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December 2019 – January 2020


Do You Hear What I Hear?

Here’s The SCOOP


SCOOP W Founded in 2005 by Richard Saxe

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


Paige Bissonnette, Katherine Burrows, Diane Creber, Dianne Dowling, Todd H. C. Fischer, Glen Goodhand, Alyce Gorter, Jacob Murray, Blair RichardsKoeslag, Nicole Senyi, Terry Sprague, Jerry Weller All photos contributed, unless otherwise noted.


343-363-8088 stonemills.scoop@gmail.com thescoop.ca facebook.com/thescoop.ca Please write to us at: Stone Mills Scoop 482 Adair Road Tamworth, ON K0K 3G0 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.

inter is a great time to enjoy the outdoors. Or at least that’s what a lot of pro-winter propaganda would have us believe, with all those inspiring pictures of daredevil snowboarders, elegant cross-country skiers, and meditative snowshoers. But let’s be honest, even those activities offer brief interludes from the otherwise relentless assault of winter misery. Interminable nights, constant shovelling, dead car batteries, wet boots, and children destroying their parents’ home to celebrate yet another snow day. That’s the real winter experience. But thankfully, the great white north has long kept its best secret: our majestic indoors. We’ve perfected the art of building sturdy houses, burning firewood, gathering in all manners of indoor spaces to play games, music, or just to talk. Or even fish. Where else would people have devised ways to catch fish through the ice while staying in a well-heated, well-stocked miniature home?

Leaving the warm comforts of indoors and heading outside, Blair RichardsKoeslag describes in this issue just three of the wild edibles we can find in our backyards. Terry Sprague, a life-long outdoors enthusiast, makes the best of winter by snowshoeing. He shares with us his expert advice on how to navigate through snowy woods, immersing oneself in the tranquility of the natural world.

Do you love

Finally, with Christmas fast approaching, Glen Goodhand explores the history of the most famous reindeer of all, and writer Diane Creber recounts her painfully hilarious family story of the time when giving an extra special Christmas present didn’t quite go as planned...

to write? We’re looking for contributors. Interested? Email us at:

Happy Holidays, and we’ll see you in 2020!

This issue of The SCOOP is filled with instances of both embracing the great outdoors and of defying winter by simply staying out of its way. We recently visited and photographed one of the coziest indoor spaces in our area, the Old Bookstore Café in Camden East, filled with live music, games, books, and delicious food. If you prefer to stay at home, you could try your hand at one of the modern renditions of Medieval yuletide recipes tested by writer Todd H. C. Fisher. Katherine Burrows interviews local business owners Donna and Delbert Adams of Sheffield Hardwood, who transform interior floors into stunning, functional art.


Season’s Greetings Wishing all readers a joyous holiday season, a new year of happiness, and hope for a world at peace. The SCOOP


All rights reserved. No reproduction by any means or any form may be made without prior written consent by the publisher.

COVER Festive photomontage of an American Goldfinch in winter. Original photo by photographer/musician/ artist and all-around local celebrity Barry Lovegrove. barrylovegrove.ca (613) 379-3003 barrylovegrove@gmail. com

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The SCOOP • December 2019 / January 2020

Working to Save the World, One Child at a Time Jacob Murray


A shepherd must train new shepherds. The young must take up the staff and protect nature from the wolf of progress.

e are shepherds. Shepherds protect. We come from a long line of humans who are willing to put their bodies between the frightened, huddled flock and the hungry wolves.

But why would they? They have been isolated, sheltered indoors, and erroneously protected from the natural world that needs their love and support.

To stand there in the dark, cold, alone, and vulnerable. Armed with whatever is at hand, be it a branch, a stone, or bare hands.

A child that turns in disgust from the thought of eating a “dirty” pear from an organic tree is not going to stand against that tree’s destruction.

Today, our cities and sprawl have mostly pushed the wolves to the farthest edges, pushed them to the edge of extinction.

A child that won’t sit on a dirty stone is unlikely to mind it bulldozed and paved over.

In the 21st century, the natural world holds little threat to the flock. Our guardian dogs and electric fence lines keep the flock (mostly) safe, most of the time.

Every day at Topsy Farms, we introduce people to the nature they may have forgotten or never known. We sit with that child beside the pear tree until they take that first tentative bite, their eyes widen, and they taste the flavour of sunshine.

What is a shepherd to do with their time? That instinct to protect is strong. Nature is now in need of protection. What do we do when we have become the threat? What do we do when we have become the advancing wolf?

Every day, we introduce or reintroduce people to the artwork of a stone.

The article’s author, Jacob Murray, is the tiny boy in the photo with his dad. They are moving a flock of sheep, helping to guard. Photo by Don Tubb, circa 1984 That child, once afraid of the dirt, is chasing a chicken through the trees.

You can reach Topsy Farms by phone at

This is how we save the world. This is how we hold back the wolves. This is how we raise the new shepherds. This is how we connect to the land.

info@topsyfarms.com, or via their website

613 389-3444, by email at www.topsyfarms.com. The Wool Shed is open 7 days/week, year ‘round.

