Carrying on a family tradition for 3 generations.
7195 Highway 9, Schomberg, ON
In This Issue:
Chokecherries 4 by Ron Gaston
by Dave Barrer
Rumtopf 5 by Ron Gaston
Awesome Acres! 6 by Naomi Simpson
The 21st Century Library 9 by Kelley England
The Library & The Empress Josephine
by Sharon Bentley
The Community’s Going To Be Proud Of Their Equestrian Facility When It’s Done 12 by Bill Rea
Organize Your Thanksgiving Holiday 14 Books For Cuddling & Snuggling
by Ron Gaston
I Need A Fence! 16 by Lorraine Mennen
Model: Ella Starr Granddaughter of Dave and Wendy Barrer
Fall Painting 18 by Derrick Jones
Make Raking Leaves Easier ...And Maybe Fun!
Fall Reading 20 by Forster’s Book Garden
Landscaping Trapdoors 22 by Jean-Marc Daigle
Recipes 23 Cold Creek Conservation Area
by Shirley Girot
Give Your Home An Energy Makeover The Sounds of Happy Valley
by Todd Farrell
Vinous Thoughts 26 by Tyler Philp
Welcome To Blue Tortoise Acupuncture
by Sophie Fortier
Oooooh They’re Back!
by Ron Gaston
Revisiting The 100 Mile Diet
by Ron Gaston
From The Editor:
people. We have ‘book reviews’ for many interests, ideas for home décor, ideas for entertaining with wine, how to make a ‘rumtopf’, and some info on ‘pumpkins’. There is of course much more.
Autumn is a favourite time of year for many people. Whether it is the comfortable weather, the spectacular colours of nature, the Fall fairs, the bounty of the harvest, Hallowe’en, or the simple joys of ‘Thanksgiving’ with the family. This edition of ‘Tapestry’ provides you with a wide variety of ideas, suggestions, stories, activities, and items of information to help you make the most of the season.
We wish to thank our talented writers, our advertisers and our loyal readers for their support and encouragement. We look forward to your comments and your helpful suggestions for future issues. We also wish to thank Dave Barrer for providing another original painting for our cover. The young ‘horsewoman’ is Dave’s youngest granddaughter.
The Pan Am games are coming. Bill Rea has an update. We have an interesting glimpse into the history of the King Library. “Awesome” accurately describes the contribution horses make to the lives of many
apestry A MAGAZINE OF QUALITY LIVING IN KING TOWNSHIP
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Tapestry Fall 2013
FURNACES • FIREPLACES • AIR CONDITIONING
by Ron Gaston
H E AT I N G & C O O L I N G LT D DUCT SPECIAL CLEANING, FIREPLACE, AIR CONDITIONING & GAS PIPING FURNACE & VARIOUS TUNE-UP & TYPES OF SERVICE FURNACE FILTERS
Living in the country was always an adventure, especially for the children in our family. We had never heard of television or video games in those days, and in fact, hydro and telephone lines were still years away from arriving at our farm. A trip to town was a rare occurrence, as was a visit by our neighbours over the ridge. However, there were always chores to do, and we had plenty of time to have fun. Throughout the summer and fall, we explored the farmland and forest and learned from experience what was dangerous and what wasn’t. We also did a lot of grazing. Grannie called us her two legged sheep. We picked wild berries and fruit wherever we found it, and occasionally we even chewed on tender grasses and leaves. Strawberries and raspberries edged our pastures, and blueberries grew among the rocky hills. Haws and butternuts kept us busy, and our old apple and plum trees kept us filled. While autumn brought us the bounty of root crops, we always looked forward to the chokecherry season.
Chokecherry trees surrounded our farm and could be found in the ditches beside our laneway, along the creek and even on the edge of our sandy plains. When the trees flowered we could tell which were chokecherries and which were cranberry shrubs, and then we patiently waited. After the flowering, green berries appeared and gave us a hint of the future crop. As the berries turned a bright red, the birds began to arrive and we took turns shooing them away. We were waiting for the berries to ripen to our liking.
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Eating chokecherries demands an acquired taste. To say that the berries were somewhat bitter would be an understatement. Bright red chokecherries are pretty, and might be suitable for making jams and jellies, but not for eating. Good eating came when the berries were a purplish, dark red colour. We would bring out our pails and begin to pick. We would also fill our mouths.
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A Chokecherry has a single pit covered by a thin layer of flesh under the skin. The fruit has a bitter taste and an astringent quality that dries out your mouth. Although it becomes sweeter as it ripens, it still makes your mouth pucker. Despite this, we would fill our mouths with chokecherries, taking care not to chew or swallow the pits. By swirling the berries in our mouths, we could separate the flesh from the pit, and then we would spit the pits out. This took some skill to ensure that you didn’t dribble all over your shirt.
HUGE FIREPLACE SALE!
Grannie always knew when we got into the chokecherries. Not only were we very thirsty, but our lips, tongue and teeth were stained a distinct brown colour. Also, if you were not a good spitter, you’d get a good tongue lashing for ruining your shirt. Chokecherries were often used by our First Nations to cure a variety of ailments, including cankers, and diarrhea. We found that after eating our fill of chokecherries, we never had to worry about diarrhea for some time, but stomachaches were another thing.
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Tapestry Fall 2013 - 4 -
by Ron Gaston
If you love fruit and berries, you’ll love this idea…and if you like delicious fruity liqueurs, even better. This idea might even get you enthused enough to include more fruit in your daily diet. Rumtopf is an old traditional German recipe used to create delicious fruit preserves. As a bonus, you’ll also end up with a sweet liqueur to toast your good health. The concept is a simple one and is derived from age-old techniques for preserving food. Fresh fruit and berries are placed in a crock or large glass jar and covered with sugar and alcohol. Rum is the recommended alcohol, but one can choose from any of the light, dark, amber or spiced varieties, according to one’s own taste. The resulting mélange is kept covered in a cool, dark place for four or five months, and the fruit is then served over ice cream, cake or pastry. The liqueur is strained and served as an aperitif or as an after dinner drink. The traditional rumtopf is served at the beginning of the Christmas season, but in some homes it is long gone by that time. Some people can’t wait to sample the product, it seems. Suit yourself.
Strawberries are usually the first fresh fruit available in the spring, and are often used to start the rumtopf, but if you are starting your pot in the late summer or fall, use what’s available. Raspberries, cherries, peaches, apricots, plums and other fruits might be good choices. Try not to wait too late or to rush the process. Remember that what you gain in haste might be lost in taste. Not all fruits and berries are suitable for a rumtopf because they might react with the other ingredients. Blueberries and blackberries can be bitter, rhubarb can sour the fruit, citrus fruits can cause too much acidity, and apples and bananas can affect the consistency of the mix. There are a variety of recipes available for rumtopf and many offer techniques to ensure good results. It is important to choose fruit and berries that are ripe (but not overripe), and all stems, leaves, pits, cores and bruised parts should be removed. The fruit should be washed to remove pesticides and dirt, but remember that berries can
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get mushy when washed, so be careful. Large fruits should be sliced or chunked, and every time new fruit is added to the mixture, sugar is to be added. (usually one half cup of sugar to every cup of fruit.) Finally it is essential that the complete fruit mixture be covered by at least an inch of rum. You might be pleased to know that most experts agree that it is perfectly acceptable for the rumtopf chef to indulge in a sip of rum after each topping. Your rum pot should be sealed with plastic wrap and the lid firmly attached. You don’t want your liquor to evaporate or to allow mould spores to enter the mix. Mould can completely ruin the fruit. Keep your rum pot in a cool, dark spot until you choose to add more fruit, or until you are ready to serve it. When it is time to serve, the fruit can be spooned out over ice cream or cake, but be sure to strain the liqueur into glasses for sipping. Between servings, always ensure that there is enough rum in the rum pot to keep the fruit covered. Enjoy yourself.
Tapestry Fall 2013
e m o wcreess!
by Naomi Simpson
As I pull into the driveway of an attractive, carefully-kept brick home on the fourth line of New Tecumseth, a small sign directs me around the pool towards the barn. Thick woods on my left and an old orchard on my right bely the presence of a barn and I wonder momentarily if I have somehow misunderstood the directions until I catch sight of a coverall riding arena ahead of me. I have arrived at Awesome Acres Therapeutic Riding Centre and Club, the inspiration of its co-founder, Catherine Martin. Catherine lives on the 33 acre farm with her husband Michael, their son Tom and a variety of four-legged family members. We begin our tour led exuberantly by Catherine’s Australian Shepherd, Kira. The barn is empty late in the afternoon on this sunny summer Sunday, except for a peacefully sleeping cat, keeping the seat of the John Deere tractor nice and warm. Catherine heads out a side door and calls for the
horses, who come at a gallop, a blur of black, manes and tails flying. Four of the five horses at the farm are Friesians, a Dutch-bred horse which was historically used to carry knights into combat. Used as a carriage horse for much of the 19th and 20th centuries, Friesians have gained increasing popularity as saddle horses and are known for their quiet, calm temperament, making them excellent partners for a therapeutic riding program such as that offered at Awesome Acres. The fifth horse in the barn is Lexi, a lovely Thoroughbred/ Hanoverian crossed broodmare. While the horses enjoy an afternoon snack of hay and carrots, Catherine leads me out of the barn into the adjoining paddocks to meet another fixture of the program, Muskoka’s Gorgeous Gilligan. With that hefty moniker, one might expect an equally impressive animal, but Gilligan is a pint-sized pinto, a tiny, two-toned miniature horse, used to drive a cart for participants who are not able to ride a horse. Gilligan happily returns with us to the barn, alternately chasing and being chased by Kira, all in good-natured fun. Once Gilligan is settled into his stall for his own snack, Catherine and I continue with our farm tour, chatting about the program as we wander through her lovely property.
