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December 2017 / January 2018


Is It Christmas Yet?

Barry Lovegrove CD Launch

At the Breaking Point

Christmas Baskets

Leaky Land Fundraiser

Here’s The SCOOP, Virginia


SCOOP E Founded in 2005 by Richard Saxe

PUBLISHER & AD SALES Karen Nordrum stonemills.scoop@gmail.com


Lillian Bufton, Katherine Burrows, Diane Creber, Dianne Dowling, Glen R. Goodhand, Mieke Gorter, Joseph Imre, Bert Korporaal, Barry Lovegrove, Marcella Neely, Lawrence O’Keeffe, Robert J. McCaldon, Blair McDonald, Susan Rehner, Grace Smith, Terry Sprague, Jeff Whan

ditorials are rarely designed for posterity. They can be timely, witty, hard-nosed, and enlightening if the reader is lucky. But very few survive the unforgiving test of history. “Who wants yesterday’s papers?” asked the Rolling Stones rhetorically in 1967. Fishmongers do, of course. And fish wrap is indeed most editorials’ unenviable destiny. Except one, that is. And it’s one of those pieces of writing that makes it very difficult to come up with a Christmas editorial, for fear of falling short. That historical text is The New York Sun’s 1897 “Is There a Santa Claus?”, to this day the most reprinted editorial in the world. The genius of the writer, Francis Pharcellus Church, was, of course, to provide with great verve and simplicity the key

reasons why Christmas, is, or at least ought to be, a truly special time of the year: generosity, wonderment, shared joy, and beauty. These are universal human aspirations shared across religions and cultures. Which is also a key aspect of this most Christian of days: its inclusiveness. We are lucky to be able to enjoy this period in all its sacredness if we wish or to simply share in the general ideals it promotes. This is something well worth celebrating at a time when material success, suspicion of neighbours, and dishonesty have in so many parts of the world attained the status of moral values. This issue of The SCOOP strives, in all humility, to contribute to that spirit of joy and wonder. From the importance of


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An Erinsville squirrel, eager to begin the Christmas decorating. Original photo by Barry Lovegrove; photo manipulation by The SCOOP. “This little guy would make tunnels in the fresh fallen snow below my bird feeder and would pop its head up and take the discarded seeds that the birds had dropped.” For more of Barry’s photos, visit www. barrylovegrove.ca. Email: barrylovegrove@gmail.com. 2

SEASON’S GREETINGS Wishing all readers a joyous holiday season, a new year of happiness, and hope for a world at peace.

All photos contributed, unless otherwise noted.

The SCOOP is published six times a year. We mail The SCOOP for free to more than 6600 households in Tamworth, Centreville, Enterprise, Erinsville, Camden East, Newburgh, Colebrook, Yarker, Verona, Hartington, Sydenham, Roblin, Selby, Parham, Kaladar, Stella, Godfrey, & Marlbank. We also arrange with local retailers to display 1000 additional issues of The SCOOP in Napanee, Cloyne, Flinton, Kaladar, & many other locations.

protecting forests and farmland, prime sources of beauty and wonder, to the simple joys of Christmas not so long ago, this issue is filled with reminders of the precious things in our lives. Two articles make especially noteworthy points: that core values, like protecting our land and water can bring together people from vastly different backgrounds, and that whether we call it Christmas, Holidays, or something else altogether, matters less than our shared humanity.


613-379-5959 www.ColleensCleaning.ca cmfclean@gmail.com

The SCOOP • December 2017 / January 2018

Mitten Fundraiser

Letters Let’s see. Let me check the calendar, yes, it’s 2017. Just as I thought. We’re not in the 60s, or the 50s, or even in an earlier century…so why do some people still feel it is quite okay to burn their rubbish and household garbage in their backyards? I honestly thought we were smarter than that. With today’s technology and with all the information out there stating and proving that burning household garbage is and can damage people’s health, nature, the environment, and air quality. Today’s packaging alone contains so many lethal chemicals that when burned, releases harmful toxins and pollutants into the air. Not to mention foul smelling for anyone living within a few hundred meters from the burn barrel, sometimes even for a kilometre or more downwind! Why is it that this phenomenon is most prevalent and noticeable from spring to fall? Because most of us have our windows open to catch a breeze or are sitting outside after dinner, relaxing

after a hard day’s work, watching the setting sun. However, many times since we moved to the Tamworth area more than 15 years ago, we have had to close our windows tight in the evenings to shut out the stench of a neighbour’s burning and smouldering garbage! Although our municipal property taxes do not cover regular garbage pickup, buying the required Township bags and bringing them and your recycling materials to the dump is a small price to pay for garbage sanitation. Please have some consideration for your fellow neighbours and for the environment and do your part. Bring it away to the dump. And don’t dump it out along roadsides either. Maybe Stone Mills Township should have a no burn bylaw prohibiting the burning of garbage and waste in addition to the no burn bylaw during the high fire danger season?

Lillian Bufton


fter the Christmas season last year, local resident Brenda Mayhew saw that there was a need for more donations for the Tamworth District Lions Christmas Baskets. She made a request on social media for donations of wool and knitters. The response was amazing: donations of yarn, needles, pattern books, and sewing supplies were received, along with 31 knitters who were anxious to start knitting for a cause. Throughout the year, Brenda collected around 350 knitted mittens, hats, scarves & booties for the Christmas Baskets and the surplus knitted goods and wool were sold to generate money to purchase groceries. Brenda even set up at a two day Craft Show to sell the knitted products. After the sale, there were still

enough mittens for the Christmas Baskets and to donate to the local schools. This November, Brenda presented the Lions Club with a cheque for an impressive $2061 for the Christmas Baskets. She marvels that she “only dreamed of 75 mittens and never thought of donation money to the baskets.” With the huge success of this fundraiser, many of the knitters are looking forward to knitting for the 2018 baskets next year. Preparations are already in place, and they are looking for more knitters and any donations of wool to keep this fundraiser going. Brenda would like to thank all supporters for helping this dream become a great success! If you’d like to help with the 2018 fundraiser, please call Brenda at 613.379.9906.

—B. Korporaal, Tamworth

The SCOOP welcomes readers’ letters to the editor. Please email stonemills.scoop@gmail.com.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ Barry Lovegrove


in’t that the truth. I have a great love and respect for the arts and realize that not everyone has the same musical tastes. When I’m out playing and singing along with my guitar, I’m often asked what sort of music I will be playing. However, I play such a mixed bag that I find it’s a hard question to answer. I try to mix it up and play anything from soft rock, folk, country, jazz, and some of my original work too. One of my favourite styles is music from the 1930s and 40s. The lyrics are simple to understand and easy to listen and relax to—songs such as Ain’t Misbehavin’, All of Me, and Lullaby of Birdland, to name a few. Whenever I play these songs, the audience response is usually very positive with such remarks as, “That song really brought back some old memories, thank you!” I’m also often asked, “Do you have a CD?” Until recently, I had to answer regretfully, “No, I’m sorry I don’t.” With

that in mind, I thought that maybe I should try to self-record a few of the songs I like most. So, I did! I downloaded a recording software program, went onto YouTube to learn how it works, and asked a couple of friends who have some experience in self-recording and got right to it. It did take a bit of time, and there is no way I could ever match what the super recording studios produce. But, I managed to get the feel of things and put out a CD this fall titled Ain’t Misbehavin’ containing ten of my favourite songs. I thoroughly enjoyed working on each track, mixing and blending them together. It was a very creative personal process, changing keys and tempos until I was satisfied. Who knows, I just might record another one in the future...

Some of the many volunteers who knitted 350 mittens, scarves, & booties for the Tamworth District Lions Christmas Baskets campaign this year.

Happy Holidays from the Stone Mills Fire Department

If you have any friends or family who are music lovers, my CD might make a great stocking stuffer this Christmas. If you are interested in buying a copy, give me a call at 613.379.3003 or email barrylovegrove@ gmail.com.

