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Summer 2008 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


The Arts & Cookery

Bank Lake Erie

At Lavender Blue





.r e

li s h

in .





Yellow Perch

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The artwork of

Kristyn Watterworth

A Look Back


Arts & Recreation


Food & Dining


Artist Kristyn Watterworth Fishing Lake Erie Yellow Perch



Time flies when you’re Relishing Elgin! It’s been almost a year since we launched and distributed the first seasonal Relish Elgin magazine.

11 & 14

What’s Happening Where


Home & Garden


News & Events





Map of Elgin

Local venues are alive with theatre, music, recreational opportunities, museum exhibits, local food producers, restaurants and wineries, fine artists and unique businesses who offer goods and services that make our homes, gardens, kitchens and lives more comfortable and fun. As a reflection of this exuberance, we are delighted to have the artwork of Kristyn Watterworth on our cover. You can find an article on this great local artist on page 5.

Lavender - A Sense Sensation The Arts & Cookery Bank Asparagus Risotto

Editor Debra Bagshaw Layout & Graphic Design Joanne Bagshaw Advertising Info Cover Image © Kristyn Watterworth, 2008 “Organic”, 18”x24” encaustic & oil on board

Elgin has a multitude of treasures, and this past year saw the addition of a few more... Elgin County Races wants to bring racers to Elgin, where we have some of the nicest venues anywhere. The Hiemstras from Clovermead Bees and Honey were named Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmers of 2008. The Horton Market blossomed. CASO Station’s potential became easier to visualize with each step of restoration. The St. Thomas-Elgin Artists Guild was formed and had its first show. Unique businesses continue to open and expand in downtown St. Thomas. The Arts & Cookery Bank in West Lorne promises to become a unique new heritage centre (find out more on page 21). Elgin County was chosen as the site of the 2010 International Ploughing Match. Hundreds of people visited the new Erie Shores Wind Farm Interpretive Centre. Not one, but two new enterprises bring you the intoxicating scents of lavender. Pinecroft Pottery is celebrating its 60th Anniversary, and gained a new potter (Linda Wright)... the list goes on. To everyone who shared their enthusiasm about Elgin County and the many wonderful businesses that supported us in this first year - Thank You!

P.O. Box 20058 St. Thomas, ON N5P 4H4 519.633.1992


For a 1-Year Subscription: Send a cheque for $8 (to cover mailing) to the address at left. Includes 4 issues.

Copyright 2008, Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material published in Relish Elgin is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the Publisher. Relish Elgin is published by Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Summer 2008



Exploring the Language of Art

Artist Kristyn Watterworth hopes to bring fine art to a wider audience.


ristyn Watterworth has a dream of influencing the way we view art. If you take some time to enjoy her work and talk with her a while, you will likely be convinced that Kristyn also has the talent, skills and a very sound plan to fulfill her goals.

She has arrived at this point in time with a magnificent broad viewpoint of art’s potential for herself and others—artists and art lovers. Kristyn believes that more artists should be able to make their living doing art, and hopes to be an inspiration in this regard through example and mentoring. She envisions a “rich environment”

Large-scale examples of Kristyn’s work enliven the reception area at West Elgin Com“The mass media can play a significant munity Health Care Centre. She set out to capture the diversity of West Elgin for role in growing art appreciation.” the commissioned work; the six oil landscapes include contrasts of beach and field, time where increasing numbers of people value art of day and season to convey this beautifully. which is authentic, and done “from the heart” by a local artist. Though only 23 years old, Kristyn has already had a ten year career in art. Born and raised She sees evidence that the general public’s inin West Lorne, terest in this type of art is growshe decided in ing. She feels that she can help JK that she was to grow this interest and in turn going to be an the potential for artists to be paid artist. At thirteen for what they do. she set out to develop her artistic Kristyn refers to her plans as skills and thinka 30-year venture. The next ing. Her mother stage involves developing strathelped Kristyn egies to market art and educate to find a teacher the public in order to nurture this and mentor in burgeoning interest. The mass Harry Wilkinson media, she believes, can play a of Port Glasgow. She spent 3-5 hours each Sat- significant role in growing art appreciation, much urday for the next five years learning about art as it has done in popularizing interior design. with Harry and credits him with helping her to enhance her eye and develop a broad view of She compares this progression to that of wine what art can be. appreciation - in the past it was thought by many to be a “snooty” or intimidating persuit, but wine is Prior to university, Kristyn received the Clarke now considered to be something anyone can enMcDougall Scholarship. She went on to open a joy. She credits the change largely to equipping seasonal studio in Bayfield in 2004, and to com- people with the language to express their explete her Fine Arts Degree specializing in Visual perience. She wants people to feel comfortable Art at York University this spring. Continued on page 64

Relish Elgin Magazine • Summer 2008



4Continued from page 5 appreciating art and buying something because it speaks to their heart.

ingly intrigued by the way a personality can be expressed “in a glance or the by the cocking of an eye.”