Tapestry Fall 2013 - 6 -
“Life is simply so difficult for some of the participants. It is hard for us to truly imagine the challenges which they face. Some of our members are coping not only with developmental disabilities, but physical disabilities as well.” explains Catherine, telling me about one client in particular who is developmentally delayed and also visually impaired. Regardless of the limitations which they face, the participants embrace their time at Awesome Acres with great enthusiasm, largely thanks to the innovative programming and warm welcome provided by their host. Upon retirement, Catherine wanted to commit to some type of volunteer work, yet she was reluctant to be pigeon-holed into joining a board of directors where she would be performing similar duties to those she had just left as an accountant in the private sector. The mother of an adult child with Down syndrome, she was acutely aware of the lack of programs for adults with developmental delays or physical disabilities. “There are many programs for children with Down Syndrome or other disabilities,” she explains. “but as Tom got older, there were a lot fewer opportunities available to him.” In collaboration with Peggy Stevens, a special
needs high school teacher, Catherine decided to use her love of horses as a focus for her contribution back to the community and together they started the club in 2010. Catherine ensures that all members benefit from their time on the farm; as mentioned, those unable to ride have the option to drive. Many members simply enjoy the pleasure of being around the horses, watching others ride or drive and perhaps grooming or feeding the horses. For those who feel intimidated or overwhelmed by the equines of the program, the cats and dog are often a more comfortable size of animal with which to interact. To complete the farm experience, Catherine has also planted an enormous garden and involves participants in tending the plot; planting, weeding and harvesting the vegetables. There is truly something to appeal to everyone at Awesome Acres, and all programs are free of charge. Therapeutic riding originated in Europe over sixty years ago. Since that time, advocates have documented benefits to participants that range from improvements in physical strength, coordination and fine motor skills, to improvements in social well-being through emotional development. Across Canada, there are approximately 100 member centres affiliated with the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association offering therapeutic, recreation, life skills and sport programs. I had my own personal experience with the power of the human-equine connection earlier this summer, through my friend Dean, who vol-
unteers with Community Living Association of South Simcoe (CLASS). Dean had told me about his buddy in the program, an intellectually disabled senior named Bert, who was “horse crazy”, his home decorated with all things horsey and his memories filled with stories of horses from movies and books. Dean asked if he could bring Bert to my farm to meet some of my horses in person, something Bert had never experienced. I readily agreed, always happy to share the blessings of my beautiful farm and its equine residents with others. On arrival, Bert was greeted eagerly by my two large dogs and undaunted, we led him down to the barn to meet my mares and their new foals. The mares were gentle and patient with Bert, who brought them carrots to enjoy. But the real delight was in meeting the curious foals; one moment they would be hiding behind their dams and the next they would be gently nibbling on Bert’s jacket, vying for his attention. His delight in being with the horses was so palpable, it humbly reminded me of the privilege which I sometimes take for granted in being custodian to a stable full of horses. As the Arab Proverb states: “The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears.” Catherine Martin ensures that the wind of heaven is blowing at Awesome Acres. If you are interested in participating in her therapeutic riding program, either as a member, a volunteer or a donor, please contact Awesome Acres Therapeutic Riding Centre and Club at 5526 4thLine, Tottenham, ON, L0G1W0, (905) 936-1197 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quality Seed for backyard beauty
www.nobletonfeedmill.com 12 Old King Road, (in the heart of Nobleton) 905-859-0762 - 7 -
Tapestry Fall 2013
Tapestry Fall 2013 足- 8 -
The 21 Century Library st
by Kelley England
The 21st Century Library has seen rapid change, growth, new expectations, and of course the rise of technology and ever evolving technological advances. This has all come to pass within the last 30 years. A large factor of this change comes as a result of the creation of the Internet and the ability to digitize. Consequently, the new face of library services and how library spaces are used have all undergone a dramatic change. The King Township Public Library (KTPL) has experienced this wave of change and continues to forge ahead to bring our patrons the most current and easily accessible forms of service, through our diverse collection of materials and adaptable staff. The following are just a few of the recent collection additions and services now available at KTPL, let’s check them out! eReaders, ebooks and eAudiobooks- KTPL loans eReaders, free e-books, and eAudiobooks available for all ages. The library offers a great selection of current and popular fiction and non – fiction books that are available to download free to eReaders, iPads, iPhones and iPod touch - All available through your KTPL library card. Downloadable ebooks are accessible through the Find Resources Online page on the library’s website. Combined they offer over 4,000 titles including adult, young adult and juvenile books. Zinio Digital Magazines – Brand new to the library is Zinio, digital magazines you can read online! Zinio offers no waiting or checkout periods, multiple viewing platforms and features both audio and video. This database gives you free access to 50 of the most popular magazines to read online on your computer, tablet or smartphone. The magazines are in full editions and full colour. The titles are always available and never need to be returned, titles include; Cosmopolitan, Hello! Magazine, Newsweek, O Magazine, Rolling Stone, and many more! Check out your library’s homepage kinglibrary.ca and click on Zinio to get you started or come into the library and ask staff for details. Mango Languages – You can learn another language quickly and efficiently. Mango is an online language learning system that can help you learn languages like Spanish, French, Japanese, Brazilian, Portuguese, German, Mandarin, Chinese, Greek, Italian, Russian and more. You can access the database by clicking “Teach Yourself Skills” from the KTPL homepage. Pedometers – KTPL now offers Pedometers! In partnership with York Region Community and Health Services Department through their program York Walks. You can keep track of your steps on the way to better health! You will find pedometers at the circulation desk at all four of KTPL’s branches. You will be able to check out a pedometer for three weeks. These are just a few of KTPL’s many resources. Check out the library’s website www.kinglibrary.ca or stop into one of our four branches!
KING CITY LIBRARY 1970 King Road 905-833-5101
NOBLETON LIBRARY 8 Sheardown Drive 905-859-4188
SCHOMBERG LIBRARY 77 Main Street 905-939-2101
Ansnorveldt LIBRARY 18997 Dufferin Street 905-775-8717
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Tapestry Fall 2013
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Tapestry Fall 2013 - 10 -
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2013 marks 120 years of library service in King Township. To celebrate this benchmark, we look at the evolution of the King City Library, one of the four branches in the Township. The transformation of the facility over time mirrors the advancement of library service itself – constantly changing and adapting to meet the needs of its users by incorporating innovative techniques and leading trends of the time. A reminder of the library’s early beginnings, The Empress Josephine: an historical sketch of the days of Napoleon, written in 1896, is currently displayed in the King City Branch’s local history cabinet. The book plate on the inside-cover identifies it as one of the earliest books in the King City Mechanics’ Institute and Library Association collection. The Mechanics Institute, established in the 18th century, was committed to the self-improvement of its members through education. At the same time, The Institute served in satisfying the ever-increasing thirst for popular reading material. For a yearly membership fee of one dollar per family or fifty cents per person, the residents of King City had access to a collection of 800 classic and adventure books including, the aforementioned [The] Empress Josephine. J.W. Crossley, was Reeve of King Township and one of the early movers and shakers of his time. He was the visionary behind the creation of the first library in the Township. In 1890, Crossley had the foresight to petition Township Council to set aside one thousand acres, encompassing lots 3 through 7 in the west half of concession 3, and east half of concession 4 which would eventually become the incorporated village of King City. Three years later, his vision of a library for the village would be realized. In fact, Reeve Crossley was so dedicated to this initiative, the first library was located in his office at 15 Keele Street. Over the next few years, the library moved to the home of James McClemont and then relocated to the home of Frank Egan. Unfortunately, there was no dedicated staff to supervise the collection, and the King City Mechanics’ Institute and Library Association was discontinued… and The Empress Josephine was out of reach and could no longer be accessed.
In order to escape the flooding problem, the library was once again looking for a new home. In February 1952, a small building, at one time the King Barber Shop located on Keele Street across from All Saint’s Anglican Church, was purchased and relocated to Memorial Park. It is interesting to note, that today, the building now sits adjacent the Post Office. Unfortunately, this new building was not large enough to house all of the books and many were stored off site. Although the new library was drier, it was much colder than the original barn. So much so, that in the winter, the ink froze in the ink wells and the snow drifted in through the cracks in the wall. Mr. Ray Burt took over the responsibility of lighting the oil stove. And The Empress Josephine continued to persevere. In March of 1956, the library made yet another move to new quarters, located at 45 Springhill Road (now the King Road). The T.Eaton Company donated and laid the tile floor and the Robert Simpson Co. donated the acoustic ceiling and fluorescent lights. The mortgage of $1,650.00 was paid off 5 years later in 1961. During this period (February 17, 1959), the King Memorial Library officially became a public library, following a poll of the King City taxpayers, with only one citizen voting against it. The Empress Josephine, now part of a public library, reigned on and flourished as the system expanded to Schomberg, Nobleton, and Ansnorveldt. The hard-cover copy of The Empress Josephine now happily resides in the King City branch of the King Township Public Library system, where she has lived since the library opened at its current location, 1970 King Road, on January 10, 1970. The Empress Josephine is a perfect metaphor for the evolution of library service in King: she endured, persevered, flourished...and is now available as an e-book!
It was not until 1945 when the King Women’s Institute began a book club that the idea of a library was resurrected. Soon, access to The Empress Josephine would be restored, and ‘she’ would take her rightful place on the shelves of the newly created King Memorial Library, which was named as a commemorative to local soldiers fallen during WWII. The book plates inside the books were inscribed “For King and Country.” Unfortunately, the building did not live up to the grandeur befitting an Empress. In 1947, the library was officially opened in a small barn located in Memorial Park, when the Lake Marie Athletic Association graciously donated the space and the shelving. It’s worth noting that Mr. Angus Mowat (and father of Farley), Superintendent of Libraries, was among those present at the official opening. The first librarian to staff the new facility was Miss Marjorie Jarvis who, prior to moving to King City, had been employed at the Toronto Reference Library. Life as a librarian of the King Memorial Library was not an easy one. Miss Jarvis’ duties included keeping the large wood burning stove, located in the main part of the library, lit during the long cold winters. In the spring, the water flooded into the library often covering the lower shelves, thus forcing the library to close in order to dry out both the shelves and the books. The Empress Josephine was fortunate that she had earned a place of honour, much higher on the shelf, and therefore was able to survive. Despite these challenges, the library was incredibly successful during its first year in operation, with well over 100 members, who collectively, read an impressive 1,074 books. In the second year 2,116 books were circulated and the library added 163 new titles to the collection.