Season’s Greetings 

A special thank you for your support in 2019

from Dr. Calvin Lane DVM and Staff  Serving Pets & Farm Animals Since 1983

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December 2019 / January 2020 • The SCOOP


A Stable Influence Alyce Gorter


ne spring when I was a young student, I suffered through a serious bout of pneumonia. Too ill to attend school, I was confined to my bed upstairs away from family traffic in a house with no television and in an era before electronic devices. But during my recuperative hours, boredom was never an issue as I would trace, again and again, a small plastic horse, then colour and name each picture before adding it to my rapidly expanding stable of paper ponies. How was I to know then that fantasy would later become reality in the form of genuine horsehide and hooves? (Although my future horses would arrive already coloured.) Now here is where many armchair philosophers might wax eloquent about dreams and how they often come true

and how we can make them happen. But before you begin, let me state that a lot has already been said about realizing your dreams and I believe most of it to be drivel or hogwash. For example, Roy T. Bennett, politician and author, said, “The surest way to make your dreams come true, is to live them.” Well, duh! You think? Although, if you’re living it, it isn’t really a dream now, is it? It’s called reality. You see? Drivel. Fennel Hudson, a rural lifestyle and countryside author, said, “If we spend enough time dreaming, then the dream might eventually become real.” That’s like saying that if I spend enough time in the kitchen, I might become a good cook. Then again, odds are pretty good that I might not. With that kind of gamble, why risk it? After all, there are places I would rather be that at the very least carry a higher return on the pleasure investment scale. See? Hogwash.


Perhaps, though, I can identify with what Colin Powell, an American politician and retired 4-star general in the US Army said: “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and

hard work.” That I can attest to. The only way to improve that statement is to add the word “money.” My version would say, “A dream doesn’t become reality through dreaming, it takes sweat, determination, hard work, and money.” So there, now you can quote me. However, getting back to my artwork... Apparently, this repetitive behaviour during my convalescence wasn’t connected to a little girl’s daydreaming about horses, but was rather, evidence of a deep-rooted addiction. As a child, of course, I wouldn’t have known that. It was only many years later after my long-suffering (his word) husband pointed this out that I started to ponder the matter. Perhaps he’s right, because I am drawn to all things equine like a gambler is attracted to Vegas. And my habit probably carries as much risk of financial doom as if I routinely fed the metal mouths of the slot machines. In fact, I would probably not spend nearly as much in a casino as I would in a tack shop. I have more sense than that. Plus, the bouncers probably oust you from the pleasure palaces once you’ve spent your limit at the gaming tables. Tack shops don’t have this customer protection service in place. So, over the years an assortment of steeds has galloped, pranced, and plodded through my life leaving behind hoof prints on my memory and

MERRY �RISTMAS Blessings to all! Dave, Barb, Kallista, & Shae-Lynn

sometimes on my hide. I have been dumped, thumped, bitten and thrown, nuzzled, licked, hugged and comforted by four-legged creatures with manes and tails and personalities as different as those of any two-legged friends. I have been given horses that proved to be worth their weight in gold and I have paid good money for others that couldn’t justify their keep. Some have lived out their lives with us and others have moved on for one reason or another. Now I must digress here a moment as there are probably some who believe that when you get an animal, it should be considered a lifetime commitment — as in only the death of the pet or that of the owner is a justifiable reason for resale or “rehoming.” It sometimes surprises me though, that these same people don’t see the irony in that they are often on their second or third spousal relationship. In fact, they would probably approve of that as a new category on Kijiji — Looking for forever home for wife/husband; comes with own clothes, grooming kit, and food bowl; sadly outgrown. I don’t share this view. If you can provide a better home to an animal than the one it already has with me, then I am doing right by that animal to allow it to move on. (I’m not convinced the same rule should apply to humans and Mr. Wonderful appears to be happy right where he is so don’t bother calling.) The age I incurred pneumonia is lost in time, but my passion for horses continues to be as much a part of me as my blue eyes and the dimple on my chin. That love has not been dampened by the sweat from mucking stalls or hampered by the hard work of building fences. On the off chance, though, that it truly is an addiction, I am starting a local chapter for fellow addicted horse lovers of Hippophiles Anonymous. There will be a meeting and tack sale here on Saturday. Bring money. Alyce enjoys hearing from SCOOP readers. Please email her at alyce@gorter.ca.

Love Wildlife Education Program Launched at SPWC


s children and youth raise their voices to defend the planet in the face of climate change and ecosystem collapse, it is evident that young generations are yearning to take action and create a society that deeply values the Earth and its inhabitants. This has led Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre (SPWC), a charity who rehabilitates ill and injured wildlife, to develop a new education program called Love Wildlife, to help children explore their relationship with wild animals and advocate for kindness toward wildlife in their community.

our children that wildlife doesn’t belong in our cities, our backyards or in our hearts”, says Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre’s new Education Coordinator, Jess Pelow. “The Love Wildlife program aims to change this way of thinking, empowering children to stand up for wild animals and welcome them into their lives. We all have the capacity to offer kindness and compassion to the animals who deserve a home on this planet as much as we do.”

