Seedy Saturday Returns to Almonte! - theHumm March 2024

Seedy Saturday Returns to Almonte! - theHumm March 2024

By David Hinks

Are you developing symptoms of “garden-withdrawal syndrome”? Drooling over seed catalogues? Sharpening garden tools until you can shave with them? Haunting the garden aisles of local hardware stores?

Take heart, there is a support group; a place where you can meet like-minded souls whose green thumbs are itching for action. Scott and Marisa, proprietors of Indian Creek Orchard Gardens , have bravely (and perhaps foolishly according to Scott) undertaken to bring Seedy Saturday back to Almonte. After a pandemic-related hiatus of four years, it returns on Saturday, March 16 from 10am to 3pm at the Almonte Civitan Hall.

Seedy Saturdays (and Sundays) are locally organized grass-roots events — the Canadian not-for-profit organization Seeds of Diversity has a loose organizational role, providing some guidance and some publicity. They encourage the use of open-pollinated and heritage seeds and the enabling of a local seed exchange. They also promote educating the public about seed saving and environmentally responsible gardening practices.

As a bit of an aside, my better half has expressed umbrage at the use of the word “seedy”, which our dictionary defines as “shabby-looking”. These events are anything but shabby as we collectively look forward to all the beauty that spring has in store!

Scott and Marisa are promising a very full day of everything related to gardening. The complete Civitan Hall will be in use. There will be three lectures in the main speaker hall, three workshops in the workshop room, a couple dozen vendors, four seed exchange tables, two advice tables and several local horticultural societies. The cafeteria will be open all day. The admission fee is $3, which goes directly to Lanark County Interval House to support their Perseverance Pantry Outreach Program for women in challenging circumstances.

The first lecture in the main speaker hall is by Steven Martyn, author of The Sacred Gardener, speaking on co-creating abundance with the land.

The second lecture is by Mélanie Ouellette, Chair and Founder of the Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library. She is speaking on how to design and plan a pollinator-friendly garden in your yard using native plants. Find out what plants pollinators like, discover how to attract them, and learn about a few different species you may not be familiar with.The final lecture is by Telsing Andrews of the Edible Ottawa Gardening Group. She will demonstrate how to save common garden vegetable variety seeds, including both wet and dry threshing methods. Telsing has been a gardener and avid seed saver for over twenty years, with an interest in developing a robust food shed.

There will be three workshops in the workshop room. Master Gardener Judy Wall will demonstrate many different methods of starting seeds, from very easy to very difficult. Unique germination requirements of different seeds will also be covered. Discussion will include the environment, locations in your house to start seeds, equipment/supplies required, how to care for seedlings, minimize mildew, air circulation and lighting, how to transition plants from inside to outside, hardening off plants, and what are some good sources for seeds.

There will also be workshops on home composting, and Barrie Brodie of Forest Floor Mushrooms will give an overview of the different methods of growing your own mushrooms at home.

Our local gardening groups will be well represented. There will be Horticultural Societies from Almonte, Carleton Place, Pakenham and McDonalds Corners. You’ll also find the Lanark County Food Bank Blakeney Project, the Canadian Organic Growers, the Seed Library at the Mississippi Mills Library, Seeds of Diversity, Wild Pollinator Partners, Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library and the Lanark County Master Gardeners. For me, one of the most important aspects is the opportunity for networking with many gardening groups.

In its first four years, Seedy Saturday was organized by local entrepreneur Johvi Leeck, and proved to be a very successful Almonte event — a terrific opportunity for gardeners from the area to network, for local producers to showcase their wares, and for learning. It is a great opportunity to support local small businesses — these folks are not in it for the “big bucks” but because they believe fervently in what they are doing. Seedy Saturday’s grass-roots nature — low overhead, low admission, local talent and volunteer energy — distinguishes it from expensive, commercially-driven garden shows. This truly is a local event.

Seedy Saturday is fantastic for the beginner gardener, but also very timely for the serious gardener who is looking for new challenges, perhaps venturing into rare and unusual plants or starting their own seedlings under lights. Peppers, eggplant and tomatoes can be started mid-March. Now is a great time to get out and talk to experienced gardeners and check out the huge diversity of vegetable varieties that are not available in box-store garden centres.

For more details on the great network of Seedy Saturday (and Sunday) events taking place across the country, check out the Seeds of Diversity website . In our region, you can also visit Ottawa and Brockville on March 2; Perth, Pembroke and Kemptville on March 3; and Kingston on March 9.

For up-to-date information on Almonte’s Seedy Saturday, go to the Facebook Page for Lanark County Seedy Saturday.


