Cqlmag winter2015lr

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INSIDE: Beekeeping in Quinte, the Pipes are calling, Twisted Willow and so much more. . . FREE - please take me home


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Each issue available online at: www.countyandquinteliving.ca





by Michelle Hauser

Bridge Street United’s

CQL visits Stirling

by Sharon Harrison


Casavant Organ

by Kelly S. Thompson

The Shepherd of Waupoos

the pipes are calling

Tourist in your Own Town


by Lindi Pierce

Twisted Willow

At home in one of North America’s most energy efficient houses by Catherine Stutt


beekeeping in quinte



by Alan Gratias

by Cindy Duffy

CQL at home with Guido and Krissy Basso

by Jennifer Shea



Exploring Shorelines

Vicki Delany’s County crime wave


Dots on a map by Lindi Pierce



by Alan Gratias


Beekeeper Don Wilson. Photo by Daniel Vaughan

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Growth requires nurturing. The same applies to your investments. They need regular infusions of fertile thinking and constant care. Are your investments wilting? Why not get a fresh perspective from ScotiaMcLeod, 46 S. Front Street, Belleville or call Julie Lange at 613 968 6459 or 1 800 810 9378. Get ready now.

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SavetheDate January 17th, 2016


General Manager Seaway Gavin Beer gbeer@metroland.com editor Catherine Stutt editor@xplornet.com Photo editor Daniel Vaughan daniel@vaughangroup.ca Advertising Executives Melissa Hudgin, Sales Manager 613.966.2034 x 504 melissa.hudgin@metroland.com

nveiled Join us for our sixth boutique style bridal event that invites sophisticated brides-to-be to mingle and plan with the amazing local wedding vendors in a swanky, social atmosphere! It is almost like a girl’s night out on a Sunday afternoon. Featuring a runway show by Lily’s Bridal, info sessions, cocktails, delicious treats, complimentary pampering treatments and a chance to

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If your business services the wedding industry, the Unveiled Bridal Event being held Sunday, January 17th, 2016, is the perfect opportunity to meet and interact with hundreds of potential clients. For more information contact Tracey Bourdon at 613-969-8896 x 261 or tracey@skbailey.com. Proudly sponsored by:

Orlinda Johnston 613.966.2034 x 526 ojohnston@metroland.com design & production Kathern Bly and Monica McTaggart Susan K. Bailey Marketing & Design info@skbailey.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lindi Pierce Cindy Duffy Jennifer Shea Alan Gratias Catherine Stutt Sharon Harrison Kelly S. Thompson Michelle Hauser CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Gerry Fraiberg Sharon Harrison Lindi Pierce

Ramesh Pooran Daniel Vaughan

ADMINISTRATION Heather Naish hnaish@perfprint.ca Distribution Paul Mitchell 613.966.2034 x 508 County & Quinte Living is published quarterly and is available free of charge through strategic partners, wineries, golf courses, real estate, and chamber of commerce offices, retail outlets, and advertiser locations. County & Quinte Living may not be reproduced, in part or whole, in any form without prior written consent of the publisher. Views expressed by contributors are their own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of County & Quinte Living. Subscription rate $25 a year. HST included. County & Quinte Living is a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd. Office: 250 Sidney Street, Belleville Mail Address: P.O. Box 25009 Belleville, ON K8P 5E0 613.966.2034 www.countyandquinteliving.ca

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The Shepherd of

Waupoos Article by Michelle Hauser Photography by Daniel Vaughan

As is the case with life’s most worthwhile ventures, it all started with “raw potential.” Or so said Bob Fleguel, recalling the Easter weekend in 1980 when he and his New Zealandborn wife, Erin Roughan, first made the fiveminute boat trip to Waupoos Island. They’d set out to buy “a few” sheep and ended up with significantly more - about 500 to be precise. Bob and Erin quickly named the farm Harinui, drawing from the language of the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, meaning “abundant joy.” Over the next 35 years, the couple would attest to that brand: make a living, shape a way of life for their five children, grow their flock to 2,000 ewes strong, and in 2007, become owners of more than half of the 840-acre island paradise they had once rented from the Oblate Order of Missionaries.

The Fleguels, a second-generation farming that can carry all of their belongings, the pair family – newer “by County standards” - are has wholeheartedly embraced their life as a local success story, but they are a great first-world nomadic herders. deal more than that, too. What they do and To the uninitiated, it all sounds laborious how they do it speaks to a bright future to the extreme. “Why?” comes to mind. “I did for agriculture in the 21st century and it for this guy,” Liz said, without skipping a demonstrates farmers are answering the call beat, “I could not picture him in an office.” for food produced in harmony with the land For his part, Matt, who holds a degree in food people can feel good about eating. Civil Engineering, acknowledged there are Nowadays, Bob’s son Matthew and his wife easier ways to make money. Sadly, wool is an Elizabeth Johnston, both in their early 30s, inconsequential piece of the farm’s business. lead the day-to-day operation of the farm. A cluster of fadges full of the stuff waits in the These high school sweethearts with staying shed - where the walls are still decorated with power have gradually become majority Matt’s childhood graffiti - to be shipped to owners of the flock, which swells by upwards the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers in of 2,500 lambs in summer. Together they Carleton Place, fetching just enough to cover work the island from their beat-up, Suzuki the cost of shearing. Sidekick a.k.a. the Waupoos Island Limo Today, the money in sheep is in the meat Service. and Harinui Farm has found a significant A ride-along with Matt and Liz can best demand for its lamb, particularly through be described as a sheep safari. Their rustic the Kosher and Halal markets in the Greater vehicle adds to the earthy feel, jostling its Toronto Area. Locally, they have a freezer way around The King’s Highway, an ironically with a small quantity of lamb for sale and an regal moniker for the dirt road that rings honesty box at the Fleguel home in Waupoos, the island. Even with the Suzuki’s broken but they defer to the County’s smaller farms passenger-side front door, opening and when it comes to the restaurant market. “We closing the many gates separating the island’s don’t want to be the heavyweights,” says Matt, 15 pastures is no problem for Liz, who rides “If we were different kind of people we could shotgun - she opts for the window, jumping be undercutting some of the smaller farms in and out in a kind of Dukes of Hazard stunt and supplying restaurants and losing friends maneuver. “It isn’t a job,” said Liz, wearing tall, by the fistful and it’s not worth it.” black Bogs, sliding gracefully back into the The resplendent redheads, who look Sidekick. “It is a lifestyle.” camera-ready for a postcard photo shoot Indeed, there is no 9 to 5 for these two. of New Zealand, keep their overhead low “You work until you run of daylight,” she said, and their spirits high by focusing on their matter-of-factly. A County native, but not a greater call to stewardship. “I spend a lot farm girl by birth, Liz also teaches math at of time thinking about the long-term plan St. Lawrence College to keep a foot in both of pastureland here and other places in the worlds. County,” said Matt. He and Liz are of one Because of the farm’s hectic schedule - mind on this and they both refer to Matt’s ewes on the mainland in winter, pastured on mother Erin’s famous 500-year plan, which the island for lambing in spring and shearing has always been the family’s playbook. “We in summer, and barged back and forth at could have jobs in the city where you do your other times for any number of reasons - Liz day-to-day thing, but in the end what are you and Matt are constantly on the move between passing on to your children?” asked Liz. “I their fixer-upper on the island and a house in feel being able to preserve the land quality Waupoos. With four ready-to-go tote bags here will transcend generations.”