Stone Mills Fire Department 613-378-2475 December 2017 / January 2018 • The SCOOP


The Children’s Christmas Concert Diane Creber


he annual Children’s Christmas Concert was the year’s highlight. It was held in the church with the raised platform in front of the altar becoming the small stage. The platform had the prayer rail around it, with openings to enter and leave at the two sides. The children were to enter stage left and leave stage right. Mavis Davis was the ambitious organizer. She had a heart of gold, but unfortunately, she was uncomfortable disciplining the children, so they took advantage of her. Beginning in midNovember, she arranged for the kids to be let off the school bus at the church so they could practice. She tried to get every child in the community involved, from age two through late teens, regardless of their talent. If they couldn’t sing or dance, they could give a recitation; if they were too shy for that, they could be a lamb or a cow in the Nativity scene. Getting the children to cooperate at rehearsals was like herding cats. If Mavis was working with the younger kids, the teenagers would be off playing spin the bottle or smoking in the washroom. If she was with the teens, the little ones would be running amok. During one practice, some of the older boys locked Mavis in the bell tower after luring her up there to see their costumes. While Mavis was trying to break out, one imp set fire to the wastebasket in the washroom and the hall filled with smoke as the fire alarms sounded. Meanwhile, one of the younger children had spread glue all across the stage. The afternoon before the concert, the mothers decorated the hall. Pine boughs were hung in the windows, and an enormous Christmas tree stood to one side of the stage. The women baked

cookies and squares to be served with cocoa and coffee after the show. The concert started with Mavis, wearing a red dress and a Santa hat, welcoming everyone. Next, the MacArthur twins, Merle and Pearl, did a step dance. Brian Gaylord played the flute, but he started in the wrong key and never did get it right. After that, three little girls were to sing a ditty called “Lester Was a Donkey.” While they were singing, Everett and Malvern Armstrong, dressed as the front and rear end of a donkey, were to dance across the stage. The girls knew their song, but they had never practiced with the dancing donkey before. The piano started playing, and they were given their cue. The singing began beautifully, and as they started on the second verse, the donkey approached the stage. Everett, as the head of the donkey, could only see straight ahead, not down, and he couldn’t see the prayer railing. He didn’t even realize it was there, and he tripped over it and fell at the girls’ feet. His brother Malvern was dragged over the rail behind him, landing on top of him.

THANKS for your business in 2017

the singing of “Away in a Manger.” One member of the audience complained loudly, “I don’t mind baby Jesus being black, but wearing a dress with a bow in his hair is too liberal for me.”

The concert went downhill after that, and Mavis was heard to murmur, “Just like past years. Nothing ever changes.” The audience was now primed for laughter, so everything after that appeared to be funny.

The gifts had been selected by Georgina Murphy, who had been told to get items suitable for either a boy or girl—toys such as Etch A Sketches, yo-yos, colouring books and markers. Georgina worked at the Humane Society, and she was also responsible for getting little presents for the animals remaining at the shelter over Christmas.

The Nativity scene was last, and every child was involved. The stage was small, so Mavis had instructed them to crowd together, but after the donkey act, the kids seemed to forget everything. Those in the middle didn’t stand together, so the sheep and cows kept tumbling off. One little sheep, Sally Pratt, fell off several times but determinedly climbed back up, getting more and more frustrated after each fall. Tears in her eyes, she announced to the audience, “It’s not my fault.”

The girls looked startled but continued singing, or at least they tried to. The audience was laughing so hard, watching the donkey as it tried to stand, that the girls became unnerved. As their voices started to waver, Malvern reached for the closest object he could grab to help him get to his feet, which happened to be a girl’s leg. She let out a shriek and ran off stage. The second girl decided to leave as well, leaving the third singing on her own. The two fleeing girls reached the exit, stage left, at precisely the same time, and got jammed in the opening. More laughter erupted as the audience watched them trying to extract themselves. The remaining singer thought they were laughing at her. She announced to the audience, “I’m getting out of here too. Goodbye,” and ran out stage right.


for their foul mouths, but Mavis had thought the audience would be spared their colourful language since they had non-speaking roles. The air became blue with cussing. Unable to stand, the brothers realized they would have to get out of the donkey costume. Both had agreed beforehand that, since the costume was hot, they would wear only their jockey shorts. After all, no one would see them. More laughter erupted as two nearly naked, overweight men exited stage left, one dragging a donkey’s head, the other its rear end.

The large star of the east was hit by a shepherd’s staff and started swinging back and forth. Every eye in the audience watched to see if it was going to hit a wise man on the left or a camel on the right. With all the shuffling around on stage and the children falling off the edges, it looked like the Christmas tree might be in peril. Sure enough, when Sally Pratt was beginning to fall for the fourth time, she grabbed the tree to steady herself. The tree toppled, landing on the actors in the back rows. Baby Jesus was a doll donated by one of the mothers, but she forgot to mention it to her daughter. At dress rehearsal the night before, the little girl saw her favourite doll, the one she liked to take to bed with her, lying in the manger. She couldn’t sleep without that doll so she brought her home, and returned the next day with her second favourite, a little black cabbage patch doll. After practice, she placed her in the manger. The manger was propped up so everyone in the audience could get a good view of the baby Jesus when the choir parted after

The donkey, now alone on stage, was still having difficulty standing. The men couldn’t see under the donkey suit, so they rolled around on top of each other, cursing and swearing. The brothers were noted

Terra Edibles Merry Christmas Wishing you all the best in the New Year! Dave, Barb, Kallista, & Shae-Lynn Way

The SCOOP • December 2017 / January 2018

The younger children approached Santa first, and it was little Sally Pratt, her tears now dried, who was first to open her gift. “A dog bone?” Her eyes again overflowed. As each child opened their presents, they looked at Santa in dismay. The puzzled children returned to their parents to show them what they had received. “Catnip, dog biscuits, flea collars? I know the kids act like little animals,” Mavis Young was heard to comment, “But isn’t this going a bit too far?” This story is an edited and shortened chapter from Diane Creber’s book RR#2. The book is available at Trousdale’s General Store (Sydenham), Novel Idea (Kingston), and Wilton General Store, or can be purchased directly from Diane at wiltonpottery@xplornet.ca.


Tamworth Elementary School Fridays, 7-9 p.m. until Christmas. If enough interest, volleyball will resume in January and run until May 11.

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Georgina went first to the Dollar Store where she bought the children’s gifts as well as a large supply of gift-wrap. Then she went to Pet Palace for dog treats, rawhide bones, and mice stuffed with catnip. She spent the evening wrapping everything and put them in two separate boxes, one to take to the concert, the other to bring to work on Christmas Eve.

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The end of the concert was the cue for Santa Claus to ho, ho, ho his way to the stage where a chair awaited him. The children were lined up by age, with the youngest first. After they sat on Santa’s knee and told him what they wanted for Christmas, Santa reached into his bag and give each child a little gift.

Time to start thinking about CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and SNOW SHOVELS - it’ll be here before we know it!


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Do You Remember: “Wash Behind Your Ears”? your feet!”—which made good sense, especially when some homes did not have paved driveways or cement walks—meaning that dirt or snow quickly built up on the soles of shoes or boots. (Of course, today it is an unwritten law that one must shed one’s footwear when entering a home—yours, or anyone else’s.)

Glen R. Goodhand Mother, may I go out to swim? Yes! My darling daughter. Hang your clothes on a hickory limb— But don’t go near the water!


here are several possible explanations for such a seemingly contradictory message! It may just be a silly little ditty with no hidden meaning; it may have been a facetious jibe about parenthood; or, it may have been making a statement about the perceived authority of adults— regardless of logic (much like, “because I say so—that’s why!”)

If one was fortunate enough to have electricity, the ease with which one left a room and moved to another fostered carelessness of a different kind: “Turn out the lights, you’re wasting hydro!” But the epitome of “orders from headquarters” at home is wrapped up in this classic: “Don’t forget to wash behind your ears!”