Pelow has over a decade of experience teaching environmental education, most recently working as an Outdoor Education Specialist for the Toronto “We have normalized the mistreatment District School Board. With a Masters in of wild animals for far too long, teaching Environmental Studies from York University and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental/ Sustainability Education, Pelow is Tel: 613-379-5874 Email: soscsvcs@gmail.com well equipped to Web: www.s-o-s-computers.com deliver the Wm. (Bill) Greenley interactive Love Wildlife Kim Read presentations that Network and Internet Security Specialists build empathy and Wired, Wireless, Network Design and Implementation inspire action to Computer repairs and sales care for our wildlife New or reconditioned neighbours.



The SCOOP • December 2019 / January 2020

Assistant Director of SPWC Leah Birmingham has worked closely on establishing the education outreach program and explains the need for such a program, “Over the last 15+ years I have witnessed a change from people feeling as if they were doing SPWC a favour by bringing injured and orphaned wildlife to Sandy Pines, to people realizing how fortunate we are to have a place in our community to take these animals when they need help. As community awareness of SPWC’s existence grows, so does the patient load. Our hope is that by educating children to be more wildlife friendly, in the future we will make better choices that prevent wildlife from needing human care.”

The Love Wildlife Program is offered free of charge to school groups, camps, and other after-school programs for children and youth. To book a presentation, email educationspwc@gmail.com. Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre is a charity that has been in operation since 1994. The mandate of the facility is to help all ill, injured and orphaned wildlife and release them back into the wild. Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre works closely with veterinarians and Humane Societies across Ontario. Connect with Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre Email: sandypines@gmail.com Phone: 613-354-0264 Website: sandypineswildlife.org

Do You Remember: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Glen Goodhand


t is virtually impossible to find genuinely objective ratings for the “Most Popular”, “Top Ten,”, or, especially, identifying the “Number One” of just about anything. It certainly applies to Christmas songs. Time Magazine supports the longstanding conclusion that “White Christmas” is the most popular secular Christmas song of all time. Bing Crosby’s single sold 50 million copies. Generally, the top choices for secular ditties varies. But “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Let It

Snow,” “Jingle Bells,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and the “Little Drummer Boy” are some tof the most popular. But there’s little doubt how children feel about their favourite Yuletide song. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” wins easily, with “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Frosty the Snowman” also right up there. In early January 1939, young advertising copywriter, Robert L. May, was asked by the Montgomery Ward Company to write a short children’s book the company could give to kids visiting their main store in Chicago. At the same time, he discovered that his wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was dying. Inspired by the idea that the story might help his daughter cope with her mother’s impending death, he wrote a tale about “Rollo the Reindeer”. As part of his writing process, he went to the Lincoln Park Zoo along with the company’s

illustrator, to create a graphic for the publication. Noticing how cute the reindeer looked, he changed the name of the fictitious animal to “Rudolph” and gave him a red nose. His first effort displeased his boss, and he was given the summer to refine it. By August he had come up with the idea of a lonely deer who, by virtue of his shiny red nose, could help Santa Claus navigate through a foggy Christmas Eve. That element of his story came to him after looking out a window one night and observing the heavy mist in the street, pondering how “Santa” could see well enough to make his traditional annual journey. His boss liked this version, and 2.5 million children delighted at the story. The re-issue saw 3.5 million in print, prompting May to comment that the proceeds enabled him to send his six children to college. His brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, composed a song based on the story—the ditty with which virtually every person is now familiar. Strangely enough, every singer that Marks first approached, including Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, rejected “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!” Not willing to give up, he

mailed a demo to Gene Autry. The cowboy singer’s reaction was much the same—he thought it was silly. But Gene’s wife Ina liked it and was especially touched by the verse where all the other reindeer laugh and call him names. She talked him into recording it, and he was happy she did. By 1977, it had surpassed the ten-million mark in sales. Eventually, that total levelled at 12.5 million, selling more records of Christmas songs than any others, except for “White Christmas.” I still recall hearing it on our brand-new electric radio in 1949. In those days, “pop” songs were enjoyed by the entire family, and Gene Autry was already a favourite in our farmhouse. As usual, other companies got on the Rudolph bandwagon. DC Comics was the first, publishing a series of annuals entitled “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” from 1950 through 1962. In 1958, an animated film filled theatre screens, and in 1964 an animated special was featured on TV. Finally, a series of “Rudolph” U.S. postage stamps went on sale in November 2014. 70 years have passed since his radio debut—but his character still lives on!

Climate Change Action by Local Farmers Dianne Dowling Twelve area farmers, out in their fields in early November, with shovels, pails, six-inch lengths of sewer pipe, stakes and measuring tapes. What are they doing? Taking action to combat the effects of climate change, of course.


any farming practices contribute to climate change and, at the same time, farming is greatly affected by climate change — for instance, increased insect and fungus damage, unpredictable swings in weather and extreme weather events. On the positive side, there are farming practices that mitigate climate change, and increasingly, farmers are taking up these practices. In this region, and across the province, farmers are involved in a soil research project to measure, and then work to increase, the carbon levels in their soil. The overall research project, with 25 participants, is co-ordinated by the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO), and twelve of the participants are farmers in Frontenac, Leeds-Grenville, and Lanark Counties. The local involvement began last winter with the Climate Action Project of the National Farmers Union Ontario. With funding from the federal government, NFU-O facilitated a series of kitchen table meetings across Ontario to promote action on climate change.

