Update on the Blakeney Project Garden - theHumm July 2021
Update on the Blakeney Project Garden - theHumm July 2021
By David Hinks
I wrote a few months ago about the Blakeney Project — a two-acre field in Blakeney that has been leased (free of charge) to the Lanark County Food Bank (also known as the Hunger Stop) to grow fresh food for the community.
Notwithstanding the fact that progress has exceeded our wildest expectations, we have faced a few challenges, including:
A somewhat later start in planting than we would have liked while waiting for the relatively heavy soil to dry.
An almost complete lack of rain in April and May. Ottawa airport records show a total of 7cm (parts of the Ottawa Valley received much less) — this compares to the 22cm that most crops would require over the two months. In order to complete putting in transplants we were forced to buy a truckload (3500 gallons) of water. While expensive, it did show that it is doable.
Delays in creating our water collection system and our in-field irrigation system (a complicated system that involved several contractors). We are very grateful for one of our team members who is quite tenacious in chasing contractors!
An almost complete failure of many of the crops that we planted from seed such as carrots, beets and chard due to the very dry conditions. On the bright side, we received donations of thousands of beautiful plants to fill the empty beds.
Back to the progress side. By the end of June, we had planted virtually all of the 1.6 acres that we were able to have plowed and tilled. We have drip irrigation on one-third of an acre where we have planted tomatoes, peppers, beans, zucchini and cucumbers. The remainder is planted primarily in potatoes, corn and squash, and will have to depend on Mother Nature for moisture. We have tried to work with nature — for example, planting potatoes eight inches deep, close to the moisture that the decaying sod will provide. As Ed Lawrence has opined, he does not want to be part of the work team harvesting these potatoes.
The most amazing success story of the project so far has been the people side!
There are 25 folks who form the front-line — these are the people who get out there with shovel, hoe and rake; who get down and dirty and commit to a weekly three-hour shift throughout the growing and harvesting season. These regular shifts started in late May.
These folks come from all walks of life and all ages, but most do not have a great deal of gardening experience. We have a pretty fair gender balance, and several folks volunteer as couples. We do find that there is a bit of competition among the guys to drive the lawn tractor and yard cart…
Behind the front line is our Core Team of ten to twelve experienced gardeners who started the planning in late January via a Zoom call and have faithfully participated in a call every two weeks. There have been all kinds of tasks that have pushed the team beyond our comfort zone. These are the people who have done the research on appropriate equipment and materials, mapped the layout of the garden space, chased contractors and equipment suppliers, designed a shed, got a building permit and built it, obtained three very large tanks (1250 Imperial gallons each) and set up an irrigation system, and led teams of keen but inexperienced volunteers.
And behind the Core Team is the ultimate authority of the Board of Directors of the Food Bank. The Board receives regular monthly reports and has access to minutes of the bi-weekly Core Team meetings. One Board member has been remarkably successful in writing grant applications, our Chair tracks expenditures and posts progress on Facebook, our Treasurer tries to keep us on budget, and other Board members ensure that we meet Health and Safety standards and that necessary paperwork is in place.
We have been extremely fortunate to have the organizational skills of our Food Bank Manager, who organizes our volunteers and gets them to fill in forms and commit to a regular time slot (and who chases people to fill in when regular volunteers take some time off).
Now that we have become convinced that we may have something to harvest, some of the focus is shifting to processing and storing of the produce. But of course, we are not ignoring the necessary weeding and cultivating.
It’s not too late to join our teams of volunteers — just phone the Lanark County Food Bank (the Hunger Stop) at 257–8546.
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
“Nature is the place to be,” according to nature and wildlife photographer Danielle Barabé-Bussières. Danielle celebrates her love of the natural world by capturing stunning images and transforming them into works of art. She has a gift for composition, a talent for exploiting the extensive capabilities of current post-processing software, and the dedication and patience needed to create an extraordinary photographic work of art from an excellent photograph.
Take a ......
