Vol. 2, No. 18
AWARD WINNING JOURNALISM FROM GRAND BEND
April 23 to May 12, 2009
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FIELDS OF GOLD How a Corbett farmer rejected conventional farming and found favour as the supplier for one of Canada’s top chefs and his trademark potato dishes PLUS: GRAND BEND PUBLIC SCHOOL PITCHES A NEW PLAYGROUND, STUDIO TOUR RETURNS, AND MORE... COVER PHOTO BY CASEY LESSARD
ADVICE FROM MOM P.11 - KEEPING THE PEACE P.11 - LIVING IN BALANCE P.13 - EYE FOR DESIGN P.13 - TO DO LIST P. 14
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2 • Thursday, April 23, 2009
Corbett farmer Marcus Koenig of Klondyke Farms believes in the power of organic farming, and he has famous connections to prove its value. Klondyke supplies Jamie Kennedy’s Toronto restaurants.
From field to famous fries Cooks working for one of Canada’s top chefs are peeling potatoes grown in Corbett Marcus Koenig moved his family to Canada from Switzerland to start Klondyke Farms, just north of Corbett, in spring 1997. Today, the farm is an organic operation that supplies a farmers’ market in Toronto and several restaurants, including renowned chef Jamie Kennedy’s chain. Klondyke potatoes can be found in all of their potato dishes, including potato gratin, organic fries, and their famous poutine. “With our catering business, there are many dishes that go out with his potatoes on a daily basis,” says Michael LeClair, assistant manager of the chain’s Gilead Café. “One of JK’s philosophy’s is everything local and organic. Local definitely comes first for us.” It’s a philosophy that fits in well with Koenig’s personal story.
As told to Casey Lessard Photos by Casey Lessard
We had a mixed vegetable, dairy and cash crop farm in Switzerland, very small and very intensive. When we came here, we took over a potato operation that grew roughly 800 acres of potatoes conventionally. I had more and more trouble with chemicals, healthwise. In 2001, it was very bad and I could hardly work. Just by accident, I got a book about a different way to look at the soil from an organic, natural standpoint. That got me started on the organic thing. I needed an eyeopener to see there was another potential way to do it. I couldn’t keep spraying. For us, it was either sell the farm or go organic. The University of Toronto needed a local (meaning Southwestern Ontario) supplier of potatoes. We are not a large acreage grower, but for an organic grower with 30 to 50 acres of potatoes, we are one of the larger ones. They needed someone who could give
them a continuous supply of potatoes. They called me up, and I said they should go to Pfennings, and because they sell my potatoes. They said, “No, we’re not going to do that. When we pay a premium, we want that premium to end up in the producer’s hands. Otherwise, we’re not going to do it.” I think that’s a very healthy way of thinking, and I was impressed, so we thought maybe we should supply them. They liked our products because we supply them with the varieties they need and we know how each variety behaves in the kitchen. We give them new stuff to try, and if they don’t like it, we don’t supply it. They get what they need and for us, it’s more work because we have to go to Toronto, but we are able to capture the wholesale premium, the delivery premium, and keep it for ourselves. On a long-term basis, we can justify it.
A Toronto farmers’ market focused on bigger volume producers approached us. Most farmers’ markets want people who will supply quarts of apples or quarts of potatoes, but they wanted people who could supply bushels and bigger volumes. I wasn’t really interested in doing it, but they kept asking us if we could come. At exactly the same time, a friend said he would have time to help us part-time on the farm, so we could justify trying it out. We started at the end of September, and we immediately got positive results from it. The first day, chef Alex Johnston from Jamie Kennedy’s restaurants came and asked what we had. We told him we had potatoes, and he asked how we grow them. We told him we grow organically and use some biodynamic processes. So he took a 50lb. bag home.
Thursday, April 23, 2009 • 3 Maurice Koenig checks to see that the seed potatoes are in a good position.
This machine creates hills under which the seed potatoes are simultaneously placed. The Koenigs will then cover them with fabric and plastic to keep them warm until harvest.
The following week he came back to our truck. He’s a very quiet guy and doesn’t talk much. But he was very excited and said, “Hey, we had these potatoes, and these potatoes are awesome. We’re going to buy your potatoes.” We didn’t discuss price. He just said these were the potatoes they were going to buy. That’s it. No discussion. They take quite a volume, so we gave them our volume discount and that was it. We have done business with them now since last September. I go to his restaurant every week for breakfast and coffee. We now supply four restaurants in Toronto, including Jamie Kennedy’s chain; we supply all his potatoes. We supply Crush, Cava, and a new restaurant. They’re not all top-end restaurants, but good ones that want to use the potatoes mostly for fries. We have enough sales to justify driving to Toronto on a weekly basis.
