Get this in your inbox each day
Hello Thursday. Gretchen Parsons here to fill you in.
Happy Thanksgiving! Today we have your guide to the Festival of Trees and a story about a local fungi farmer. Also, some tips for a smooth Thanksgiving. We’ll be back on Monday.
- Today: 42° 🌫☀️ Patchy fog, then sunny.
- Weekend outlook: Lower 40s and partly cloudy, with some rain showers on Sunday.
Your guide to the Festival of Trees
Don Day writes: An annual tradition is back for the first time since 2019: The Saint Alphonsus Festival of Trees. The Boise Centre is alive with Christmas spirit in the annual fundraiser for the non-profit hospital system.
The net proceeds from the event will go toward a new Neuro, Surgical, Trauma Intensive Care Unit at the Boise hospital.
Today, in between parades, football, and turkey, you can check out the festival from 2-9 p.m. Kids can get that first visit with Santa in until 8pm. The focus today is mostly on all the beautiful trees and wreaths. I had a chance to check them out, and there are some really stunning and creative ideas. Find tree number 7 from local architecture firm Lombard Conrad in the lobby – it features detailed models of Boise landmarks!
Tomorrow, grab the family for the full day, with the festival open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Santa will be visiting, train displays will be displaying and you can even check out the cool Lego display! The Boise Holiday Tree lighting happens on the Grove Plaza from 5:30pm-7pm, with caroling, candle lighting, and more.
Saturday is family day. If you bring a toy for Salvation Army Family Services, you’ll receive $1 off admission. From 12:30-2:30 p.m., the kids can meet the Frozen Snow Sisters and Friends. Then, from 3pm-6pm, the Star Wars 501st Legion will be in attendance. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the Capital City Holiday Market will be set up on the Grove Plaza (you can buy our Boise book, and we’ll sign it for you!)
Sunday features another full festival day. Then, the annual Fashion show takes off Monday at noon to wrap up the festival.
There are a ton of attractions – find a full list here. Performances from everyone from Opera Idaho to the Boise Highlanders bagpipers to local choirs and more happen regularly from Friday-Sunday. That schedule is here.
Ferg’s Fabulous Fungi: How an Idaho boy’s science project turned from mush to a blooming business 🍄
Anna Daly writes: A Nampa Christian middle school student’s passion for growing edible mushrooms sprouted in 8th grade – when he decided to grow a few for a science project.
While the science project failed – as he did not make it past the first few mushroom-growing stages – his drive to become a successful mushroom grower stuck with him.
Today, 20-year-old Brody Ferguson runs his mushroom farm – Ferg’s Fabulous Fungi – in Greenleaf, Idaho and sells his produce at several farmers’ markets, online, and to several local restaurants including Alavita, KIN, and High Note Cafe.
“Throughout high school, I said I never wanted to be a mushroom farmer for a living, it’s just a weird persona, but here I am now doing it full time and I love it!” Ferguson said.
After his science experiment, Ferguson spent several years learning and experimenting with the growing process.
“I also realized I was the only person in the state doing what I was doing and that it had the potential to develop into something pretty big!” He said. “So after about a year of selling to some restaurants, I officially started my business Ferg’s Fabulous Fungi.”
After high school, he earned his associate’s degree in Ag business from the College of Western Idaho. Then last spring, he decided to give his time and energy to growing his business.
“The whole mushroom growing process can be quite complex as everything is grown out in a completely controlled environment,” he said.
Head to BoiseDev to find out how Ferguson grows his mushrooms and how you can grow your own with a simple kit Ferguson sells.
Idaho Botanical Garden
In celebration of Winter Garden aGlow kicking off today, please enjoy this excerpt from Boise: City of Trees, featuring the Idaho Botanical Garden.
Anna Daly writes: While homes and buildings continue to sprout up across the city of trees, the Idaho Botanical Garden offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Sitting in the Boise Foothills, the 15-acre garden is the first botanical garden in Idaho.
Established in 1984, the non-profit leased the Old Idaho Penitentiary land from the Idaho Historical Society and the State of Idaho. Its board of directors consisted of 17 civic leaders and professionals, including local botanist Dr. Christopher Davidson – who oversaw of assembling the board.