One of these meetings was held in Kingston in March and led to the formation of a climate action committee of local farmers interested in increasing the carbon content of their soils. The committee hosted a public meeting at a local farm in August. About 25 people attended, most of them farmers, but also local food leaders, politicians and municipal staff. “Working with EFAO was an idea we had from the beginning,” says Ian Stutt, one of the farmers on the climate action committee. “EFAO has a farmer-led research program, and was already doing soil carbon research work, so joining their program was a good way to get going quickly.” Ian is president of NFU Local 316 (Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox-Addington) and one of the farmers at Patchwork Gardens in Battersea. Improving soil carbon levels begins with measuring the current levels (benchmarking), followed by taking steps to increase the carbon content. The soil testing this fall involved each farmer taking soil samples and doing a water infiltration test for three areas of his or her farm. The water infiltration test involved driving the six-inch sewer pipe three inches into the ground, pouring a set amount of water into the pipe, and measuring how long it took for the water to soak into the ground. The soil samples were submitted to a testing lab and the

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water infiltration times to EFAO. The cost of the lab work is funded by EFAO through a research grant, and by Local 316’s climate action grants fund for farmers participating through the NFU.

For more information about the NFU Ontario Climate Action project and its climate action menu for farmers, gardeners and rural landowners, go to nfuontario.ca/new/climate.

“There is interest in bringing in academics to direct our research methods, and to looking for funding for someone to co-ordinate our soil carbon work,” Ian says. “We have questions such as, what are the farming practices that have already been proven to build soil carbon? What are the practices that could build soil carbon, but research is needed to confirm their effectiveness?”

Dianne Dowling is active in a number of local farm and food organizations including the National Farmers Union Local 316, the Food Policy Council for KFLA and the Kingston Area Seed System Initiative (KASSI). Her family operates a certified organic farm on Howe Island, east of Kingston.

The climate action committee plans to continue to work with EFAO and the NFU on research, education and outreach activities on increasing soil carbon, and other climate action initiatives. “For instance, we have talked about advocating for financial recognition of the ecological services farmers provide on their farms,” says Tim Dowling, a member of the climate action committee. Ecological services include practices such as increasing biodiversity, reducing the potential effects of flooding and drought, or improving soil fertility through cover crops or rotational grazing. To contact the climate action committee, email Tim at doublejayfarms@gmail.com. For more information about EFAO farmer-led research, go to efao.ca.

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Local 316 Fall Feast Raises $4,000 for the Local’s Grants Fund The fourth annual Fabulous Farmers Fall Feast in early November sold out in advance again this year. Many thanks to the event chairs, Will and Sharon Freeman, their team of volunteers, and the local businesses and individuals who contributed to the success of the event. The 100 happy diners attending helped raise about $4,000 for Local 316’s grants fund that supports learning opportunities for new and young farmers and helps fund climate change mitigation projects by area farmers. Examples of funding for learning opportunities include assistance in attending conferences and workshops, and sponsorship of an annual scholarship in each of Frontenac and Lennox-Addington Counties for a 4-H member attending university or college for an agriculture or environment-related program. Climate change mitigation projects include the soil carbon project described above, and plans for funding tree planting next spring. For more information about the Local’s grants fund, contact Rick Munroe, Local 316 secretary-treasurer at rmj@kos.net.

December 2019 / January 2020 • The SCOOP


The Dollhouse Diane Creber


he Christmas our daughter Devon turned three promised to be special. Now that she was old enough to be excited about the holiday, my husband Tim and I also got caught up in her enthusiasm. The three of us went into the woods and cut our Christmas tree. Devon helped decorate it, placing the ornaments within her reach on the lower branches. We baked and decorated a gingerbread house, and she put the smiley faces on the gingerbread men. Devon and Tim put up decorations on the lawn and she made paper chains that we hung around the house. At her daycare, the children painted pictures of Santa and his reindeer and

told each other what they hoped Father Christmas would bring them. The season’s highlight was a trip to visit Santa at the mall where Devon had her photo taken on his knee. It was all she talked about that December. We were stumped, though, as to what we could give her. We wanted a Christmas present that she would enjoy as a young child, but also treasure as she grew older. We thought, by making the gift ourselves, it would have special meaning and also become a cherished memory. We racked our brains. Then Tim suggested building a dollhouse. After searching books for designs, we realized that the scale for a conventional dollhouse was much too small for a young child’s tiny hands. We wanted something larger. There was no choice but to design and build it ourselves. With both Tim and me being selfemployed and Christmas our busiest season, it was difficult to find time to build the dollhouse, especially since we could only work on it after our business was closed for the day and when Devon was asleep. We found ourselves working late into the night.