A better way of life I enjoy farming this way better. It’s more
independent. In conventional farming, you rely so much on external input. You buy the fertilizer, you buy the chemicals, and the only thing you do is apply the stuff. You supply the land and they take your crop. I never really liked that system because it’s not truly independent. The farmer is the supplier of the soil, but someone else does the managing. It’s going more and more towards that. Don’t misunderstand me: there are good conventional farmers. This way is more independent because you rely on your own knowledge and your own labour, and you produce your own inputs by composting and animal production. That’s what I enjoy about organic farming. Also, you have a product that the market wants. I don’t have to go to market and ask, “What will you give me for that?” We are in a strong position: we produce for a market that appreciates our product, and we deal with customers that say, Thank you. In conventional farming, your customer doesn’t really need you. For them, they are so
big worldwide, that one farmer doesn’t make any difference. With organic, you deal with smaller companies that need you, but you also need them. It’s a much healthier relationship between the customer and the producer. Local food will be way bigger than organic in the future. This is the real way to go. This is going to be the big thing and that will give anybody who produces good stuff on a local level a chance. Energy has to go that way, too. We should be putting a wind turbine up and one guy can supply our neighbourhood with power from it. The guy who has 1000 pigs should put a manure digester up and produce electricity or natural gas for his neighbourhood. The economic situation now will drive more people to that. Our so-called leaders talk about how important it is to keep up free trade, but that’s because they’re afraid free trade will collapse. That’s exactly what’s going to happen because it has no future. It gave us all these problems. Worldwide trade and all
these products from China gave us the problems we have now. So the solution is to keep going the same way and expect different results? It doesn’t make sense.
Looking for a better future We as suppliers are not taken very seriously by our suppliers and customers anymore. As a farmer, it is very nice to work with people who appreciate what you are doing. We are not going to get rich quick, but we can survive and increase our wealth slowly. I’m pretty sure I can provide a future for someone down the road. Every person who lives on this Earth has a purpose, and some people are just born and naturally find their way to that purpose. Some people never find their purpose. I don’t know what my purpose is, but right now, what I could do to bring humanity forward is by supplying good quality food that makes you think straight. Good food, good thoughts; junk food, junk thoughts. It’s that simple.
4 • Thursday, April 23, 2009
Grand Bend hosts Legionnaires Grand Bend Legion Branch 498 hosted the District A convention April 17 to 19, with more than 250 delegates attending various events, including a parade down Main Street Sunday. Above: Joe Bourque, Armand Merrell, Randy Williams and Bob Chapdelaine are the Grand Bend Legion colour party. Right: Bruce Harmer of Port Franks plays bagpipes with the Forest Legion Pipe Band.
Photos by Casey Lessard
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Life is a Cabaret South Huron District High School’s music department hosted Cabaret, an annual concert event April 19. Among the performers: Leanne Hoffman (above) and Jordan Skochinski (below).
Photos by Casey Lessard
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Thursday, April 23, 2009 • 5
6 • Thursday, April 23, 2009
The beauty of Susan Boyle qualify as the top choice for next year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, but neither would 99.99999 per cent of us. Seriously, who are we to judge her looks? Besides, does that matter? She didn’t go on Britain’s Got Talent to be a model; she went By Casey Lessard there to sing, and her talent has sent shockIf you haven’t seen the amazing inter- waves through the world wide web. She is net sensation, Susan Boyle, get yourself to an amazing singer, and she has a joyful sense YouTube right now and search for her perfor- of humour. She is debunking perceptions of mance on Britain’s Got Talent. Go ahead. I’ll how celebrities and regular people should appear in public (she’s disarmingly normal in still be here when you get back. Anjhela and I were among the very first interviews), and turning the global (especially North American) people outside of standard of beauty Britain to see the on its head. She’s not video (Anjhela actually that unatremembers there tractive (physically or were only 30 views especially intrinsicalwhen we watched it ly), and would be as last Saturday night, welcome at a dinner and as the Strip goes party as any celebrity to press, there are I’ve ever met. now a million times More disturbingly that amount). The is the answer to the S c o t t i s h wom a n’s following question: performance of “I would Boyle’s appearDreamed A Dream” ance be so heavfrom Les Miserables ily criticized had she is stunning, even after been a man? Perhaps listening to it 100 one wearing a suit times (seriously). It’s from a supermarket no surprise that Ms. with worse teeth? If Boyle, a single 47Britain’s Got Talent sensation Susan Boyle. you look back, the year old woman from winner of the inaugural Britain’s Got Talent, southern Scotland, is a global phenomenon. What should be surprising, but depressingly Paul Potts, fared much better when he meekly is not, is how much attention has been paid presented himself in front of the judges. The to her appearance and the fact that she