The rigors of the back and forth travel notwithstanding, Waupoos Island and sheep are a match made in heaven. The shoreline is a natural fence and offers protection from predators, mostly coyotes, and there is an endless supply of water. The sheep, in turn, add to the charm and beauty of the island and nurture the ecosystem in ways most people don’t even realize. They have a relatively low impact, ecologically speaking, and thanks to rotational grazing and other sustainable farming practices,

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Matt and Liz are able to feed and pasture the flock while preserving the diversity of the grassland habitat. As the tour rolls along, the scenery is the superstar. Waupoos Island offers all of the beauty of the mainland plus it has that special island magic: the sense of remoteness, of being tucked away some place where the world and its chaos cannot touch you. Matt and Liz try not to let the duties and drudgery of farm life get in the way of their appreciation

of the island’s beauty. “At the end of the day” Liz said, “it’s hard to just not want to go to bed. But last night I was like ‘Okay, we’re watching the sunset!’” The expedition veers off-road for a stretch (the Suzuki’s squeaky brakes tonally transmitting something akin to Morse code) and then stops in the middle of a pasture. All around, in the shade of the trees, are clusters of freshly shorn ewes and some escaped lambs not keen on being weaned.

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However, as soon as they see the tasty treat Matt has brought along - an enormous bag of salt - the tranquility is over and the flock is on the move. The bleating and baaing get louder and louder as the ewes come together, eventually circling the Suzuki as Matt drops the bag in the middle of the field, cutting a slit in the top, “Like those old single-serve cereal boxes!” he says with a laugh.

production starts to decline and they send them off (he avoids direct mention of where they’re sent off to) but we’ve had plenty who have raised good solid lambs at 10 years old. It seems a bit cutthroat to get rid of all the ones who are seven years old just because some of them are winding down a bit.”

Winter is actually a pretty good season for sheep. December is when the ewes, who will have spent many months wondering where the boys are and the rams - who are here for a good time, not a long time - will have their long anticipated date night. The timing, strategic as it is, ensures the circle of life on Waupoos Island will go round once more and a couple Suddenly, a sheep in full sweater passes by of thousand little lambs will be on the pasture and Matt confirms he’s one of the wusses who again in May. didn’t want to leave his mum. The circle gets tighter still and the convoy is at the centre of Eventually the sheep safari comes to an end. a sheep mosh pit. The animals stir up dust all The return to the dock, not far from where around; the noise is incredible and fantastic. Waupoos Island’s old cheese factory still Matt describes his girls as Waupoos Island stands, is a sad time. The mainland and its Dorsets, a flock that has been evolving since pressures await.

These are the older girls, Liz noted. What’s left of their wool, after shearing, looks like mashed potatoes that have been criss-crossed with the tines of a fork. One expects a certain amount of pragmatism from farmers but Matt and Liz have a genuine affection for their animals. “We let our sheep retire on the farm,” says 1976 from Bob and Erin’s original 500. “They’re As they ready their freighter canoe for Matt. “Most of the time, farms will put tags on a much smaller-framed ewe and they definitely departure - a Hudson’s Bay hand-me-down their ears and when they get to six years their winter better,” he explained. that, like the Suzuki, has a lot of personality



- Matt and Liz are no longer answering questions, they’re just musing to one another, nostalgically. Matt: “I have asked myself before if it’s even so much the farming or if it’s being able to work here that’s so appealing.” Liz: “I don’t know if I would have become a farmer if it wasn’t here.” Matt: “Yeah, convincing you to get into the whole sheep business would have been a lot harder if it wasn’t here.” The wind is in everyone’s hair as the canoe’s engine roars. “The island is a place of mystery to many,” said Matt, “No one really knows what goes on over here.”

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Twisted Willow

At home in one of North America’s most energy efficient houses. Article by Catherine Stutt Photography by Daniel Vaughan

In a world of constant demand for ultimate energy efficiency, lower carbon footprints, rising energy costs, lower environmental impact, and a deluge of new rating systems, mechanical processes, and terminology, sometimes the fact that a house needs to be a home is lost. This is not the case at Twisted Willow. Sure, the home is energy efficient – generous in dimension, it takes only $500 to supply heat and hot water each year. Despite its wonderful open concept, high ceilings, and architecturally intriguing angles, it was still easily Energy Star certified, due in part to a well-engineered design, building envelope,

and use of electronically commutated (direct current) motors throughout the mechanical systems. With multiple heating zones, including forced air, gas fireplaces, solar-augmented hydronics, and passive solar gain, every room in every level is equally comfortable, equally livable. Although the house is recognized in the Resnet Cross Border Builders Challenge as one of the most energy efficient in North America, delivering the lowest Home Energy Rating System in Canada of 36 – or twice the efficiency of a home built only to code – it is very much a family home.

“Architecture overruled energy efficiency,” explained Stephen, the home’s designer and builder. “We didn’t chase the gigajoules, we chased comfort, and the rest followed. In reality, the better the house, the fewer required mechanicals; a good shell makes it so much easier to achieve greater efficiency.” Although this elegant home has a high tech mechanical room, it is partially experimental, installed so the homeowner can personally assess the real value of the systems. “If you live in the product, you understand how it works, how it relates to how people use the home, and what benefit it provides.”

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This is by no means a quest for the latest and greatest energy systems. It is in fact a realization of cost versus benefit, as used by a real family. The home has solar panels for hot water, which includes the heated outdoor pool and all domestic demands, but the owners passed on the opportunity to install solar panels for energy production. The house is solar ready, built at the perfect angle to the sun, the roof offering the perfect pitch, but the owners eschewed the lure of solar, for now. “It still isn’t overly popular in this area. It’s technical, and a homeowner has to know how to program the system.” There’s also the lack of light during the winter, and the capital cost, but the house is ready when the homeowners are. “The best house is an excellent shell with good equipment – not necessarily awesome equipment,” continued Stephen, who is also a professional engineer. “If you have to spend $300 for annual maintenance to save $50 in energy costs, is it worth it? It doesn’t make sense.” Instead, this home, and all others designed by the company, incorporate startling simple preventions, like insulating beneath the basement floor to prevent condensation, and thereby negating the need for a dehumidifier. “There are things we can do that aren’t required by code, yet make the

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envelope better, which makes the home totally perfect look for the house,” explained Mike. Although the family’s previous home is only livable, and infinitely more comfortable.” “We had trees we hadn’t pruned, so they were three doors away, for the two children, it’s a Comfort was paramount for the family. “To taller and didn’t have the look of new nursery giant step. “It’s fabulous,” confirmed 11-yearold Max. “I love my room.” His younger get much more energy efficient, we’d lose stock. It was exactly as Heather envisioned.” sister Grace is at home in the space, and is the angles and the windows. We’d live in a The approach from the street is equally charmingly dwarfed by the huge front door as rectangle with low ceilings and no windows. welcoming. Hollandale installed Town Hall she greets visitors. Big deal. Where’s that quality of life? We built cobblestone by Unilock. The heritage red this as a family for our family.” Construction was a personal and colour is new, yet the texture gives a distressed While visiting Whistler, Stephen and his and worn appearance. It complemented enlightening journey for the entire family. wife Heather were inspired by the mountain reclaimed brick accents used within the Stephen manages the multi-generation family design, and wanted to replicate as much of house. Large weathered limestone completed business, and spends as much time sweating on a job site as he does at his computer that as they could on the gently sloping lot on the feeling of timelessness. designing homes. “He’d work all day and the south end of Brighton. “We wanted the The south yard slopes to another berm, then work on our home in the evenings trees to look like they’d been there forever,” draining storm water into a rock estuary and and on weekends,” said Heather, who also explained Heather. “We didn’t want perfect then into a herbaceous estuary, and then into works in the business, and discovered a new trees, we wanted realistic trees, and we Butler Creek. Just across the water awaits the appreciation for what their clients go through wanted it to look like the house was placed Tobey Link of the Butler Creek Trail. as a new subdivision develops. within them.” Windows, huge uncovered windows, were The family sold their previous home and With help from Mike Boers and the crew a primary element. “We wanted to let the moved with construction still underway. from Hollandale Landscaping, they achieved the chalet feel. “We built a berm, then we sun to shine through in spectacular fashion,” From the first day, the energy efficiency was obvious. “We moved in January before the added to it, and kept going until it was the smiled Stephen. 22



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forced air furnace was connected, and it was still 72 degrees.” Living in the home during construction was a challenge. “We’d wake up to a crew of 30 people, wash the dust off the kitchen counters before making breakfast and school lunches, and work around the guys finishing our house. We held it together, but it was stressful. Regardless of how much we appreciate and like them, sometimes you just don’t want a construction crew in the house.” From design to accents, it is very much a family endeavour. Heather said Stephen played with the design for years before committing it to paper and finally bricks and mortar. Stephen’s plan was to have an open concept light-filled main floor with the master suite tucked in one wing. Max and Grace’s rooms are on a separate floor. “We wanted them to have their space, but not look 24


like a second storey,” explained Stephen. “We contained it within roof lines, giving them a wonderful private area.” On the lower level, Stephen incorporated an interior brick wall. It makes the house feel like part of it has been there forever. In fact, about 20 years ago Stephen demolished an old home on nearby Harbour Street and saved the bricks. Over the last year, Max and Grace helped their parents clean the bricks for use in the new home. Max proudly announced he also help refinish beams incorporated into the design.

