Lucy Dixon (left), an employee at Devan Greenhouses for 10 years, said the idea for the fall fair and craft market was sparked six years ago by employees during the garden centre’s slow season. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

PHOTOS: Growers kick off fall with a fair

Devan Greenhouses assemble 120 artisans for a good cause

It is the seventh year that Devan Greenhouses kicked off autumn with a marketplace of crafty creations made by over 120 artisans and crafters.

The annual fall fair began as a craft market in 2012, and has since attracted a diverse crowd of sellers with everything from artwork to food to hand-knit clothing.

Lucy Dixon, an employee at Devan’s for 10 years, said the idea for the fair was sparked by employees during the greenhouse’s slow season.

“We had staff members that made different crafts,” Dixon said, “and our customers would come in and show us what they created.”

The first year boasted various crafts made by 10 coworkers and customers who gathered at the facility on 28904 Fraser Hwy.

On Saturday, Dixon sold her “famous” red pepper jam, air-blown landscape tile paintings, holiday cards, recycled-wood message boards, and other handiwork.

Greenhouse office manager Inge Powels manned the inside entrance to the market, with a donation box and information pamphlets for the Cyrus Centre.

This year marks the first time the garden centre chose to sponsor the non-profit that provides shelter and services for homeless youth in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

For the past six years, Devan’s donated the sum of its table profits to the Langley Food Bank.

To take part, merchants paid $20 for a table and an additional $5 if its set-up required access to electricity, Powels said.

Abbotsford brothers Nathaniel Debruin, 17, and Conrad, 15, set up The Waffle House for the second year in a row, serving Dutch delicacies including mini pancakes, apple fritters, and crepes.

“We live right there,” Nathaniel said, pointing to a property beside the greenhouses.

For other vendors, it was an early stop on their usual holiday tour, which goes from October to December in pop-up markets throughout the Lower Mainland.

Two sisters-in-law behind The Embellished Board – Aldergrove resident Janet Schouten and Colleen Veenendaal – sold up-cycled thrift finds that they turned into stylish home decor.

“We started four years ago when Colleen moved here from Alberta,” Schouten explained.

Vennendaal’s husband Glenn used their neighbour’s fence to fashion a display wall for the sisters’ macrame hangings and decor, most of which are inspired by do-it-yourself projects seen on Pinterest and Instagram.

When deconstructed, the wall turns into a workbench, which both women use to build their creations.

Abbotsford resident Jenny Vanderwoerd hung a sign on her table that read: “retirement sale!”

An experienced knitter, at 88 years old, Vanderwoerd said it was time to hang up her merchant’s hat after 10 years of selling her knitting for charity.

“My mom taught me to knit when I was seven,” Vanderwoerd recalled.

Her granddaughter Rachel Cannon set up a booth beside her of hand-painted cards, and made periodic visits to help sell her toques and other items at a discount.

“We didn’t do too bad,” Vanderwoerd said. By 11 a.m., the duo had sold five pairs of socks.

Langley creator Tim Drozda from Time to Upcycle, spent the past year turning computer parts into clocks for those hard to shop for. He made the first clock for his brother, who works as a computer programmer.

“He loved it,” Drozda said.

The clocks utilize floppy disks, laptop hard drives, and CD-ROMs, and will be sold at markets all over the Lower Mainland leading up to Christmas day.

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Aldergrove resident Janet Schouten is part of a duo with her sister-in-law Colleen Veenendaal, who make home decor out of up-cycled thrift finds. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Langley resident Tim Drozda spent the past year turning old computer parts into clocks. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Abbotsford resident Jenny Vanderwoerd sold her knittings alongside her granddaughter Rachel Cannon. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Abbotsford brothers Nathaniel Debruin (left) and Conrad Debruin (right) set up The Waffle House for the second year in a row, serving buttery Dutch delicacies. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

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