A nostalgic trek down memory lane will prompt virtually all former kids to recall these classic admonitions:

A mother was chastising her young son before the arrival of his music teacher. “Did you wash your hands very carefully? “Yes, Mother.” “Did you wash your face very carefully?” “Yes. Mother!” “Were you particularly sure to wash behind your ears?” “On her side I did, Mother.”

“Stop slamming the door!” “If you keep making faces your face will freeze that way!” “Don’t crack your knuckles or you’ll end up with arthritis!” “Talk like that again, and I’ll wash your mouth out with soap!” “Don’t sit so close to the TV (or, don’t read by dim light)—it will ruin your eyes!” “Eat up! There are starving children in Africa who would be grateful for that food!”

But to Moms and Dads, it was a very serious matter. And those of us who heard that admonition probably failed to grasp the significance of such a directive. Why the fixation on that particular area of the anatomy? Dirt builds up on hands and feet—and even in one’s umbilicus— but how could anything accumulate behind one’s ears? There is no flat surface, and no moisture to which grime can stick!

In the “good old days,” many houses were heated with a kitchen wood stove or a space heater. Insulation was poor (or non-existent), and drafts were common. Children, being children, were often slow to close an outside door when entering the house. This usually prompted a loud “Close the door! Were you born in a barn—or a field with the gate open?”

Still, countless children over the years have been warned to “wash behind your

Akin to that was the command to “wipe


ears, or else potatoes (variation— mushrooms) will start to grow there!” There is an old-fashioned cartoon of a father, mother, and son that portrays this perfectly. The father is reporting to the mother that “The bad news is that his [the son’s] ears were dirty. The good news is that we now have a bushel of potatoes!” “Brush your teeth, say your prayers, and wash behind your ears.” A mother’s “words of wisdom” remain throughout the years. A child learns to trust the things his parents say to him; And remembers their advice even as their memories grow dim. Sometimes when we

grow older and move away from home, We don’t know where to seek advice and do things on our own. If the foundation’s solid and we heard what our folks said— The right decisions generally will be there in our head! It’s hard to argue with that choice advice!

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At the Cloyne & District Historical Society Marcella Neely

T THANK YOU TO OUR 2017 BIG BUCK DERBY SPONSORS! • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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McGrath Camp Metro Molsons Napanee & District Rod & Gun Club No Frills Pete Locke (Sysco Foods) Peterson Hunt Camp Ralph Vankoughnet River Bakery Cafe Russell Wood Sam’s L’il Variety Sleemans Steamwhistle Stone Mills Family Market Stone Spindle Farm Sutcliffe Septic T&E Small Engines Tamworth Pro Hardware Tamworth Variety & Gas Bar TCO Agromart Todd Steele (L&A Mutual Insurance) Tracy & John Pilbrow (Mortgage Brokers City) Tuepah Excavating Vanness Automotive


Congratulations to this year’s winners:

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he fall season means the Pioneer Museum is closed and our monthly meetings resume at the Cloyne Hall. We meet at 1 p.m. on the third Monday, except for December, to socialize and focus on local history. Everyone is welcome to attend. In September, we were fortunate to hear the story of the 1895 tragic fire in the Loon Lake area that took the lives of six of Thomas Lindsay’s children. Pat Vlasic, great-granddaughter of Margaret Lindsay, spoke to us about the details that had been passed down to her and shared with us some press accounts of that day. Of interest was the more than $500 donated by the community, and how much they were able to provide with it. Their donation paid for housing, furniture, clothing, and food, with nearly $50 left over—enough to sustain the survivors for one more year. Pat Vlasic’s story is in the Spring 2017 issue of our newsletter at www. cloynepioneermuseum.ca. In October, our guest was William McNaught, grandnephew of Private John Ball of Vennacher. McNaught has written a book called “Vimy: Letters from the Front.” The book is an account of the effects of WWI on this small community

and the supreme sacrifice of its young men. Also that month, a few member volunteers packed up and stored climate sensitive Museum items to protect them during the winter. We also contributed food for the reception after the showing of “Harry’s Story” at the Lions’ Hall in Northbrook. In November, we had hoped to hear from Candace Lloyd, secretary/treasurer of the High Land Waters Métis Community Council about Métis history and culture in our area. Unfortunately, family illness made for a last minute cancellation. Instead, the membership participated in an excellent sharing session. We discussed accomplishments and possibilities that should lead to future direction of our mantra, “Preserving the Past for the Future.” This month, we look forward to our December 4th Christmas lunch at Harlowe Hall, prepared by Pat and Dave Cuddy! Arrive at 11:30 a.m. with lunch at 12 noon. Everyone is welcome. Tickets are $18 each. Reserve your spot by calling Sandra Sparks at 613.336.0157. Please bring a donation for the Food Bank (e.g. pork and beans). The C&DHS can be contacted at pioneer@mazinaw.on.ca.

December 2017 / January 2018 • The SCOOP


How Travelling Transforms Us Katherine Burrows


o those who are open to it, travelling is a life-changing experience. It defines our lives into before and after. Our experiences of people and places shape who we are from each trip forward. Travelling increases our knowledge— from the obvious history, geography, botany, zoology, and climate, to the less obvious psychology and philosophy. It is a broad education from the school of experience that cannot otherwise be duplicated. Change of place is a catalyst for change of mind. Stepping out of our ordinary routine expands our experience, provides an opportunity for introspection and opens our mind. It can completely change our frame of reference. As we see new things, meet new people, and adapt to new situations, we can’t help but think new thoughts— new thoughts with a new perspective. We are challenged to rethink old assumptions and question previous biases. I am reminded of a student I once visited at his Canadian ESL work placement. He explained to me that, in his own country, he had previously seen people use English for business and profit—for personal gain. In Canada, in the social service industry, for the first time, he saw people using English to help other people. It was a privilege to witness his epiphany. Even though he could have read or been told about this concept, it would never have had the impact that experiencing it firsthand did. Travelling increases our appreciation of differences in people. By improving our understanding of a variety of beliefs and customs, it moves us from mere tolerance, through to a celebration of those differences and how they enrich the global fabric. It can also demonstrate our similarities. On my recent trip to South Africa, I was struck by how South Africans struggle with so many of the same issues as Canadians do: poverty (rising unemployment, affordable housing shortage); reconciliation of a chequered history with the native peoples of the land; facilitation of quality education; and living sustainably (preserving natural resources, utilizing alternative forms of energy; living with effects of climate change). I had conversations

with people who shared their family struggles, political and religious views, and warm, open humour. Those who are born with the soul of a traveller know that, although each place we go and every person we meet along the way contribute to the overall travel experience, certain destinations feel like home the first time you set foot on the soil. Likewise, some people become instant friends from the moment you meet. It is in these cases where, not only do you bring home your multitude of experiences from abroad, but you discover that you’ve left a piece of yourself there too. That true reciprocity is the pinnacle of the traveller’s experience. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost.” We are merely journeying in search of the next pinnacle. Sometimes, people who find that ideal combination return to their favourite destination and those long-lost friends repeatedly. Sometimes, they never do. In extreme cases, people have packed up and moved because the feeling of belonging is stronger in the new location than their origin. Travel is part of finding out who we are and where our path in life will take us. It is an intensely personal and intimate experience, yet one often shared mostly with strangers. In combination with planned experiences (trying a new food or zip-lining for the first time), travelling changes us in ways we cannot anticipate, ways we only discover long after our return. As that souvenir T-shirt becomes a faded and worn favourite in our wardrobe, those memories become integrated into who we are, how we see the world, and, most importantly, how we respond to it. “We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them… To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom”. This truth expressed by Ralph Waldo Emerson reflects the continuous process of personal growth. Travellers know that there are too many destinations and too little time (not to mention money!) to explore them all. We choose our destinations carefully and then let the people and places do the rest. We commit to being present in each moment. We surrender ourselves to the experience. We embrace the change in our souls.