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We designed our creation twice the size of a normal dollhouse—two and-a-half stories high with windows and doors, a chimney, and two dormers. We placed the structure on a plywood board that extended about six inches from the base around the perimeter. Underneath were two drawers that could be used for storing extra furniture. Because of its size and weight, we put the house on wheels so it could be pushed around. After the dwelling was constructed, I painted the siding and window trim. Around the perimeter, I glued outdoor carpeting that resembled grass. Green painted loofah sponge, stuck on to small twigs formed trees. Stones became rocks. Tim made tiny cedar shakes for roof shingles. His big hands got cut more than once doing the intricate carving. Inside, we built a kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom, two bedrooms, and an attic. Pages cut from out-of-date wallpaper sample books decorated the

walls. Shag carpeting made from old towels covered the floors, and I sewed miniature curtains for the windows. We even painted light switches and electrical sockets on the walls. We searched several toy stores for dollhouse furnishings only to discover that manufactured furniture, made to fit a normal-sized house, would look ridiculously small in something this size. We would now have to make the furniture too! Using porcelain clay, I fashioned a miniature bathtub, toilet, sinks, a refrigerator and stove, plus a set of dishes, including a teapot. Tiny bottle shapes became lamp bases with plastic thimbles as shades. Tim carved a dining table and four chairs, and a sofa shape that I covered with maroon velvet with matching cushions. He carved the base for a grandfather clock placing an old Timex watch face in the top of the cabinet. There was a double bed with a mattress, blankets and pillows, matching bed-side tables and dresser, plus a bunk bed complete with a ladder. We even had towels hanging from rods in the bathroom and I carved a bar of soap for the bathtub. We found two little dolls that were to scale and placed them in the bedrooms. As we laboured, we talked about the wonderful surprise Devon would have on Christmas morning when she saw our masterpiece. On Christmas Eve, we finally got our daughter to bed after she hung her stocking and put out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa. She was so excited we had to read her several bedtime stories before she went to sleep. When she was finally down for the night, we carried the dollhouse from the studio and set it up in front of the Christmas tree where it would be the first thing she would see when she entered the room. Then we arranged the other gifts around it. The next morning Devon woke up early, anxious to run downstairs to see if Santa had come. Tim ran down first to turn on the Christmas tree lights and have his camera ready to capture the look on her face when she saw the dollhouse. This was going to be a Kodak moment.

Full of giddy anticipation, Devon burst eagerly into the room. Taking a quick look around, her face broke into a huge grin. The camera was ready. With a cry of delight, she rushed past the dollhouse and headed straight for the bright orange plastic flying saucer sled, purchased from Canadian Tire for $5.99. Delighted, she leapt into the sled, moving her body back-and-forth pretending she was sledding. After a few minutes, she returned to her bedroom, gathered up her dolls and teddies, put them into the sled and pulled them all around the house while singing Jingle Bells. Our beautiful handmade gift wasn’t even noticed. The dollhouse remained untouched for over a year. It was painful for us to admit that our gift was perhaps not ageappropriate. On the other hand, Tim and I had shared the joy of building the dollhouse together and creating a special present that showed our love. As time went by, Devon gradually started playing with the dollhouse. And as she got older, it became a favourite toy— something she enjoyed for many years. While still young, she crayoned on the walls and lost or broke dishes. Over time, shingles fell off the roof and the wallpaper took on a dingy look. When Devon was about twelve, we finally retired the dollhouse to the attic where it remained for decades. Two years ago, when we moved to a smaller house, many of our possessions were either given away or hauled off to the dump. But not the dollhouse: that we stored in the garage of our new place where it took up a great deal of space. Devon is now a mother with a daughter of her own. A few weeks ago, we gave her the dollhouse. It was much worse for wear and most of the furniture was missing or broken. Instead of fixing it ourselves, Tim and I decided we would let Devon and her husband, Alex, work on the derelict together, so they could give it as a special present to their daughter. However, we did suggest that they wait until she was old enough to appreciate it.

Kids Really Do Say the Darnedest Things! Suzanne Varrette


o you ever wonder what information your youngsters divulge when they are away from your watchful eye? I was blessed to work in local public-school offices for decades, and believe me, some families don’t have a lot of secrets! I have heard a multitude of comical confessions, from “I can stand up to pee now” to “Uncle George slept in Mom’s bed this weekend”. Such tidbits inspired me to keep records of as many hilarious situations as I could, in order to eventually share with others the joy and entertainment of my daily routine. I created a document entitled “Stories from a School Secretary” on my desktop and added to it regularly, year after year. Meanwhile, I kept a scribbler at home where I periodically jotted down noteworthy gems from my daughters. In later years, I used my smartphone’s notepad to track the humour while babysitting my grandchildren. I vowed to compile my notes into a book, and most teachers in the schools I worked at were aware of my goal and


were very supportive. Over and over I would hear, “Susanne, I have another story for your book!” A few years after my retirement, my mother encouraged me to get the book finished. Her memory was fading, and that was all the encouragement I needed to gather all my sources. With help from several people, this past June, I published my masterpiece, “Spaghetti Grows on Trees.” Children’s stories from the Yarker, Bath, and Napanee areas (with names changed to protect the innocent), plus my own family’s, are forever recorded in this book. I am happy to say that my goal was accomplished in time for me to read the book to my parents before my mother’s Alzheimer’s progressed too far and also before my father passed away this past August. Parents (and even grandparents) have the means to effortlessly create lasting memories for their family. I challenge you to think about keeping a notebook handy to jot down your children’s priceless remarks or enter them into your smartphone, tablet, computer, or gadget