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Tapestry Fall 2013
’s y t i un
d o r p
m m o C e e b h T o t g n i o g
n a i tr . s e qu done E r i e ’s t h i t of when y t i l i c
ill by B
Top Photo: Olympic dressage rider Jacqueline Brooks was on D Niro for this demonstration at the countdown celebrations in July. Middle Photo: July 10 marked the start of the two-year countdown until the start of the 2015 Pam Am Games in the Toronto area, and numerous celebrations were held, including at Caledon Equestrian Park, which will be the site of some of the events. Caledon Town Crier Andrew Welch was involved in getting the festivities started. Bottom Photo: Artist David Arrigo and Mayor Marolyn Morrison unveiled this mural in honour of the coming Games. Morrison pointed to the small contribution she made to the creation. “This grass is my grass,” she boasted. Photos by Bill Rea
www.comedancing.ca King City Community Centre
Let’s get moving!
Ballroom and Latin Dance classes
*All ages and levels welcome!*
for registration or visit our website
Gift Certificates Available Tapestry Fall 2013
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In less than two years, the Toronto area will be, it is hoped, sticking an enormous feather of pride into its collective hat when it hosts the 2015 Pan Am games.
Collins was delighted, calling it “a heck of a test.” The riders he spoke to agreed, offering many compliments on the footing.
This area is not going to be left out of the excitement, as for those couple of days, the eyes of the equestrian world are going to be focused on Palgrave. If there’s a horse or rider involved in the games, then it will be competing at Caledon Equestrian Park. The excitement is already building, and there’s a lot more to come. July 10 marked exactly two years before the Games are slated to start. Celebrations and observances took place all over the area, and the Palgrave site was no exception, as crowds gathered for an evening of fun and anticipation. Equestrian Management Group (EMG) has been operating the facility with the Town of Caledon and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority since 1986. “We are seeing the park maintained in a most wonderful way,” declared Craig Collins, managing partner with EMG. “We are ready to welcome the world to Caledon.” There is still a lot of work to be done. The grounds right now look a little like a work in progress, but there’s a lot going on. And Marc Seguin, senior project manager for the Town of Caledon, recently stated that everything is on schedule. He says all the site grading has been completed, as well as all the services are on cue, including water, gas, electricity, storm water management and the internal road network. Getting that work done was one of two target milestones for this year. The other, Seguin says, was getting some of the rings up to Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) standards. FEI is the international governing body of equestrian sports. Despite the work, the park has still been an active site for equestrian competition, and the EMG Calendar of Events had some 16 shows and tournaments this year.
“It makes it worthwhile when you have that wonderful feedback,” he adds.“The community’s going to be really proud of us when we get it all put together.” The second phase of the development is slated to last until the summer of 2014, just in time for the holding of test events; basically dress rehearsals to make sure all is in readiness for the main event in 2015. Seguin says there will probably be some FEIlevel competitions incorporated into those test events. “The host corporation for the games is responsible for the test events,” he says. Everything should be in place for these test events in 2014, Seguin maintains. “We should be ready to go.” There are still some matters to be resolved. Seguin says they are waiting for an operational pan for the Games to come forward to address things like parking and transportation to the site. He adds staff from the Town and Peel Region are sitting on a team to address these matters, as he points out, it’s being left up to the experts. When it comes to events such as this, there is usually an emphasis on the economic benefits to the area, and that is the case here. Sierra Excavation, a local family-operated business since 1985, got the job for the installation of the footing system. The company is run by Domenic Scrivo. “He’s a local guy, born and raised in Caledon,” Seguin says, adding the whole company has been focused on the job. “I can’t say enough about these guys,” he adds. “They just went to town.” As well, the Town has cited a study conducted by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance which found the annual economic impact of these improvements estimated at $15.1 million. According to TO2015, the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee, the Games will generate 15,000 jobs. That goal is starting to have positive impact on Caledon-based employers and residents.
The main horse jumping competitions this year took place in a specially created ring, just south of the main ring and pavilion, both of which will be seeing considerable work in the next phase of the project, due to get started this fall. That phase is going to involve the other construction components. Seguin says that in the end, there will be three rings equipped to FEI footing standards, which he observes will be part of the community legacy of the Games, as higher profile riders will be drawn here for larger competition. This fall is also going to see the main work on the pavilion get started. “That building is being torn down and rebuilt,” Seguin says, adding one of the aims of the construction will be to “maintain that beautiful view of the Escarpment.” Additionally, there is going to be a large indoor arena, as well as FEI standard stalls. These will be part of another community legacy, namely allowing for shows in the winter. The footings on the site are of particular importance. The changes to the site are being conducted under the supervision of Christian Bauer, a footing specialist listed under FEI. Commenting earlier this year, Bauer, who has worked on projects around the world, including in Spain, Portugal and Mexico, said the footings for the competition areas requires various levels of material (including aggregates) to provide for proper drainage, as well as for surfaces that will be safe for the horses. The materials include geotextiles, shredded to a size specified in the equine industry with fibres that create a root system in the ground, making it more stable. “The health of the horse depends very much on this layer,” he said. That new footings received a demanding test recently at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament. That weekend saw the two phases of the RAM Equestrian Caledon Cup, and the Saturday phase went ahead in miserable, rainy weather. The grounds were soggy but the footing surface in the main ring remained solid, passing with flying colours.
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Tapestry Fall 2013
Organize Your Thanksgiving Holiday A large meal is customary come Thanksgiving. Planning an impressive Thanksgiving menu can be enjoyable for many people, while others get a little nervous when tasked with such an undertaking. But getting a head start and staying organized can make planning a Thanksgiving meal much easier than it looks. Begin by jotting down ideas of which dishes you want to make this year. Traditional foods like turkey and candied yams may be expected, but itâ€™s perfectly acceptable to think outside the box as well. If you wonâ€™t be hosting a large crowd, you may want to serve more manageable Cornish hens in place of a larger turkey. Root vegetables and squash are seasonal foods that can add some autumn flavor to your Thanksgiving dinner table. Potatoes, corn, turnips and parsnips can be served baked or turned into soups and casseroles. Thanksgiving is a great time to celebrate local foods as well. If certain items are native to your area, such as grains or game, incorporate these foods into the planning. Once you have established the menu, you can make a list of what can be prepared in advance and what will need to be made shortly before the holiday or the day of. Separate your shopping accordingly. Any frozen or canned products can be purchased in advance of the holiday rush and stored until use. Frozen turkeys also can be bought weeks before and then thawed out when they need to be cooked. Any dairy products or fresh produce should be purchased a few days before Thanksgiving and freshly prepared for optimal flavor.
Rather than spending all of your time cooking the night before the dinner, mashed potatoes and casseroles can be prepared and frozen, then reheated on Thanksgiving. Some foods actually taste better when flavors have had an opportunity to meld. Even some baked goods can be made in advance and refrigerated or frozen until use. Think about preparing batters for cookies or cakes and then storing them in the refrigerator before finishing them on Thanksgiving. Any work you can handle in advance will save you time in the kitchen come the big day. Timing can be challenging on Thanksgiving. Whenever possible, free up your oven for side dishes and desserts so that you will have ample space inside. A turkey can take up valuable real estate in the oven, so you may want to consider investing in a rotisserie or a deep-fryer so the turkey can be cooked more efficiently elsewhere. Then you will have plenty of oven space for heating side dishes and desserts. Dense foods should be placed in the oven first to enable them to heat thoroughly. Finger foods and appetizers may only need brief heating. Do not underestimate the power of the outdoor barbecue for quickly heating up foods if you are short on space in the kitchen. Delegate some of the work to others on Thanksgiving so you and your family can better enjoy the holiday. Encourage guests to bring their favorite items to serve buffet- or pot-luck style for Thanksgiving. This not only cuts down on the amount of work for the host and hostess, but gives guests an opportunity to showcase their culinary skills as well. Desserts are often labor-intensive elements of entertaining. Precision in measuring and preparing helps guarantee success. If you do not have the time to bake this Thanksgiving, serve store-bought cakes and save yourself the hassle, or ask guests to bring desserts so you can focus your attention on the main meal. While prepping for the Thanksgiving dinner, keep the dishwasher empty so you can easily load items as they are used and keep kitchen clutter to a minimum. Increasing the number of finger foods can help reduce the number of dishes used while cutting down on post-holiday clean-up. When preparing for the meal, keep storage containers at the ready. Have guests fill up take-away containers with leftovers before the table is cleared so that no food goes to waste. Promptly refrigerate all leftovers so that they are safe to enjoy later on. Thanksgiving is a time when big meals are customary and a good deal of work is required. Breaking down the work into manageable tasks helps the holiday go off without a hitch.
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R O F S K O O
B Each Peach Pear Plum
Janet and Allan Ahlbers, a husband and wife team; have collaborated as illustrator and writer on a series of magical books to be read to children. Each Peach Pear Plum focuses on the baby of the family, and is especially engaging to toddlers, who have been exposed to nursery rhymes and ditties. The strong rhyme and rhythm cadence of the poetry makes reading out loud a pleasure for parents, and the illustrations encourage children to participate in the story and search for characters hidden in the pictures. The melody of the words and the encounters with familiar nursery rhyme characters, almost force the reader to slow down, speak clearly and relish the pace of the poetry. Children pay close attention and do enjoy the ‘I spy’ format.