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The SCOOP • December 2017 / January 2018

Farmland Preservation Dianne Dowling

W years.

e lose 175 acres of farmland every day in Ontario – two million acres lost in the past 30

Where will we grow our food when all the farmland is gone? Instead of finding ourselves in that bleak future, let’s pursue ways to keep farmland in farming. Ideally, we would have strong federal, provincial, and municipal policies that preserve farmland for growing food. After all, it’s a matter of public safety and emergency preparedness to become more self-sufficient and self-reliant in food production. In particular, robust federal policies to protect farmland, and to regulate who owns the land (preferably, farmers!) would provide a sound foundation for provincial and municipal policies that build on the national standards. Unfortunately, we do not have robust federal, provincial, or municipal policies regarding the land that grows our food. In Ontario, the Provincial Policy Statement on land planning says prime agricultural land must be protected—but read on, and you will find that, unbelievably, gravel pits trump farmland. For municipalities, continually looking for revenue, the temptation exists to increase the tax base by letting nonagricultural development happen on farmland. Not waiting for government policies, individual farmland owners have taken action to preserve their farms for farming. They are protecting their land from non-agricultural development by partnering with land trusts and ensuring that their farms are preserved for farming, for future generations.

current and future owners of the farm. Alternatively, a landowner can donate their land to the land trust. Either way, there are tax benefits for the landowner. The Ontario Farmland Trust (OTF) is the only registered charity in Ontario with the specific mandate to preserve farmland. OTF has protected 12 farms and a total of 1200 acres, mostly on the edge of the Greenbelt around Toronto, and in Simcoe County. OTF is interested in working with farmland owners in eastern Ontario, and they will be holding their 2018 annual Farmland Forum in eastern Ontario, with the theme of “Viability of Farmland” in Prince Edward County on April 5, 2018. Go to www.ontariofarmlandtrust.ca for more information about OTF and its work. Farms could include areas of natural interest (woodlands or wetlands) or be the habitat of endangered or at-risk plants and animals. As such, land trusts interested in preserving natural features could work with farmland owners to protect their land. The Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust (TIWLT) has a mission to “permanently protect land in the Thousand Islands watershed region through acquisition or conservation agreements, and to achieve good land management through stewardship agreements and education.” Go to www. tiwlt.ca for more information.

Farmland owners can partner with a land trust to establish easement agreements that ensure their farmland will never be converted to urban development or other non-agricultural uses in the future. The terms of the agreement are tailored to the wishes of the individual farmland owner.

The goal of the Land Conservancy for Kingston, Frontenac and LennoxAddington is “to preserve wild lands in the Ontario counties of Frontenac and Lennox and Addington, providing vital habitat for the diverse plant and animal species here.” Go to www.landconservancykfla.org for more information.

Easement agreements are private, legal contracts that are negotiated between willing property owners and a qualified easement-holding organization, such as a land trust, and then registered on the property title. These agreements are valid in perpetuity and apply to all

Dianne Dowling, an organic dairy and beef farmer on Howe Island, is active in local food and farm organizations, including the Local 316 of the National Farmers Union, the Food Policy Council for KFL&A and the Kingston Area Seed System Initiative.

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Old Growth: New Growth Susan Rehner


et’s begin with a question and answer.

Q. What took thousands of years to develop, but took only a few decades to destroy? A. Ontario’s primeval forest. As Tim Gray, GrassRoots Growers’ fall speaker from Forests Ontario, pointed out, timber barons and settlers in the 1800s thought that the primeval forests that towered over and surrounded them were an endless resource to be exploited. Forests were felled, and the logs shipped out by river, rail, and boat. Some of the tallest pines became masts for the Royal Navy in Britain. To qualify for owning land, colonists were obliged to clear a minimum acreage each year. By the late 1800s, vast areas were barren of trees, the forest soils eroded, and wildlife that depended on extensive forest cover was gone. As the ancient trees in southern Ontario were logged out, the timber cutting moved northward onto the Shield where the thin soils were quickly depleted of nutrients, and the land was suitable only for subsistence farming. To give us an idea of the majestic trees that once dominated the landscape, Tim read an account by Samuel Strickland, brother of Susanna Moodie, written in the 1850s in which Strickland described a massive oak growing on the grounds of a tavern outside the town of Galt. At 6 feet above the ground, the oak measured 11 feet in diameter; from there it rose another 60 to 70 feet before it began to branch. This remnant of the primeval forest was not prized by the landlord of the tavern. In his opinion, it would be useful for fencing, if only he had a

crosscut saw large enough to cut it. Since this oak no longer exists, it is possible that a saw was eventually produced to deal with it. Tim recommends the book Ontario’s Old-Growth Forests by Henry and Quinby for interested readers. Tim showed early photographs that demonstrated the extensive erosion of topsoil and wind-blown sand resulting from cutting down the forests. Widespread problems for farming and transportation ensued in areas of fragile soils. And with no trees to hold back spring meltwaters, uncontrollable spring flooding washed away bridges and roads. Some politicians in the late 1800s, noting the dire effects the destruction of the forests was having, began to subsidize farmers to plant trees along roads. By the early 20th century, tree nurseries were being established to support tree planting. Of course, tree nurseries require tree seeds, and Tim described some of the variables in tree seed production and collection. There are good years and bad years for tree seed. Some factors that affect seed production are insect damage, weather, the presence or absence of pollinators, and periodicity (natural intervals of a couple of years or more when a particular tree species does not produce seed). Tim called for two volunteer “seed forecasters” from the audience to chop through Norway Spruce cones and observe the quality and abundance of seed development—one method used by foresters to help forecast seed crops. How are seeds harvested from very tall trees? Not with extension ladders. To collect seed from tall conifers such as spruce, pine, and cedar, seed collectors

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often employ the services of squirrels. Tim showed a photo of a squirrel cache of Norway Spruce cones from which some cones could be collected, and the rest left for the squirrel’s winter survival. A map of Ontario depicting the various seed zones is an essential aid to ensure that trees are well adapted to the location where they are eventually planted. The seed should be collected from the same seed zone in which they will be grown and planted out.

Forests Ontario Field Advisor Tim Gray, speaking of trees to the GrassRoots Growers on October 26. Photo by David Field.

For large-scale planting, Tim recommends machine planting. Depending on conditions, machines can plant 25 seedlings per minute, whereas by hand, only three or four seedlings per minute. After planting, mulching is important to conserve moisture and control competition. Organic methods of mulching young trees include wood chips, plastic, and coco mats.

We had a handy demonstration (again by a volunteer from the audience, guided by Tim) of how to prune a six-foot White Pine damaged by White Pine Weevil. (Yes, he actually brought in a large White Pine.) Pruning is usually done in July when the weevils are active. Prune off potential leaders (the lateral branches immediately below the damaged leader), leaving only the best one. Carefully dispose of the weevil-infested leader. Many trees straighten out after a few years. The 50 Million Tree Program began in 2007 as part of the Ontario government’s commitment to fighting climate change by increasing forest cover. With the help of Forests Ontario and other partners, landowners who meet program criteria may receive assistance to reforest open land. The plan is to plant 50 million trees by 2025. Thus far 4,000 landowners have been enlisted. Funding for tree planting, averaging 75% of total costs, is provided, and possible reductions of property taxes may be available through the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program. Information is available on the Forests

Ontario website: www.forestsontario. ca/50MTP. The Heritage Tree Program identifies trees in Ontario with cultural or historical significance. In our area, an apple tree at Old Hay Bay Church has been listed as a heritage tree. It grew from the roots of an apple tree that stood there at the time of a tragedy. In 1819, ten young people drowned while on their way to that church in an overloaded boat. If you wish to nominate a heritage tree, contact Forests Ontario. As a follow-up to his lively and informative presentation, Tim had a raft of tree-related materials to distribute and pails of tree seeds. He especially invited teachers and students to take advantage of the many educational programs offered by Forests Ontario. The evening concluded with refreshments, a free draw for three donated Hop Trees (Ptelea trifoliata), a seed exchange, and a table of plants and tree seedlings offered by GrassRoots Growers for a small donation. We thank St. Patrick School for the use of the school gym and custodian Miles Finn for his help. Tamworth/Erinsville GrassRoots Growers is a community-based group. Our mission is to encourage interest in local and organic gardening for both the home garden and the market garden; to raise awareness of issues surrounding food production; to improve our practical knowledge of all aspects of plant life; and to provide networking opportunities for gardeners. We welcome new members. Visit our website at te-grassrootsgrowers. weebly.com.

