Fernie In Bloom winners announced

Margaret and Ralph Stadnichuk are winners of the Fernie In Bloom best residential fruit and vegetable garden category.

Margaret and Ralph Stadnichuk are winners of the Fernie In Bloom best residential fruit and vegetable garden category. Their gardening challenge is growing corn

It’s been a successful growing season as Fernie in Bloom has blossomed into its second year as part of the Fernie festival and event program. Fernie in Bloom is a Chamber of Commerce initiative that awards Bloom Ratings for achievement in floral displays, fruit and vegetable plots, environmental awareness and tidiness.

“There were 18 entrants with very attractive and imaginative planting with great environmental awareness and sustainability in fruit and vegetable plots,” said Sarah Parry, Fernie Chamber of Commerce (FCC).

Ralph and Margaret Stadnichuk won the Best Residential Garden-Fruits and Veggies category. “She points, I plant,” joked Ralph. Ralph begins his growing season in March with a grow light to start seedlings. “You can’t start too soon as the plants get leggy searching for light.” They pick up more seedlings from the Fernie Garden Centre or Top Crop in Cranbrook.

“Gardening continues through into the kitchen and into the deepfreeze,” said Margaret. “It’s a lot of work but we enjoy it in the winter.” She dries basil and kale, which she uses in soups she makes once a week in the winter. “It’s good in pasta and they call it nature’s broom,” said Ralph.

Weather is the one constant gardening challenge. If there is one thing that grows the best in Fernie, it’s zucchini. “Corn is difficult to grow here because it requires so much sun but I think we might get some as it’s been so hot and dry this year,” said Ralph. The Stadnichuks use compost to amend their soil and use grass clippings around their squash patch to keep the grass from taking over. Their garden is intermixed with flowers and there is a constant hum of bees heavy with pollen hovering from flower to vegetable blossoms doing their critical work as pollinators. “We always have lots for ourselves and to share,” said Margaret.

The FCC, working with the City of Fernie Beautification Committee and sponsored by The Free Press is committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community participation and the challenge of a competition.

Fernie has the added benefit of being an area of outstanding natural beauty. Mixed with attractive planting displays, it’s a win win.

Contact the Chamber of Commerce if you would like to be involved or if you have ideas for next year.

Small Storefront-No Garden: Polar Peek Books

Large Storefront-No Garden: Fernie Alpine Resort

Best Business with a Small Garden: The Bridge Bistro

Best Fernie and Area Hotel: Lizard Creek Lodge

Best Fernie and Area Condo/B&B/or Guest House: Fernie Lodging Company

Best Residential Garden-Flowers: Mary Ellen Kendall

Best Residential Garden- Fruits & Veggies: Ralph & Margaret Stadnichuk

Other participants:

Aldo Scarpelli

Jake Walker

The Red Tree Lodge


Fernie Golf & Country Club





Just Posted

New MRI unit increases access

Interior Health aims for 5100 exams in Cranbrook this year

DNA test links two cougar incidents in Fernie

Further information has surfaced linking a child that was attacked by a… Continue reading

CO Service euthanize emaciated black bear

The animal had left its den and taken shelter in a shed with cattle.

Local figure skater wins prestigious award

Sparwood’s Bree Chardonnens named B.C./Yukon STARSkate Athlete Of The Year

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Death came on Tuesday

Written for the Lost Souls Society - Forever Remembered

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Most Read