& G N I L D CUD GGLI NG SNU BY RON
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
This book is highly popular and has been praised for its easy to read words which make it good for teaching young children to read. Written by Eric Carle and first published in 1969, this book has been a winner of many literary awards and has sold more than thirty million copies. The title character of the book munches its way through a variety of edibles such as watermelon, apples, salami and cheese. At first the caterpillar eats moderately, but then begins to gorge itself. It suffers some consequences, but eventually does turn into a beautiful butterfly. The child can easily follow the journey of the caterpillar as it samples familiar foods and learns some of life’s lessons. This book is a good one to read to young children eighteen months to three years.
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Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Alex Scheffler, this book was originally published in 1999. This book has proven to be very popular and has been published in hard copy, paperback and board book formats, and has sold more than ten million copies. Intended for three to seven year olds, the book is written in rhyming couplets with a certain amount of repetition, but also with enough variety to capture a child’s interest. The story follows the travels of a mouse that encounters several dangerous animals, all of which would like to have the mouse for dinner. The cunning mouse convinces his enemies that he has a powerful friend and escapes harm. The story does however have some interesting twists. The story teaches morals and good life lessons worthy of family discussion. This story has been made into a London and Broadway play as well as a TV production.
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GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR ANY OCCASION • FREE GIFT WRAPPING • GIFT CERTIFICATES 12994 Keele Street, Unit #1, King City (southwest corner of King Rd.) 905-833-KIDS (5437) www.kidscountry.ca Tapestry Fall 2013
I Need A Fence! Or do you? asks a designer.
Fencing can be used in a variety of ways. It might be for some privacy from your neighbours, to protect children from open water, or simply to add interest and depth to a garden. Now with that last use, some of you might be thinking, ‘what, are you crazy?!’ But the truth is fencing can help enhance your gardens! IF, and this is a big IF, they are done creatively.
In this day and age with a huge push for healthy, outdoor living, many people are choosing to invest in their own properties and spend more time on their own ‘staycation.’ Now when it comes to investing in your own property, first and foremost discuss budget, priorities and style. Then MAKE A PLAN. No one wants to look at black chain link fences, or boring wood plank sterile walls anymore. You want to use your fence to add character, depth, interest and style.
Using decorative pieces of iron in a fence can create a more personal approach to fencing. Neighbours don’t feel shut out (not that this is always a priority) but you also don’t feel locked in. Like when you are renovating a home, you’re more likely to tear down walls to make rooms appear larger, why make your backyard look smaller by putting up a wall. Iron pieces can be installed uniformly on all fence panels, or you can pick and choose where you want complete privacy and where you don’t mind seeing through. Openings allow for air circulation which is especially appreciated in the hot days of summer. This concept can also be applied to gates. A gate with an iron insert allows you to see through into the back yard, creating a welcoming feeling when visitors come by for a visit. It also keeps the backyard looking larger as you can see into the front yard where the gardens continue. These decorative iron pieces are not only aesthetically pleasing left bare, but add height and interest to a space when you plant climbing vines to grow up them. Jackmanni Clematis paired with Guernsey Cream Clematis can cover your fence in brilliant purple and white flowers throughout the summer. To attract the gorgeous hummingbird moth try growing honeysuckle! Coming in bright orange, yellow and pink these will always impress. This is the perfect alternative for someone who needs height in their yard, but doesn’t have enough room for a large shrub or tree. Hummingbirds and their winged friends love the tubular shaped flowers. Tapestry Fall 2013 - 16 -
by Lorraine Mennen
Vines of many options combined with arbors, gates and secret pathways are interesting to work with. Colour, height, textures and fragrance are yours to discover. No property is too small to be inviting and interesting. Boring fences are gone! Living fences are in! When space is limited or sunshine is limited the ivy solution is a beautiful substitute. English ivy grown on wire trellis’ provide a quick option for instant greenery. Ivy panels are easy to install, easy to grow, but most importantly -easy to look at. Pre-ordered they can arrive in 4 x 6’ or 4 x 4’ units needing only a trench with good earth to plant them in. Some of my favourite plants for creating living fences include: Native white cedars as a hedging backdrop, paired with an array of evergreens such as the Yellow Ribbon Cedar (a personal fav for a sunny location!), Blue Globe Spruce, and Dense Yews. This collection will give you bright yellow, pale blue and a deep emerald green all season long! Remember the more varieties of plant materials layered in your yard will attract different species of butterflies, birds and other beneficial visitors. Never feel restricted or limited with the size of your property because there is an endless supply of ideas and options. You are only as restricted as your imagination is. For more information on fencing and privacy alternatives please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a complementary design consultation.
Saturday, december 7th main Street ~ Schomberg 3 - 9 pm Craft Show & Entertainment 4 pm Santa Claus Parade 8 pm Farmers’ Parade of Lights
“A MAin Street ChriStMAS” is presented by Schomberg Village Association www.schomberg.ca
A M Ain S treet
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Tapestry Fall 2013
Fall Painting I can’t believe the summer is already over! Where did all the warmth and sunshine go? Do we really have to get ready for cold and (dare I say it) winter? Yes, the fall is here! If you had been planning to do some outdoor work on the house or deck, it is probably too late. Although many paint and stain manufacturers are now producing product that you can use in 2 and 3 degree Celsius weather, it is usually not a good idea. Beside the fact that it is no fun to paint in the cold, the resulting finish on whatever it is you might be painting or staining is usually terrible. If you have a fence around the yard or paddock, it is still okay to get that type of project finished. I think what you should be thinking about is what interior projects you might want to get finished before your family and friends arrive for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It might also be a good time to consider redecorating one of your kids’ rooms. Yeah, the ones that just left for university. This is the perfect time for a least a new paint job, but perhaps there is more you might do, while they are away working hard to make you proud.
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by Derrick Jones
Many of my clients like to take stock after summer and see what they really would like to get done. Now that the cottage is closed up (or will be after Thanksgiving), and the kids are settled into their back-to-school routine, what work needs to be done inside? Often, it’s simply a repaint of the main entrance or the back door or even the garage mud room. These rooms and areas take a real beating in the summer and need to be freshened up for the upcoming holiday season. Other rooms that might need to be looked at or considered are the family room where the Christmas tree might be, the dining room where all the fun takes place and perhaps the guest bedroom where relatives and in laws may be staying for a visit. Whatever it is you might decide to do, take some time to think about it and approach the project with a ‘big picture’ mentality. That is, don’t just paint a room or a hallway because it looks a bit rough, consider the colours you are putting on the walls and how those colours work with the flow of the house. Same for individual rooms. If you don’t have a master plan for how you would like the house to look, sit down and put some ideas on paper and come up with one. That way, when you do have time to finish one or two rooms, they will be part of the bigger plan when you might have some more time and money to finish some of the other rooms or the rest of that floor. Hopefully, some of these ideas might work for you. I understand that today most people have a hard time getting things done because they are so busy. Perhaps, this fall is the time when you get that chance to finish that room, just the way you like.
Make raking leaves easier ...and maybe fun!
Raking leaves is an annual event for people in many parts of the country. Some people enjoy getting out in the crisp, autumn air and spending a day cleaning up the yard. Others do not relish the idea of hours upon hours of leaf removal from their lawns. Making the process easier and more enjoyable benefits all involved. The majority of homeowners realize that in order to keep their lawn pristine, leaves and debris must be routinely removed from the yard. Raking leaves is an activity that takes time and energy. It also can be strenuous work. However, by employing a few techniques, the work doesn’t have to be that difficult and it might even be fun.
• Use a leaf blower sparingly. It may seem advantageous to simply blow the leaves to the curb, but this can take more time and leaf blowers are much more noisy. Use the blower to dislodge leaves from hard-to-reach areas, like behind bushes or under decks. Then rake the leaves into manageable piles. Some leaf blowers can vacuum up leaves and mulch them at the same time. Take advantage of this to create a compost pile for next year’s garden. • Wait until after the peak time for leaves to be falling before you do the majority of raking. Otherwise, you could spend just about every Saturday and Sunday cleaning up leaves.
• Invest in a quality rake, particularly one that bends a bit with each stroke. This will help maximize the number of leaves that will be collected with each pass.
• Create family-centered games while raking. Have contests to see who can rake the largest pile in the shortest amount of time. Take breaks so that everyone can enjoy jumping in a giant leaf pile and have some fun.
• If raking routinely causes aches and pains in your arms, shoulders and wrists, look for ergonomic rakes that are the proper height for your body.
• Host a leaf-raking party with friends and family members. After the job is done, have a barbeque and watch some football to relax.
• Move your legs when you are raking instead of remaining stationary and just using your arms. This will help reduce your risk of back pain.
• Be sure to keep your leaves in a neat pile to prevent them from making their way into a nearby sewer. Bag them and remove them as soon as possible.
• Use smaller passes of the rake to collect leaves. This method is more efficient and less taxing on your muscles.
Leaf cleanup is a necessary task, but the task doesn’t have to be tedious and time-consuming.
• Consider using two garbage pail lids to pick up leaves and put them in disposal bags. • Turn on music while you are raking. Sing along to the tunes or move with the beat, and it just may take your mind off of the task at hand. • Be sure to rake downwind; otherwise every pile of leaves you collect may end up blowing around and giving you more work. • Rake leaves in groups. Enlist the help of all family members so that it will take much less time. Plus, everyone gets to spend time working together. Talking and joking around will certainly pass the time more quickly.
