Potato House Project executive director Mary Forbes passed around little bunches of Concord grapes for city council and audience members to try during Tuesday evening’s regular council meeting.
The offering was a prelude to a slideshow and presentation on the society’s contributions to the community over the past year and an introduction to their latest fundraising drive.
The Potato House Sustainable Community Society has been selected to compete for $40,000 in prize money in the National Trust for Canada’s This Place Matters Main Street competition.
Forbes says the society is determined to win the competition. Winning means getting everyone in the community behind the project and voting every day online, and/or making cash donations until the deadline on Nov. 14.
Every dollar donated will also count as one vote, she said in encouraging businesses to make corporate donations to the project.
To vote, go to thisplacematters.ca or find the link on the Potato House Project Facebook.
Working in partnership with the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area Association, Forbes says the funds raised will help to continue upgrading and providing services at the Potato House, putting markers on 20 more identified downtown heritage buildings, updating the city’s heritage signs on main street, and developing a special Halloween event for 2017.
The Potato House received more than 1,000 visitors last year, 700 of which were local school children.
The Potato House has a large community garden which is used by both individuals and local restaurants, a community composting centre which is used by individuals and local businesses, reducing waste hauling costs (an estimated $33,300) for the city.
Potato House compost is made, screened and sold locally.
A community root cellar was also completed this fall.
There are Concord grapes growing over an arbor built out of an old bed frame found in the house when it was originally purchased; apple trees producing fruit and honey being produced by happy bees.
In addition to their annual Halloween zombie walk and haunted house event, Forbes says the Potato House is hosting a pumpkin bash so that people can come and squash their jack-o-lanterns and add them to the compost bins.
Grass is not accepted for composting because many of the lawns in the community have been treated with chemical herbicides.
Forbes says many people are also finding the Potato House a great place to have their pictures taken.