Thursday, 30 October 2014

Preparing for Winter at The Forks

The wind is getting chilly, the days are getting shorter and no one can deny there were a few little white flakes floating through the air this week…

Winter is coming. 

What does that mean for The Forks site crew? 

It means more staff, more work and a big to-do list!

Out with the old Farmers' Market Banners…in with Christmas lights!
1. Switch the geothermal heating system from cool to warm
Along with several other Target Zero initiatives, all the ventilation in the Market was redesigned with efficient heat recovery ventilation units that pre-heat fresh air with recycled heat generated by the restaurants which comes through 53 heat pumps throughout the Market to efficiently distribute heating and cooling.

Since we switched to geothermal, we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 42% (448 tonnes of CO2e) and reduced our heating costs by 14%.

2. Rake leaves
It's wonderful to visit a green site, full of trees in all shapes and sizes in the summer, but our site crew definitely does not take this for granted when they're raking up all the fallen leaves in autumn. They estimate that more than 30, 1-yard bags full (about 300 garbage bags' worth) of leaves were deposited into our BIOVADOR composter this fall. This industrial composter creates the perfect environment for trillions of bacteria and microbes to do their jobs breaking down organic waste.
3. Prepare for the river freezing
The warming huts have been selected and the Zamboni has been tuned up, but even before the river begins to freeze, all the docks must be removed and stored until the spring thaw. As soon as the river is safely frozen, we'll let everyone know and all the river trail activities can begin! 

4. Prepare Urban Garden for hibernation
We're giving the Urban Gardens the fuel they need to make it through the winter by giving them a final prune and topping them with nutrients in the form of compost from the BIOVADOR 

5. Put up Christmas lights
While the holidays are still a few weeks away, we're best off getting the Christmas lights up before the first blizzard of the season. And besides, lights on sight make spirits (and dark evenings and nights) bright!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Trick - or - treat!

Halloween is such a spooky and silly time of tricks and treats, we decided to celebrate early!

Bring the kids and join us this Sunday, Oct. 26 from 1 – 4 p.m. in Centre Court for all kinds of free, Halloween-themed activities and fun.

Come ready to have your Halloween caricature drawn by Butch the Party Artist and get a cool balloon sculpture made by Floyd the Clown.

Abracadebra will be on site transforming normal children into creatures of all types with face paint.

Make your very own trick-or-treat bag, and then use it to collect some tricks and treats in the Candy Scavenger Hunt! Balloons at participating Forks Market tenants mark the spot!

Of course, costumes are highly encouraged – the sillier, spookier, wackier and kookier the better.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Farewell Farmers' Market

Last Sunday was a beautiful, perfect day to end off our outdoor Farmers’ Market season.

Vendors gathered in a circle around a campfire set-up, and visitors picked up produce, preserves and delicious baking and simply enjoyed the atmosphere.

All in all, The Forks hosted over 50 different vendors since the market began in May, with up to 32 showing up every week – rain or shine – to sell locally grown and raised food and handmade treats and goodies to visitors on our site.

Dorothy Freund from Red Poll Farms and Dean and Sara Wall from Zhoda Family Farms were very pleased at the turn-out each week – even despite many of our Sundays being not so sunny.

They enjoyed the laid-back clientele and noticed lots of tourists – and were eager to share some knowledge about what delicious items grow in Manitoba.

 Sara said she met folks who’d never tried rosehip or Saskatoon berries, and didn’t know those things grow in Manitoba. She says it’s always fun to share what she’s foraged with people and send them home with something new.

Overall, we had some very happy vendors who are ready and raring to come back next year, and make The Forks Farmers’ Market one of the most plentiful in town.

Until then, we will be hosting indoor markets featuring produce, jams, infusions, baking and alpaca wool products (for the chilly days that are surely upon us!) once per month on Oct. 25 and Nov. 25.

Thank you for supporting our inaugural Farmers’ Market!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Happy Birthday, Generation Green!

Our friends at Generation Green just marked their 2nd anniversary at The Forks Market – they celebrated with cupcakes for all from Hello Cupcake – baking that is gluten-, dairy-, nut-, soy-, and egg-free!

At The Forks we are always looking to be environmentally sustainable and strive towards Target Zero, so we’re happy to share our space with an eco-conscious business with a huge emphasis on selling and supporting locally made, sustainable products.

It’s important to Sherry Sobey, the growing shop’s owner, too.

“I appreciate being a part of an organization that also recognizes this importance, specifically with the Target Zero Initiative,” she says. “As a local and tourist destination, it's very important that we set a good example here.”

The shop has grown more quickly than she imagined it would over the last two years. Customers have responded enthusiastically to the shop and its premise.

Generation Green carries everything from kitchen utensils, makeup, soap and skincare to dog treats, giftware, supplements and grocery items – all produced sustainably, eco-consciously, and largely locally.

“It's really important that we all do our part to ensure the health of our planet, and for our own personal health benefits,” says Sherry. “We talk a lot about prevention here at Generation Green, our focus has to be on preventing problems and disease, not on waiting and fixing them once they becomes problematic.”

If you come into the shop in the next little while, expect to find the recently added line of Canadian natural supplements with a focus on immunity strengthening, as well as the complete Lorna Vanderhaeghe line for women’s health.

Soon all of Generation Green’s products will be available through their online store so they can continue offering these products to tourist customers.

“We have such a focus on locally made products that everyone ends up loving and wanting,” says Sherry.

Also be on the lookout for some unique gift baskets as the holidays approach.

What does she love about being at The Forks?

“That’s easy,” Sherry says. “The people and my neighbours! I've always loved the vibe, the people, and the fact that you could always find something unique.”

Visit Generation Green in The Forks Market and online at