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Tapestry Fall 2013
Fall R August By Bernard Beckett
Beckett is also the author of “Genesis” a thought-provoking philosophical examination of sentience and what it means to be human. Now, Beckett examines free will and it’s apparent contradiction to religion. The beginning scene has our two protagonists rolling down a hill in a car. Both sustain many injuries, but are conscious and able to reason. The two people are a young man (Tristan) and a female prostitute (Grace). They introduce themselves to each other after the crash and begin to discuss their pasts and what brought them to this predicament in order to stay conscious and increase their chances of survival should they be found in time. Like Genesis, there is a surprise ending so I will not give too
Silent Wife By A.S.A. Harrison
The Silent Wife is a metaphor for the denial the female protagonist (Jodi) is living in throughout her entire life. She sees herself as strong, smart and capable. She was the top achiever amongst her siblings. She finished a degree in psychology and treats patients in her home. She lives with her partner, Todd Gilbert who she has refused to marry officially, but they still call each other husband and wife. He renovates buildings and appears to have more liquid cash than he actually does. Their entire relationship has been based on lies and deceit. Todd is the consummate cheat. He has had several affairs all of which Jodi has ignored, realizing that he always comes back to her, that his cheating is not about her, but about his inability
Tapestry Fall 2013
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much away. Tristan left home at an early age to study at the elite St. Augustine’s School, run by priests, headed by the Rector. He was intelligent and not afraid to express his opinions, so the Rector chose him to be the “butt” of his thought experiment on free will. He challenged Tristan’s beliefs and logic about free will in a tortuous manner until finally setting him free, leaving Tristan at odds with his own mind about the philosophy. Grace also had a very hard life. She was brought up in a convent where friendship with others was denied so they could concentrate on a relationship with God. Grace too, was intelligent and rebellious and was forced to leave the convent in shame. This is where I must stop so I do not give anything else away. It will have to taken on faith that Beckett achieves his goal making this yet another “thought experiment” novel that will be enjoyed by anyone who liked “God’s Debris” by Scott Adams or “Genesis” by Bernard Beckett. Both novels are short, but pack a lot of thought-provoking ideas into them. This would be a great introduction to philosophy or a great book club book.
to commit. She knows about all his little affairs and reacts by (on the surface) ignoring them, while doing some nasty little passive-aggressive thing to him (like hiding his keys) to get her revenge. When Todd gets one of his oldest friends’ daughter (Natasha) pregnant and she insists on him marrying her, Jodi’s safe world of denial is shattered. Todd moves in with Natasha (who becomes nastier and surlier as her pregnancy continues) and tries to evict Jodi from the home they once shared. Jodi stops taking revenge passive-aggressively. This has become war. This is all about retaining what is hers and the lengths she will go to, to maintain her safe world. This is truly a psychological thriller as we are treated to every thought both Jodi and Todd have about this relationship, as each chapter is a portion of their life told from alternating perpectives. It is a fascinating look at both the breakdown and the resilience of the human mind when faced with adversity.
Reading Burial Rites By Hannah Kent
Australian Hannah Kent visited Iceland on a school exchange trip. While there, she heard the story of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last person to have been put to death for a crime in Iceland. Agnes’ story so fascinated Hannah Kent that she continued to research Agnes’ life for ten years. This novel (a fictionalized account of Agnes’ life) is the result. Margaret Atwood did the same thing when she wrote the novel “Alias Grace.” This too was a fictionalized look at a murder which occurred in Markham in 1843. Both novels are based on historical records of the womens’ lives, court records of the trials and stories passed on through generations. The holes in each story are filled in with plausible fiction.
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Burial Rites doesn’t try to exonerate Agnes. It is simply her story as told to Thorvarsdur Johnsson (Toti) the assistant priest assigned (and requested by Agnes) to be her spiritual guide before she is put to death. While awaiting her final sentence, Agnes is placed on a farm with the Jonsson family. They are to house her and put her to work any way they want until her sentence is official. They have no choice and initially are afraid to be housing a convicted murderess, but Agnes intelligence and sincerity win them over. Agnes is intelligent, well-read and accepts her fate, so she seems to fit in well. This is a better place than prison and she receives regular meals. She shows she can work hard and begins to open up. We learn about her past and how she got to this stage in her life via her spiritual talks with Toti the priest. Her life was hard, having lost both her parents at an early age and having to survive as a servant to several families. Circumstances finally led her to the home of Doctor Natan Ketilsson whom she was accused of killing. Not wanting to spoil the story, I will stop there. The book is beautifully written, comparing the bleakness of the Icelandic winter to the bleakness of Agnes’ fate. The characters are solid and believable, and the story works as a blend of research and fictional possibilities. If you liked Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace, you will love Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites. Burial Rites releases Sept. 10th.
Mrs. Queen Take the Train By William Kuhn
The book is the story of her journey meeting regular every day folk, talking about their regular lives and not necessarily recognizing her (although to some, “the voice sounded familiar”). When it is discovered that The Queen is missing, the palace staff including her lady-in-waiting, seamstress, military equerry and Rajiv (the cheese shop staff) must find her before it becomes a national scandal. When the staff do find her, they follow her from a distance as they realize she is not in trouble and appears to be quite enjoying herself. This is a lovely quirky read that gives us glimpses into the nature of Queen Elizabeth’s personality as imagined by the careful research done by Mr. Kuhn. His understanding of the roles of the palace staff comes through in each of their imagined personalities. The queen comes across as practical, stoic and more understanding than we think. She has a sense of humour (as we saw this year in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics) which comes across often in the novel. Like when she is happy to be told she resembles The Queen, and remarks that Helen Mirren who played her in the movie, is “more svelte.” For those who are fans of Gosford Park or Downton Abbey (anything by Julian Fellowes), this book has a similar feel and will be enjoyed immensely.
Biographer and historian William Kuhn has written a lovely fictional account of Queen Elizabeth as he imagines she would be if she were free to wander among “the rest of us” at will. He skillfully weaves the class system that exists even today into this fanciful tale about The Queen and her relationships with her relatives, friends, political groups and her household associates (the word servant is no longer applicable) The Queen has learned that the royal train is too expensive and will have to be decommissioned. She feels rather depressed about this and begins to think about things that have made her happy in the past...one of them being the royal yacht Britannia now docked in Scotland as a tourist attraction. She gets it in her head that she would very much like to see it again. She decides to visit one of her favourite horses, (also Elizabeth) in the royal barn and meets up with one of the stable workers, Rebecca, who is a little uncomfortable being alone with The Queen. She notices Elizabeth, (the Queen, not the horse) is shivering in the cold damp air and offers her, her navy blue hoodie with a skull on the back to keep her warm. The Queen accepts it and leaves. That is what the Queen is wearing when she remembers that Elizabeth’s (the horse) favourite cheese comes from a shop in Jermyn Street which is fairly close to the palace, and she sets off to buy some. Thus begins Elizabeth’s (the Queen) journey through the streets of London wearing a hoodie with a skull emblazoned on the back and onto a commoner’s train to see her yacht.
Tapestry Fall 2013
Outdoor living at its best...
W AT C H Y O U R S T E P !
by Jean-Marc Daigle
rapdoors are preventable, all-too-common deficiencies or defects I see repeatedly in residential landscaping. These may occur because of a contractor’s negligence, inexperience, lack of qualifications, or lack of scruples. Often times, homeowners step through trap doors when they do not have enough money to do the job right, but just enough to do it wrong.
Outdoor Living Rooms and Kitchens...
Step onto a trapdoor, and watch your landscape investment sag, warp and fall apart. It may also drain your bank account if you have to pay for costly repairs or even outright re-construction. As a landscape architect, I see first-hand the unfortunate results of shoddy and defective landscape work on a daily basis. I take this personally, because deficient work by a few, tarnishes the reputation of everyone in my field. Trapdoors can easily be side-stepped, so long as you know where and what they are. Here are three common ones that really rankle me.
Much of the money you spend on landscape structures should be on substructural, foundational, below-the-surface stuff you cannot see. This means that, among other considerations, footings must be correctly sized, and must always be set below the frost line to prevent heaving and displacement. Here in King Township, that means at least four feet.
Natural Swimming Pools and Water Features...
Time and time again, I have seen the results of bad footings, in contorted fences, toppled gateway pillars, cracked walls and heaved decks. When budgets are tight and corners must be cut, compromise on finishes and surface materials rather than footings and sub-structures. Even the highest-end finish won’t withstand the eventual ravages of an unstable foundation. When hiring a contractor, make sure footing specifications are clearly spelled out in the contract. If you select a low-bidder, then get out there with a measuring tape to make sure the specifications are met. Beware - some contractors will try to save money on foundations if they think they can get away with it, and its very difficult to verify sizes and depths once footings are backfilled. For larger installations, always seek the advice of structural and/or geotechnical (soil) engineer. Its better to pay a bit in design fees up front in order to save a whole lot of money in repair bills down the road.
... with custom landscapes by Genus Loci Inc. AWARD-WINNING LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE AND CONSTRUCTION
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2. Pavement Base: Interlocking stone pavements are a staple in residential landscaping, and are integral to the creation of beautiful, functional landscapes. The key to a durable pavement is its “behind the scenes” aggregate base. Ignore this trapdoor, and you’ll end up with pavements that heave, sag, settle and rut, and which do not stand the test of time. There are three principal mistakes underlying pavement failures. The first is the use of limestone screenings rather than the recommended “Granular A” or “¾ inch Crusher Run” gravel.
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Limestone screenings do not compact properly, and will settle over time. The second is shallow base depth. You need a minimum of six inches, and eight inches for driveways. The third is poor compaction. A common mistake is to put down a full six inches of loose gravel, over which a small plate tamper is applied. At best, small tampers can compact three to four inches at a time, so the gravel base should be installed in at least two lifts. Otherwise, the brick will settle over time, guaranteed. Your contract should be clear on base material and installation specifications. If you’ve been seduced by a low bid, remind your contractor of your base expectations, and be a hawk during its installation.