said fact that he was respected before and after he she has “never been kissed”, which was a self- opened his mouth (although his teeth were deprecating comment taken seriously by every heavily debated and eventually fixed) reflects media outlet. One went so far as to interview our bias against women who aren’t visually Drew Barrymore, the star of the film, Never perfect compared to men who present themBeen Kissed, who Boyle should kiss first, like selves similarly. The judges and audience never expected either woman cares about the answer. Susan Boyle was judged by her looks - an average looking single woman in her latecalled frumpy, dowdy, ugly, plain, simple, and 40s to have any talent or value. It’s shameful, all variety of negative terms by other media - and not only do we need to realize that we from the moment she took the stage with her shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (as has freshly curled hair and a gown she bought for been said far too many times this week), but her nephew’s wedding. But to her, this is how we should also consider that the cover is fine she wanted to appear in front of the judges, just the way it is. Love you, Susan. her nation, and now the world. She may not
View from the Strip
Publisher/Editor: Casey Lessard Advertising Sales: Casey Lessard Chief Photographer: Casey Lessard Grand Bend Strip P.O. Box 218 Grand Bend, Ontario N0M 1T0 CANADA Phone: (519) 614-3614 Fax: 1 (866) 753-2781 email@example.com http://www.grandbendstrip.com
Distribution: Joan McCullough, Rita Lessard and Casey Lessard Contributors: Tom Lessard - my dad Rita Lessard - my mom Anjhela Michielsen - social justice Jenipher Appleton - nature/birding Lance Crossley - national affairs James Eddington - fine dining Lorette Mawson - interior design
It’s a creditor’s world Alternative View By Lance Crossley Shakespeare once wisely wrote: “Neither a borrower not a lender be”. But in 2009, it’s clear that it is better to be a lender. If there is one thing the global economic crisis has shown, it is that the world is run by creditors. The reality is so obscene that it is a wonder why incidents that happened at the G20 summit in London, where protesters stormed the banks, are not happening more often. Instead of paying for their crimes – promoting predatory loans and exotic securities that fueled the housing bubble and subsequent economic collapse – banks are cashing in on the current crisis on the backs of taxpayers. In the United States, the government recently announced a so-called “public-private” partnership to rid the banks of the toxic assets they created. Under this plan, the government will lend investors 92 per cent of the money to buy these worthless pieces of paper. Investors only have to put up eight per cent of the costs. If the assets end up losing money (which they probably will), the 92 per cent “loan” is guaranteed by the taxpayer. If they miraculously gain money, the public gets only 50 per cent of the gains. The financial elite have everything to gain and nothing to lose: banks rid themselves of toxic assets and way above market price, investors risk nothing,
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and the tab is picked up by your average hardworking citizen. In Canada, the Harper government bailedout our banks to the tune of $75 billion in the fall, supposedly to get the banks lending again. That much money could have fixed healthcare, poverty, and raised the standard of living for First Nations in one fell swoop. The government framed it as a “market transaction”, not a bailout, so it was barely covered by the press. If our banks are the healthiest in the world, as Harper is so fond of saying, why do our banks require a cash injection that, on a per capita basis, is equal to the $700 billion dollar bailout in the U.S. that caused so much controversy? Another steal for the banks. The same power dynamics are taking place on the world stage. Take Iceland, for example, which is on the verge of becoming a thirdworld country thanks to the current crisis. International creditors knowingly loaded Iceland with debts they knew could never be repaid. The idea is to keep collecting on the interest until the country is tapped and then forced – by institutions like the IMF and World Bank – to start stripping its public assets. Sell off the country bit by bit to the private sector and create a whole new slew of borrowers for the banks. The problem is that this is leaving the country in ruin. This is familiar story to the developing world, but a new one for a country like Iceland. Today, we live in a world where the only wealth being generated is through the extraction of debt. It’s a world where only a privileged few are benefiting and an awful lot are suffering.
Music teacher Pedro Quintana and 11 of his students celebrated the 8th anniversary of their spring concert in March. They were welcomed to the home of Mel and Elia Douglas where they all performed on grand piano for friends and family. Pedro’s summer music program returns soon. Visit http://www.pedroquintana.ca to learn more and for application forms. Photo and text submitted
Grand Bend Strip is printed every other Wednesday in the summer and monthly in the winter. For this edition, 1000 were printed with more than 600 sent directly to subscribers in the Grand Bend area, and across North America. Winter subscriptions cost $12. Alert the Grand Bend Strip of any address changes, and to let us know if you should be but are not receiving your copy of the paper.
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Strip for the Kids
Emily Mussio swings across the monkey bars while schoolmates Bradley Mathers, Mackenzie Hayter and Kyle Evans play on the equipment.
Thursday, April 23, 2009 • 7
Bradley Mathers slides down the parallel bars.