Rumours, outdoor fireplaces, Lego airplanes, and pink accents in a little girl’s room are much more important components of this home than triple glazed windows, R-factors, and passive solar gain, although all are part of the story. For Stephen and Heather, it is simply a comfortable safe home for their children, in a good community, close to family.

Stephen ran into an old high school friend a while ago, who asked, “So have you gone far in life?” Stephen, with his legendary wit replied, “I made it all the way across the road, and I’m There was humour along the way. On the closer to my mother’s dining room now than heels of the furor over another local builder when I lived at home.” steadfastly claiming the house he was building Twisted Willow isn’t just a Tobey home; it’s on Lakeshore Drive was really for his family, the Tobey’s home. and not for Elton John, Heather tried to quell rumours their house was being built for Elton John’s sister. She was mostly successful.

Beekeeping in Quinte Article by Jennifer Shea Photography by Daniel Vaughan

It was an overcast August Saturday on the Belleville Farmer’s Market with rain showers looming. Business for the Wilson family – Don, Elsa, and Mark - was slower than usual. The Wilsons have been fixtures on the Belleville market, selling their signature honey products for the past 40 years. In fact, a new generation of visitors may remember visiting their stall as children; Wilson’s honey was, and still is, a staple in many family pantries. Stirling resident Don Wilson is very familiar with the world of beekeeping. He originally learned about the craft from one of his high school teachers, and decided that it would be a good way to earn money for his university education. He set up honeybee colonies (hives), extracting and selling the honey produced by the bees. Don then left beekeeping for about 20 years, meeting and marrying his wife, Elsa,

The key to helping honey bees survive the winter is to leave the colonies with 50 pounds of honey or sugar syrup.

having children, and living in both Chile and Europe. When Don and his family returned to Canada in 1980, he also returned to beekeeping. At the height of production, Don had 500 colonies. Each colony contains between 60,000 and 80,000 honeybees, or up to 40 million bees in total. He now keeps a modest 100 colonies, or about six million bees, on properties around Stirling and Belleville. Don and his wife can be found every Saturday at the Belleville Market selling the fruit of their bees’ labour. Don and Elsa’s sons, Gonzalos and Mark, each keep approximately 100 colonies and sell their honey products at markets in Kingston and Toronto.

latter part of August. After that, it’s preparing them for winter.” The key to helping honey bees survive the winter is to leave the colonies with 50 pounds of honey or sugar syrup. Don wraps the colonies in black tarpaper, which, with the sun’s rays, helps keep them warm. Even with the best of preparation, it’s not unusual for Don to lose 50 per cent of his bee population over the winter. He must then bring in new queen bees and establish new colonies. The queen will lay up to 2,000 eggs a day, which is critical since the average life span of the honeybee during the production season is only six weeks.

According to the Ontario Beekeepers’ It’s a seasonal industry, with most of the Association (OBA), the honeybee colony work taking place from spring to fall. “The includes three different types (castes) of bees: early part of April, we begin to see what The female queen, the female workers, and has happened during the winter,” said Don. the male drones. Fertilized eggs develop into “About once a week, we check the bees to see females, while unfertilized eggs develop into they’re doing okay. The beginning of July, we drones. Whether an egg is fertilized or not is begin to extract honey and continue until the determined by the queen when she lays the

egg. A female egg will develop into a queen or worker depending on the amount and type of food fed to the larva. The OBA’s All About Honey describes life inside the colony. Most of the honeybees are female workers and their short lives are spent working incessantly. They start by cleaning cells for the queen to lay eggs and sealing brood cells. They then act as nurses, taking care of the larvae and the queen. House bees clean the comb, make honey, store pollen, feed and clean the queen, and guard the hive against intruders. Older worker bees perform various tasks, such as cleaning inside the hive, secreting wax to build cells, receiving and ripening nectar, packing pollen, fanning on the comb, and sealing honey cells. The last stage in a worker’s life involves outside jobs - ventilating, guarding, and foraging for materials like nectar, pollen, water, and propolis (sticky tree resin from buds or bark). According to Don, honey extraction is a relatively simple task. He uses a smoker when

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approaching the colonies. “When you smoke the bees, they rush to eat and then they don’t sting.” Despite his best efforts, Don admits he has been stung several times over the years. “The only time I get stung is if I put my finger on one – mistreat them – then they’ll sting.” He says it’s also important to respect the bees’ feelings. On a rainy day, when the bees are confined to the colonies, they don’t take kindly to being disturbed. Once the bees have been smoked, Don uses a hive tool to pry the frames and the supers (each super holds nine or 10 frames of honeycomb) apart. When the honey is ready, 32


the bees cap it in the comb by covering it with wax. Don uses a long butcher knife somewhat curved to shave the wax. The rest of the comb is put in a large centrifugal drum and the honey is spun out of it. After straining the honey several times, the honey is left standing for a few days then packed into jars. In a good year, as Don predicts this one will be, the yield is about 10 tons of honey. Beekeeping can be a challenging pursuit. Environmental issues, like bears getting into the colony, can occur at any time. Weather can also be a challenge. The bees thrive in sunshine and temperature in the 20s, with

enough moisture and low winds to ensure there is nectar in the flowers. A serious issue arising in recent years is a type of pesticide – neonicotinoids - used on corn and soybean crops. “It paralyzes the bee so it doesn’t return home. It loses its sense of direction,” said Don. “Here in Ontario, there are limitations on what they can use that for now, but it’s in the soil. If they have used it, it’s in the soil.” Another challenge for beekeepers is a parasitic mite that arrived here from Asia about 20 years ago that causes significant

devastation. “The mite sucks the juices out of the adult bee and then it lays its eggs in with the developing bee so the young bee comes out of the cell without wings or legs,” says Don. “There’s a treatment, but it’s only partially successful. It’s a chemical, which you don’t want to use too much of.” Luckily, the Quinte region is also home to a company that serves the global beekeeping industry with a line of products that includes an alternative organic miticide. Based in Frankford, NOD (Nature’s Own Design) Apiary Products Ltd. was founded in 1997 by CEO David VanderDussen and local beekeepers, with a goal of developing a safer alternative for beekeepers fighting mites. “At the time, only hard chemicals were registered and most couldn’t be used while honey supers were on the colony,” said Kathleen Ireland, Global Marketing Manager for NOD. “Beekeepers were limited as to when they could actually use them without sacrificing their marketable honey.” Between 2002 and 2005, NOD successfully registered the first of two organic treatments, Mite Away. This was followed by a secondgeneration product - Mite AwayII™. David and his team then immediately began working on a third generation formulation, MAQS®. MAQS was first registered in Hawaii in 2010. In 2011, it was registered in Canada and the rest of the United States. Since 2008,

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sterilizer in hospital settings, and is used as additive to acidify milk formula for calves. As well, formic acid is one of nature’s defense chemicals, found in plants (nettles) and ant venom.”

