjoyed my visits to the centre. Hope they can maintain that old school charm in the new digs that made their operations so appealing.

Anyway, I start to digress. Back to the farm tours. It’s easy to participate, and fun, to boot. You don’t have to go to all. The wonder of this system is you can pick and chose where you go and when. Make it a summer adventure, and maybe only hit two each weekend. Just a suggestion. But given that agri-tourism is reportedly one of the fastest growing sectors in B.C., you might find it cool to go exploring.

All you have to do is download the brochure and discover what each of these farms or tourist attractions have to offer. If you take on the challenge, please email me and let me know what you thought. What was your favourite stop and why?

• Meet My Market month

Keeping on the agri-theme, I want to mention that the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets is hosting a contest aimed at motivating more people to discover the farmers markets, and offering up a three-night getaway to the Sparkling Hill Resort in the Okanagan as incentive.

In what is being dubbed #MeetMyMarket month, people are asked to introduce a friend to their market for a chance to win.

During the month of July, anyone can participate by bringing a friend to the local farmers market – in this case, that’s the Fort Langley Village Farmers Market at 9025 Glover Road on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or the Langley Community Farmers Market in the Kwantlen Polytechnique University parking lot on Wednesdays from 2 to 6:30 p.m.

You can enter a ballot, in person, at the markets or snap a photo and post it to some social media forums (not Twitter or Instagram, for some strange reason), tagging it @bcfarmersmarket and add #MeetMyMarket to enter.

If you want more information about what markets are available in the region, or more about this contest, visit www.bcfarmersmarket.org, and we’ll see you at the farmers market.

• Free Slurpees up for grabs

And, as many of you know, too many of my columns revolve around the world of food.

While I’m not sure a Slurpee actually qualifies in any food group, I feel I’d be remise if I didn’t tell you about July 11 and the free Slurpee day where Langley stores will be giving away 3,000 of the 12oz. drinks between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. to help celebrate the company’s 46th birthday.

Being referred to as the “world’s coolest birthday party,” this much-anticipated tradition is one of the country’s largest giveaways with nearly three-quarters of a million Canadians participating.

I’m confident if this hot spell keeps up that B.C. will run out of these free Slurpees in the first two hours.

Time and temperature will dictate.

• Local online liquor store debuts

Now this is something I didn’t expect would be in big demand out here, in the suburbs – where everyone is married to their cars, but Ralph Berezan and his team obviously feel there’s a need for an online liquor store.

The man who long ago brought us the Duke of Wellington Pub here in Langley, and has since (and maybe even before that) diversified his portfolio to include all types of different business ventures – including now 10 liquor stores – announced last week that he’s launch the “first-of-its-kind in B.C.” mobile market (berezanhg.com/store/).

.It’s being tested in Langley, Cloverdale, Surrey, and White Rock, offering same-day, and in many cases two-hour delivery.

Much like browsing in the physical store locations, director of operations Troy Bilodeau, said customers can survey the selection and order online. Of course, with any such service, there is a charge. The intro rate, at least, is $8.

The online ordering service will not be exclusive to this region, however. It’s open to those around B.C., but home delivery will be sent via Canada Post priority delivery, meaning it will be delivered within one to three business days, with regular shipping rates.

I’m not a drinker of alcohol, beyond one or two every few years. So, this service is wasted on me. But it leaves me querying what’s next. At this pace, we won’t have the need for any retail stores before I’m dead and buried.

Thoughts?

• Company steps up in local ride

London Drugs has thrown its support behind the Prospera Valley Fondo happening later this month in Langley, and not just as a corporate sponsor but actual butts-on-the-seats, feet-in-the-stirrups kind of support. They’re participating in the London Drugs Ride for Hope Presto Fondo, which is part of the Prospera Valley GrandFondo happening July 19 in Fort Langley.

The Valley ride was started in 2012 by a group of cycling enthusiasts in Langley. It has become the biggest mass cycling event in the Valley, with more than 1,200 cyclist of all ages and skill sets, and part of that 160-km GrandFondo event, there is an 88-km MedioFondo, and the 50-km Ride for Hope – sponsored by none other than London Drugs.

This went is designed to raise funds and awareness for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

“We are very excited to raise funds for Canuck Place through the London Drugs Ride for Hope Presto Fondo this year, said Dave MacDonald, the LD cosmetics manager and head of the cycling team.

“With more cyclists able to join us this year, we will be able to increase well needed donations for Canuck Place,” he added, encouraging cyclists to join and raise money.

More info available at: http://www.valleygranfondo.com/routes/londong-drugs-prestofondo-50km/

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