Kristyn’s vision is backed up with an impressive talent. It is expressed in media including oils, acrylics, pastels, and encaustic (molten wax mixed with oil pigment) and also in a range of formats from landscapes to portraits to abstracts. She is bold with her colour choices. Some of her pieces are “erratic,” she notes, “and some are more peaceful.”

A “feeling” is often the starting point for a piece. “Then,” she says, “I step back and listen—to me creating is a form of visual listening and I have produced some intriguing results this way.”

Kristyn did her first portrait in public school, using the grid-method technique. Soon after, she received a caricature of herself and thought “this is cool”—from that point on she became increas-

The scope of her talent helps Kristyn in teaching her many students, including the children who take art from her during the summer in Bayfield. She readily sees where budding artists are “coming from” and can coach them in their creative expression. She takes a great measure of joy in encouraging others to discover, as she has, that “art can be liberating.”

You can see Kristyn’s art from May to October at KryArt Studio & Gallery, 4-9 Main Street in Bayfield, at the West Elgin Community Health Centre in West Lorne, at her spring show in West Lorne and at She can also be reached at 519.525.2515 or


A Tasty Catch: Lake Erie Yellow Perch

A day on the lake with Tim Martin and his crew proved to be eye opening.


resh Lake Erie Perch savoured at a lakeside eatery is, for many, an anticipated treat of summer. It’s often a specialty at restaurants, casual or fancy, and the sweet flavour of the fish is considered by some to be a delicacy. Martin Fish Market, owned by Tim and Brenda Martin, is tucked under the bridge leading into Port Burwell. The popular store sells out daily, supplying the freshest of fish to a couple of Port Burwell restaurants, local customers, and to a few popular “Fish Fry” events of the summer, like the recent Vienna Fish Fry which used 240 pounds of yellow perch. When I mentioned that I would like to know a little bit more about what it takes to get the fish from lake to plate, Tim Martin generously offered to let my husband and myself accompany him out on the boat one morning in April. Luckily for us, the day in spring starts at 6:30am (rather than 4:30) and due to spring quotas, the fishing day is short (a few hours rather than all day). Prepared with doses of coffee and Gravol, we board the South Side II moored behind the Market with Tim and his fishing partner Harvey Brisseau. Fortunately, the weather turns out to be ideal—there is a slight threat of rain but the water is perfectly smooth. The South Side II’s motor comes to life with the roar that becomes a constant backdrop of the


morning. Tim maneuvers his boat out of the harbour and sets course for the first net. Harvey has been fishing for 50 years, 15 of them on Lake Superior. Tim is a fourth generation Lake Erie fisherman—his grandfather fished from Port Dover, and his father from Port Burwell. He started fishing when he was four and has been doing it ever since. The two men fall into the familiar rhythm of managing the boat, the nets and the catch, not seeming to mind as we poke about, take pictures, and ask a lot of questions. The South Side II weighs 19 tons, is powered by a diesel V71 Detroit motor, and is equipped with GPS. It was built by Tim’s father with a ceiling height to clear his head, which works out just fine for Tim and Harvey, but wouldn’t for anyone over 6 feet tall. “The South Side I went down in 1975,” says Harvey, “the same day and storm as the Edmund Fitzgerald.” The nets were set at two locations the day before. The ones at the first stop are a bigger mesh made of monofilament and intended to catch white perch and pickerel. The second net is a smaller mesh made of nylon, set on the bottom for yellow perch. Most of his lines, notes Tim, were his grandfather’s. The nets get repaired once a year in the off-season. The motorized system for reeling in the fish4

Relish Elgin Magazine • Summer 2008 saves a huge amount of physical labour over the manual one that it replaced. Still, the process of bringing in hundreds of yards of line and fish requires hands-on manipulation as each section is loaded into bins. The morning’s work of unloading the lines, maneuvering the bins, and removing fish from the nets would be considered a good workout by anyone. “Are you going to bring us luck?” says Harvey as we reach the first net at around 7am. As it comes up, the disappointed look and exclamation of, “Junk!” tells me the answer. For the next 2 ¾ hours, Harvey sits feeding the line across his lap, removing hundreds of Sheep Head Fish with a little hooked tool, empty line going back into one set of bins, fish into another. Harvey mentions that there are extra hooks available if we would like to try it. One advantage of the roar of the motor is that you can pretend you don’t hear. Tim finishes reeling in the line and joins Harvey at unloading the lines. The catch of a few white perch, silver bass and pickerel is worth maybe $50. I protest that we are not responsible for luck on nets set the day before—hopefully their catch the next day was better. The fishermen are more fortunate with the second line. It holds far less fish, but they are almost all yellow perch. The mood takes an upswing as the process of reeling and unloading the lines goes quickly. Tim resets the small mesh net,