“The children need it,” principal says of playground Parents hope for new jungle gym for kids to monkey around on; need to raise $70,000 Story and photos by Casey Lessard Concerns about safety and the prospect of a child who uses a wheelchair being unable to enjoy the playground have triggered a push by the Grand Bend Public School’s Home and School Association to fundraise for new playground equipment. With designs by Active Playground Equipment of Point Edward based on wish lists from teachers and parents, the association’s proposed equipment will cost $70,000 to make and install. While some of the money may come from pending grants, fundraisers expect they will have to find most of it through donations from local businesses, community organizations and fundraisers. “It’s a lot of money,” says Amy Wiseman, who is on the playground committee. “Half the price goes to making it wheelchair accessible. My hope is to have it by this summer, but it may be 2010.” Wiseman is hoping a Hydro One grant for $25,000 comes through to excite others in the community. “I’m hoping the community does step up. These are our kids and we’re doing this for the community.” “It’s a great idea,” says principal Susan Manz. “The children need it. But it has to be safe and accessible to everybody.” “There’s a small playground now that
is about 15 years old,” Home and School Association president Andrea Matheson says. “The new one will be four times the size and wheelchair accessible. It’s quite an improvement, for sure.” Currently the equipment services only kindergarten to Grade 3, and Grade 8s do a souvenir photo on the climber at graduation. There are limits to when the equipment may be used and also how long it is open in the fall and spring. The new equipment would extend all of the above, Manz said. Despite previous reports to the contrary, the board of education will not be matching funds raised. The board’s beautification grant is about $5,000. So far, fundraisers and requests have raised several thousand dollars, including fundraisers (Little Caesars Pizza Kits, Mabel’s Labels, and Ian’s Kitchen) and donations (Stewart Webb & Sons, and Grand Bend Women’s Institute). Tim Horton’s has committed to donating the proceeds of its Smile Cookie Campaign, Mac’s is putting a donation box on their counter, and Hayter’s Turkeys is donat- Equipped for everyone ing food for a fundraising barbecue May 16. Active Playground Equipment (APE) of Point Edward designed this playground equipment, which will accommodate four times the number of children as
To donate or for more information, contact the existing equipment at Grand Bend Public School. The price estimate for this Amy Wiseman at 519-238-1116 or Andrea wheelchair accessible equipment is $70,000, and donations from the community Matheson at 519-238-1710. will fund the project.
8 â€˘ Thursday, April 23, 2009
Back to the Bend The annual Tundra Swan migration occurred in March, with thousands of the birds flocking to the Thedford Bog east of the Lambton Heritage Museum. Here are images of a few of them. Photos by Casey Lessard
Thursday, April 23, 2009 • 9
Grand Bend Studio Tour May - a.m. to p.m. May - to p.m. Various locations and studios Grand Bend area artists will be displaying their art (much of it for sale) at various locations on this annual tour. There are 21 artists this year, including Barb McKnight (above), Michael Billett (right) and Catherine Weber (below). For a map and full details, visit Baillie’s Framing beside the post office in Grand Bend (81 Crescent), or online at: http://www.grandbendstudiotour.com
The daily photo blog coming to Bliss Studio in Port Franks July 10 to 26.
10 • Thursday, April 23, 2009
Going away? We’re your pet’s home away from home.
North Fork Kennel & Grooming 519-234-6879 69484 PARR LINE, CREDITON www.northforkkennel.com
Thanks for Stripping! Thanks to you, there will be one more thing free in Grand Bend this summer. Look for the Grand Bend Strip in your mailbox every two weeks starting May 13. If you live in communities not receiving mail from Grand Bend, Dashwood, Crediton, or Exeter, please drop us an email or letter saying you want to continue receiving the paper through the summer.
Summer subscriptions cost $18 within Canada. We accept cheques: Grand Bend Strip P.O. Box 218 Grand Bend, ON, N0M 1T0 Or pay online at
A gift for you Pa r e n t s i n t h e Av o n Maitland District School Board are invited to a Parent Information Day hosted by the Special Education Advisory Commitee May 2 at Seaforth Public School. The event, called Great Principles for Success, runs from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and includes guest speakers, workshops, and other chances for parents to navigate what is available for them and their children. Students in South Huron District High School’s special education class spent Monday baking cookies for the event. Left: Chris Grotentraast rolls some cookie dough. Above: students prepare cookies with Janet Clarke. Right: Katie Shea presents a finished chocolate chip cookie.
Photos by Casey Lessard
You’re invited to
Hessenland’s 8th Annual Wedding Fair Saturday April 25th & Sunday April 26th ~ 12 to 4 p.m. An opportunity to “visualise” your Wedding Day at Hessenland Country Inn Tour our gardens, ceremony and picture sites as well as our Historic Coach House Reception Hall & Newly Renovated Garden Room! View the Coach House Suites & Guest Accommodations
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From hot to trots
Thursday, April 23, 2009 • 11
Tourism during a (Suez) crisis Keeping the Peace
Advice from Mom
By Tom Lessard, C.D.