There are 17 employees in the Canadian office and manufacturing plant, located on Frankford Road north of Belleville. The company also has one U.S. employee and three employees in a branch office in Germany.

Research and development continues at the NOD facility, with a fourth generation formic acid gel strip in the works. Registration in Canada, the U.S., and New Zealand is expected in 2016. This new product, MAQS+®, will have a longer shelf life than the current MAQS.

The active ingredient in the NOD miticides is formic acid, commonly found in the environment. “It’s found in many foods and drinks,” says Kathleen. “It is coveted as a

Honeybees need flower-producing plants, and flowering plants need pollinators. The main value of honeybees is in the crosspollination of flowering plants and fruit


blossoms. The importance of honeybees to the environment cannot be overstated. Most food crops would not produce without the transfer of pollen from one blossom to another. About one-third of the total human diet is derived directly or indirectly from insect-pollinated plants. Don Wilson has committed more than four decades to a livelihood, which - each and every year - could be drastically curtailed by bears, bugs, pesticides, bad weather, or some combination of these factors. That’s the world of beekeeping. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

Each colony contains between 60,000 and 80,000 honeybees, or up to 40 million bees in total.


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The pipes are calling Article by Lindi Pierce Photography by Daniel Vaughan Appearances can be deceiving, it’s said, and Bridge Street United Church (BSUC) is no exception. The elegant imposing structure at the corner of Church and Bridge streets in Belleville belies its humble beginnings, its history of change, and its uncertain future as a downtown church in days of dwindling church attendance everywhere. The building has stood here since 1887, replacing a predecessor destroyed by fire the previous year, but the congregation, the men and women who constitute ‘church’, formed much earlier as the area’s first Methodist class in 1815. Later came the simple frame Pinnacle Street church, which stood just south of the market square. The year 1925 was another milestone, forging the new United Church of Canada out of several former denominations. 36




The United Church continued to grow with the city; the heyday for Bridge Street Church was the 1950s and ’60s, when the postwar boom led to record church attendance. Bridge Street Church is one of the city’s finest heritage buildings. A massive grey stone structure, it is unique among its pointed-arch Gothic Revival neighbours, mixing elements of the Romanesque and Italianate styles. An enthusiast for historic architecture doesn’t know where to look first - the heavy arches above the entrances, the tall arched stained glass windows, the square bell tower crowned with intricate stamped metal, the exquisite rose windows, the stone quoins, and cornice detail, the band of Romanesque windows framed by pink granite colonettes. Inside the sanctuary the serenity of delicate pillars supporting high rib-vaulted ceilings, pale walls, dramatic hanging lamps, gleaming dark woods, creamy light through stained glass. Eight hundred and fifty seats in comfortable pews. Heavenly acoustics. Bridge Street is a church rich in history, in worship, in outreach, and in music. One might be forgiven for assuming it is a wealthy church. It sits on an elegantly treed street of similarly fine churches, steps from prestigious Old East Hill and other historic institutions of



the city, some living only in memory. There Street’s Knitters United, the church ensures was a time when solemn ushers in morning no one leaves cold or hungry. coats and striped trousers escorted SundayThe reality is BSUC, with decreasing dressed parishioners to family pews, quite membership, the demands of maintaining an a change from the simple classes of the architecturally significant building and evermodestly dressed Methodists, and from the increasing operating expenses has money to active and invitational church BSUC is today. give away but little for the bills. BSUC is not just a Sunday church. During Music in the Methodist tradition is much the 1970s and ’80s, a significant bequest by more than an interlude between bouts of thought-provoking preaching. “Methodism was born in song,” asserts church historian William Lamb in his BSUC history Bridging the Years. The inspirational hymns of Charles Wesley raised the spirits of its early congregations as they do today.

Charlotte Sills, former Belleville resident (and once a Bridge Street choir member) created a charitable foundation whose gifts support innovative local, national, and international projects, church restoration, and special initiatives. The church’s active food ministry “fills tummies and warms souls,” serving more than 8,000 meals annually to the city’s needy through the Inn from the Cold and Thank God it’s Friday programs. Along with Bridge

The first pipe organ was installed in 1852, despite some resistance about the showiness of such an innovation. At Christmas 1914, the church dedicated another new organ and in 1956, the current pipe organ, product of the famed Casavant Frères of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec was installed. Costing $100,000 in the 1950s, overhauled and expanded in the 1980s and ’90s, the Casavant organ is worth more than $1 million today. A Casavant organ is somewhat like a Stradivarius violin - its sound quality unique to the instrument, maturing over the years. Terry Head, Minister of Music at BSUC, explains the importance of the organ to worship - its unique sound matches and

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supports the human singing voice. Doubtless, the Sunday congregation experiencing the building’s superb acoustics would concur. Since the 1970s, Bridge Street’s ministry of music has been viewed as a priority - its special gift to the congregation and the community through recitals and concerts by its choir, soloists, and hand bell choir. The experience of a pipe organ is visceral - who can forget that rumbling that starts at the feet and invades the body, the vibration that settles in the chest and takes the breath away? That first experience of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor? Oh, yes. The experience is also visually overwhelming - a wall of gleaming pipes 40


soaring skyward, a lofty console with an exquisite complexity of keyboards, button stops, and foot pedals. Whether church adherents or not, people visit grand churches around the world to view these astonishing instruments, and to experience the power of their music. The pipe organ is much more than the vertical pipes across the front of a church. The BSUC organ has more than 4,000 pipes ranging from a half-inch in height to 16 feet tall, many hidden in rooms behind the elegantly arched grills at gallery level to right and left of the chancel. With 72 stops, and five manuals (four keyboards plus a pedal keyboard), the range of sounds from the Bridge Street Casavant is

astounding, from blaring trumpets, to gentle flutes, from bagpipes to crashing thunder. Terry Head explains the technology behind the sound. “The pipe organ is essentially a big box of whistles. Each pipe in the organ sits on top of a hollow wind chest filled with compressed air coming from the large turbine type blower in the basement of the church. Each stop at the organ console (where the organist plays) represents a set of pipes (a rank) of a particular tone colour, with a different pipe for every note on the keyboard. Pulling the stop activates an electric signal and magnet under that specific set of pipes on the wind chest, making them available as the source of sound. Valves also on the wind

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chests are connected electronically to the keyboards and they help to govern the flow of air to each pipe; even though the stop may be on, no pipe will sound until a key is depressed and the respective valve opens. This allows the compressed air to pass up through the pipe for that note, creating the sound. The BSUC organ consists of six main areas of pipes called divisions (Great, Swell, Choir, Solo, Processional, Pedal). These divisions are located in various areas of the church, more than 4,000 pipes in total.” The pipe organ is an expensive instrument to purchase and repair. At BSUC, a debate has been taking place over the past few years about whether to keep or replace the failing pipe organ. Some questioned the expense; others felt strongly that the Casavant was an historic gift meriting preservation. From this debate emerged a vision for the future. April 11, 2015 was Terry Head’s big day; he finally heard the 4,000-pipe Casavant organ in full voice at a recital given by celebrated organist Michael Unger, the first of a yearlong concert series celebrating the church’s 200th anniversary. It had been a long wait, a three and a half year project. When Terry, an accomplished musician with a Masters degree in Sacred Music and Organ took on the role of Minister of Music at Bridge Street, he knew the Casavant restoration project was looming. Over time, entire sections of the organ had ceased operating and others were being removed for restoration. Fund-raising volunteer Veronica Leonard describes one grim Sunday morning: “There was this sound like bagpipes dying....” By June 2014, in the final phase of the project, the Minister of Music and church organist had to be very selective about music for worship because of the missing voices. The discussion was intense: should the church fund a $200,000 restoration of the 1956 pipe organ, or remove it and replace it with a less costly digital synthesized system with a limited life span and inferior sound quality? A judgment of Solomon. Historic church. Historic instrument. As Ms. Leonard put it, “Do we walk away, say this is too much for us, we’re a dying church with a dying organ, or do we say this organ is an incredible gift, the music it’s capable of is fantastic, and how can it be part of our recovery?” The answer came. Supporters of the restoration shouldered their responsibility as stewards of the historic organ and its sublime sound, and the conservation ethic prevailed. Hallelujah. A gamble. An act of faith. 42


The restoration of the pipes began in January 2012, and proceeded in three phases. The team of Alain Gagnon, an independent pipe voicer and Sylvain Brisson - the duo who restored the magnificent organ at St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston - was engaged.