3. Pond Filtration:
Water can be a lovely addition to any landscape or garden. Sadly, I often find myself bailing out distressed homeowners with defective ponds or waterfalls built by inexperienced contractors. Often, its punctured liners and mysterious leaks; other times, its about poor design and bad aesthetics – building a natural looking pond does, after all, require a bit of artistic flair and finesse. However, the most common problem is a lack of filtration, which usually leads to green, slimy, smelly, pea soup water. Pond building is not rocket science, but it does take some technical knowledge. A combination of both mechanical and biological filtration is needed to keep water clean and clear. Beneficial aerobic bacteria are introduced into the system, and these in turn need oxygen, via a waterfall or other aeration device. And, the pump must be large enough to circulate the entire pond volume at least six times daily. Top it off with lots of aquatic plants to consume nutrients and out-compete the algae. Filtration systems are usually omitted because, well, neither the contractor nor the homeowner knew better. I have seen countless ponds built by what turned out to be inexperienced contractors eager for work who assumed all that was needed to create a pond is a hole, a liner, pipe and a pump. A pond constructed without proper filtration will surely cost less than a filtered one, and unwary homeowners step through the trapdoor when they decide to hire the contractor with the lower price, and without an understanding of all the necessary system components. As with the other trapdoors, you can avoid longterm pain if you opt for a contractor based on qualifications and experience rather than price alone. Set aside a realistic budget, make sure the contractor spells out clear, concise and thorough specifications as the basis for your contract. And, last but not least, keep your eyes wide open during construction.
Jean-Marc Daigle is a landscape architect and president of Genus Loci Ecological Landscapes Inc.. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Recipes Grilled Cheese, Smoked Turkey and Apple Party Sandwiches A new twist on a favourite comfort food makes a super hors d’oeuvre or late evening snack. Make this ahead of time and keep warm in the oven until serving, or refrigerate up to 6 hours and reheat in the oven.
Spread bread slices with mustard. Top 8 slices evenly with turkey, apples and cheese; top with remaining bread, mustard side down, pressing firmly.
Preparation Time: 40 minutes • Cooking Time: 20 minutes • Makes: 32 pieces
In large skillet, melt 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the butter over medium heat; toast 3 sandwiches in skillet 3 to 4 minutes on each side, pressing firmly after turning. Transfer to baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Repeat twice for remaining sandwiches.
• 16 slices rye bread (dark, light or fruit-and-berry) • 1/3 cup (75 mL) honey mustard • 8 oz (250 g) thinly sliced Ontario Smoked Cooked Turkey Breast
• 2 medium Ontario Apples, quartered, cored and thinly sliced • 8 oz (250 g) Ontario Old Cheddar Cheese, sliced 1/8 - inch (3 mm) thick • 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter • Parsley leaves (optional)
To serve, cut each sandwich into quarters. Garnish plate with parsley (if using).
Ruby Red Beet Soup This soup is light, colourful and easy to make ahead and reheat. Look for large beets to save time peeling. Preparation Time: 20 minutes • Cooking Time: 30 minutes • Serves: 6 Ingredients:
• 1-1/2 lb (750 g) Ontario Beets • 1 Ontario Onion • 1 large Ontario Baking Potato • 6 cups (1.5 L) sodium-reduced chicken broth • 2 strips orange peel • 1 tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar • Salt and pepper • Low-fat thick plain yogurt (such as Greek yogurt) • Chopped fresh chives
Turkey Chili This chunky turkey chili may be made with turkey thighs or ground turkey. Serve topped with shredded cheese and corn tortillas if desired. Preparation Time: 20 minutes • Cooking Time: 30 minutes • Serves: 6 Ingredients:
• 2 lb (1 kg) Ontario Turkey Thighs, skin on, bone in or 1-1/4 lb (625 g) ground turkey • 2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil • 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) chopped Ontario Onions • 1 cup (250 mL) finely diced Ontario Carrots • 1 large clove garlic, minced • 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced jalapeño pepper
• 1 can (5.5 oz/156 mL) tomato paste • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes • 2 cans (19 oz/540 mL) bean medley or mixed beans, drained and rinsed • 3/4 cup (175 mL) chicken broth or water • 2 tbsp (25 mL) chili powder • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
Peel beets, onion and potato. Shred in food processor fitted with shredding disk (or use a box grater). Place vegetables in large saucepan along with chicken broth and orange peel. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Let cool slightly. Discard orange peel. Purée in batches in blender or food processor until smooth. Return to saucepan and reheat until hot. Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar; season with salt and pepper to taste. If making ahead, cool, cover and refrigerate (for up to 2 days). Reheat to serve. Garnish with dollop of yogurt and sprinkle of chives.
To cook turkey thighs, place in large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil over high heat; cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until juices run clear when turkey is pierced. Remove to plate and allow to cool. Remove skin and bones; chop and set aside. (Note: If using ground turkey, cook in oil with onions and carrots.) In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots; cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and jalapeño pepper; cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste. Stir in turkey, tomatoes with juice, beans, broth, chili powder, oregano and cumin; bring to boil, stirring often. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Sweet Potato, Maple and Pecan Tarts These are somewhere between a butter tart and pumpkin pie but with a hint of maple syrup and toasted pecans — mmmm good. Preparation Time: 10 minutes • Cooking Time: 37 minutes • Makes: 24 tarts Ingredients:
• 1 medium Ontario Sweet Potato, about 12 oz (375 g) • 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, melted • 2 eggs • 1 cup (250 mL) maple syrup • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla • Pinch salt • 24 3-inch (8 cm) frozen tart shells, thawed • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped toasted pecans
Scrub sweet potato and trim off ends. Pierce with small knife in several places; microwave at High for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender, turning over halfway through. Let cool enough to handle; remove skin and mash with fork until smooth. Measure 1 cup (250 mL) and place in bowl. Whisk in butter, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until smooth. Bake tart shells on baking sheet, in batches if necessary, in 375°F (190°C) oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle pecans among partially baked shells, gently pushing down any puffed-up pastry. Divide sweet potato mixture among shells. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes or until filling is slightly puffed, almost set and pastry is lightly golden. Let cool on rack.
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Tapestry Fall 2013
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I welcome you to visit Cold Creek andArt fallCinlass love with your own Halloween Haunted Friday, 25th ( sthedailygreen.com). 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. (a dive River Study River Study Ultimate Ultimate Survival Survival Teambuilding Teambuilding With 6.6 With km 6 o.6 f trails km oa f nd trails 190 and hectares 190 hectares of ecologically of ecologically diverse d iverse backyard. Historic Historic $7 / person Saturday, October 26th 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. King King Mountain Mountain Biking Biking Intro to Intro Canoeing to Canoeing natural natural area, hiking, area, h piking, icnicking picnicking or sightseeing or sightseeing is a treat is faor treat all. If or all. I Backyard Astronomy Monthly Refer to coldcreek.ca Schedule Ex For m ore For i nformation m ore i nformation p lease c p ontact: lease c ontact: welcome welcome you to vyisit ou tCo old visit Creek Cold aCnd reek fall aind n love fall iw n ith love your with own your own (new Camp and Camp Outdoor and OEutdoor ducation Education Coordinator, Coordinator, Magda PM otczna agda P otczna Conservation Area Little Astronomer Saturday, November 4th 5:00 7:00 p.m. backyard. backyard. 905 8 33 905 5 321 8 33 e xt. 5 321 5 228 e xt. o r 5 e 228 mail o m r e firstname.lastname@example.org mail m email@example.com Girot Guided Hike 1 x Month (Jan-Apr) Refer to coldcreek.ca Schedule Historic By: Shirly By: GSirot hirly DogW Walking Hiking Hiking Birding Birding Dog Walking Dog alking Historic Historic Sightseeing Sightsee E
Cold Creek Conservation Area
Winterfest $10/Car Saturday, February 1 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. For more information please contact the Cold Creek Site Coordinator, Shirly Girot at 905 833 5321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Facility Booking @ Cold Creek
Visitor Centre Picnic Shelter / Open Space For more information please email email@example.com
Cross Country Picnicking Cross CCross ountry C ountry S kiing Sk Dog Walking Dog Walking Historic Historic Sightseeing Sightseeing Picnicking Picnicking Skiing High Ropes Course
Educational Programming List Hiking Hiking Birding Birding
Our 5 Senses Diversity Animal Games Pond Study Climbing Wall Junior Explorers Orienteering Low Ropes Course Nature’s Art Class GPS Archery River Study Ultimate Survival Teambuilding Historic King Mountain Biking Intro To Canoeing For more information please contact the Camp and Outdoor Education Coordinator, Magda Potczna at 905 833 5321 ext. 5228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cold Creek Conservation Area: 14125 11th Concession, Nobleton, ON
www.king.ca • www.coldcreek.ca
energy makeover GIVE YOUR HOME AN
Renovations that take inventory of energy use and strive toward efficiency have grown increasingly popular over the years. Homeowners fed up with high utility bills want to conserve costs, and there are a number of ways to revamp a home to be more energy efficient. The first step in a home energy makeover is to find out where your home is losing money. Certain municipal and environmental agencies offer home assessments, during which they will do a complete walk-through of your home and highlight areas that can be improved. Private companies also perform energy audits on a home. They may be able to point out appliances, windows or landscaping issues that could be compromising the efficiency of a home. These people may have a more intimate knowledge of insulation ratings and window efficiency ratings than the average homeowner. In addition to having an energy audit on your home to save money on utility bills, a professional audit may make you eligible for tax incentives and rebates. That can mean even more savings and may even increase the value of your home. Until a thorough energy assessment can be made, there are some easy and relatively inexpensive fixes any homeowner can undertake to help improve energy efficiency. Tapestry Fall 2013
• Clean air filters. Trapped dust and debris in a filter makes furnaces and air conditioners work harder. Once filters are free from dust, air can blow more smoothly through the system. • Plug leaks. Air leaks could be sucking energy out of your home and money out of your wallet. Once you find any leaks, you can use weather stripping and caulking to seal up breaches and save energy and money. • Invest in insulation. Install high-efficiency insulation in attics and between walls to prevent energy loss and keep more warm or cool air in the home. A well-insulated house requires less heating and cooling to keep the temperature indoors stable, and that translates to less money spent on utilities. • Swap out light bulbs. Switching bulbs from incandescent to more efficient LED or CFL bulbs can save money in the long run. By making a few simple changes, homeowner can increase their energy savings around the house. Investing in an energy audit and makeover can pinpoint key areas that need improvement.
