Mother Denise Whitham and daugher Avery in a 'field of dreams'.
Greenhouses are associated with warm temperatures. Each spring, following another long winter of snow and cold, the fresh smells of green grass, leaves and blossoms indicate it is time for the annual visit to a greenhouse in search of new seedlings.
On November 10th, 2012 the roadway leading into Arber Greenhouses along Highway 2A halfway between Millet and Wetaskiwin was cloaked with snow. Still, soon after 10:00 a.m. the fresh snow on the driveway leading to the greenhouse was packed and worn by a steady stream of vehicles indicating this wintery type day was a busy time at the greenhouse. The annual one-day event, the Christmas Craft Show and Sale hosted at the Arber Greenhouses has become so popular the entire parking lot and driveway was jammed with visitors by 11:00 a.m. . Perhaps the busiest day of the year for Arber Greenhouses has moved from springtime to November 10th.
Berta Briggs, founder of Arber Greenhouses has hosted the event for several years to showcase local talent. “The thing that always impresses me most is the amazing craftsmen that we have in the area that can come up with the gifts and crafts. We have 33 exhibitors and 38 tables. Alot are local within a 30 – 40 mile radius but there are others from regions like Red Deer and Calgary. But they all have some connections with the Wetaskiwin and Millet area”.
The Craft Show and Sale was a success. Great variety and great quality is what attracts the large crowd each year. The knitted hats and covers, jewelry, wood working projects, poinsettias and other plants, homemade pickles and other preserves augmented by the great atmosphere provided something-for-everyone. Some came to browse and some came to enjoy the busy, but peaceful ambience of the greenhouse setting and casually walk around the show in the warm humid setting. Others were doing some serious Christmas shopping as evidenced by arms and carts filled with top quality arts and crafts.
Berta Briggs, founder of the business, has always been a strong supporter of the community. She was a 4-H leader for many years and has participated in fundraising activities for organizations such as the Devonian Botanical Gardens, the library, Habitat for Humanity and a multitude of local charities. Arber Greenhouses is also a small business that provides meaningful employment for local residents and especially for students.