Pamela Stewart —An Invitation to Escape and Breathe - theHumm March 2024

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

theHumm’s mandate is to connect and promote Ottawa Valley people and events, and that is why abstract mixed media artist Pamela Stewart is qualified to be our featured artist this month. The website of this Kanata-based artist at proudly proclaims that she is Co-Owner/Gallerist of the new Carleton Place Gallery located at 210 Bridge Street.



The Canadian Library
Truth and Reconciliation Through Art
- theHumm March 2024

By Terri Clarke

Art is a powerful medium. It can represent loss, grief, healing and hope. It can teach and open conversations. One very powerful example of this is The Canadian Library, a Truth and Reconciliation project. Now in process across the country, this initiative consists of communities creating an art installation together as a memorial to the 8000 murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQTIA+ persons.

The installation will consist of bookshelves filled with books wrapped in Indige......


First-Hand from James Keelaghan - theHumm March 2024

JUNO award-winning folk musician James Keelaghan has captivated audiences for decades with his soul-stirring lyrics and melodies rooted in the rich tapestry of Canadian history and culture. With his latest album Second Hand garnering critical acclaim and a 2024 JUNO nomination in the traditional folk category, he continues to showcase his exceptional talent and dedication to preserving and evolving the folk music tradition. Keelaghan will be performing a concert at St. Paul’s Unite......


Almonte Celtfest Ceilidh - theHumm March 2024

Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Almonte Celtfest Celidh featuring The Broken Bridges. The evening will start with a session at 6:30 and continue with sets starting at 8pm. The Broken Bridges is one of the rare groups that formed in 2020. Fern & Willow Marwood were a fiddle/banjo duo that turned trio by adding Graham Lindsey on guitar. They bring an energy to the stage that you’ll love!

The Ceilidh takes place on March 16 starting at 6:30pm at the Almonte Old Town Hall. Tickets......


The Bowes Brothers in Concert - theHumm March 2024

The Bowes Brothers have been entertaining people in this area for years with their distinctive take on Valley music. With four brothers singing together, the group is known for their terrific harmonies and on-stage banter. Their father Clarence also sang with them for years. And while they have di?erent day jobs, John, Eddie, Andy and Rod all live in the Carleton Place area.

The brothers have a special spot in their hearts for the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital, and this con......


Building theFuture of Perth
The Linden Housing Co-operative Initiative
- theHumm March 2024

By Steven Welchner

A visionary project is taking root that will re-imagine affordable living in our community. The Linden Housing Co-operative is planning to develop an 80-unit eco-conscious, affordable housing complex behind Lanark Lodge on Christie Lake Road.

This initiative is born from the collaboration of passionate community members, including a small but dedicated Board of Directors, who are steering the project towards its goal. The proposed 4.5-acre site, currently owned by Lanark County, offers a u......


Exciting New Book Releases
Recommendations to Rouse You from Your Winter Slumber
- theHumm March 2024

By John Pigeau

There’s one week in December when the days feel like they’re five minutes long. You wake in the dark, you eat dinner in the dark. It’s cold and grey and bleak, and your car won’t start. You wish you were a bear — hibernating. Every year, that’s right about that time I get thinking about spring. I’ll look up the day the clocks spring forward, and note the time when the sun will set that day. Invariably, this cheers me up a little. A little.

But now that it’s March — well, if you’re an......


Basic Income:A Floor of Stabilityfor Creative Expression - theHumm March 2024

By — Rob Rainer is a founding member and the inaugural Chair of Lanark Basic Income Network. He is also the Reeve of Tay Valley Township, and in that capacity also sits on Lanark County Council.

The great novelist Julian Barnes (winner of the 2011 Booker Prize) has said of art that it “belongs to everybody and nobody,” that it “belongs to all time and no time,” that it “belongs to those who create it and those who savour it,” and that it “is the whisper of history, heard above the noise of time.”

In this sense, creative expression is arguably at the heart of the human experience, of what it means to be human. If this is true, one would think a humane society would wish to ensu......


Seedy Saturday Returns to Almonte! - theHumm March 2024

By David Hinks

Are you developing symptoms of “garden-withdrawal syndrome”? Drooling over seed catalogues? Sharpening garden tools until you can shave with them? Haunting the garden aisles of local hardware stores?

Take heart, there is a support group; a place where you can meet like-minded souls whose green thumbs are itching for action. Scott and Marisa, proprietors of Indian Creek Orchard Gardens , have bravely (and perha......