By Rita Lessard Thanks to my sister, Joan, I was the happy recipient of a very leisurely holiday in Punta Cana for 10 days. I don’t know about Joan, but for me, it was a very pleasant vacation and a much needed rest with plenty of sunshine - a respite from the frigid weather that you unfortunate souls had to endure the last part of March and the first week of April. I was quite surprised to see snow when I came back, but now as I look out it is sunny and warm. Hopefully we’ve seen the last of the white stuff. The secret to a successful trip is preparation before you leave. For instance, the most important thing is getting your passport. When I renew my passport in two years, I will be on my fourth application. Still, It doesn’t matter how many times you apply: the government will still put you through the same crap. Even though these jokers know that my mother’s maiden name will never change, or that my birth month, day and year will never change, they still insist I give them the same information every time I deal with them. I know they know who I am: over the years, I’ve had a social insurance card, birth certificate, and filled out income tax forms, etc. You can see why I’m surprised I have to go through so much to convince these people who I am. I suppose it’s quite a cash grab, though; when I first applied forty years ago, the passport cost me $5. Now they’ve raised the stakes, so be sure you save some extra vacation money for the passport. In the past, you could smile when you got your passport picture taken, but not today. No
smiling! If you don’t look like a criminal, you can’t leave the country! I supposed they figure you’re ticked off after all the bull they’ve put you through. Speaking of which, this vacation was my first time encountering the dreaded Montezuma’s Revenge, or as some people call it, the tiki trots; in plain English, diarrhea. For the first week or so, it was a stop and go situation. In case the reading public is ever plagued with this condition, here are some helpful hints: - Drink plenty of fluids. - Eat foods like mashed carrots, chicken broth, crackers, dry toast, bananas, Jell-O, apple sauce. - Stay away from dairy, except yogurt. - Also avoid explosives like beans, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. - Try to maintain a bland diet until your condition passes (maybe that’s a bad way to say it. Correction: until you’re relieved of the ring around the bowl). If you are lucky enough to be able to travel outside Canada and unlucky enough to encounter the Katmandu Quick Stop, take comfort in something like Imodium, or as some people will say, “put a plug in it.” Not to worry, though; I’m back in good stead, and just in time to congratulate Casey for winning his newspaper awards. You’re the best, signed your prejudiced mother. Ed: More about the awards next issue.
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With Rita away in the sunny Dominican Republic, I was reminded of my trip to the Middle East when I was 19. There I was in January 1957, debarking from an aircraft carrier in Port Said, Egypt and embarking on a new experience. We boarded trucks to travel down the Suez Canal during the crisis that had started months earlier. We were headed to Ismailia and the junction of the Sweet Water Canal, which runs to Cairo and the Nile River. About 30 miles along the Sweet Water is the village of Abu Sueir, which has an air force base. This is where we spent the first couple months of our tour. What was left of the Egyptian army had a unit station on the air base, and we camped on the other side of a fenced-in area. One night when I was on fire picket, I happened to come to a gate along the fence line that separated our camp from that of the Egyptian air base. As I turned the corner to check the other side, I startled an Egyptian sentry, who lowered his rifle - with bayonet fixed - and walked right into me, stabbing me in the stomach. Luckily, I was wearing my great coat because it stopped most of the thrust and I suffered only a slight wound. I was able to continue my patrol, and when I passed my tent, I stopped for a few minutes to clean the wound and put a bandage on it before continuing the duty. The potential for an international incident meant there was no way I was about to report that goof-up. This mission was where we were introduced to Stella. The beer, that is, in quart bottles. They came in wooden cases like the old Coca-Cola ones, and sat outside in the heat with no coolers to chill them. The beer was skunky, but because it was all we could get, we had to put up with it. It took about a week or so to get accustomed to it, but by then it started to taste pretty good. Our opportunity at playing tourist saw us take a bus tour to Cairo. Driving by bus along the canal and seeing the way people lived was like stepping back in time to the days of the Pharaohs. The Egyptians used the canal to wash their clothes, bathe, and brush their
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teeth using their fingers. We passed a prison with the chain gangs working outside. We also saw 15 men pulling a dhow (a single-masted sailboat) up the river. The dhows are loaded off freighters in the Suez Canal at Ismailia. These men walked along the bank pulling the dhow to Cairo - against the current. When we reached Cairo, as we stepped off the bus we were met by a woman trying to sell us her baby for about $0.50; she said should couldn’t afford to feed the baby and herself. We sure didn’t need a baby, so we all chipped in and gave her some money to buy what she needed and went on our way. Because of the war, Cairo was very quiet. Very few people or vehicles were about, nor were boats traveling down the river. As all tourists do, we went for a camel ride around the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, and watched a man run up and down the pyramid. These monuments are amazing pieces of construction. The blocks are so immense, it makes you wonder how people could move them and place them into position. I realize it took years and incredible manpower, but it’s still hard to fathom. Our next tour was to Mount Sinai. We traveled south on the Sinai desert by Jeep, stopping at small oases to rest and refresh ourselves. There is a lot of history at Mount Sinai, where Moses was said to have received the Ten Commandments. It is a very hot and dry area in the desert, and leaves me pondering how the Jews survived all their years wandering here. We were met by monks who gave us a choice of going up the side of the mountain by basket or making the long climb to the monastery itself.Being in good physical condition, most of us chose to climb while a few of the older (and obese) men rode the basket. This mode of transportation involves a basket secured by a long rope attached to a pulley situated at an opening in the monastery wall and operated by monks inside. It was pulled up and brought inside so that intruders couldn’t use it when raiding. Children in Crediton recently celebrated another Christian tradition, with the annual Easter egg hunt held Saturday. Seven hundred eggs were strewn across the ball diamond and park areas. Some of the eggs had papers with numbers on them inside. If you found one of these, each represented a correspondingly numbered prize. Every child received a hot dog and other treats, and super weather meant a great turnout.