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The Sounds of Happy Valley by Todd Farrell
The Happy Valley Forest is alive with the sounds of nature. Many of these species are hard to spot, yet abundant, and easy to identify with a bit of knowledge. Most people are familiar with the cheerful melodies of birds, including the songs of spring and fall migrants and year round residents. However, there are many other species that contribute to the forest’s concert of music; these species are much smaller but more plentiful in numbers than birds. They are the insects of Happy Valley Forest and can be found in all habitats. Cicadas, crickets and katydids are types of singing insects that thrive in the meadows, forests, shrubs and wetlands of Happy Valley forest. Most consider crickets to be the most musically-inclined of the insects because their calls are relatively low in frequency and are easily heard. The songs of katydids and cicadas are buzzy, raspy, or whiney due to their higher frequencies. Cicadas call almost exclusively during daylight hours or dusk, usually from trees and shrubs. Most katydids call only at night and can be found in many habitats.
When thinking of autumn sounds, the fall field cricket (Gryllus pennsylvanicus) often comes to mind. These large, black crickets are common and live in grassy areas. They overwinter as eggs and hatch in spring. The fall field cricket occurs as an adult from August through the first few frosts. Their song is a slow “chirp, chirp, chirp”, which they perform both day and night, although they typically remain quiet at dawn.
There are approximately 1500 species in the cicada family, most of which are found in tropical climates. Approximately only 75 of these species inhabit North America. As juveniles and adults, they feed on the fluid of woody plants using piercing and sucking mouthparts. Only male cicadas are capable of producing songs, which are used solely for
attracting female mates. The song of the male cicada originates from two small organs known as timbals (tymbals). Many people would recognize the song of the Dog-day Cicada (Tibicen canicularis), often heard on the hottest days of summer. These cicadas make a loud, continuous buzz that rises to a loud peak before dying after about a minute. This is strikingly similar to the noise of a buzz-saw. The loudest of our cicadas, their song is temperature-dependent and usually heard in July and August, the dog days of summer.
Another species found in the Happy Valley Forest habitats is the conehead katydid. Males sing loudly but are wary and will react to disturbances by flying or diving head first into ground cover. Both sexes occur in green and brown colour patterns but the female is generally larger. One species in Happy Valley Forest is the Eastern Sword Bearing Conehead (Neoconocephalus ensiger). This species calls from grassy areas and its call has been compared to a distant, fast moving steam locomotive. Calls start at dusk and continue throughout the night where the air temperature has an effect on the speed of calls. These insect species are a joy to hear in the forests, fields, and shrubby habitats found in and around the Happy Valley Forest. To learn more about singing insects of North America, (http://www.entnemdept.ufl.edu/ walker/buzz/) is a great website to visit. From Cicadas, to crickets and kaytdids, this website will give you the calls to learn for your next visit to Happy Valley Forest. For more information on the habitats and creatures of the Happy Valley Forest, visit www.natureconservancy.ca/hvf. If you would like to volunteer in the Happy Valley Forest contact Rhonda Donley, Assistant Conservation Biologist, at 289-879-0120 or Rhonda.email@example.com.
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Tapestry Fall 2013
Vinous Thoughts Wine service suggestions to dazzle your guests by Tyler Philp
My wife and I both love to host dinner parties – fancy, sit-down, get-dressed-up type social events. We normally hold these dinners at a nearby restaurant, but on occasion, we also enjoy hosting a group at home. With the holiday season rapidly approaching, there is a good chance that you too will have a houseful of guests in the coming months. Picture this scenario: three couples are due to arrive on your doorstep for a dinner party of eight. You have spent the morning shopping for fresh ingredients and much of the afternoon prepping the house and polishing stemware. The children are in the basement with a movie and sufficient nourishment to ensure their survival for the next 3 hours.
with a touch of personality also pairs perfectly with many appetizers and finger foods – why not follow the bubbles with a food friendly red? Can I suggest a bottle of either Italian Barbera or a crianza level Rioja from Spain; both are available for under $20 and provide outstanding food pairing potential with the hors d’oeuvres that occupy the kitchen island. A dry Riesling from here in Ontario is a failsafe white to get the evening started, as is a bottle of slightly exotic Grüner Veltliner from Austria. If shellfish and seafood apps are part of the program, try Pinot Grigio, Soave, or unoaked Chardonnay for an unbeatable flavour combination. With the social interaction well underway, you might take a moment out of sight to prep the wines prior to the dinner service. I can think of no faux paus more awkward than to fumble around in search of a corkscrew to only break the cork as your guests look on in anticipation. In our house, my wife is the chef, while I function as sommelier and critic of fine details – the latter of which I exercise with extreme caution… But there is a point where as dinner hosts, the evening comes to a rapid climax – and that moment is when the food is enroute to the dining room, the guests are taking their seats, and the wine is ready to pour. This program takes multiple attempts to perfect, but preparation of the wine beforehand will always alleviate one aspect of the workload, which affords a second set of hands to assist with the plating of the food.
It is often said that the best performance is one which appears effortless – and meal preparation aside, I’d like to discuss the wine service required to pull off such an incredible evening and memorable dinner event. It goes without saying that you should offer each of your guests a beverage shortly after their arrival. For the record, I am not a fan of the ‘please help yourself ’ approach to entertaining and in no way does this discussion relate to your pals who raid the beer fridge and hang out by the barbeque. Think of this as more of a formal dining tutorial from a wine service perspective. An initial beverage inquiry offers a welcome feeling similar to a handshake or embrasser le joyau (the kiss on a cheek routine). Asking the simple question, “Can I offer you a drink – a cocktail or perhaps a glass of wine?” engages both their personal preference and allows you, as host, to gather a general feel for individual choices before dinner, i.e. if half the group vocalizes a strong preference for red wine over white, you might want to tuck that grand cru Chardonnay from Chevalier Montrachet back into its cellar cubical for another audience. Consider not one bottle, but a selection of labels to get the festivities started: Champagne or a less expensive sparkling wine equivalent is always a hit and will pair well with a multitude of both food flavours and styles. Of course a light bodied, fruit forward red
Decanting is always recommended for better red wines or any bottle containing unfiltered particles or a sediment deposit. Should you prefer to pour from the original bottle at the table, simply rinse any sediment from the bottle and refill from the decanter via a clean funnel – this is known as ‘double decanting’. Decanters come in a plethora of styles and are available anywhere wineglasses are sold. Proper serving temperature for both red and white wine cannot be overemphasised and all too often red wine is served too warm while white bottles witness the other extreme. A mixture of ice, water, and a pinch of salt in the chilling bucket is a more efficient cooling system than straight ice. As a very general statement, serve reds at 15-18˚C, white wine at 8-11˚C, and the bubbly well chilled at 5-8˚C.
Tapestry Fall 2013 - 26 -
Glassware at a formal table setting should always have a stem, and the wine glasses used for the meal should never be the same vessel initially handed to a guest upon arrival. Likewise, if a dessert wine is part of the plan, serve it before the tea or coffee course in a clean glass. There are numerous wineglass styles for every possible dining scenario, but a single high-quality universal stem will suffice if you are tight for space or don’t wish to make a fuss over the varietal difference of each wine.
Tyler Philp is a member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada and the Guild of Sommeliers. Visit him at www.tylerphilp.com for additional wine related goodness and learning.
The proper dinner etiquette is to pour the wine only once everyone is comfortably seated. Should a guest opt not to partake – which is perfectly acceptable, his or her glass should be cleared from the table. A standard 750ml bottle will typically fill five glasses with approximately five ounces of wine. Larger dinner parties will require either a shallow pour of a second bottle of the same label. I’ll be truthful when I say that the whole production is really a quest to mimic many of the incredible dinners out on the town that with young children and endless daily diversions, seem to have become increasingly less frequent. And once our guests have left for the night, my wife and I crash on the couch with the last of the java pot and laugh at our little service hiccups. Surely no one else noticed…
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www.schombergflowers.com - 27 -
Tapestry Fall 2013
Welcome to Blue Tortoise Acupuncture, a Vaughan based practice of Holistic Medicine. I have written this article to introduce myself to you. Most people have heard about acupuncture, but don’t necessarily know much about it beyond its Chinese roots and the use of needles; for some people the mere mention of a needle turns them off to one of the oldest and most successful treatments the world has ever known. By general definition, acupuncture involves insertion of needles into clinically established points of the body - intended to stimulated health and well being. Although acupuncture has been around for thousands years, explanations of how it works have been continually updated as further evidence scientifically validates it. It is fascinating to ponder that this ancient art and science has been in progressive development since before written history began. Traditional Chinese Medicine acknowledges the balance between our body, mind and spirit. The term “holistic” applies, meaning that these three components of our health are interconnected, and that we are more than just the sum of our parts. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views the human body as a whole “universe” that must conform to the laws of balance - the yin and yang. This is in stark contrast to conventional or contemporary western medicine where health is broken down to chemical reaction and only visible mechanical process, which must be measured and quantified.
No, not the poltergeists
I appreciate you taking the time to read this article. I welcome you to email me with any questions you have. Sophie Fortier is a Registered Acupuncturist with CTCMPAO. email@example.com 647.224.1743 6175 Hwy. 27, Suite 12, Vaughan
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO
- feel good about yourself - have more energy - sleep better - reduce your pain - improve focus and mood - take control of your anxiety - increase your chance of conceiving and start a family?
TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE.
Your Complete Fall Decoration Centre SEE
I invite you to book a 20 minutes complementary consultation.
Offering Acupuncture, Homeopathy, TuiNa Massage and Natural Anti Aging Sophie Fortier R.Ac, HD RHom.
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At Simcoe Cty Rd. #1 and 7th Conc. Adj. Tos. - 1 km. east of Loretto. SELF SERVE OPEN 8AM TO DUSK 7 DAYS A WEEK UNTIL OCT. 31
Call to book your appointment at 647.224.1743 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 6175 HWY 7, SUITE 12, VAUGHAN, ON
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10% of profits donated to: Good Shepherd Food Bank - Alliston, My Sister’s Place - Alliston, Krasman Centre - Alliston and Our Town Food Bank - Tottenham.