The pipes were taken down, cleaned, revoiced and releathered. Each stage removed specific elements from the organ’s range, so it remained difficult to play certain repertoire because of missing ranks. The restoration of the Great Division was first. Approximately 700 pipes, ranging in size from half-inch to 16 feet high, were removed and cleaned, and the reservoirs (compressing boxes) reconditioned, their brittle 60-year old leather valves replaced.

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In 2013, the team tackled the Solo and Choir divisions; the Solo division produces those unique orchestral sounds of oboe, English horn, tuba, and doppel flute. Finally, in 2014 and 2015, the Pedal and Swell Divisions, consisting of 1,200 pipes (as large as the entire pipe organ in some churches) were restored. By the end of the restoration, the bill was topped $200,000. This is the story of a church ‘going for it’. In these challenging days when declining attendance casts the spectre of closure over many fine historic churches, the BSUC Casavant organ is providing the background music for an exciting future. It will help keep the church viable in the community, establishing it as a beautiful acoustically superb historic concert hall, a centre for classical and sacred musical life in the area. An expanded role for the Casavant organ and the sanctuary is the church’s gift to the community; in turn, the community’s support will enable BSUC to continue its work. On November 7, after a year of rehearsal, the BSUC choir and guest soloists, accompanied by the newly restored Casavant organ, presented Mendelssohn’s stirring 100 voice ‘Elijah’ oratorio. This was the fourth in a yearlong series of community concerts, the high point in the church’s 200th anniversary year. Many more such events are planned.

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Like the pied piper, the glorious sound of 4,000 pipes will call parishioners and concertgoers into BSUC. The church is moving confidently into the future, fulfilling its vision of annual community concerts in an historic concert hall, in harmony with the work of a vibrant church.


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at h

me with

’s Alan Gratias

Guido and Krissy Basso

Article by Alan Gratias Photography by Daniel Vaughan

Hillier Township is undulating tableland with an indented western shoreline. The Stinson Block, an irregular shaped concession, juts into Lake Ontario west of Consecon. Approaching the mellow brick farmhouse on the Stinson Block Road, I am caught in a gust of images. This is a classic rural Ontario setting, a gabled homestead next to a village of barns and outbuildings. But there are layers of English countryside in the rolling meadows and pastures, and there is Puglia, Guido’s roots, in the tidy unfurling of vistas to Weller’s Bay. Wherever we are, and it is hard to believe this is the Canadian heartland, it is a captivating bucolic of fields, fence lines, and hedgerows. There is a peace and stillness here at the Basso residence nestled beside one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. I have been invited to ‘Campobasso’ for lunch on the day of Halloween, the same day the Bassos bought the property 35 years earlier. Although there have been improvements and additions since Guido and Krissy bought the 40-acre farm, the serenity and the beauty of the place has always been there. A walk on their beach, a private sand spit, attests to the singular situation of the Basso homestead. “I always dreamed of being in my vegetable garden on a farm by a lake listening to the loons,” Krissy says standing at the grill preparing her version of grilled cheese and bacon on French bread. “It satisfies the wild in me.” A fellow musician once called Guido Basso the, “Sexiest Italian and finest damn flugelhorn player in the world.” He’s been doing both for a long time. Trumpeter, flugelhornist, harmonica-player, arranger, composer, conductor, there is a reason this jazz legend is a member of the Order of Canada. With dozens of recordings and groups to his resume, Guido Basso has become the eminence grise of the Canadian jazz scene. Pearl Bailey discovered the protégé in his hometown of Montreal and insisted the 19 year old join her world tour. Diana Washington famously serenaded the young ‘alien from Canada’ on his 21st birthday. He has been touring and performing ever since. “Why the flugelhorn,” I ask as we sit down in the cozy dining room crowded with paintings, photos, and the memorabilia of a lifetime. The view out to Wellers Bay is intoxicating. “It’s so mellow and romantic,” he replies filling my glass with an aromatic Sandbanks Dunes white wine. I am reminded it was Guido who coined the phrase, “You attack the trumpet and make love to the flugelhorn.” “One day when I slow down, I want to take a cooking course in Bologna,” he continues. The man who is known for his mastery in the kitchen says, “I’m not a chef, I’m Italian.”

Krissy, a willowy Torontonian with Scandinavian roots, (‘the Norwegian brood’ she explains of her twice married mother) interrupts to take me outside to meet her two horses who have approached the window to see what is going on. Her long blonde hair blows unruly over her chic yellow pullover and tailored slacks. I know not all Norwegians are as tall and attractive as Krissy, but she does reinforce the notion. Athletic, she swims regularly in the lake, and artistic, she paints charming animals, Krissy is consumed these days with finishing her manuscript. Through My Mother’s Eyes is a memoir about her zany life travelling and working with her mother, the famous designer Shelagh Vansittart. We linger at the pine refectory table savouring the saturated grilled cheese sandwiches. These should be on the menu of the Drake Devonshire I think to myself. The room is filled with light from oversized windows and warmth from a corner wood stove. A knock of the door brings in Heather, a new neighbor who has come to extend an invitation to her housewarming party the following weekend.

“You are famous,” she enthuses to Guido in his navy crew cut sweater with abstract designs. “I hope you and Krissy can join us. There will be some young musicians there.” Guido lights up at the prospect of music. “I’ll bring my horn,” he promises. “We’ll audition some of your friends.” I bid the Bassos adieu on their garden threshold in the fading afternoon light, not too late for Krissy to take Finnegan, her 22-year-old Arab, for a gallop on the beach. Guido hands me a giant apple from their Wolf River heritage tree still in fruit. As I pull onto the road and notice the first trick-or-treaters of the night, I am sure I hear the sweet sounds of the flugelhorn coming from the house. The maestro must be preparing for his upcoming Caribbean Jazz Cruise, his 14th, featuring Guido Basso and Friends. It’s always fully booked.

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visit to the town of Stirling is like stepping back in time, with heritage homes lining the main street and thriving local businesses paying homage to the rich history of the area. Stirling is located just 20 minutes north of Trenton and was the 2012 Kraft Hockeyville winner, putting the small village of just 2,100 people on the national map. “We’re an eclectic mix of rural and urban, heritage and modern, those who never left and those who just arrived,” said Cassandra Boniface, Economic Development Officer for the Stirling-Rawdon Township. “We are a rural oasis in a triangle of urban chaos.” Indeed, the town of Stirling presents as a retreat from the hectic nature of everyday life, with eclectic home wares shops, cafés, parks, and a hum of artistic talent. The centre of town boasts a brightly coloured ice cream stand offering a perfect snack to share while strolling under the covered bridge, which sports a stunning military mural next to the war monument. Stirling is a town proud of its local heritage, and in many ways, the community has gathered to protect sites valuable in local lore and proud farming roots. Whether stopping at the farmers’ market on a drive through or making Stirling a prime road trip destination, it is a location worth a visit for countless reasons.

Stirling Creamery One cannot fathom talk of Stirling without paying homage to the Stirling Creamery, a town landmark that offers decadent butters sold to both corporate clients and local loyalists. Founded by William West, the creamery opened in 1925 and to this day remains true to their traditional dairy methods the company feels delivers a premium product to customers. The Stirling Creamery produces butter the old-fashioned way, which seems to be the local motto in Stirling, with all cream barrel-churned in a slow and gentle process. If looking for an all-dairy solution, shoppers won’t find it at the Stirling Creamery, who manufactures only the product it does best: butter. For the creamy spread connoisseur, however, there is a variety of options, including salted and unsalted and the


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differing whey butter. They even sell European 84 butter, an 84 per cent fat content, a rich and creamy decadence and the first of its kind in Ontario. For the tea party-loving crowd, single serving sizes of butterballs make any table company ready.