feeding 1500 yards of it out over a contraption out the back of the moving boat—he obviously has this down to a fine art. The boat is hosed down, records made, fish weighed, catch report filled out and dropped in the little metal box on the way into har-

bour and we arrive back behind the fish store at 12:30 am. This has been a short fishing day—it gets considerably longer in the summer. The motor is shut down with a welcome quietness, and the fish is unloaded. Brenda is waiting back at the store. Tim takes a quick break, then heads back to work preparing the fish for sale. The process is mechanized with some pretty fancy looking equipment, and much speedier since the purchase Continued on page 104

Relish Elgin Magazine • Summer 2008


FOOD & DINING 4Continued from page 9 of the filleting machine a couple of years ago. But all of the fish goes through a final check by Brenda in the front of the Market—you can’t beat the human touch to ensure all the bones are removed. Commercial fishing on Lake Erie has had its ups and downs. The yellow perch quota is down by a third again from last year. Hopefully, the management methods in place will ensure the continued existence of yellow perch stocks. Dredging is a huge issue in Port Burwell. With federal government changes, the responsibility for dredging in Port Burwell is in limbo. Tim drags the harbour with a line, a necessity if he is to get his boat out into the lake, but also a benefit to others who use the port. Even so, it sometimes takes two hours for the boat to struggle out of the harbour. And to add to the challenges, the store flooded along with other places in Port Burwell in the spring. Still, the fishermen’s life may continue in the Martin family into the fifth generation. Brenda


and Tim’s son is 16 and thinks he’ll fish too. He helps out with everything now except for setting the nets. Brenda is all for this, but would like to see him train in the off-months for a trade to have as back-up. Brenda notes that, even with a constant supply, her family still enjoys eating yellow perch (and pickerel). That’s because it’s so easy to do variations of preparation to keep it interesting. Simple is best, she says, you don’t want to overpower the fish’s delicate flavour. Preparation can be as simple as dipping in egg and milk, then flour, and panfrying in butter. There are many variations—beer batter or crumb breading, among others—to keep it interesting. Two restaurants in Port Burwell are good casual places to enjoy a yellow perch dinner: The Lighthouse Restaurant and Pub and Schooner’s Galley, both on Robinson Street. It’s also available at several spots in Port Stanley and in Port Glasgow.

Martin Fish Market is located at 8 Bridge Street in Port Burwell. Contact them at 519.874.4877.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Summer 2008

What’s Happening Where in Elgin

Find out what’s happening in your neighbourhood, or take a road trip and discover what’s happening in someone else’s.


FIRST SUNDAY OF EACH MONTH UNTIL OCTOBER SPARTA OUTDOOR MARKET SAT JUN 7TH VIENNA EDISON FEST For info call Cheryl at 519.866.3066. JUN 12TH - 15TH & 19TH - 21ST “MAGGIE’S GETTING MARRIED” Princess Avenue Playhouse, St. Thomas FRI JUN 13TH - SUN JUN 15TH 18TH ANNUAL ART SHOW & SALE Port Stanley Artists Guild Royal Canadian Legion, Port Stanley FRI JUN 13TH - SUN JUN 15TH HERITAGE FESTIVAL AT CASO RAILWAY STATION Call 519.633.2535 for information. SAT JUN 14TH SUMMERFEST CONCERT Knights of Columbus, St. Thomas For info or tickets, call 519.852.5678. SUN JUN 15TH ST. THOMAS & DISTRICT HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY ANNUAL GARDEN TOUR

SUN JUN 29TH DIVA DAY GARDEN PARTY RETREAT Rush Creek Wines; registration reqired before June 9th. TUES JUL 1ST CANADA DAY Events across Elgin County SATURDAY JUL 12TH 4TH ANNUAL HORSE FARMS TOUR IN WESTERN ELGIN Call 1.865.293.2668 OR 1.866.401.2965 JUL 18TH - 20TH & 25TH -27TH A DAY OUT WITH THOMAS SAT JUL 19TH DUTTON DUNWICH STREEET DANCE Contact 519.762.3209 SAT JUL 19TH & SUN JUL 20TH CANADA PARKS WEEKEND AT BACKUS-PAGE HOUSE & JOHN E. PEARCE PROVINCIAL PARK Call 519.762.3072 for more information. SAT JUL 26TH 4TH ANNUAL BEE BEARD FESTIVAL Clovermead Bees & Honey Call 519.773.5503 or go to