Art is in the Air!
Celebrate Spring at the Maple Run Tour
- theHumm March 2024

Like a breath of fresh air, the Pakenham Maple Run Tour coming up on April 6 and 7 will refresh and energize after a long winter. A tour like no other, Maple Run is a unique blend of art, fine craft, interesting and heritage buildings and spectacular spring scenery. Art and fine craft are the roots of the tour, but the Maple Run venues are destinations all by themselves for their history, their architecture or their function. To top all that off, the tour takes place in maple syrup country, so a trip......


Classic Troubadours Live - theHumm March 2024

On April 20 at 3pm, Classic Troubadours Live presents the greatest songs by James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne & Carole King… all in one unforgettable show!

Award-winning singer-songwriter Jacob Moon brings you a dynamic ensemble of incredible singers and musicians paying homage to these four icons. Join them as they dig into the catalogues of some of the most influential artists of their lifetime, including hits like Fire and Rain, Running on Empty, Big Yellow Taxi, ......


Maple Weekend
Sweet Family Fun in Store for April 6 & 7
- theHumm March 2024

Maple syrup producers in Lanark & District are gearing up for the biggest maple festival in Ontario — Maple Weekend. Held each spring on the first weekend of April (April 6 and 7 this year), it’s a fun, free, family-friendly event celebrating the harvest of one of Ontario’s sweetest crops.

“Maple Weekend is an invitation for visitors to come out and see a sugarbush in operation, and learn more about how it’s produced,” says Lanark & District Maple Syrup Producers’ Association president Le......


Climb All the Mountains - theHumm March 2024

By Glenda Jones

Once again, the Mississippi Mills Film Society is pulling out all the stops with a moving drama of friendship and philosophy to be screened on Sunday, March 24. The Eight Mountains is beautifully set in the Italian Alps, a perfect backdrop for the story of two lives intertwining from Italy to Nepal and back. This film débuted in Cannes in 2022, and has since won many awards at several international film festivals.

It explores the delicate relationship of two childhood friends as they ......


Soup for Thought(fullness)
Fill Your Bowls and Bellies at theMississippi Valley Textile Museum
- theHumm March 2024

The MVTM’s tastiest fundraising event is back and better than ever! Save the date and get your tickets for Soup for Thought(fullness), taking place on Saturday, April 20 from noon to 2pm at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Doors will open at 11:45am, and this year will also feature a silent auction.At Soup for Thought(fullness), your $25 ticket includes a fabulous bowl, handmade by artists at the Almonte Potters Guild, and a delicious meal made by local businesses. If there are too......


Celebrate Art with a Spring Fling! - theHumm March 2024

Spring is the season of creation, and to celebrate, the West Carleton Arts Society (WCAS) is once again presenting its Spring Fling Art Show at the Kanata Civic Art Gallery, located at 2500 Campeau Road. The Spring Fling takes place from March 4–17, and will feature works by local artists in a range of media.

“This show offers original works of art and is always a fun event,” says Derrick Hewitt, WCAS Shows Director. “You’ll find watercolour, oil and acrylic paintings......


The Almonte Tea Dances are Back! - theHumm March 2024

Sunday afternoon tea dances organized by the Standing Room Only Big Band (SRO) are back in full swing at the beautiful Almonte Old Town Hall. The next two take place on March 3 and April 28.

The dances are held from 1:30–4pm in the upper hall at the Almonte Old Town Hall, located at 14 Bridge Street. Doors open at 1pm, and admission is $16 per person at the door or $30 per couple. Reservations are not required. Light refreshments are available, including delicious treats and a range of beverages (non-......


Pancake Breakfast at Union Hall
Reserve Your Spot for This Year’s Event!
- theHumm March 2024

By Linda Camponi

Once again, the folks at Union Hall will be celebrating the coming of spring at our annual Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, April 7 from 8am until noon.

Diners will enjoy generous portions of pancakes, ham or sausages, baked beans and blueberries, with butter and maple syrup (courtesy of Fortune Farms), accompanied by fruit juice, tea and Equator coffee. Gluten-free option are available. Prices for large and regular portions are $12 and $10 respectively. Children five and under eat for free.

This annual fundraiser is organized for the benefit of the local community. Bring the family ......


A Busy Time for Maple Farmers - theHumm March 2024

By — Jamie Fortune and his family run Fortune Farms <>, located near Almonte in beautiful Lanark County

As I write this the snow is falling and temperatures are dropping, so our forests are getting a nice layer of insulation and future moisture for the coming maple season. It’s a busy time for maple farmers! We are pleased to report that our 2023 crop was average in quantity with excellent quality, despite a very warm February and a damaging ice storm in early April of 2023. Farming has risks, and we hope for stable weather patterns — not too warm, not too cold — throughout March and April, to pro......