Red TrilliumStudio Tour, July 3 & 4 - theHumm July 2021
The 43rd Red Trillium Studio Tour will take place over the weekend of July 3 and 4, showcasing the studios of some of West Carleton’s most talented artists and fine craftspeople. Just twenty minutes beyond Kanata into the scenic countryside around Carp, Dunrobin and Kinburn, you will be welcomed at studios featuring paintings, jewellery, sculpture, photography, woodturning, pottery, glasswork, designer clothing and fine art textiles.
Artists will be on hand to discuss their wo......
Almonte Celtfest is Turning 25! - theHumm July 2021
By Makayla Moore
Celtfest is a free afternoon of Ottawa Valley and Celtic entertainment, typically performed in the natural amphitheatre of Gemmill Park in the heart of Almonte, that has moved online almonteceltfest.com for the 2020 and 2021 installments of the festival.
It is hard to believe that this long-running event has been bringing the community together in Gemmill Park (and online) to dance, sing, and celebrate all things Celtic for 25 years!
By Glenda Jones
My clothesline suffered a slow and painful collapse one day last fall, and after a couple of estimates I convinced myself I could use a lot of dryer time for what it was going to cost to erect a 14-foot pole and re-string that line. But every wash day through the winter I yearned for the fresh smell of frozen laundry. I was tired of lint on the dark clothes, jeans shrinking, socks disappearing, everything in a wrinkled tangle like day-old spaghetti. I needed that clothesline.
A casual c......
MidSummer Herbfest is going virtual again in 2021 with a week-long event running from Sunday, July 25 to Sunday, August 1. Stay tuned to midsummerherbfest.ca for more details about this celebration of healthy living. This year, Herbfest will be showcasing parsley — the international herb of the year. You’ll find musical sets from Ottawa Valley artists Vicki Brittle and Khloe B Music, as well as online vendors, videos, kids’ crafts, an......
Music at Daisy Dell Farm - theHumm July 2021
By Kris Riendeau
As we emerge from months of lockdown and take our first tentative steps back into the “real” world, one of the first experiences many of us are seeking is that of live performances. Remember that elusive but transformative feeling of sharing a great vibe with musicians and fellow audience members? Tapping your feet and grooving along, mouthing the words to your favourite songs? Fortunately for the Ottawa Valley, Barb (Mattiacci) McIlquham recalls all those great feelings, having experienced them both as......
By Miss Cellaneous
Strévé Gallery Celebrates Canadian Local
In celebration of Canada’s Birthday and the Support Local Movement, Strévé Design Loft Gallery is featuring three Perth area artists and artisans during the summer months. Owner Cheryl Straby explains that: “supporting local emerging and professional artists has always been the mandate of the gallery since moving into my wonderful space three years ago. I guess that’s reason enough ......
Born in the historic Métis community of Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta, Tony Belcourt’s career spans over 50 years of experience and significant achievement in Indigenous affairs, the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors. As founding President of the Native Council of Canada (1971-1974), he was instrumental in creating a national voice for Canada’s Métis and Non-Status Indians, and his efforts were an important contributing factor in the Métis being recognized in the Constitutio......
Submitted by Carolyn Piche
It’s no secret that our forests and wetlands provide us with countless environmental and health benefits. Being in wild areas can lead to improved emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing, while Nature purifies our air and water. Wild areas are also a key resource in our efforts to slow climate change because they sequester large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere.
Were you among the thousands who visited the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT......
Bloomfest Garden Art Show and Sale - theHumm July 2021
By Suzanne Patry
Last year, during the third week of July, Whitehouse Perennials hosted our first garden art show and sale. Late July is a particularly beautiful time because the display gardens and daylily field are in full bloom. It was a great success, and customers and artists were enthusiastic about making it an annual event. Beginning on July 21, the work of 14 artists will be installed throughout the three display gardens and the daylily field. The art will remain in place until August 2. The gardens ar......