The SCOOP • December 2019 / January 2020

of choice. Every child utters priceless gems, some more often than others! Just imagine the enjoyment your children will experience when, as adults, they read awesome tidbits from their childhood. As my daughters read through the scribblers that contained their anecdotes, they recalled experiencing déjà vu. Feelings from that period returned momentarily as the notes jogged their precious memories. With such a practice, you are gifting a piece of their past to your children, and these cherished keepsakes will be treasured from generation to generation. Lastly, although it wasn’t written as a money-making venture, if you are interested in

buying a copy of my book, you are more than welcome to do so, either through myself or through Amazon.ca. A friend described the fun and laughter while reading my stories around the campfire this past summer, and you may enjoy it with your family during upcoming holiday visits. You can reach Susanne by email at susannevarrette@gmail.com.

Yuletide Cooking: Medieval Christmas Recipes Todd H. C. Fischer


am, by no means, renowned for my skill in the kitchen. I am, however, very interested in medieval history and winter holidays. Therefore, a few years ago, my wife and I hosted a Yuletide celebration where, as part of the festivities, I tried my hand at five medieval Christmas dishes. Most of my sources were online, and were modern renditions of period recipes, substituting modern ingredients for those hard (or impossible) to come by.

i. Pie in a PiPKin This 16th-century Italian stew is basically meat pie without the crust and was extremely easy to make. Due to its long cooking time, I prepared it first and made the other dishes while it simmered. Ingredients • 3 lbs stewing beef • 2 medium onions chopped • cooking oil • ½ cup raisins • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon • ¼ teaspoon cloves • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg • ¼ teaspoon mace • ¼ teaspoon pepper • ½ water • 1 tablespoon vinegar • salt As my wife does not like cloves, I cut them from my ingredient list. Directions Brown the meat in a skillet, then pour the meat and the juices into a pot. On the skillet, sauté the onions until clear, then put them into the pot as well. Add the raisins, water, and spices and simmer for 1½ – 2 hours stirring occasionally. I cooked it for the full two hours. You are supposed to add the vinegar and salt when the meat is almost done, but I accidentally added them at the same time as the spices, raisins, and water. Fortunately, this did not seem to affect the flavour. Results This dish was enjoyed by all and had a nice tart flavour. It was beautifully aromatic.

ii. dRePe Drepe is an almond milk chicken dish from 14th-century England. It was originally made from three whole game hens, but I used cut chicken breasts. In the early afternoon, before beginning to cook, I prepared the almond milk as it is supposed to sit for an hour before use. I followed the directions in my source recipe, which gave me just under two cups of milk. When it came time to make the Drepe, I discovered that it needed four cups of milk so had to whip off two more cups quickly. Again, I was afraid this variance would ruin the flavour, but it did not. It created a mess of my kitchen as the bottom of the blender came half-off, spraying almond milk everywhere. Almond Milk Ingredients (for 4 cups) • 1 cup almonds (I used shaved, though you can start with whole) • ½ cup water (for grinding) • 2 cups water, broth, wine, or combination (I used 1 cup water and 1 cup chicken broth) • 4 tablespoons sugar • pinch of salt Directions If you are using raw almonds, you need to boil the almonds in water for three minutes. Drain, rinse, and cool. Then

squeeze off the skins. By using precleaned and cut almonds, I got to skip this step. Grind the almonds in water in a food processor. In a saucepan over low heat, dissolve sugar and salt in the water/ broth/wine. In a bowl, combine the ground almonds and sugar water and whisk until smooth. Cover and let stand for an hour. Stir before using. Drepe Ingredients • 3 lbs chicken (I cut eight breasts in half) • 4 cups water • 4 cups almond milk • 2 medium onions chopped • 1 teaspoon hot mustard powder • salt • butter for sautéing I couldn’t find hot mustard powder, so used regular mustard powder. Make sure you use butter and not margarine for the sautéing. You could really taste the butter in the flavour, and margarine would have ruined this. Directions In your skillet, brown the chicken in butter, then put the chicken into a pot with water and boil for twenty minutes. Drain water. While the chicken is boiling, sauté onions in a skillet with butter until transparent. Combine onions with drained chicken and add almond milk, salt, and mustard powder. Boil, then simmer for ten minutes stirring frequently. The recipe said to remove the chicken from the sauce and combine them again only upon serving. I served right from the stove so did not do this. Results This was my favourite of the night, and many other dinner guests agreed with me. The chicken was tender and was saturated with the almond milk. This was very easy to make, and the ingredients were not that expensive.