Season’s Greetings

from our home to yours Do you love to write? We’re looking for contributors. Interested? Email us at: stonemills.scoop@gmail.com December 2017 / January 2018 • The SCOOP


A Natural View

Our Family Didn’t Send Holiday Cards, We Sent Christmas Cards Terry Sprague


ith the holiday that dares not speak its name upon us, we actually find ourselves sending out fewer Christmas cards now each season. This radical departure from the norm would seem counterproductive in our attempt to preserve our memories of old-fashioned Christmases on the farm. Our Christmas greetings are now sent out electronically, to friends and relatives. A two-page Christmas letter with photos is compiled and then sent to more than 230 recipients instantly at the press of a button. This way, I am able to proclaim Merry Christmas to all our acquaintances with wild abandon and end the search for cards that don’t dance around what has become an offensive word by the purveyors of political correctness. It was a difficult move as there is nothing quite like the experience of reaching into the mailbox and pulling out a stack of received cards, and the excitement of tearing them open and admiring the hand-picked cards with their personal messages inside. On the farm, my mother would sit for days at the kitchen table in front of the wood stove, hand picking cards and writing individual letters to

family friends and relatives. As I recall, she sent out around sixty cards. Incredibly, I still have a few of her leftover cards, and they all shout the same message inside: “Merry Christmas,” with no apology. The term “Happy Holidays” existed only in Irving Berlin’s popular song of the 1940s, and seldom made its way onto Christmas cards. These cards were hung on a string in the living room, with someone taking a few minutes every now and then to once again admire the sender’s choice of card and the inscription inside. The majority depicted either a dog or a cat somewhere on the card, the sender having thoughtfully remembered our menagerie of pets. After Christmas, the cards were bundled and stored in a rack that hung on the wall. The last ritual, which somewhat dashed the spirit of Christmas, was to lay out the cards on the table and cross-reference with those that had been sent. Carefully, with a pen, Mother would cross off the names of those recipients who had not reciprocated! The following year, she would hold the previous year’s bundle in her hands and with almost a tear, would mutter, “They’re all so lovely,” and into the firebox they would go as she waited in anticipation for the new batch of cards to arrive in the mailbox.

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We never gave much thought as to how the tradition of exchanging Christmas cards began. It was a custom to send cards every year in December, no questions asked. It maintained a critical link with friends and relatives, separated by distance, many of whom we would otherwise not hear from, except at Christmas. While it is sad that fewer cards are being sent these days due to the proliferation of so-called politically correct cards and the cost of postage that has risen dramatically from the three cent stamp that I recall from my day, the electronic age has enabled us to search for answers to our questions. A quick search while writing this column on the history of Christmas cards instantly spat out pages of detailed history on the custom. Sir Henry Cole started the



custom of sending Christmas cards in Victorian England in 1843. He was a civil servant who was very interested in the new “Public Post Office” and wondered how ordinary people could use it more. Sir Henry shared the idea of Christmas cards with a friend who was an artist. They designed the first card and sold them for 1 shilling each (probably about 10 cents today).The card had three panels: the outer two panels showed people caring for the poor, and in the centre panel was a family having a large Christmas dinner. Some people didn’t like the card because it showed a child being given a glass of wine! As printing methods improved, Christmas cards became much more popular and were produced in large numbers from about 1860. The Christmas card custom made its way to This is the same table where earlier, my mother had North America in the late written more than sixty Christmas cards and greetings. 1840s, but cards then Now, it became a worktable for Christmas pies. Photo were costly, and most by Terry Sprague. people couldn’t afford them. In 1875, Louis same reason, being offended by Prang, a printer who was originally from someone’s spontaneous “Merry Germany but who had also worked on Christmas” is also inconsiderate. Accept the first cards in the UK, started mass the wishes for what they are—an producing cards so more people could expression of good cheer and common afford to buy them. In 1915, John C. Hall humanity, and express them back and two of his brothers created Hallmark however you may. It’s so much more fun Cards, which is still one of the biggest to cast a wide net where all can celebrate card makers today! our traditions together rather than strip everything away to protect the delicate Perhaps some of the earlier creators of sensibilities of some very prickly few. Christmas cards would consider the now politically correct messages carried in We are about the people who are here today’s cards as inane. They might be now, and we have evolved into a more even more amazed by our ability to send diverse group. That is a positive thing. At hundreds of greetings, electronically, in a the same time though, let’s not forget the millisecond. holiday season of our youth that got us here. They are special memories. Best of Should we be offended if the message the Christmas/holiday season to all contained within says “Happy Holidays” readers! instead of “Merry Christmas”? Not at all. How sad that Christmas has become a Terry Sprague lives in Prince Edward ridiculous rhetorical ceremony that County and is a retired interpretive repeats arguments with monotonous naturalist and hike leader. See his website regularity each year about what greeting at www.naturestuff.net. He can be reached we should use. It shouldn’t be that way. at tsprague@xplornet.com. Treating the good feelings of “Happy holidays” as a grievance is rude. For the

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A Garden Party, Book Launch, and Fundraiser Jeff Whan


t was one of those magical fall days when the air is crisp and clear, the sun is warm, and the colours provide the backdrop. We were gathered at the glorious SpindleTree Gardens in the Orangery to celebrate the arrival of a new book: Fighting Dirty – How a Small Community Took On Big Trash. Poh-Gek Forkert’s book chronicles an incredible adventure of bad guys (Waste Management) vs. good guys (our community), massive resources vs. massive resourcefulness, greed vs. science, the failures of our provincial and municipal governments, and the importance of vigilance. It shows what can be done against the odds when people care deeply and work like crazy as a team. Our venue was donated by Tom Brown and Susie Meisner. Immaculately groomed, the gardens and buildings at SpindleTree were a perfect setting for the festivities. One hundred and twenty people gathered. Old hands and new arrived with a collective spirit and deep caring about the future of our community and the environment. It was an amazing experience. The dump-fighting team transformed themselves that day and the weeks preceding it into party organizers, auctioneers, booksellers, cooks, servers, bartenders, party hosts, accountants, video producers, ticket sellers, and party participants. Delectable hors-d’oeuvres, made from natural local ingredients and prepared under the direction of volunteer chef Colette Drisdale, included Maple Glazed

Pickerel with Acadian Sturgeon Caviar Mousse and Red Wine Poached Pear with Highland Blue Cream. Also enjoyed were local wine, cider, and beer and a cheese table featuring savoury breads by Janet Whan and cheese donated by local artisans. The beer was donated and served by the McKinnon Brothers. Evocative and ethereal music was provided by renowned Mohawk musician David Maracle. Introduced by the inspirational Mike Bossio, Poh-Gek read from her book. She described an early meeting of the Concerned Citizens, at which David’s father told this story: “He emphasized everyone’s obligation to leave as few footprints as possible on the land, and he described a Mohawk family out for a walk on a snowy day. The father walked in front, and the mother walked behind, placing her feet in his footsteps in the snow. The children followed, placing their feet in the footprints left by the father and mother. He ended by saying that soon he would be walking with the greatest man who ever walked the earth.� Andrew Maracle collapsed at the meeting that night and was pronounced dead soon after at the Belleville hospital. This story, as read by Poh-Gek, struck an emotional chord that was reinforced when David played a beautiful song in tribute to his father. David’s wonderful music was highly appropriate because the dump fight has been conducted arm in arm with Chief Maracle and the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, who live downstream from the dump. Many people living on Mohawk territory and near the dump rely on wells for their drinking water and their farm animals. They do not have the option of moving away from the pollution caused by the

