When the longest day of sunlight happens every June, Comox Valley residents and visitors seek to mark the day with celebrations and rituals.  For those who love the outdoors, one of the finest ways to mark this occasion takes place at Innisfree Farm and Botanic Garden in Royston.

Owners Chanchal Cabrera and Thierry Vrain invite the public to wander through their seven-acre farm and gardens at 3636 Trent Road from 4 – 8 pm on Friday, June 21st.  Guests will be able to meander through various themed gardens, enjoy refreshments, take educational tours, and walk a labyrinth, while listening to delightful Celtic harp music.  The site is accessible for wheelchairs, but leave dogs at home, please.

Admission is by donation; all proceeds benefit the not-for-profit society Gardens without Borders that runs the Botanic Garden and horticultural therapy programs.

An internationally recognized medical herbalist, Cabrera will offer two 45-minute tours during the celebration.  At 5 pm, learn about medicinal herbs while touring her unique apothecary garden; at 6:30 pm, learn about medicinal and sacred trees on the property, including the Garry Oaks circle.

A selection of Innisfree Farm’s herbal teas will be available to sample and finger foods using farm-grown produce.  The farm’s gift shop will also be open for sales of tea blends, oils and vinegars, medicinal and aromatherapy products, herbal salts and more!

Innisfree Farm and Botanic Garden is of three botanic gardens on Vancouver Island that is registered with the Botanical Gardens Conservation International, the world’s largest plant conservation network. Innisfree Farm showcases medicinal and food plants and provides public education about native plants and conservation.  “Probiotic gardening” techniques are used to build healthy soil and healthy plants. Gardens without Borders is the charitable arm that delivers horticulture therapy programs to disadvantaged and disabled individuals.  Innisfree Farm has been helping people seek Wellness in Nature for over ten years.

Innisfree also serves up alfresco breakfasts, vegetarian lunches, home baking and an assortment of handcrafted herbal teas, smoothies and organic coffee.  The Green Dream Café is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 am – 4 pm, beginning the day after the Solstice and running until September 7 this season.

For more information on Innisfree Farm and Botanical Garden, Gardens without Borders, the Green Dream Café and the Solstice event, visit www.innisfreefarm.ca or phone 250-336-8767.

Judy Goldschmidt

Gardens Without Borders