iii. cheRRY sYRosYe This is a 14th-century French dessert, which my source attributed to the Goodman of Paris. Ingredients • 2 lbs cherries (fresh or frozen) • 1 ½ cups red wine • ¾ cup sugar • 2 tablespoons butter • 1 cup breadcrumbs • edible flowers or whole cloves • ⅓ cup coarse white sugar • pinch of salt Edible flowers can be found in certain health food stores, though I did not go to the effort of tracking any down as they are a decoration and not really part of the ingredients at all. (I didn’t use those evil cloves either.) Directions Wash and pit cherries, then puree with ½ cup wine and the sugar. Melt butter in a saucepan and add cherry mixture, breadcrumbs,

remaining wine, and sugar and pinch of salt. Stir and simmer until thickened. Pour into a bowl, cover and cool. Before serving, decorate with flowers or cloves. Results Cherries, fresh or frozen, weren’t in the budget so I used cherry pie filling and did not add any sugar. I don’t know if this attributed to this dish’s lack of popularity or not. The pie filling was thick, and my blender had a hard time mixing it. I had to continually stop it, stick in a wooden spoon, and loosen things up. The fruit mixture heated up quickly on my stove and burned a bit on the bottom. When served, only four people were brave enough to try it. My wife and I did not like it, while the other two brave souls thought it was all right and might make a good side dish for a pork entrée.

iV. soP d’oRRe My source did not give a place or time period for this dessert, though from its name I’m guessing France. Ingredients • ½ cup ground almonds (I used sliced) • 1 cup white wine • ⅛ teaspoon saffron • 1 tablespoon honey • ½ tablespoon salt • 4 slices bread • butter • ¼ teaspoon ginger • ½ teaspoon sugar • ½ teaspoon cinnamon • ¼ teaspoon cloves • ⅛ teaspoon mace Again, I did not use the cloves. Directions Combine ginger, cinnamon, sugar, and mace and set aside. Boil the almonds in wine for seven minutes, then add saffron, honey, and salt. Simmer for another two minutes, then keep warm until use. While the wine is boiling, cut bread into fingers, and butter on both sides. Cook the bread in the oven until it’s toasty, then place on a serving tray. (The level of toastiness is left up to you.) Sprinkle spice mixture on the bread, then drench with the wine mixture. Results A very easy recipe that was met with a lot of compliments. This dish should be eaten while it’s still hot, and before the

wine completely soaks into the bread.

V. WassaiL BReW I got this recipe out of a book on the winter solstice. Though wassailing was a Saxon (and later English) tradition, I don’t know exactly how traditional this recipe is. Ingredients • 6 bottles beer • ½ cup sugar • ¼ mixed spice or allspice • 3 small sweet apples, cut • 1 ¼ cup pineapple juice • 1 ¼ cup orange juice • 2 lemons • 8 cinnamon sticks • cream Next time I make this I may not use the allspice to avoid the cloves in it. I would instead make my own mixed spice from ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and mace. For the beer, I used Waterloo Dark. Directions In a pot, heat the beer until warm, then add sugar, spice, apples, juice and cinnamon sticks. Squeeze the juice from the two lemons into the pot. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Add the cream and serve. Results After brewing, we all filled our cups and went out into the backyard. I poured one cup at the base of our old maple tree and we all cried, “Wassail!” (Traditionally, you would wassail fruit-bearing trees, but we work with what we have.) I’m not much of a beer drinker, but as I threw back my cup, I found that I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. However, I and at least one other person found that some spices did not dissolve and we got a shot of straight spice down the throat. This necessitated the drinking of a lot of water. You may want to strain it before drinking. This drink was well received and was nice and warm while we stood out in the chilly night.

CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS AND ARTISTS! Do you have what it takes to be published in The SCOOP? Send us your best photos and artwork documenting

Deborah Carr-Harris R.N.

rural life in our area: stonemills.scoop@gmail.com

• 40+ yrs. experience in mental health • In-patient/out-patient and private practice (fee for service) • Currently expanding my private practice to include phone sessions, providing counselling services from the comfort of your own home or office

Initial contact to sort details:

debcarr-harris@hotmail.com December 2019 / January 2020 • The SCOOP


The Art on the Hardwood Floor Katherine Burrows


our hardwood floor is the largest piece of furniture in your house. Have you ever thought of your floor as a unique platform for a work of art? Your existing floor can be a blank canvas that is just waiting for the artist’s creation to be realized. That is the viewpoint of Donna Adams – Floor Artist – the creative core of Sheffield Hardwood. She observes and evaluates the site, then creates a design that works for the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget. Her husband, Delbert, prepares the “canvas” either by installing new wood or refinishing the existing floor by removing the existing finishes. During installation, Donna takes over with the selection and placement of boards, followed by tinting or staining. She says she feels energized when the finishing process begins. “That’s when the hard work is done, and the art begins to emerge.” Donna’s father was a master cabinetmaker. Growing up, she helped him build furniture. He instilled in his daughter his craftsmanship approach, patience with materials, and attention to detail. Donna went on to study graphic design and fine art. She combines the artistic skills from her professional training with the practical skills she developed alongside her father and applies them to the hardwood floor design process. Her background as a painter, stained glass artist, furniture designer and graphic artist brings depth and wisdom to her floor designs. Delbert had worked in flooring with his father, a builder, during and after high school, but when construction slowed down in the 1980s, he turned to tool making and engineering. His first love was woodworking and he continued to work with wood, making furniture for his

and his family’s personal use. In 2015, Delbert’s father passed away and Delbert inherited his woodworking tools, the catalyst for starting the Sheffield Hardwood business as an encore career. Donna’s background in graphic design and fine art, and expertise in watercolour and acrylic painting provides a strong base for hardwood floor design and for working with stains and finishes on hardwood flooring. She often blends standard colours to create a custom finish. Hand tinting the floorboard by board or creating new colours are two techniques she uses to match existing flooring. Using different species of wood is another way Donna creates effects and colour variety in a floor. Red and White Oak, Brazilian Tigerwood, Black Walnut, Red Maple, and Hickory each have their own distinct grain pattern and colour. She has even used a red-coloured wood called “Padauk” from Africa.