Bring Home the Feeling of Christmas

dump. The afternoon featured a silent auction. Many businesses and individuals generously donated items, which were assembled by the auction team of Barb Linds and Marilyn Carey. We had art from Chris Broadhurst and Kylie Sandford, ceramics from Harlan House, lunch and wine tasting from Norman Hardie, jewelry from Starlet, Sens hockey tickets, and many more treasures. With admission, donations, and proceeds from the silent auction, more than $14,000 was raised to pay the costs of retaining the excellent scientific team that have provided the winning arguments so key to our success. Most of us care deeply about our legacy. We want to do more about the environment, but Poh-Gek Forkert and Chief R. Donald Maracle, with her struggle to find a way to book Fighting Dirty – How a Small Community Took On make a real difference. Big Trash, at the fundraising event. Photo by Barry That day, our community Lovegrove. gathered to make a difference. It was an withdraw it. The MOE will not revoke the emotional moment in time; the warriors Terms of Reference that describe it. The had returned from battle to graciously Minister of the Environment recently accept the thanks from everyone. But, refused a joint request by Tyendinaga the war isn’t over. and Greater Napanee to meet with him to discuss it. The war is not yet over. Meanwhile back at the dump: it is leaking, and Waste Management and In summary, we would like to thank their consultants cannot determine everyone, volunteers, donors, and where the toxins are going. We do know attendees, who made this day so that it is leaking off Waste Management awesome. We wish our battle was over, property, putting the company in but it is not. We cannot and must not violation of their Environmental ever give up this fight. Compliance Certificate. Since the off-site contamination was confirmed years ago, To order the book “Fighting Dirty – How a Waste Management and the Ministry of Small Community Took On Big Trash,� the Environment and Climate Change email CCCTEftdy@gmail.com. have been unsuccessful in attempting to define its limits. In the context of the mess we now have at the closed dump, it seems preposterous that there is a proposal on the books to expand the site to be large enough to take most of Toronto’s garbage. This proposal is still pending. Waste Management will not

May the Christmas Season fill your home with joy, your heart with love and your life with laughter!

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December 2017 / January 2018 • The SCOOP


Losing Sleep Over Your Well and Septic Systems? Lawrence O’Keeffe


re your well and septic systems causing you to lose sleep … or is it a case of “out of sight and out of mind?” We often take our well and septic systems for granted once they are installed … or at least until they fail. There is growing evidence in our region that these systems are becoming increasingly vulnerable to contamination and to other threats to our family’s health. Both of these systems are hidden from view but are critical to our health and well-being. In January, there is an opportunity to learn from the experts about caring for these systems. Several organizations in our region have been leading the way in studying these systems over recent years. Your Lennox and Addington Stewardship Council (LASC) is hosting a well and septic information session this January, bringing together a range of very knowledgeable speakers to share their learnings and simple best practices with homeowners. Everyone can use these practices to monitor the condition and potential threats from the well and septic systems surrounding their homes and families.

Presentations and demonstrations will be given by experts from the Cataraqui Region and Quinte Conservation Authorities, KFL&A (Kingston and Napanee) Public Health, Queen’s University, Public Health Ontario, and others. The LASC will host this event to provide you with insights into groundwater vulnerability, must-knows in care and maintenance, and the geology that makes our region so unique when it comes to our well and septic systems. The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority has developed a very well researched and useful Groundwater Protection Workbook (based on knowledge from across North America) to distribute at and work on during the event. There will be refreshments and time for questions and answers. To inject a little bit of fun into the event, there will be some valuable draw prizes, including free, comprehensive well water tests valued at over $300. Seating is limited, and free registration is required. Please visit the following website for registration and final details, including the date in January:


2018 Events May 26

Yard Sale & E-Waste Collection

lascworkshop2018.eventbrite.ca. The presentations will run from 6:309:30 p.m. on a date yet to be confirmed in January at the Strathcona Paper Centre, 16 McPherson Drive in Napanee. The meeting is free to attend. Donations to the Lennox and Addington Stewardship Council, a local not-for-profit volunteer organization, will be welcome.

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The SCOOP • December 2017 / January 2018


At the Breaking Point Mieke Gorter Alyce Gorter’s note: “In October 2017, son Brandon, granddaughter Naomi and I hiked Mt. Marcy in the Adirondacks. The experience was shared with SCOOP readers through my story “The Trek.” In September 2017, we returned to the Adirondacks—Brandon, me, and granddaughters 14-year-old Naomi and 13-year-old Mieke. This is Mieke’s story.”


700 feet high. 1433 metres up. 1567 yards in elevation. Levelled with clouds, imagine that you could be looking down on the CN tower, the Twin Towers, or Burj Khalifa! One wrong move, one stupid mistake, and any step could be your last. We sat atop the bumpy rocks, just Naomi and I, two girls perched on the edge of the windy surface, patiently waiting for Grandma. Who knew that she was terrified of heights? No one! Yet there she was, trembling up the hill, shaking out of her skin, paralyzed with fear. If she’s so afraid of heights, what’s she doing climbing a mountain? Then we spotted

Dad, emerging from the shrubbery, his face captured by his toque and bandana, only his eyes free. “Is she in tears yet?” Naomi asked Dad, only half joking. Their eyes met on the same level while Dad was still carrying himself up the boulders. “Not yet,” Dad replied, “but that might be why she sent me up here.”

fearless and respected person I know of, to ever be afraid. “If you try and help, you’ll just scare me more.” Panting, Grandma hiked up the steep crust without looking back, not even a glance.

As we munched on our homemade trail mix, dipping our frozen hands into the flimsy Ziploc bag, we inspected the miles of mountains we could detect. Not even acknowledging how frigid and itchy we were, we blankly stared, frozen with astonishment, tapped into shock. Somehow, even though bland, olive green was the only colour we could manage to view, the sight was more breathtaking than the fact that we were tired from the last 4 hours spent climbing a mountain.

We slowly crept up the mass of rocks, step by step, foot by foot, until we reached the peak. We reached the top! Our first and final checkpoint. After four hours, four exhausting hours of clambering up cliffs, scaling ladders, and strutting up the last hill, we grasped the top. You wouldn’t think that travelling miles on mountains of one dull colour could possibly be that incredible. The most marvellous feeling you can ever experience is the feeling of accomplishment. Alyce, Mieke, and Naomi Gorter, atop a checkpoint The knowledge that you did in the Adirondacks in September. Photo by Alyce something that not everyone Gorter. can do, heck, barely anyone can do! Knowing that your body almost gave up, but your mind After a couple of pictures taken of the persevered, not just scraping by, but bald peak of Mount Colden, we kept on confidently, knowing that you have a our trek down the path. We fled on, story to share, and nobody can say they entering the next unknown, engulfed by totally relate to it. No, not a story, a the mountains, and swallowed up by the legend! You feel light, yet powerful, ever-growing story. weak, yet strong. Although it was cold, windy, and freezing at the tip, we still To order a copy of Alyce Gorter’s book managed to chomp down the refilling “Life is an Adventure—Who Needs lunch of Clif Bars and trail mix. Grandma Wonderland!” call 613.375.7371 or quickly scurried along, farther down the 1-855.375.7371 or email alyce@gorter.ca. path, preferring to be concealed by Also available at the Tamworth Book bushes. Store.