SUN JUN 15TH GRAPE ESCAPE ROAD RACE Quai du Vin Estate Winery For info email Derek at SAT JUL 26TH ART FEST ELGIN SUN JUN 29TH St. Pinafore Park, West Pavilion ANTIQUE CAR SHOW & BREAKFAST Contact 519.631.4040 Antique cars, breakfast, 50’s-70’s music, food available. Sponsored by the Optimist Club of West Lorne. More on page 144 Miller Park, West Lorne

Relish Elgin Magazine • Summer 2008



ille W

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Eat, Sh


hop, Play ... Locally!

More Elgin Events Continued from page 11

FRI AUG 1ST - SUN AUG 3RD PORT BURWELL TUB DAZE Fireworks Sunday at dusk. Contact Deb at 519.874.4450


SAT AUG 2ND CACTUS, CATTLE & COWBOYS Wild West fun in Western Elgin Region. Contact 519.762.2783 or 1.866.401.2965








Find more information on these events and many more at

Relish Elgin Magazine • Summer 2008


Lavender: A Sense Sensation!

With a long history around the world, lavender now blooms in Elgin.


romatic, sweet, soothing. All of these words have been used to describe the scent of lavender. At Lavender Blue Lavender Farm, we are aware of the pleasures of accidentally brushing up against these plants and smelling the intoxicating scent. The distinctive fragrance of this remarkable plant is recognized the world over, and lavender has been grown and appreciated almost since the beginning of recorded history. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean regions, islands of the Atlantic, and India. Sometime during the 7th century, lavender found its way to southern Europe. By the 1600’s in England,

lavender was growing in popularity and was used in perfume, bathing and gifts. At this time, it also began to be grown commercially, and this practice was brought to North America by the Quakers. Although lavender is not native to England, the damp, chilly climate was an environment where lavender thrived. In combination with the long summer days, the plant produced more oil. The quality of English lavender oil became one of the world’s finest by the late 1800’s. It is interesting that a non-native plant is so commonly referred


to as ‘English Lavender’ and the association continues today. Lavender also grew well in France, and was harvested by hand by local shepherds until the early twentieth century. Just prior to the First World War, French perfume houses and the French government worked together to remove almond orchards and plant lavender to help provide jobs in the Provence region. Provence now has become the world’s leading producer of lavender essential oil. Lavender has many uses, dating back to at least 77 AD, when its benefits were first recorded. Its therapeutic properties were used to relieve menstrual pains, upset stomachs and ease insect bites. In early Egypt, lavender was used in mummification. When King Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened, urns were found filled with lavender that still held its scent. Roman soldiers used it to help heal wounds on the battle field. Today lavender is still recognized for its antiseptic properties to help clean wounds and promote healing. It is used to relieve congestion, headaches, nausea and tension and induce sleep. New research in aromatherapy has shown that 3 minutes of lavender aromatherapy increases performance on mathematical tests. These findings may have applications in the work place. Lavender is also used in many specialty gourmet foods. It belongs to the mint family, distinguished by its square stem and wonderful fragrance. It is closely related to the culinary herbs Continued on page 184

Relish Elgin Magazine • Summer 2008

HOME & GARDEN 4Continued from page 16 sage, marjoram and thyme. These herbs, including lavender, are found in the popular herb blend ‘herbs de Provence’. Lavender is a drought tolerant woody shrub ranging in size from 6” to over 4’ with green to silver leaves and a wide range of flower colours from white to pink and purples. There are over 30 species, with angustifolia, stoechas, denta and x intermedia (Lavandins) being the most common. At Lavender Blue we grow angustifolias and Lavandins because they tend to be more tolerant of cold, wind, rain and snow, as long as they have good drainage. The ideal soil for growing lavender is a sandy loam or any light well-drained soil. Although older plants are tolerant of dry conditions, adequate irrigation and rainfall increase stem length and spike numbers. Young plants need to be watered until they become established. Lavender

plants need to be pruned at least once a year. We start pruning our lavender in April. Harvesting at Lavender Blue is a celebratory time for us. We kick off the start of the harvest with a Lavender Festival at the end of June. We monitor the lavender closely and when we see one or two flowers present on the spike we begin harvesting by hand. The lavender is hung to dry and then used in our lavender products.

