Last Thursday, Helen McAllister and Jennifer Heath dug into a crowd of over 200 people at the Fernie Heritage Library, as they hosted their official down to earth: cold-climate gardens and their keepers book launch.
“We were overwhelmed by the response,” Heath said. “People were so supportive.”
McAllister added, “It was rather overwhelming, but in a very, very positive way.”
Not only did the book launch crowd thrill McAllister, but she also said she has been overwhelmed by the response they’ve gotten since the launch, as many in attendance have commented on how inspired they were on the gardening tips.
“That’s what Jenn and I hoped would happen,” McAllister noted. “Already, only a few days later, to be getting such an overwhelmingly positive response, it’s amazing.”
The book took the pair around five years to complete. The ladies spent years researching cold-climate gardening, speaking to gardeners from Elkford to Jaffray, exhibiting their findings at the Arts Station, compiling their findings into a book, and experiencing all life’s joys in between, which included McAllister giving birth to a daughter and Heath going back to university and completing her Bachelors in Education.
Despite getting sidetracked along the way, McAllister said they put their heads together to finish a gardening book the pair can be proud to call their own.
“It’s just something that we dreamed up ourselves,” she said. “We always kept our little motto that if it’s a labour of love, carry on. The fact that we got to a finished product shows that it’s very much a labour of love, and that really comes through, not only in the product but in the response we’ve been getting.”
Throughout the book, the pair emphasizes the ability to grow locally, despite the cooler climates.
“We want people to realize in a cold climate that it really is possible to grow your own food,” McAllister noted. “It’s not just something that happens in warm areas.”
Heath also emphasized the gardeners ability to extend the growing season on either side in order to get the most out of your gardening experience.
The book is currently available at Polar Peak Books, on Amazon and on Indigo. Heath said they have plans to bring the book into a store in Cranbrook, Kimberley and the Crowsnest Pass.
“Hopefully we’ll be in all the Kootenay’s, east and west, and then beyond,” she said adding that, “It’s nicer to support the local book stores.”
To pick up a copy of their book, head to Polar Peaks books or speak directly to McAllister and Heath by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org