Be prepared for April 30, 2009
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12 • Thursday, April 23, 2009
Yoga instructor Anne Chute believes yoga is perfect for the current economic times as stress levels rise.
Yoga provides even keel in rough times Anne’s Yoga Works - Yoga and Pilates annesyogaworks.com email@example.com or 519-243-3552
MAY 4 TO JUNE 29 - MONDAYS : to : a.m. - Port Franks studio 8 weeks $72. Drop in fee $10. : to p.m. - Port Franks studio 8 weeks $72. Drop in fee $10. (Drop-in fee allows participant to try one class without committing to whole session) Classes offered: Yoga Your Way; Beginner Pilates; Teen Yogilates; Trim and Tone Yoga; Restorative Yoga; Yoga/Pilates for Golfers; Private group and Individual Yoga or Pilates classes by appointment only; Two hour Workshops will also be available.
Story and photos by Casey Lessard In these stressful times, you may be exploring ways to reconnect with your body and slow down. Port Franks yoga teacher Anne Chute believes yoga and Pilates can do both. “It makes people feel better and sleep better,” Chute says. “It allows the body to heal itself from the inside, and creates a feeling of contentment. It helps you learn how to focus what’s happening in your body. “For the most part it’s people who already recognize they should slow down,” she says of her typical clientele. “People Grand Bend
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Barb Thyssen (above) of Port Franks has been taking yoga since January, and Dianne Taylor (left) of Port Franks has been doing it since the fall.
that push themselves really hard should come, but they tend to be the last people who want to come to a yoga class. The type of yoga I teach is hatha yoga, but I teach on the gentle side.” Hatha yoga, which Chute teaches, involves a holistic approach that includes physical postures, yogic breathing and meditation. Because of the type of focus needed, Chute says yoga has advantages over other health programs. “In a lot of facilities, the music is cranked so loud and there’s so much other noise that you can’t focus on what your body is saying,” she says. “Yoga focuses on the abilities of your body and strengthening that.” Chute has been teaching yoga for five years, and has earned her Yoga 500, which involves doing 500 hours of instruction. It’s a long road that started with watching yoga on TV and discovering the pitfalls of that route. “It’s hard to do it that way,” she says. “A lot of them (DVDs and books) don’t give you the opportunity to find out what you’re doing wrong.” Regardless of how you do yoga, Chute sees the value of getting started and staying focused. “The healing always starts from the inside, even when you cut yourself. Yoga is no different, but it unites the mind, body and spirit. You end up with a better attitude about yourself and your surroundings. You let go of things you don’t need, whether it be ego or money. Yoga says, I’m here right now. I need to enjoy this moment.”
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Thursday, April 23, 2009 • 13
Hope for the future lies within the children Living in Balance By Jenipher Appleton Our children have a vested interest in their collective future. In my experience, they are not only interested in how their future will play out, but also care enough to try to make a difference in the outcome. My students at East Williams Public School range in age from 10 to 12 years. They have embraced the environmental studies curriculum right from the start. Tell a child they are going to do a research project on an endangered animal and they jump in with both feet! They have enthusiastically adopted the theory that ‘if each one of us is prepared to make small changes toward conservation, the ultimate impact will be enormous’. Hence, each student has made the decision to reduce his/her personal ecological footprint. Knowledge is power. One of our major projects this year has been to increase the awareness within the school and community that disposable water bottles are extremely harmful to the environment. Following several shared reading sessions on the facts
about plastic water bottles, my students were shocked, even angered, about their negative impact. Did you know that: • it takes millions of barrels of oil annually to manufacture plastic bottles? (and the CO2 emissions to go with it?) • it takes 3L of water in the filling process for 1L of bottled water? • 15% of bottles get recycled; the rest end up in the landfill or ocean? • bottled water is rarely tested, whereas tap water is regularly and stringently tested? • it takes 82 years for a plastic bottle to biodegrade? As a result of this newfound knowledge, the children learned how to write a meaningful business letter. They expressed their thoughts intelligently and their letters were then sent to Thames Valley District School Board Trustee Peggy Sattler, who has been lobbying against the bottles for some time. In spite of her efforts, the Thames Valley Board has compromised by encouraging the “reduction” of bottled water in our schools. My students think that is simply not good enough. And so, they chose to ban water bottles in our classroom and to spread the message to others within their reach. Most of them now own stainless steel re-usable water bottles. Bravo! When the students were asked how they
Adding curb appeal
had recently reduced their personal ecological footprint, they responded decisively. Here is what some of them had to say: • We got in the van, stopped at ditches and picked up litter. (Michael Beattie) • Last weekend I used a china plate when everyone else was using styrofoam. (Matthew Grace) • I walk or bike to school instead of being driven. (Sara Doerr) • I asked my Mom not to buy plastic water bottles. Now I have a 500 mL re-usable bottle on my desk. (Daryn O’Neilll) • I unplug the Play Station and VCR. (Kyle Hemming) • I had a second hot chocolate and asked the waiter to fill up the old paper cup. (Taylor Davies) • I turned off computers, lights and TVs. (Kody Munn) • Last weekend we went with my cousins to Toronto. We carpooled. ( Jordan Van Dyk) When I have to feed the pigs at the other • barn, I bike there. (Matt Bannister) My mom told my brother and sister to • get a plastic water bottle for gymnastics. I told them to get a reusable one. (Maddy Cocksworth) So…listen to the children. The future of Planet Earth may well depend upon it.