Pumpkins are a source of true joy to the human psyche. Whether it’s the bold colours, the odd shapes, our memories of the Cinderella story, or the anticipation of Hallowe’en, we all view pumpkins with affection. These wondrous fruits of the fall season, range in colour from bright orange to a ghostly white; and their shapes, whether tall and skinny, short and fat, or lop-sided, sometime resemble the facial characteristics of friends and neighbours. Some even have warts and carbuncles. It is no wonder that we take such joy in carving faces in the shell. Pumpkins and gourds of various sizes and shapes adorn our homes at Thanksgiving, and some people have been know to go so far as to serve soups and salads in the hollowed out shells of the miniature ‘Baby-Boos’. In Canada however, it is the highly popular Halloween period that pumpkin farmers look forward to, because more ‘decorating’ money is spent at that time of year, than during any other season, except of course, Christmas. There are a surprising number of pumpkin varieties available in the marketplace, and leafing through a seed catalogue, or visiting a local ‘pumpkin patch’ can provide a good education. Most of us aren’t familiar with the different varieties and in late October, just pick up the best looking Jack O’Lantern pumpkin in the lot. For those who are interested in cooking, baking, decorating, or even saving seeds for planting, it is often wise to be discriminating in your choice of pumpkin. The pumpkins normally used for Jack O’Lanterns are known as field pumpkins, but there are many different varieties of field pumpkins. Some field pumpkin varieties are known for their colour, others for their size and shape, and even some for the strength of their ‘handles. Farmers often grow an assortment of pumpkin varieties in their fields to satisfy the marketplace. Industry standards call for a crop of 2500 – 3000 pumpkins per acre for field pumpkins, and as many as 5000 per acre for pie pumpkins, which are much smaller. Vine growing pumpkins can take up a very large growing space, whereas semibush varieties take up less space in the garden and are good for higher density planting. Field pumpkins are not always the best for pies and tarts, because of their high water content and their bland taste, especially if they haven’t been sufficiently cured in the field, but don’t let that stop you from trying. It’s far better to make use of the pumpkin’s goodness, rather than simply throwing it out after Halloween. Don’t forget to use the seeds to make a nice roasted snack. If you do wish to make good pumpkin pies, you might like to search out a sweet, meaty small pumpkin, like the Heritage variety, or even ‘Jack-Be-Little’ miniatures.
Pumpkins are usually quite easy to grow. They do require some care with planting, and perhaps some training of the vines, but with reasonable soil, water, sun and bees for pollination, the plants will almost grow on their own. However, if any of the above conditions are lacking, the pumpkin crop will suffer. Pumpkin plants put down deep roots, and the vines have tendrils that capture moisture and nutrients nearer the surface. Irrigation is not usually required. If, however, a chilly spring lasts too long, if it is too wet or if there is a shortage of warm summer days, the bees may not be there to pollinate the flowers when they open. Any fruit, which does germinate, might not prosper. Pumpkin plants form both male and female flowers on the same plant. The male flowers grow first, often in abundance, but the number of female flowers produced is relatively small. Female flowers may bloom for only a few hours, and then will not open again. If the female flowers are not pollinated in time, there will be few pumpkins to pick in the fall. This was the case last summer in Ontario, which was cooler than normal. Some farmer’s fields produced relatively good crops with some goodsized pumpkins, but others suffered. This year is much better, judging by the number of pumpkins available in many grocery stores and even gas station outlets. Some of the displays shown at farmers markets and pumpkin farm outlets are nothing short of spectacular. Poor weather can also take a toll on the growers of some novelty plants such as giant pumpkins. There have been record-breaking large pumpkins in recent years, some of which have grown to well over a thousand pounds. These behemoths require a great deal of attention, especially during their early growing period. At the end of the season they’ll require even more care to hoist them up safely and transport them to the local fair. Some of these pumpkins have been compared to the size of small cars. This fact may bring to your mind the vision of Cinderella’s horse-drawn coach. Is it possible that the farmers who consistently try to grow the biggest pumpkin, may be trying to relive their childhood fantasies? It is hard to resist the lure of trying something new, and many farmers will plant novelty pumpkins and gourds, just for the fun of it. But as one pumpkin farmer said recently, “If I happen to grow one of those giant pumpkins, it had better come with four wheels and an engine, or I’ll feed it to the hogs”.
HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING
Home & Cottage
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Tapestry Fall 2013
100 MILE DIET Revisiting the
by Ron Gaston
It’s been many years since Alicia Smith and J.B MacKinnon began writing articles about their adventures in a rustic log cabin in Northern B.C. On that trip in 2004 they attempted to create a healthy satisfying meal made entirely from the foods they discovered in their isolated environment. When they returned home, they spent a year trying to exist on local foods only. They coined the term ‘hundred mile diet ‘, began writing and later created a website. In 2007, Random House published their book, “The 100 mile Diet: A year of Local Eating’, which soon became a best seller, and is still well worth reading. Since that time, a worldwide movement has developed promoting the benefits of ‘local eating’.
Critics of the ‘diet’ have tried to label this movement as just another nut-bar fad, like those that had come before; and indeed this is not the first time that other ‘back to the basics’ phenomena have captured the imagination of the public. During the periods following the Great Depression and later the Second World War, many families moved away from big cities to find cheaper, less complicated ways to live. In the 60s and 70s after the Vietnam War, some people, throughout North America, disillusioned with the actions of government and ‘big business’, moved to the country to try to re-ignite their pioneer spirit. Many of these ‘back to the landers’ wrote books about edible weeds and herbal medicines and once again popularized Henry David Thoreau. The quirky behaviour and exaggerated claims of some of these new pioneers exposed themselves to ridicule and although some people did learn to live off the land, many more became disillusioned with the hard work. Unable to make a living, most returned to the big cities. Some people have referred to 100 Mile dieters as cult members and say that this new movement is just another fad, but its popularity still continues to grow. The concept of the 100 Mile Diet does appear to be something very different, and more and more people are embracing the idea. The 100 Mile Diet is not about foraging for edible weeds, nor is it about the joys of eating roasted mealworms and crickets. The 100 Mile Diet simply promotes healthy eating and wise choices. What can be wrong with that? If the 100 Mile Diet is a fad, it’s a good one. Some early advocates of the 100 Mile Diet may have done some damage to the potential good that this movement could bring to us all. These folks encouraged cute ideas like ‘local food dinner parties’, ‘100 Mile restaurant menus’, and ‘100 mile recipe contests’. Many of these ideas filled the pages of magazines and newspapers, but most seemed to reek of elitism and snobbishness. They may have created a disservice to the broader perspective of the 100 Mile Diet concept, and made some people think that the 100 mile diet was too unrealistic for the average family.
This is unfortunate because we all know that making informed decisions about the foods we eat makes good sense. The quality of our food, its freshness, and the use of pesticides and genetic modifications should be issues of concern to all of us. Buying foods from local farms, rather than from unknown sources a thousand miles away, also seems to make good sense, especially with the increasing costs of transportation. So what should we really know about the 100 Mile Diet? First of all, the premise is a simple one, and the goals are achievable. Purchasing foods that are grown or produced within a hundred miles of home may take a little research, and this may start simply by reading labels. Some of the goods we purchase in the supermarket may have traveled more than 1500 miles, and much of the fresh fruit and vegetables we eat all winter is likely grown in the southern U.S. or Mexico. Some items have traveled even farther. It is estimated that fifty percent of our garlic is grown in China, yet we have garlic farmers here in our own community. There are many more examples like this to suggest that something is wrong with this picture. No one is suggesting that we should not enjoy exotic foods from far away lands, but we should not ignore our local farmers who are struggling to compete with large supermarkets and big box stores. The second thing we should know about the ‘diet’ is that there really are no strict rules. We simple need to try our best. This may start by searching out the location of local farmers who sell their produce locally. We are so fortunate to live in an area that has such an abundance of food sources. Within a hundred mile radius of our community we can visit the Niagara Peninsula, The Holland Marsh, hundreds of thousands of acres of highly diversified farmland, and even the cranberry marshes of Bala. A useful tool is the “Find your 100 Miles” map feature which can be found at the 100 mile diet website. ( 100milediet.org/get-started/map.). If there is any season to begin to experiment with this new ‘diet, it is now. Farmers markets are now open throughout the area, and each one has its own unique characteristics. You may find fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade pies and pastries, fresh eggs, occasionally some smoked meats and perhaps a variety of candles, preserves, and crafts, to augment your table and enhance your décor. If you didn’t make it to the asparagus farms this spring, you missed a real treat. Find out where they are and make plans for next year. You should also treat yourself to a tour of a ‘pick your own’ strawberry farm next spring. You will be enraptured. You’ll think you were walking into a jelly jar. Home Hardware produces a Farmers Market Guide, as does as the Ontario Farm Fresh web site. Throughout the season, new products become available, and you might even consider making your own preserves. Let this year be the re-awakening of your own pioneering spirit.
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Tapestry Fall 2013
EXPERIENCE THE OUTDOORS AT THE COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL
Imagine running through rolling hills and wetlands, locating fossils, butterflies and hummingbirds. Reading poetry under an oak tree. Launching a rocket into the big blue sky. Now imagine teachers aren’t ringing the bell to get you to come back in, they are out there with you, doing all the same things. It’s a hands-on way for our students to learn about the environment, in the environment. Is the sky the limit? Not around here it isn’t. It simply gives our students a massive playing field to seek out their own magical answers to the question,
WHO WILL YOU BE? cds.on.ca/whowillyoube
JOIN US AT AN OPEN HOUSE November 2, 10 am – 1 pm November 14, 9 am – 12 pm
CDS Ad_Sep23_2013_Final.indd 1
The Country Day School offers JK-12 in a co-ed, non-denominational environment located on 100 beautiful acres in King. 13415 Dufferin St., King, ON L7B 1K5 T: 905 833 1220 www.cds.on.ca
9/17/13 10:01 AM