A Lifelong Learner, Still On the Go - theHumm July 2021
By Sally Smith
There’s a “thief” in Araina Clark’s life.
“It takes away a lot of things, things you never realized it could, but one by one it marches through and takes….” Araina talks about the thief bluntly: “Reading has become more challenging. The thief took it early.”
She talks about “him” waiting around a corner, waiting to steal again next week, next month, in a few minutes.
“For me, the progression [of Parkinson’s Disease] has been slow, but I felt every loss, was amazed how my life was broken do......
By John Pigeau
With live music venues set to open outdoors again, I actually feel a little silly trying to write about the transformative power of live music. I can’t, really. Because that power comes from the genuine human experience between musician and audience — and that transformative power is created live. In the moment. With music and voice, spontaneous gestures and impossible-to-describe feelings. And anyone who loves live music knows that. They don’t need it explained to them; they merely need to he......
Submitted by Joanna Jack
Youth Circle for Mother Earth (YCME) will be hosting a youth-led BioBlitz across Ontario, online and on-site at the local Plenty Canada headquarters over a two-week period during the month of July. A BioBlitz is an event that involves searching for and identifying as many species as possible over a short period of time. Not only will this event be a fun and exciting way to contribute to crowd-sourced western science, but participating youth will also be contributing to I......
My name is Renée Kokonya Sullivan. I am from Kenya and have been living in Canada now for four years. I didn’t have a library growing up. I loved to read though. My only books were my textbooks from school. I loved reading through them, especially my English and Swahili books. The first time I entered a library was in university. I was in awe! So many books, such little time. I was hooked. Libraries and bookstores became some of my favourite places to hang out. I loved the smell of books, the qu......
How-Tos for Happier Hiking - theHumm July 2021
By Vickie Walsh
Are you prepared for emergencies while hiking? Is your child? Do you have supplies and know how to care for your dog?
Now that provincial restrictions are lifting (knock on wood), mud season is over, and maybe, just maybe, the worst of bug season is behind us — hiking is in full swing! Whether it’s inner-city trails or country escapes, there are plenty of trails (literally hundreds upon hundreds) for us all to enjoy. Safety is sometimes an afterthought when it comes to getting......
You can now declutter and support the Carleton Place hospital at the same time!
The Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital (CPDMH) Foundation is thrilled to announce it has partnered......
Building for a Bright Future How our Expanding Rural Population Can Help with the Climate Crisis - theHumm July 2021
By Chandler Swain
Lanark County will see many new neighbours move to our towns, villages and countryside in the coming years. All the homes these folks will need must factor into how we manage to slow down and rev......
A volunteer group is collecting used bikes throughout Eastern Ontario to send to Cuba, and is asking local people for donations and help.
“More than a million Canadians normally travel to Cub......
May 22 - Sep 5 Head Over Heels
Jul 12 - Sep 6 Eric Uren
Aug 2 - 31 Exhibit: Ghosts of the Highway
Aug 4 - 31 Jazz Night w/Spencer Evans Trio
Aug 8 Matt Dickson
Aug 11 The Tempest
Aug 12 - 14 Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival
Aug 12 Jeff Callery
Aug 13 - 14 Perth Lions Garlic Festival
Aug 13 Eric Uren on the Patio
- David Dunn — Doing What Comes Naturally
- Richard Gill’s Annual Show Burnstown Sculptor Sheds Light on 50-Year Career with Milestone Show
- Travel to Wonderland with Alice! Summer Fare at Smiths Falls Station Theatre
- Ghosts of the Highway New Exhibit at Perth’s Concave Gallery
- Calling All Hippies… To the Killaloe Craft and Community Fair!
- A Midsummer Night in Perth Landscapes Interpreted Through Art and Fashion
- MMLT Presents The Festival of the Wild Child Outdoor Family-Friendly Event is Better than Ever!
- Perth Garlic Festival
- 3 Galleries; 3 Shows
- Beautiful Art in Beautiful Westport!