Harvest Country Drive to showcase local products

The harvest may be lacking but the spirit is willing — at least in the case of five country businesses.

The harvest may be lacking but the spirit is willing — at least in the case of five country businesses.

Bowden SunMaze, HomeHus Antiques and The Farm With the Good Food, The Jungle Farm, Stitchery, and Vitality Crystals and Fountains all plan to showcase their products and services Oct. 2 and 3 during Harvest Time Country Drive.

One of four self-guided tours of rural Central Alberta businesses held each year under the Country Drive name, the 2010 fall event has been hampered by a poor growing season and recent killing frost, acknowledged Susan Manyluk, who operates HomeHus Antiques and The Farm With the Good Food.

“The people with produce can’t do much about the cold weather and the amount of production that they’ve had,” she said. “I had probably 200 pounds of tomatoes off the same number of plants last year; this year I think I might have picked 35 pounds, 40 pounds maybe.”

But there will be edible products available for Harvest Time Country Drive, said Manyluk. The Jungle Farm expects to have pumpkins, onions and potatoes, and even some strawberries and raspberries.

Other businesses will have products unaffected by the weather, she added. Vitality Crystals and Fountains, for instance, will have salt lamps and crystal products.

Manyluk plans to showcase fat lava — a type of German pottery characterized by its thick lava-like glaze.

“It’s become just hotter than hot,” said Manyluk, who will combine her own fat lava products with that of local collector Peter Caden.

“He’s got over 200 pieces in his collection.”

Even five exhibitors will provide Harvest Drive participants with plenty to keep them on the road, and others of Country Drive’s 27 members will be open to visitors, said Manyluk.

The annual Christmastime Country Drive is set to follow on Dec. 4 and 5.

Country Drive members are already planning for 2011.

Manyluk said they’ve committed to print 20,000 promotional brochures next year — double the number for this year.

Harvest Time Country Drive hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. More information can be found online at www.countrydrive.ca.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com