Phew! PFLA is abuzz with excitement and energy percolating like fresh brewed coffee on a Sunday morning. We spent an action packed weekend at the 144th Annual Cowichan Exhibition connecting with families, elected officials, forest owners (large and small), community members and busloads of enthusiastic school kids.

A big thanks to TimberWest for a supplying a generous quantity of tree seedlings to hand out to the milling crowds. The Noble Firs were a hit! People told stories about the seedlings they planted from last year, kids named their trees (practical names like Gordon and Eddie) and forest owners had the chance to inquire about where to buy large quantities of seedlings for themselves.

Rest assured the good people of the Cowichan Valley are well stocked up on their PFLA paraphernalia (for another year anyway). Plenty of PFLA key fobs, fridge magnets, bookmarks, pamphlets, brochures and fact sheets were distributed over the weekend.

Our favourite recipient was the 6-year-old girl who, clutching a PFLA fridge magnet with a mixture of relief and excitement, exclaimed, “We need more of these!” Her mom explained they had one fridge magnet from last year, but three siblings. It was an on-going competition to determine which sibling got to hang their picture on the fridge with the one lone magnet. Clearly they needed more. We sent them off with a small handful.

Of course, the highlight (how could it not be?) of the weekend was the 2nd annual zucchini racing competition. We’ve never had so much fun with vegetables. An excellent opportunity to engage the community just for the fun of it, PFLA was proud to co-sponsor the event with Russell Farms Market.

Armed with a drill, some plywood, a few screws and a vision, the Bealing family undertook rigorous testing and training to ensure PFLA’s role as race day officials was fulfilled with the same high-standard and excellent caliber service the organization is known for.

With three weight categories, no age categories and one rule—the axles must go through the zucchini—the race draws quite a crowd! Prizes are awarded for the youngest driver, the oldest drivers, the best team name, the fastest racer in each weight category and, of course, the people’s choice award.

From “Polly Pocket Rocket”, to Barbie, to M&Ms and dinosaurs, there’s really no limit to the creativity and imagination of race day participants. Check out the PFLA Facebook page for a bunch more photos.

Thanks again to everyone who participated over the weekend—stopped by the PFLA booth to say hello, asked questions, made suggestions, entered our colouring contest and showed an interest in private forestry (a special thanks to Scout the miniature horse).

We’ll see you again next year!