Written by Suzanne Steed, owner and operator of Lavender Blue Lavender Farm. Contact her at or 519.494.5525. The farm is open to the public Thursday through Sunday, from Mother’s Day to Christmas.


Coming Soon: A Different Kind of Bank

Volunteers have big plans for the Arts and Cookery Bank in West Lorne.


can’t quite put my finger on it,” is a widely used phrase to describe having a strong feeling about something, but not quite the right words to express or explain it. It’s likely an appropriate one to describe the sentiment many in the local rural areas have about their community. When you travel the nearby backroads, rural, and small-town areas, you quickly realize that there are hundreds of people with a strong sense of connection to the local history, the land, music, food and institutions. These people may have ancestral roots in the area, but relative newcomers can also quickly become drawn to its magic. The feeling may be a bit hard to express and may be accompanied by a fear that this rural life-

style is slipping away. The casual visitor looking for “brick and mortar” signs of rural vibrancy might conclude that there isn’t a whole lot going on out there in the country. The people of Dutton-Dunwich, Newbury, Southwest Middlesex and West Elgin may soon have that “something you can put your finger on”—a building where the rural “magic” can be expressed, shared and celebrated—at the Arts & Cookery Bank in West Lorne. The Bank is a not-for-profit community based organization, a building and a vision. Enthusiastic community members are led by a board of seven directors. The building is the 1914 Continued on page 224

Relish Elgin Magazine • Summer 2008



The Bank is a way to “put their fingers on it”—to 4Continued from page 21 Bank of Montreal in West Lorne. The vision is to give substance and expression to what they alrestore this building creatively for use as a heri- ready know. As a matter of fact, the community tage centre, with the goal What makes this plan so wonderful is that it has to showcase local heritage and culture (past, present been embraced wholeheartedly by the community. and future) through photographs and cuisine in ways that will promote, is being invited to “put their fingerprints” all over the project. sustain and build a vibrant rural lifestyle. The invitations to the first public preview of the Bank invite you to “’Have a Peek!’ Get a sneak peek inside The Bank and leave your fingerprints all over the building. The Arts & Cookery Bank Board of Directors invites you to join us for a special afternoon on Saturday June 7th anytime between 12 and 4pm.”

As you can well imagine, this is an enormous undertaking. The board’s directors took about nine months to finalize the mission, goals and strategies. Key elements have included finding a suitable building and planning its renovation to meet the goals; multi-layered initiatives for community involvement and fund-raising; strategies for economic success and inclusion of humour— yes humour! “Fun,” they believe, is essential to “inspire visitors to expand their thinking and develop insights about the significance of local heritage.” What makes this plan so wonderful is that it has been embraced wholeheartedly by the community. There is surprisingly little scepticism that this is just a grandiose scheme for dreamers. Community members intuitively recognize that

The invitation and envelope, by the way, are covered in a mass of real fingerprints. This board of directors may be having far too much of a good time! The Bank will be a source of interest and inspiration beyond the four areas directly involved. You are invited—don’t miss out on the fun!

The Bank is at 242 Graham Road, West Lorne. The special Afternoon Sneak Peek is Saturday June 7th 2008, from 12 – 4pm. Watch for more about The Bank in upcoming months - Grand Opening is scheduled for late Fall 2009. For more information on The Arts & Cookery Bank contact Grace McGartland, Chair, at 519.768.1777.

Always More Online 22

Relish Elgin Magazine • Summer 2008

Recipe: Asparagus Risotto


Relish the flavour of fresh local asparagus in this creamy risotto.

Asparagus Risotto


3 tbsp olive oil 1/2 cup shallots, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup white wine 1 cup arborio rice 8 cups low sodium chicken broth 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 3 cups asparagus, in 1� pieces 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley freshly ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS 1. Stir fry asparagus with 1 tbsp olive oil until tender crisp. 2. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan or dutch oven. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. 3. Add the rice, stir to coat with oil and heat for 1 minute. 4. Pour in the wine; stir constantly until almost absorbed. 5. Begin adding chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Wait until the liquid is almost absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. Continue until the rice is al dente (soft with a firm bite in the centre). 6. Stir in the parmesan cheese, pepper, parsley and cooked asparagus. 7. Garnish with parsley and more parmesan cheese.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Summer 2008


Profile for Joanne Bagshaw

Relish Elgin Summer 2008 Edition  

Relish Elgin is a lifestyles magazine, promoting the people, place, businesses and events of Elgin County, Ontario, Canada.

Relish Elgin Summer 2008 Edition  

Relish Elgin is a lifestyles magazine, promoting the people, place, businesses and events of Elgin County, Ontario, Canada.


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