Providence Farm gingerly saluted

Providence Farm executive director Karen Bittner takes a peak at Zoe Jordon’s creation Wednesday. The Providence House replica will be on display at the farm’s annual craft fair Dec. 3.  - Ashley Degraaf
Providence Farm executive director Karen Bittner takes a peak at Zoe Jordon’s creation Wednesday. The Providence House replica will be on display at the farm’s annual craft fair Dec. 3.
— image credit: Ashley Degraaf

Cowichan’s iconic red-and-white Providence House is a brilliant site for the eyes.

Now it’s a treat for the tastebuds.

Thanks to Zoe Jordon, a local pastry chef, the 1921-farm dwelling at Providence Farm has been transformed into a giant gingerbread house.

“With over 28,000 square feet spread across four stories and over 100 outside windows and doors, this is no small feat,” Providence Farm staffers wrote in a press release.

According to Jordon, creating the rustic farmhouse replica wasn’t easy, but extremely rewarding.

“The process started about a month ago,” the 29-year-old explained. “Probably all-in-all it took about 40 hours. There was definitely a lot of fretting and thought going into just making the template and cutting it out and building the roof. It was really about the process going into it and wrapping my head around how I would structurally make it.”

The house was placed on a board that’s about 24 by 28 inches and includes red licorice candy roofing, indoor lighting and Rice Krispies shribbery.

“It looks absolutely fantastic,” Providence Farm’s Leah Boisvert said of the complete candy house, which is set to be unveiled at the farm’s annual Christmas Craft Fair Satuday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Boisvert said Jordon came up with the idea after a summer-long stint of volunteering at the farm.

“She had heard about our Christmas Craft Fair and brought up the idea,” Boisvert said.

Jordon, a part-time Maple Bay resident, put the final touches on the house before heading off to a winter gig at a heli-ski lodge in Valemount, B.C.

“When I first saw Providence Farm, my family friend’s father works there and they took me on a tour and the second I saw it, I thought to myself ‘this building should be a gingerbread house,’” she said. “It’s a really special spot and I really like what they’re doing there.”

A New Denver, B.C. native, Jordon has spent the past 10 years working all over Vancouver Island.

Making seasonal-sweets-turned-delicious-dispays isn’t new to her either.

She held a job at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino where she created its sugar-and-gingerbread displays.

The replica Providence House will be on display during the craft fair and a donation box will be placed nearby for viewers, with dough going to Providence Farm programs.

Staff has yet to decide the house’s fate post-fair.

“I think we’re going to keep it as a non-edible piece but we haven’t decided yet if we’re going to try and preserve it for another year. We’ll see how it fares through the season,” Boisvert said.

For more information about the fundraiser fair, contact Providence Farm at 250-746-4204.

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