Built in 1927, the theatre has experienced a varied existence, including periods as a jail, hall rental, police station, and of course, a 436-seat theatre. It was due to be torn down in 1984, but a group of passionate locals known as the Stirling Performing Arts Committee (SPAC) developed a petition Of note at the Stirling Creamery is their to stop the destruction. With an Ontario literal and figurative place in supporting local Arts Council grant and various fundraising farmers - one of the main industries in the efforts, SPAC was able to save the theatre, Stirling-Rawdon area. The factory presence, now home to several shows per year, drawing at the main y-intersection in town, reminds approximately 45,000 visitors annually. “This locals and visitors that old-fashioned doesn’t building, with its unique history and place in have to mean out of date. The creamery also the community really does make us the small remains committed to using local cream as town home of big time talent, ” said David they did upon opening, long before the local Vanderlip, Managing Director of the Stirling diet craze had reached its peak, making the Festival Theatre. creamery a significant supporter of the local farmers who produce the food we enjoy at On top of the programs and shows playing home. From Monday to Thursday, shoppers throughout the year, the theatre is also can snag buttery delights directly from the home to the Young Company, which offers source. acting programs for kids aged eight to 12. “Where else could kids have a free, intensive, www.stirlingcreamery.com experiential, and immersive summer theatre experience?” David remarked. Students are taught the skills of acting while creating a sense of community with those who share the drama bug.

Stirling Festival Theatre

A visit to the Stirling Festival Theatre is akin to stepping back in time, into a scene from the Great Gatsby perhaps. The atmosphere is cozy and simultaneously palatial, with the entry doors giving way to deep red curtains and seats of a bygone era. Even the signs demarking the washrooms are art deco in style, with much of the theatre preserved to its glory days, which in actuality hadn’t been realized until the new millennium.

In 2016, the theatre will celebrate its 20th anniversary season and with something on offer for each family member, this cozy community theatre is not to be missed. www.stirlingfestivaltheatre.com

Stirling Railway Station Stirling owes much of its original success and development to the railway, and this historical appreciation is most apparent in a visit to the Stirling Heritage Railway Station, originally built in 1879. Sadly, it sat empty from 1962 to 2001, where it fell prey to all sorts of vandalism, prompting the local Rotary Club to seek opportunities to restore the station. “The primary problem preventing restoration and use of the station was its location,” said Alan Coxwell, Club President of the Stirling Rotary Club from 2000 to 2001, when efforts to repair the station began.

David ensures the theatre is diverse and broad in terms of the content it delivers, with Interestingly, the station does not sit at everything from family-oriented shows to Pantos with a more adult theme. With many its original location. After the closing of the smaller theatres falling the way of the Dodo Grand Trunk Railway, the landmark was bird, David is aware the vital ingredient falling into a state of disrepair in an ignored in Stirling Festival Theatre’s success is the section of the village. Out of the limelight of community. “The truth of the matter is the town, vandals took to destroying the efforts only way a theatre of this size can survive is of local would-be preservers by breaking with local support,” he insisted. Thankfully, windows and repeated graffiti tagging. the Quinte population is all too aware of the “Located in an isolated spot midway between the Campbellford Road and Highway 14, treasures of local art, talent, and production.

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without proper lighting, the station was a natural target for vandals,” said Alan. “Moving it out to the edge of Highway 14 was seen as the solution to this problem.” Thankfully, the Stirling Rotary Club united with the Village of Stirling and the StirlingRawdon Historical Society to protect the station from destruction. Together they fundraised and built a foundation closer to town and more easily protected by local police and neighbours. They also developed further uses for the station, opening it up to the community as a whole. The station celebrated its grand reopening in 2008, in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Stirling. With support from the community and various organizations, the Rotary Club was able to preserve a section of Canadian history. Today, the station serves several functions, including a museum, a hall for events, tourist information and more. It’s well worth a visit to see how railways were once the secret to a unified country.

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farm. Amazing Graze Alpacas also runs several special events thrwoughout the year, encouraging the community to stop in and see what the farm is all about. Alpacas have minimal requirements and are a sustainable contribution to the farm’s carbon footprint, and of course, their snuggly wool is a knitter’s delight thanks to the warmth and softness of the fibre. For Marj, the best part of her farm is the incredible views. “The space is good for my soul,” says Marj. “It’s never boring and often challenging.” www.amazinggrazealpacas.ca

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Farmtown Park For a true dose of history, Farmtown Park offers a blast to the past combined with an appreciation for the present. The park is home to the Hastings County Museum of Agricultural Heritage, and this unique museum offers visitors insight into the lives and farms of those who grow our local food. Kids will love taking a ‘class’ in the one-room schoolhouse and watching the swirl of the windmill while parents will appreciate the gazebo and picnic table area for lunches. Of particular interest is the Heritage Village, a replica of 1930s farming life where families

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can learn about the process of making cheese and butter and check out the machinery used in the area for local farming. Able to touch, see, and feel the historical value of the local area allows visitors to connect with their community on a deeper level of appreciation. Farmtown Park hosts a variety of events throughout the year, all geared towards the outdoors, farming, and agricultural history. There are 4-H club events, festivals, and live music drawing residents together and promoting the family lifestyle that has become synonymous with Stirling. Not to be missed is the amazing Christmas season at Farmtown Park, where the area transforms into a winter oasis. www.agheritage.ca Far mtow

n Park

It is quickly apparent Stirling is a community that values local arts, culture, and historical preservation. The town of Stirling and the greater township of Stirling-Rawdon offers something for everyone, but above all is the laid back nod to rural life with a bit of a modern flair to keep shoppers, visitors, and theatre-lovers back year after year.




Vicki Delany’s County crime wave Article by Cindy Duffy Photography by Daniel Vaughan The best single word to describe Prince Edward County-based writer Vicki Delany is prolific. She has three books out in 2015 alone. Along with three stand-alone novels, she is the author of no fewer than four series - three ongoing - including one written under the pseudonym of Eva Gates. Her 2012 rapidreads novella - books for adults with low literacy skills - A Winter Kill, was short-listed for the Arthur Ellis Award for Canadian Crime fiction.



In total, she has published 18 books. Remarkable, since she only began writing full time after taking early retirement from her systems analyst job for a major bank in 2007. Around the same time, she sold her house in Oakville, travelled North America, and decided to settle in Prince Edward County. Vicki, who writes standing up because she finds it’s better for her health and creativity, says the secret to her productivity is discipline and eliminating distractions. “There’s always something else you could be doing even if it’s just checking Facebook or cleaning the house. I write from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every single day when I’m home. When I’m travelling, I don’t write a word, and I have a separate computer used just for writing so I’m not checking emails or Facebook.”

