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Artists, crafters, kids mark Earth Day in Halifax

SoVaNow.com / April 26, 2021

Many local artists and crafters sold their creations at the Earth Day celebration held at the Halifax Market Place on Saturday. The parking lot was scaled back to increase the area for pop-up tents that sheltered craft and planting projects for children.

“With the rainy forecast and cool morning I was very pleased with the turnout. It was a steady flow of shoppers all day and the rain held off for the event,” said Market Manager Denise Barksdale.

Saturday marked the first time several vendors came to the marketplace to show off their creations. Local artists Ashley Howerton and Erika Fine displaying their paintings Saturday.

“I like to use watercolors and acrylics,” said Howerton, who has been painting for 10 years.

“I’d describe my paintings as fantasy art,” said Erika Fine, pointing to one of her works — a ukulele embellished with images of fish.

Other local artists who showcased their paintings included Rebecca Rodgers, Steven Schopen, Shelby Talbott, and Susi Robbins. The artists were happy to explain the techniques behind their works and how each is different.

Robbins creates three-dimensional art by adding tissue paper, charms, and flowers to her paintings. Her sixties-style planting pots were eye-catching and a conversation starter. Shelby Talbott showed her painting, “Honky Donkey” with fresh-cut flowers adding to the vibrancy her art on display. Several of Talbott’s paintings were imprinted on tee shirts for sale.

Groups brought informative displays and take-home projects for kids to learn about preservation of the planet. The Halifax Soil and Water Conservation District (HSWCD) handed out kits to create a healthy soil profile. The kit included a chocolate pudding cup, vanilla wafers, Hershey kisses, and gummy worms.

“The best part of the kit, it’s all edible,” said HSWCD Conservation Specialist Luke Hudson.

Agency staff handed out bags of seed for a Wildlife Food Plot contest. A prepared seed mix should be planted by the first of June and judging will take place at the end of August. The judges will determine what types of seed produced food for wildlife and evaluate if wild animals sought nourishment from the plots of seed.

The Halifax Beekeepers Association distributed free packets of pollinator seed mix and a bee pencil for the kiddos. A section of hive was displayed illustrating how the bees make honeycomb and store honey. The bees were moved inside the market place to keep them safe in the warmer temperature.

The Beekeepers Association also brought honey for sale that was sourced from around the county.

Other crafts projects for kids included making a butterfly watering station from recycled trays, marbles and rock. Kids had fun decorating their trays with makers before adding the rocks. Also, children had the opportunity to plant a different variety of sunflower seeds.

“It was great to see the community come out and support the market vendors all while enjoying some Earth Day activities,” said Barksdale.

Handmade bluebird homes were available for purchase from Sedge Hill Farm in Halifax. The region’s bluebird population has decreased due lack of conducive habitats. Bluebird homes have been cleared for housing, housing, and harvesting timber. “The birdhouses are mounted high on a pole, to help the birds stay safe from snakes and cats,” said Brenda Hudson with Sedge Hill Farm.

Flowers were everywhere for free and for purchase. The annual Southside Master Gardeners Plant Sale is next Saturday, May 1, but they have so many plants this year they have begun to sell them in advance.

“We have annuals, perennials, plus a variety of garden art will be available next week,” said Master Gardener Volunteer Dorothy Day. Day said many of the volunteers who are also crafty have included their craft creations to sell at the annual plant sale. The crafts include painted rocks for cactus gardens, metal art, and sculpted concrete angels.

The Halifax Market Place is open Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. It is located at 209 South Main Street in Halifax. To stay up to date on upcoming activities and vendor follow them on Facebook @halifaxmarketplace.



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