Our primary focus though was attempting to draw the fear-struck Grandma to the peak. When we finally caught sight of her exiting the brush, she was on her hands and knees, crippled by fear. The rest of us took it as a sign to resume moving, gripping our poles and starting to march. Dad, trying to help Grandma, was continually receiving rejection, his assistance being refused. “Brandon, stop, please,” Grandma begged. I couldn’t ever have imagined Grandma, the bravest and most

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11 Pleasant Drive, Selby • 613-354-4424 December 2017 / January 2018 • The SCOOP


Happenstance The truck was a wreck, but I thought what the heck, it should do me ‘til Springtime at least. Hunting season is here, time for grouse and for deer and woodcock, and ducks and some geese. In an October snow, I thought I would go cruise the back roads, searching for entry. But NO TRESPASSING signs were strung out in a line on the fence posts, each one like a sentry. Then the snow fell so thick that the wipers did stick and I soon found myself off the road. I was stuck in a ditch, on a night black as pitch and I knew I would need to be towed. My cell phone was dead, and I felt a dark dread for my fate on that wintery night. As I pondered my doom, from out of the gloom came a warm and a welcoming light. Old Ben was his name, and he lived down a lane not far from my horrid disaster. A shovel he gave me, and said he would save me some cash with his tractor much faster. Now I hunt with old Ben, and I often lend a hand with his chores and woodpile. We share in the game, and he always maintains that my true value is—I make him smile. —Robert J. McCaldon

Lennox & Addington Horticultural Society December 7 – Annual General Meeting, elections, and members’ Christmas potluck at 6:00 p.m. at St. Mary Magdeleine Church, 137 Robinson Street, Napanee January 17 – Lisa Davis of Simple Country Pleasures will talk about Fairy Gardens at 7:30 p.m. at the Fire Hall, 66 Advance Avenue, Napanee. Please park around the back of the Fire Hall next to the trees. Light refreshments will be served after the meeting. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Christmas Mashed Potatoes Grace Smith


he holiday season is my favourite time of the year. I think I’ve written enough articles about it to demonstrate that fact. I love the colourful decorations, the twinkly lights, the presents, the corny movies, and even the music, but one of my absolute favourite things about Christmas is my Ma’s mashed potatoes. Only served twice a year at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, these mashed potatoes are the stuff of dreams. I literally dream about them for the rest of the year. My grandma, who we’ve affectionately called Ma since we were little, puts her heart and soul into these potatoes and every other dish she serves on Christmas day. These potatoes are the epitome of comfort. Pillows and pillows of fluffy goodness. Savoury and filling, they are everyone’s favourite part of the most delicious meal of the year. These potatoes are so cheesy I wonder about the ratio of potatoes to cheese. They are so yummy, we crowd around the pan when they are pulled from the oven. And I’m not even going to pretend they’re good for me because I know they’re not. But if you can’t indulge at Christmas when can you?

how to make Christmas dinner so that I could attempt to replicate it (especially the mashed potatoes) in the future. I helped my Ma in the kitchen as we worked our way through all the Christmas dishes: turnip, stuffing, veggies, potatoes, even the turkey. I learned all the family secrets (which I will not be sharing with SCOOP readers). And I learned how long it takes to peel enough potatoes to make the giant pan we see on Christmas day. I loved getting to share this experience with my Ma. Cooking is something that I’ve grown to love in recent years; I adore that feeling you get when others enjoy something that you’ve made. Christmas dinner is like the Super Bowl, and we get to do it together. And we’re doing it again this year. I look forward to helping make dinner and being a part of the team that makes the best part of the holiday season: the mashed potatoes. That’s what makes the holiday season so magical. It’s time spent with family and friends. It’s when we think about what is important to us, both big and small. It’s when we celebrate each other and what we have to offer.

So celebrate the sugar cookies your mom always makes, the effort your big sister puts into perfectly wrapping all her I also have first-hand knowledge that presents, the thought your little brother these potatoes are a labour of love. Last puts into your gift, the friend that shares year I decided it was time for me to learn your love of Christmas movies, and the deliciousness that is your Ma’s Christmas mashed YEAR-ROUND SERVICE - STUMP REMOVAL potatoes.

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The SCOOP • December 2017 / January 2018

Puzzle Page Crossword: “Another Turkey Day” by Matt Gaffney

Spot the 12 Differences: Christmas

Word Search: Happy Holidays





December 2017 / January 2018 • The SCOOP


Lessons Learned Blair McDonald


o doubt, many of us have heard and subscribe to the expression, “age is nothing but a number.” However, it must also be said that there are moments in our life when age is not just a number but an actual indication of years lived and knowledge of when times were different. Case-in-point, the other day I was out with a good friend of mine and some of his co-workers (who are in their early twenties) and the subject turned to current music. For many who know me, I have been an ardent follower of popular music all my life, with subscriptions to Rolling Stone and Spin magazine from a very early age. Even today, I keep up with the trends and have even developed a sincere appreciation for country music, which I never had all those years growing up in Tamworth. As we were discussing some of the current music that we like and don’t like, different acts that we have seen or would like to see live, I casually asked the table how they learned about new music. They looked at me puzzled, perhaps because they are not the biggest music followers, and exclaimed, “I don’t even know where, like I guess if I wanted to learn about new music I could google ‘find new music’ or something.” The comment left me confused and concerned, not only about the state of popular music but more so, about the pillars of influence in today’s culture. For example, in the digital age, where do we turn for influence or guidance about new music or movies that matter? Who are the new pillars of the Millennial generation that are guiding their choice of content? I asked if either of them had heard of

Where Have They All Gone?

some famous music sites: Pitchfork, Pigeons and Planes, and even, Billboard, but it all fell on deaf ears. The days of the Rolling Stone album review as a make-orbreak piece of music criticism are long gone, so too are the days of the MTV music video premiere. Instead, we have the eventless Apple music release, the Spotify new release track, a YouTube lyric video, a Facebook post, and a Tweet from the artist or band. There one day, and replaced by the next thing within a week. It remains to be seen if anything has staying power anymore. The lesson here is simple: we are living in a different time for the sharing (streaming) of popular culture and a generational shift in the access to content. Maybe it’s just me, but the days of movie critic icons Siskel and Ebert and MuchMusic’s beloved daily “Much Live” show used to provide a site for help in discerning the latest and the greatest our present culture had to offer. Sadly, (and perhaps I am showing my age here) those days have been replaced with ranting YouTubers or singers doing late-night Carpool Karaoke. Perhaps, all of this is my own experience in “keeping up with the Millennials.” Nonetheless, whatever the case may be, I remember a time when discovering new music was more of an event than a simple Google search –like the first time I heard Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at a Tamworth Midget hockey playoff game. The question remains: if a new Nirvana is waiting in the wings, how would we know? Unfortunately, I have a feeling that googling, “next Nirvana in music” might not yield the result, nor the experience, we are looking for.

Bert Korporaal


hen I was young (a long time ago), there were many stores, various retailers, and salespersons. Some who actually made a living and would come to your home to deliver such items as milk and dairy products, fruit and vegetables, meats, eggs, bread and baked goods—the things that every family needed on a daily or weekly basis. There were services where a service station would come and pick up your car for a lube and oil change. If you bought a car, the salesman would deliver the car to your home and pick up the trade in. The fuel delivery truck would come and fill your oil tank, so you’d be warm during the winter months. Before fuel oil delivery, some enterprising people would deliver a truckload of coal, and especially in rural Ontario, firewood. In those times, we heated with wood, and at night, we would add a few shovels of coal to the old monster furnace, to tide us over with heat until the morning. Back in those days, we had larger stores called department stores. So-called because they had different departments that specialized in children’s, men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, furniture, hardware, tools, automotive, fabrics, appliances, jewelry, etc. It was an awakening this October when news broke that another icon store— Sears—was filing for bankruptcy. Who would have thought? Sears follows in the footsteps of other large department stores such as Eaton’s, Morgan’s, Simpsons, S & R, Kmart, Stedman’s, Woolworth’s, and others. It’s a sign of the times, where department stores are being pressured out by the larger conglomerates, who are slowly luring over consumers and taking over the retail business in food, fashion,

appliances, furniture, hardware, etc. We all know those large box stores, no need to mention names. Yes, it’s a sign of the times, but then we are all getting older. Some call it progress. Some call it our future. We let it happen. Maybe it’s my age, and perhaps I’m nostalgic. Gone are the days of the one on one salesperson, who had pride and selfsatisfaction in their job by actually selling you what you wanted, and ensuring that it fit right, or the item was the correct colour or size. These salespersons knew their products and would seldom steer you wrong in your purchase. But in today’s world, if you never experienced such personal service, then you’d never miss it. It’s sort of like…the fishing was really amazing back in the day, back in the 60s and 70s. We’d go out and catch many, many fish in a single morning. Whereas, today, when you go out fishing, and you catch four walleye in one morning, and never experienced the better fishing of days gone by, then by today’s standards, yes, it was a good morning of fishing. You can make a difference, you can support your local small businesses, stores, and local farmers and not buy (or buy less) from the large conglomerates. If you choose otherwise, then you stand to lose the small businesses in your town and the farmer’s markets and roadside fruit and vegetable stands. Support local. Buy local. You live here for a reason. Set an example.