Writing as a career hadn’t even occurred to Vicki until one Christmas she wrote stories for each of her three young daughters as presents. This led to her enrolling in a creative writing course at Sheridan College where she quickly realized she didn’t want to write children’s books, and switched to writing the sorts of books she liked to read herself, namely mystery novels. While still living in Oakville, working in Toronto, and writing in her spare time, she managed to publish two books and finished writing a third. It was only by happenstance she chose to settle in Prince Edward County to pursue her craft fulltime. “One of my daughters lives in Ottawa and my mother lives in Oakville and I read an article in Harrowsmith magazine that

said the County was one of the 10 best places to live in Canada so I thought I’d check it out.” The County provides the setting for two of her books, one of the rapid-reads books, also known as books for reluctant readers, A Winter Kill, and one of her stand-alones, the psychological suspense novel, More Than Sorrow, with the protagonist Hannah Manning, a foreign correspondent recuperating at her sister’s farm after sustaining an injury in an explosion in Afghanistan. Also among the book’s characters are ghosts of the original Loyalist settlers who frequent the farm’s root cellar. “More than Sorrow has been really well received locally. In fact, I didn’t go this year, but the past couple of years I’ve gone to Vicki’s Veggies heirloom tomato tasting and


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sold books there because it’s actually set on Vicki’s farm, or a fictional version thereof, so I can point out the root cellar for instance, and people really enjoy it.” Two of Vicki’s series are set in Canada. The Klondike mystery series is set in the Yukon territories during the gold rush at the turn of the last century. Perhaps the most widely known of her books, the Molly Smith series, a contemporary police procedural set in the fictitious town of Trafalgar is based on the interior British Columbia town of Nelson where one of Vicki’s daughters now lives¬¬. The series protagonist is the young police officer Molly Smith. “Murder mystery is not actually a phrase I like or ever use because crime novels are much more than murder mysteries. You can have a crime novel that has neither a murder nor a mystery, but crime novels envelope everything from the lightest cozy to really dark and serious noir stuff,” says Vicki. As a writer, Vicki likes to mix things up, and the diversity of the crime fiction genre suits her. She recently began writing a cozy series adopting the pseudonym of Eva Gates to distinguish it from her other writing. The Lighthouse Library series is set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The protagonist, librarian Lucy Richardson, recently left her job at Boston’s Harvard University to work in a small tourist-town library located in a lighthouse, complete with an apartment and a cat. Vicki is also writing another cozy series, under her own name this time, which she described as a year ’round Christmas mysteries. It is set in New York City, and features protagonist Merry Wilkinson. The first in this series is due November 2015. “I’ve enjoyed writing the cozies more than I thought I would because it’s nice sometimes to be writing something that is not drenched in human sorrow, tragedy, and angst. The Molly Smith books, as well as some of the stand-alones do touch the tragedy of some people’s lives. There’s none of that in the cozies. There’s the dead guy on

the floor but murder essentially is a puzzle to be solved, a problem to be dealt with, and there is no real emotional angst or trauma.” Cozies aside, Vicki sees crime fiction as a way to explore the depth of human experience by exposing characters to extraordinary circumstances, comparable to setting stories in times of war as is common in Canadian literature. “I think a crime novel really is an examination of the human psyche under pressure,” she says. “When we look at what we think of as Canadian literature, how many of those stories are set in times of war? So in what we think of as Can-lit, war often serves the same sort of function; to put pressure onto the characters to see who will rise to the occasion and who will not.” As Vicki finishes her thought, she laughs saying she gets very defensive sometimes. After all, she is president of Crime Writers of Canada - a professional organization with a mandate to promote Canadian crime writing and writers both within Canada and internationally. She says crime fiction doesn’t get the respect in Canada it deserves as a literary art form. “As Canadian crime writers we have a particularly difficult row to hoe in that we get no respect from Canadian media or from the Canadian literary establishment. We have to struggle in our own country to get any sort of recognition.” When she’s not writing, travelling to promote her books or Canadian crime fiction in general, Vicki teaches a course in writing popular fiction at the Bloomfield Public Library. Her advice to students, many of whom are hoping to get published one day, is simple. “Persistence is the key; absolutely persistence is the key. Like everyone I have a couple of books sitting in my bottom drawer that never saw the light of day, so if your first book isn’t being accepted by anybody, start the second, persist.”

“I think a crime novel really is an examination of the human psyche under pressure.”

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Exploring Shorelines Article by Sharon Harrison Photography by Sharon Harrison and Ramesh Pooran

There is a peaceful silence atop the bluff. Peering over the impressive cliff, the bay view panorama is breathtaking. The cobblestone beach far below deserted. Vacated by its summer visitors and devoid of lake birds - barring a few squawking gulls - the long thin beach appears abandoned. The azure-blue, crystal clear water of warmer days takes on a much darker and colder hue by late autumn. Gently nudging the shoreline, the waves continue to do their thing, even once the visitors have moved on. It is a reminder that no matter the season, time doesn’t stand still here.

Prince Edward County, or the County as it is known locally, boasts more than 800 kilometres of inspiring shoreline. Bordered by huge stretches of fine sand, quaint bays and inlets, craggy coves, as well as massive slabs of limestone rock, the island is host to a playground of shoreline treasures. Exploring its shores, especially out of season, brings a fresh element of discovery, and often yields unusual finds, as well as unanticipated delights. Little Bluff is one of those unexpected places, hidden away in a remote southern

corner of the County, facing picturesque Prince Edward Bay. There is no sand here, not a grain, yet this designated conservation area easily captivates the soul with its pristine crescent-shaped stony beach. The stones, light grey in colour, are perfectly smooth and uniform and possess a spiritual quality, as if placed individually by some kindly hand. History lives here too and surely contributes to its unique feel.



Playing its part in the County’s booming Barley Days in the mid- to late-1800s, Little Bluff is steeped in history, and its high limestone walls have many a story to tell. Schooners loaded with County-grown barley departed regularly from its beach, making the treacherous journey across Lake Ontario to Oswego, New York. While it was a very profitable business, it came with high risk, as many vessels were unable to negotiate the region’s wild storms and were driven onto the rocky shoals. Remains of the stone grain store and dock can still be found here. Littered with driftwood, from almostwhole trees to smaller, decorative weathered branches, the stone beach is home to a collection of washed-ashore items and found treasures. A large snow-white feather rests upon the pebbles, and there is always the excitement and possibility of finding a fossil embedded among the extensive sheets of limestone. The steep vertical rise of the rugged limestone cliff becomes very apparent walking the entire length of the beach, until one can go no farther. A skinny tree rests in its upright position where it fell from the cliff top above, wedging itself in a crevice along the limestone face. There’s no telling how long it has rested, and weathered, here. With its bark stripped away, its cambium layer cracked and exposed, it reveals a swirl of patterns and decay. Bleached by the sun, it appears as a petrified object of some great age.

Emerald-green moss clings to those large, partially submerged rocks, who dare to get their feet wet at the water’s margin. Soft and fuzzy, the moss still retains its vibrant summer colour and provides an interesting form as its ages and weathers. A water snake, swimming in the shallows is an unusual sight so late in the season. A few steps away, a lonesome and motionless leopard frog, basking on a large slab of rock in the waning rays of the afternoon sun, seems out of place too. On the opposite side of the island awaits Huyck’s Point. Unlike Little Bluff, Huyck’s Point isn’t marked on local maps as a destination of any significance. Instead, it is known mostly to locals, who enjoying the stunning sunsets and solitary walks.

The mound of Nicholson Island everpresent, sits proudly just offshore, perfectly silhouetted in the low late afternoon light of a November day. The surrounding landscape consists of a mix of sandy sections, rocky outlets, as well as large areas of mismatched stones. The flat limestone shelves, common to the area, extend not 60


only along the shore but continue far out into the lake. The wide and sprawling beach eventually disappears out of sight around a right-angled bend.

The shoreline scenery at Huyck’s Point is diverse as can be found anywhere. Freshwater mussel shells are scattered in clumps on the golden sands. Stony sections of beach are interspersed with water pools. Every size, shape, and colour of pebble can be found here, and scooping up a random handful shows the diversity. Miniscule broken shell fragments, small pebbles in assorted colours of pink, black, white, and merlot, smooth beach glass - usually green - the selection endless. Shapely oak leaves, now brown and a far cry from their autumnal brilliance, lodge in cracks and crevices where the wind put them; some find themselves lying flat and perfectly still atop the grey flat rock.

The sand has noticeable ridges and ripples in some parts of the beach, yet appears smooth farther along the shore. The patterns within the sand are intriguing and diverse, changing with every few footsteps taken, with no two patterns being identical. The indentations upon the damp sandy surface are quite discernible along the stretch of deserted beach.