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Eye for Design By Lorette Mawson http://www.DecorateWithLorette.com As I sit here listening to rain and howling wind, I am reminded of the beautiful afternoon I recently spent raking. Considering everyone is ready to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, adding curb appeal can be a great project if you are thinking about selling your home or if you just want to perk things up a notch. I always start by walking around the property, looking for peeling paint on windows, railings, fences, etc., and making sure all of these are still safe. Once that is done, I stand back and take a look at the front door: is it tired looking? How about light fixtures: are they in good condition or could they use sprucing up? New paint and light fixtures are great ways to start amping up your curb appeal. Other ideas include replacing door hardware and numbers if they have seen better days. Now time for the fun. Consider adding a wreath to your door and maybe some planters. If watering is not your cup of tea, the selection of artificial shrubs you’ll find these days is stunning, and by adding mini-lights at Christmas, they can become a focal point year-round with no work required. Another quick and easy way to add curb appeal is using window boxes. One of my favourite things is to change them with the seasons. Finally, illuminating the walkway to your front door with solar lights will lead your guests or potential buyers directly to that newly painted front door. Let’s hope the weather cooperates so we can all get outside and enjoy this beautiful season.
Swiss company SIGG makes excellent reusable aluminum water bottles.
Want to learn more about
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To Do List
14 • Thursday, April 23, 2009
To Do List Community/Charity TUESDAYS
p.m. - Grandpa Jimmy’s Bakery Relay for Life Grand Bend meeting. Teams can register for the relay, for which a date and location have not yet been set. This 12-hour relay to support cancer research sees each member of 10-member teams raise $100.
a.m. to p.m. - Port Franks Community Ctr. Kids Matter every Tuesday. Join us as we Crochet sleeping mats out of milk bags to SATURDAY, MAY 2 send to the children in Africa and South : a.m. to : p.m. - Southcott Pines America. Bring your lunch, scissors and a #7 Clubhouse crochet hook. Call Peggy Smith at 519-296Celebrate National Scrapbook Day! 5834 for details. Creative Memories Workshop. Space is limited! Registration $35 (lunch and dinner p.m. - Grand Bend Legion incl.) Contact: Lynn Wilbur 519-238-2847 Bingo or email@example.com
EVERY OTHER T HURSDAY
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6
Schoolhouse Restaurant, Grand Bend to p.m. - Southcott Pines Socrates Café. An informal discussion clubhouse group. For more information contact Dinah Partners in Learning. A Visit to Kettle Taylor, 519-238-1114 or Ian Young, 519- Point. $20 first course, $10 members. 238-5335.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13
to p.m. - Southcott Pines clubhouse Partners in Learning. Come celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Pinery Provincial Park with a visit to this special place. Discover MONDAY, APRIL 27 what a Carolinian Forest and an Oak p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Grand Bend Horticultural Society. Andy Savanna are. Learn more about native plants Vrolyk will speak on “What the Weather while wandering the trails. $20 first course, is Doing to Our Plants”. Andy will teach $10 members. how to work with our plants to counter the weathers negative effects. Arts & Entertainment to p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Meat Draw
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29
: p.m. and p.m. Grand Bend CHC to p.m. - Grand Bend Art Centre Mental Health Support Group. Contact Open Painting. Cost is $10 - bring a projSocial Worker Lise Callahan at 519-238- ect and materials. 1556 ext 230 for more info.