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Store Hours: Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The SCOOP • December 2017 / January 2018

LCBO Agency Store

Store Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

published in The SCOOP? Send us your best photos and artwork documenting rural life in our area: stonemills.scoop@gmail.com

Winter Editions of the Canada Farmer Joseph Imre

Old Winter is Coming


ith winter at our doorstep, we are reminded of the inevitability of seasonal changes. Our agriculture remains reliant on a very limited growing season. Yet, there is a unique and captivating beauty to winter that always reminds us of the raw power of nature. Canada’s four seasons reveal the true and full story of the land, and that story would be incomplete without winter.

Old Winter is coming again – alack! How icy and cold is he! He cares not a pin for a shivering back: He’s a saucy old chap to white and black; He whistles his chills with a wonderful knack, For he comes from a cold country —Hugh More (December 20, 1866)

In our last segment (October/November 2017 edition of The SCOOP) we very briefly introduced readers to the Canada Farmer, a leading agricultural journal in the mid to late nineteenth century in what was still Upper Canada at the time. The L&A County Museum and Archives holds a collection of the Canada Farmer that includes weekly issues between the years 1864 to 1868. These issues detail a crucial time in our nation’s history and the importance and magnitude of agricultural interests in the building of Canada. Edited by George Brown, who rose to considerable fame as a journalist, founder of The Globe (now the Globe and Mail), and an important politician who shaped the debate around confederation; the Canada Farmer became the standardbearer of farming and agricultural news. The Canada Farmer has some truly fascinating and helpful seasonal winter farming advice. The winter months can present many unique challenges and opportunities for farmers and agricultural workers, and history can play an important role in showing us just how connected to the past we really are.

system of the animal (believed to take place in the lungs and capillary vessels). Foods were often divided into two categories of “flesh formers” and “heat givers,” and the role of nitrogen compounds in diets was connected to muscle building and overall animal strength. Diets for livestock should be made up of rich and oily saccharine matters like oilcake, flax seed, turnips, steam vegetables, linseed meal, and good hay. Salt was also recognized as hugely beneficial to digestion in conjunction with hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Water was also believed to be a significant part of animal weight, so ensuring clean water for livestock as often as they receive food was recognized as best practice. Winter shelter was paramount for farms, fearing that improper shelters would promote greater radiation of heat from animals and the conversion of fluids and blood into solids. In January 1, 1868, the Canada Farmer notes “To see them as one sometimes does, exposed to the rigors of winter in an apology for a building, or shivering under a rail fence, violates alike the feelings of humanity…” These words are a potent reminder of modern efforts to improve the treatment of animals.

One of the most engaging winter articles is a January 1, 1868 article entitled “The Winter Management of Stock.” This In an article on December 1st, 1864 article delves into topics such as entitled “Winter Work on the Farm,” a nutritious food, clean water, shelter, and great deal of effort was made to proper ventilation and cleanliness for encourage natural approaches to farming livestock, with some intriguing and farm management. These include discussion of the biology of livestock care in the 1860s. For example, there was a general understanding of the role of fat, starch, and sugars in the body, but just exactly how these elements worked or were NEW YEAR’S EVE HIGHLIGHTS: absorbed in livestock Hickory ribs, prime rib, ultimate pasta, shrimp was often referred to as a “sort of cocktail, chocolate raspberry tartufo... and much more combustion” in the RESERVATIONS ONLY - PLEASE CALL

Methusaleh Methuselah ate what he found on his plate, And never as people do now; Did he note the amount of calorie count. He ate it because it was chow. He wasn’t disturbed as at dinner he sat, Devouring a roast or a pie, To think it was lacking in granular fat, Or a couple of vitamins shy. He cheerfully chewed each species of food, Unmindful of troubles or fears, Lest his health might be hurt by some fancy dessert, And he lived over nine hundred years.

the building up and making of manure and compost as a “storehouse of wealth” for farms; the review of farm accounts and proper bookkeeping as a timely lesson of wisdom; and, even the importance of mental improvement. Not to be slowed by the blistery weather of winter, farmers were encouraged to read poetry, general literature, religious texts, and science as a form of leisure. The Canada Farmer implores farmers to embrace the “leisure which winter so liberally supplies.” Farming in Canada has changed considerably since the introduction of mechanization on farms, improved technology, new scientific Cover sketch for the February 1, 1869, issue of the approaches, and societal Canada Farmer. Courtesy Lennox & Addington needs and demands. Museum and Archives. However, at its root, we still echo the agricultural valuable tonic, though, perhaps, like methods of our ancestors and the some other tonics, it may not be quite fundamental approaches to farming and pleasant to take.” livestock. Winter can be a constant test, but it remains an important fabric to the Joseph is an Archives Volunteer at the ongoing story of farming in this country. Lennox & Addington County Museum and The Canada Farmer aptly notes in a Dec. Archives. 1, 1865 edition that “winter is a most


Warm & Safe


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—Rex Hrusoff (US Marine Corps Cook during WWI)

December 2017 / January 2018 • The SCOOP


178 Main Street Odessa, Ontario K0H 2H0 613-386-7373 www.paynefuneralhome.com “The Smith family, here for your family.”

As we take joy in the moments we spend with family and friends over the holidays, this special time of year also allows us to share cherished thoughts of those no longer with us, and to reflect on how much our lives have been enriched from having known them. On behalf of my wife Collette, our son Hudson and myself, we truly wish everyone a most joyous and safe holiday season. Sincerely, Jason Smith

The Corporation Of The Township of Stone Mills 4504 County Road 4 Centreville, Ontario K0K1N0

Important Public Notice On November 3, 2017, a Notice of Decision was signed by Mr. Allan Scott, Regional Director for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, respecting the approval of Amendment Number 1 of the County of Lennox and Addington Official Plan. This amendment incorporated into the County Plan all lands that have been identified as an aggregate or a bedrock resource within the County together with the applicable policies to protect this bedrock resource from encroaching non-aggregate uses, most commonly, single detached residential dwellings. The lands within the Township of Stone Mills affected by this change includes all lands identified as the Bedrock Resource as indicated herein except those lands within the hamlets and those in an existing “cluster” form of development. In these mineral aggregate resource areas and on adjacent lands, development which would preclude or hinder the establishment of new aggregate operations will only be permitted if: • The resource use would not be feasible; or • The proposed land use or development serves a greater long-term public interest; and issues of public health, public safety and environmental impact are addressed. Owners of lands wishing to submit a Planning Act application such as a severance, minor variance, zoning or similar application could be required to have a report prepared by a qualified professional that demonstrates the aggregate or bedrock resource will not be negatively impacted by the proposed development arising from the Planning Act application. The Official Plan for the Township of Stone Mills is currently being reviewed as part of the 5-year requirement under the Planning Act. The Stone Mills official plan must be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statements and the County of Lennox and Addington Official Plan, and as such, the Township is required to provide similar policies in the Township Official Plan to protect these aggregate and bedrock resources. Official Notices respecting a public meeting and open house for the Stone Mills Official Plan review will be published in the near future at which time all changes proposed for the Stone Mills official plan will be available to the public. 16

The SCOOP • December 2017 / January 2018

Bedrock Resource

Profile for The SCOOP

The SCOOP // December 2017 / January 2018  

The SCOOP is an independent community newsmagazine. Since 2005, we have been covering rural life in the Ontario area north of the 401 and so...

The SCOOP // December 2017 / January 2018  

The SCOOP is an independent community newsmagazine. Since 2005, we have been covering rural life in the Ontario area north of the 401 and so...