Created by nature, the intricate designs etched by water and wind resemble long, thin inlets of river systems. Much of what has been created appears as ornate root formations of a large tree. Equally, the interpretation could be a mass of bare tree branches converging upon the canvas. The detail is extraordinary. Individual textured leaf patterns form part of the design, carved with great precision and looking true to form. This natural phenomenon occurs as the waves travel back and forth over the sands, sculpting, molding, and creating. The wind plays its part too in the construction of these beautiful and mysterious patterns. The forms are fragile, and it is clear they are fleeting temporary visitors, only lasting until the next wave washes them away.

With an astonishing variety of complex and varied features to be found along Prince Edward County shores, serendipitous discoveries are waiting to be found.


Naturalists and others concerned about the proliferation of industrial wind turbines in the south of Prince Edward County fully understand the efforts TrueMan Tuck has made in aiding in the fight against corporate interests that exclude the wishes and needs of the people of Prince Edward County and its natural wildlife. TrueMan intends to continue representing the interests of the Bay of Quinte Citizen-Rulers in a number of different ways. If you want to work with TrueMan to address the issues that he highlighted during the elections, TrueMan urges you to contact him. In the picture from the left - Trueman Tuck, Paralegal/Lobbyist, Rebecca Smith, Law Clerk, Anne Sweet, Legal Assistant, and Crystal Francey, Paralegal

As well, TrueMan Tuck warned the local voters during the last Provincial election and recent Federal election of the consequences of only voting for Liberal or Conservative candidates. Look at the mess we are in now with a majority Liberal government in Ontario and the same in Ottawa. TrueMan’s Different Viewpoint is that the real problem in these elections is that the failure to reform the Canadian election systems to be a proportionate system gives the one per cent of the global elite the ongoing ability to manipulate our elections by what TrueMan refers to as “Buffaloing” Canadian voters by panicking them to self-destructing. One of the most famous cliffs in North America where Buffalos were panicked and driven over the cliff to their slaughter was in Alberta Canada. Think about what just happened in the federal election. The combination of hatred for Harper, removing the blackout on the eastern results and Harper’s new trade agreement, combined with everything else got the one per cent ruling global elites exactly what they wanted - another either Liberal or Conservative majority government!

If you wish to work with Trueman go to www.TucksParalegalServices.ca for professional representation, go to www.friendsoffreedom.org to join Trueman’s local Health Freedom chapter and join the Christian Heritage Party, www.chp.ca to become politically active locally with Trueman.

TrueMan is a passionate and dedicated Christian crusader for CitizenRights and strongly believes that all bible based Christians and others who share Trueman’s determination to assert our God-given Judeo-Christian Citizen-Rulers rights of ownership and control over all corporations, whether government, quasi-government or non-government need to permanently organize. TrueMan states:“God created human beings and we human beings cannot and should not claim to be equal or greater than our Creator. “Human Beings created corporations to serve humanity, not enslave and exploit humanity. Corporations cannot and should act as if they are equal or superior to human beings”!

signposts History by the Dots

Article and photography by Lindi Pierce

History by the Dots The Eastern Ontario road atlas shows dozens of dots (communities) or circles (reference locations) denoting villages, hamlets, or country crossroads, but a drive along a concession road may yield no corresponding signs of life.

Milltown (Tyendinaga Township) Roblin Mills (PEC) and Corbyville grew up around prosperous mill sites.

Traces of former communities may yet emerge on closer examination. Is there a creek, which once powered the mill that grew a community? Maybe a church or a one-room school remains, repurposed as a home. Is there a mossy graveyard, orphaned by the loss of its church? A house with a large window or veranda might have been a general store and post office. Why is there a cluster of residences at certain crossroads? A particularly fine house may recall a community leader; a large shed may house memories of a carriage or blacksmith shop. Each roadmap dot contains stories.

Menie and Burnbrae in Northumberland, Bannockburn, and Ivanhoe in Hastings and Athol in PEC might have kept memories of Scotland alive for homesick immigrants.

Others, like Bethesda, Zion Hill, Marysville, and Mount Carmel reveal the faith of our fathers.

Many a vanished village took its name from the topography: South Bay, Port Milford, Outlet, Green Point, Gosport, and Cole Wharf all recall fishing and shipping. Nothing marks Hillcrest but a slight rise in County Road 1. The origins of others, like Hilton with its fine stone hall, remain elusive.

History abounds for the curious. Ask an Surveys in the 1770s to ‘90s created old-timer. Consult a local history. Take a a network of concession roads; self- bus tour. sufficient hamlets and villages followed, Niles Corners. Duff Corners. Dorland. developing manufacturing and services. Victoria. Yerexville. Harold and Hallowell. Railways in the late 1800s, and later the Solmesville and Gardenville. Mapleview. automobile, shortened distances and Melrose. Wades Corners. Woodrous. many centres disappeared. Once destinations for a man with an Some crossroad hamlets were named for errand, on foot or horseback. the closest or most prominent landowner: Now just dots on the map. Solmesville, Bowermans, Bongards, and Burr in Prince Edward County, Johnstown, and Thrasher’s Corners in Hastings.




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S a i ta rg ’s G r av i ta s Q u o t i e n T Gravitas Quotient is a measure of o n e ’s r e s e r v e s o f i n n e r w i s d o m .

Lanny Huff shares his Gravitas with Alan Gratias Name one universal rule of friendship. Forgiveness. What are you going to do about growing old? Working on sliding in sideways… saying what a ride. What makes your heart stand still? A baby’s smile and laughter. What do you wish your mother understood about you? My mother truly understands me. She was very young when I was born and as a result she states we grew up together.! Name one secret you do not want to discover before you die. Re-incarnation, whether it exists or not. If you were going to ask for divine intervention, what would it be for? To have my son Peter returned. What are you fatally attracted to? Sweets, chocolate, and baked goodies. Give one example of life’s absurdities. Youth is wasted on the young. Why do we sometimes crave chaos? To keep us from becoming too laid back and ending up in a boring routine. What is it that we need to understand about surrender? Life is about compromise and part of compromise is some degree of surrender. What would your father make of you now? I know my father would be very proud. He was always encouraging of my accomplishments. Unfortunately, he died at an early age (51) and did not live to see my major successes. What is the best way to get licensed as an adult? When you put away childish thoughts and behaviours. How do you get to the authentic self? This can be a long and perilous journey. It takes serious introspection, self-analysis, meditation, and honest selfassessment. What is your favourite recipe for unhappiness? A loved one dying prematurely. I have had many instances of this including my son, father, and a favorite uncle. What takes you down the rabbit hole? Man’s inhumanity to man. If you were in charge of the world for one day, what would you change? I would institute on a world basis, John Lennon’s words in his song Imagine.

Photography by Daniel Vaughan

About Lanny: Lanny Huff has long bones in the County. He is a Quinte boy through and through. His people, United Empire Loyalists, first came to the area in the late 18th century. Lanny himself was born in Wellington where he attended both grade school and high school. He graduated in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 1963 and embarked on a corporate career to build up experience in management (Noranda, Redpath Sugar, Rubbermaid, and DuPont). In 1980, Lanny struck out on his own in the plastics industry, starting a business in thermoplastic extrusion. Drossback N.A. Inc. has just celebrated its 35th anniversary. Fine wines were always a passion for both Lanny and Catherine, his wife of 53 years, who also has deep County roots. They have a daughter Janine and two grandchildren Julian and Christie. In 2001, Huff Estates was born at the corner of County 1 and 2 as well as a vineyard in South Bay. With its striking modernist silhouette and its single goal of producing fine wines, Huff Estates has become a landmark winery in the exploding County wine industry. Huff Estates Winery also produces the only Ontario-grown kosher wine. More recently, Huff Estates added a fine County inn, a contemporary art gallery (Oeno) and a much heralded sculpture garden. Lanny and Catherine Huff are community builders. Their Quinte roots are embedded in everything they do. By Alan Gratias

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