Call for Participants
Crown and Pumpkin Studio Tour 2024
- theHumm March 2024

Are you a practicing artist or artisan interested in joining a dynamic tour with a long history of success? Consider joining the Crown and Pumpkin Studio Tour for the 28th annual Thanksgiving weekend event on October 12 and 13 in Almonte, Clayton and area. 

Organizers have openings for new members who make professional-quality, innovative work. Does this sound like your practice? If “yes”, they want to see your creations. To apply, submit digital images of recent work, and......


A Murder, You Say? - theHumm March 2024

By Glenda Jones

Yes, a murder, but only on paper! The Friends of the Mississippi Mills Public Library are one step closer to the March 10th benefit performance of the one-act play Who Killed the Curator, written by Almonte author Kathleen Reichelt.

Featuring five well-known local actors, this comedy will transport the audience back to the days of vintage staged radio plays when it was a social occasion to watch a reading. Ms. Reichelt has assembled a dynamic cast including David Frisch, Jennifer Pf......


Lots To Do in Mississippi Mills
March Break Movies & Skates and More
- theHumm March 2024

It’s time to think about your March Break plans, and Mississippi Mills has got you covered! The Recreation & Culture Department is sponsoring two free March Break Movie & Skate events to keep families busy.

The first event is set for Wednesday, March 13 at the John Levi Community Centre in Almonte. Free public skating will be offered from 1–3pm, and the movie Migration will be shown in the upper hall of the community centre from 2–3:30pm. The Mississippi Mills Youth Centre (MMYC) w......


Yikes!What Have I Done?? - theHumm March 2024

By Glenda Jones

Are you familiar with the phrase “fish or cut bait”? There are other variations, but this one is polite. We learned it in Nova Scotia, and it has stood me in good stead when decisions have to be made.

There are various ways to decide things. One is to flip a coin. You flip the coin, but wait — don’t uncover it yet. If it’s heads, will you be disappointed? If it’s tails, will you stand by this arbitrary way of deciding? Can you live with your decision, or will you throw the quarter back in y......


I Feel Good, I Got My Leather Goods! - theHumm March 2024

By Leanne Baker

Leather goods that are locally made, durable, variable in style and distinctly unique are a rare and valuable find. I cannot recall how many times I have looked for the right wallet, a good quality dog collar, or simple goods that improve the look of things. It doesn’t feel right to settle for a product like a wallet, when I know pulling it out is like a statement; you want to feel good about the things you own. I really value quality products that are locally made, so I was excited to discov......


Secondhand Stories
(Im-peck-ably Told, but Somewhat Fowl)
- theHumm March 2024

By Kris Riendeau

Secondhand Stories is a registered non-profit chicken sanctuary and online used book shop based in Rideau Lakes, whose mission is to provide a loving forever home to abandoned, abused, and neglected farmed animals. Owners Liz and Craig Wheeler have a palpable passion for chickens, but the story of how they went from living in the centre of Ottawa to caring for 19 birds on their property near Lombardy is rather egg-ceptional*, and truly inspirational.




Congratulations, Mississippi Mills Library! - theHumm March 2024

This past February, Christine Row, CEO of Mississippi Mills Public Library (MMPL) received the 2024 W.J. Robertson Medallion for Public Librarian of the Year! With much excitement and thanks, Row accepted the medallion at the Public Library Awards Gala held in Toronto.

Awarded to a public librarian who demonstrates outstanding leadership, this provincial award recognizes and honours significant top contributions to the library profession. In her acceptance speech, Row described how libra......


Quality of Life — Not Just a Cliché at Home Hospice - theHumm March 2024

By — Wendy O’Keefe is a Volunteer Consultant with Home Hospice North Lanark

You may wonder why theHumm — an arts and entertainment publication — is running a story from Home Hospice North Lanark (HHNL). Well, on the masthead of theHumm it also says “…and Ideas.” That’s where we fit in. The “idea” we want to share is that everyone is entitled to a beautiful birth and a beautiful death. Yes, in most cases it can be beautiful.

The concept of hospice care was first championed by a woman named Cicely Saunders in the UK. She founded the first modern hospice and, more than anybody else, was responsible for establishing the discipline and the culture of palliati......


Hang On to Quilts — There’s a Story There - theHumm March 2024

By Sally Smith

What to do with that old quilt? It’s been in the upstairs trunk for years. Get rid of it? Hang on to it?

What’s the story behind it, anyway? Did Grandpa make it, or Mom? It was probably Mom…

For Olive Pheby Johnston, back in the day quilting was a necessity; the quilts she made kept her seven children warm throughout many cold Ontario winters.

But it was not just having babies and quilting that kept her vibrant and active into her old age (she lived from 1890 to 1971); during much of her ......