to p.m. - Southcott Pines : to : p.m. - GB Youth Centre clubhouse Grand Bend Drum Circle. Contact Anita Partners in Learning. James MacFarlane, at the Youth Centre or call 519-238-8759. (Grandpa Jimmy) author of several historic/ fictional books, including the series, ‘Avenge SATURDAY, APRIL 25 My Kin’ will speak about life in medieval to p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Scotland. $20 first course, $10 members. Live Music with Ben Shane and Bobby K
THURSDAY, APRIL 30
THURSDAY APRIL 30, FRIDAY MAY 1 AND
SATURDAY MAY 2 : to p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Grand Bend Women’s Institute Spring : p.m. - North Middlesex District Awakening. Entertainment , jewelry makHigh School, Parkhill ing, rug hooking, scrapbooking, flower T he Good Doctor by Neil Simon. arranging, etc. Cost $20 per person. Contact Students and seniors $6, adults $8. Tickets Barb at 519-243-1163 or Cassie at 519-239- ordered by calling 519-294-1128. 2727 THURSDAY, MAY 7
Parkhill Leisure Club p.m. - Grand Bend CHC Yoga Classes, info and registration call Sunset Cinema Social Film Group presents “Touch of Genius”, a TIFF Anne 519-243-3552. Beginners welcome. selection about the man who did battle with the Detroit 3 in the 50s after inventing the T HURSDAYS intermittant wiper. a.m. – Pt Franks Community Centre Healthy Lifestyle Exercise Program. See Tuesdays. SATURDAY, MAY 9 to p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music with Murray Andrews to p.m. - South Huron Golf & Fitness Centre, Exeter Workout for Your Life. $8 per class; $5 for Health & Fitness gym members, spouses and students. Call Beth Sweeney, (519) 238-5555. MONDAYS to a.m. - Southcott Pines Clubhouse FRIDAYS Workout for Your Life. $8 per class; $5 for to a.m. - Southcott Pines spouses and students. Call Beth Sweeney, Clubhouse (519) 238-5555. Workout for Your Life. $8 per class; $5 for spouses and students. Call Beth Sweeney, (519) 238-5555. : to a.m. - Grand Bend Legion T.G.I.F. (Thank God I’m Fit) exercise class with Elinor Clarke 519-294-6499. $3 : to a.m. - Grand Bend Legion per week; all fees go to charity T.G.I.F. (Thank God I’m Fit) exercise class with Elinor Clarke 519-294-6499. $3 per week; all fees go to charity : to p.m. Anne’s Yoga Works studio, Port Franks Yoga Classes, info and registration call MONDAY, MAY 4 Anne 519-243-3552. Beginners welcome. p.m - Grand Bend Area CHC Alzheimer Caregiver Support. A great monthly facilitated group program that proTUESDAYS a.m. – Pt Franks Community Centre vides education and support to caregivers. Healthy Lifestyle Exercise Program. Cost: Please contact the Alzheimer’s Society of Free!! Contact Cindy Maxfield, Health Huron at 1-800-561-5012 for details. Promoter at the GBACHC, 519-238-1556 ext 6 to register. TUESDAY, MAY 5 to a.m. - Grand Bend Catholic to p.m. - South Huron Golf & Church & Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Fitness Centre, Exeter Walking for Wellness Begins. Please join Workout for Your Life. $8 per class; $5 for us on Tuesday and Thursdays for a walking gym members, spouses and students. Call program that includes warm up, 20-30 minBeth Sweeney, (519) 238-5555. utes walk , strength exercises and cool down. No fee. Contact Cindy Maxfield at 519-2381556 ext. 231 for details. WEDNESDAYS to a.m. - Southcott Pines 7 p.m. - Zurich Lutheran Church Clubhouse Zurich Community Kitchen. Make low Workout for Your Life. $8 per class; $5 for spouses and students. Call Beth Sweeney, cost nutritious meals to take home. Contact Miranda Burgess R.D. at 519-238-1556 ext (519) 238-5555. 222 for details. : to a.m. - Grand Bend Legion T.G.I.F. (Thank God I’m Fit) exercise FRIDAY, MAY 8 class with Elinor Clarke 519-294-6499. $3 : a.m. to p.m. - Grand Bend per week; all fees go to charity Public School Alphabites Program. Drop In open to par to : a.m. - Grand Bend Legion ents and children ages 0-6 years. Get great Line Dancing nutrition tips from Registered Dietitian Miranda Burgess. call GBACHC 519-238 to p.m. 1556 ext 222 for details.
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Grand Bend Strip
Thursday, April 23, 2009 • 15
It’s high school play season Zombie Prom
The Good Doctor
MAY 6, 7, 8
APRIL 30, MAY 1, 2
South Huron District High School : p.m. - North Middlesex District High School, Parkhill Zombie Prom was first presented off-Broadway and became a short movie This Neil Simon comedy is written as a tribute to playwright Anton featuring Ru Paul. Chekhov, and won a Tony award and several nominations for its Broadway For more details and tickets, call 519-235-0880. run. Students and seniors $6, adults $8. For tickets, call 519-294-1128.
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16 • Thursday, April 23, 2009
Strip on Ice
Meet Me at the Diner Exeter Skating Club 2009 Carnival Photos by Casey Lessard Above: Nate Coward personifies Happy Days, the theme of his group’s dance. Right: Shalena Rau gets hoisted by her juvenile pairs skating national champion partner Phelan Simpson. Shalena’s grandparents are Sharon and Clarence Rau of South Huron.
Above: Katrina Jeromkin takes a spin. Left: Laken McArter, Kirsty Howe, and Laura McArter hit the beach to a Beach Boys soundtrack.
Published on May 4, 2009
Award winning journalism from Grand Bend. Inside: A Corbett farmer produces potatoes for famous chef Jamie Kennedy, and the Grand Bend Publi...