Idaho potato pioneer and founder of Simplot, J.R. Simplot, planted the garden’s first tree – a 20-foot Northern Red Oak in the Meditation Garden. Within the first two years, more than 7,000 native and domestic plants were planted – with 95% of them being donated by community members.
Education was, and still is today, the garden’s primary mission. In 1985, the director of the Idaho Historical Society, Author Hart, gave the first lecture about growing a Japanese garden in Boise. By 1986, the garden had 163 members and charged $1 for admission.
Today, over 4,000 households hold memberships to the garden. While the garden is open to the public for a $7 entry fee most of the year, the Winter Garden aGlow is one of the most popular attractions at the garden each year. Thousands of holiday lights are strung throughout the property, providing a nice holiday activity for couples and families. While there is something to see in the garden year-round, the garden is most in bloom from May through July.
Different types of gardens, including the English Garden, the Lewis and Clark Garden, and the Children’s Gardens, to name a few, feature different plants and flowers. A leisurely stroll through the garden takes about 60 to 90 minutes.
The Botanical Garden is also home to Outlaw Field, which in the past has hosted concerts from big names like Willy Nelson and Josh Groban. Today the garden keeps its gates open with donations from community members, corporations, foundations, and site rentals.
Snag Boise City of Trees here! Makes a great gift.
- Turkey Hotline: If you have questions about cooking your bird, the turkey hotline is open. Call 1-800-BUTTERBALL or text 844-877-3456 to chat with the turkey experts.
- Dog-Friendly Food: According to the Idaho Humane Society, dogs should avoid some popular Thanksgiving foods. Ham, raw potatoes, mashed potatoes, and canned cranberry are all no no’s. See the full list here.
- Refrigerator Storage: If your refrigerator is stuffed to the gills today, I saw this awesome hack where you can use oven racks to double the amount of space in your fridge. Check out this photo.
Apartments on aquarium site near Boise Towne Square still possible
A plan to add an apartment building at Cole Rd. and Franklin Rd. has been revised and may still move forward. The revised project now shows a slightly shorter building with an updated configuration. Don Day has been tracking this story and has the update.
Idaho Supreme Court orders HOA to reinstate parking on small lot. City of Eagle opts for spaces in long-planned city park instead
A lawsuit that went all the way to the Idaho Supreme Court over a small parking lot in Eagle is now resolved. The suit pitted the City of Eagle against the homeowners association for Two Rivers subdivision over the closure of a four-space parking lot on S. Channel Way that provided public access to the Greenbelt. Margaret Carmel has more on what the outcome means.
- UI Update: Moscow Police held a press conference Wednesday regarding the U of I murders. KTVB has the update.
- Election Results: Ada County’s general election results were successfully verified in an audit performed by the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office. Read more from the Idaho Press.🔒
- Transgender Sports: Three judges in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday in a case that will determine whether an injunction blocking Idaho’s transgender youth sports law can remain in place. Read the full story from Idaho Capital Sun.
- Owyhee Wrestling: If you were driving around Meridian on Tuesday morning, you might’ve seen a group of kids pulling around a big moving truck. That was the Owyhee wrestling team, they pulled the 8-ton truck up and down Owyhee Storm avenue for five miles. Read the full story from IdahonNews 6.
Things To Do
- Tree Lighting: At 5 p.m. Friday, the downtown Boise Holiday Tree in the Grove Plaza will be lit. There will be dance and choir performances as well.
- Movies: If you’re up for a flick on Friday, Mrs. Doubtfire and The Departed are both playing at the Egyptian Theatre. Get tickets here.
- Dark Beer: If you like dark beer, Payette Brewing is the place to be Friday. At their annual Black Friday event, which starts at noon, there will be more than 30 rare and high-end dark beers, food trucks, live music and more. Entry is free.
- Drag Brunch: Asiago’s in downtown Boise is hosting a Drag brunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Get tickets here.
Pet of the Day
Those eyes could pierce your soul! Meet Bella. Owner Kellie Gough lives in the mountains in Cascade. One snowy day, a gray kitty appeared. After taking time to build trust, Bella is now a beloved part of the family! “If she could only talk. Where did she come from? We are glad she found us,” Gough says.