Donna and Delbert Adams, owners of Sheffield Hardwood, a hardwood flooring contractor located in Tamworth, Ontario. Photo by Katherine Burrows.

Creative inspiration comes from many places. One of Donna’s designs includes playful otters, such as she might see frolicking in the lake near the couple’s home. Another project looks like a patchwork quilt set into a log cabin border. In this design, the natural colours of wood species define the quilt pieces. Delbert made sure each piece fit properly, while Donna maintained the overall view and orchestrated the entire design. He notes how important it is for him to make sure everything is flat and square, so Donna’s designs look their best. The result is a stunning eight – by ten-foot centrepiece of art on the hardwood floor of a guest bedroom. A Niagara Falls job took them from forest to floor. On a sixth-generation apple farm, deep in wine country, they were hired to install and finish custom flooring using wood from hundred-year-old

This floor was inspired by the playful otters that frolic in the lake near Donna and Delbert’s home. walnut trees planted by the homeowner’s grandfather. They worked with local (Stone Mills) people to kiln dry, mill, grade and cut the wood. Tired of traffic lights and speed bumps, Donna and Delbert moved to their current location in 2013, prior to starting the Sheffield Hardwood, which allows them to earn a living while being able to live a cottage lifestyle in their off-grid, lakeside home. While living and building a business in Stone Mills, the couple have enjoyed getting to know their neighbours. They find local residents “so welcoming and inviting.” It is refreshing to see people in Tamworth out walking and kids riding their bikes, especially in the Canada Day and Santa Claus parades. They enjoy the TECDC Concert Series, appreciating that they can be home ten minutes after the concert ends without fighting traffic.

A stunning eight– by ten-foot centrepiece of art on the hardwood floor of a guest bedroom, designed and installed by Sheffield Hardwood.

They enjoy shopping local and have found Kulwant Singh, the owner of the Tamworth Pro Hardware Store and A 1

Seeds for organically-grown heirloom vegetables, herbs & flowers.

Retail at the Village Green: www.thevillagegreen.ca

The SCOOP • December 2019 / January 2020

You can reach Sheffield Hardwood at their website sheffieldhardwood.com, by phone at (613) 390-9470, and by email at adams@sheffieldhardwood.com.

Free Public Skating Stone Mills Rec. Centre (Tamworth Arena)

Tuesdays 10 - 11 am: Seniors

You can now shop www.terraedibles.ca anywhere from any device!!


“That’s something you don’t find in the city,” Donna observes. “We want to keep Stone Mills the way it is. Really, that’s what makes it so great to live and work here – it’s the people.”

Sundays 11:30 am - 12:30 pm: All Ages

Terra Edibles

535 Ashley St, Box 164, Foxboro, Ontario K0K 2B0 Free catalogue: 613-961-0654, karyn@terraedibles.ca

Corner Restaurant and Store very friendly and helpful. She has been very accommodating when Delbert has been looking for hardware supplies, especially on short notice. She has even been known to lend out her rubber boots to visitors.

Mon-Tue 10am-6pm • Wed-Fri 9am-6pm • Sat 9am-noon

Wednesdays 4:30 - 5:30 pm: All Ages

A Natural View: All About Beaver Tails and Bear Paws Terry Sprague


inter came early to Prince Edward County this year. As I write this in mid-November, there is a good ground covering of snow and nighttime temperatures are dropping to minus 15 degrees Celsius. It’s shaping up to be a winter for snowshoes and crampons. I am not one who laments the arrival of winter, and I don’t drone on endlessly on Facebook as others do about the cold weather, the snow, the wind, the snow shovelling, ad infinitum. I don’t migrate to Florida. I stay put and while I may think now and then about May warblers, spring peepers echoing from the wetlands, and flowers in the garden, I make the best of winter by snowshoeing. Snowshoes have been around for at least 6,000 years. They have proven themselves admirably as an efficient mode of travel in deep snow when conventional winter boots just don’t cut it. For me, they provide access to wooded areas that I like to visit in the winter where the mayhem of the workaday world can be left behind. I can immerse myself in the tranquillity of a natural world where the only sound is the muffled crunch of snow under my feet and the ever-present acrobatic chickadees as they search for food along the fencerows. I was out on my snowshoes with the first snowfall, as I am most winter mornings,

on a trail around two open hay fields. It’s about a kilometre, and with an additional two kilometres of exercise on the treadmill, that distance will have to do until the spring hiking season begins again. I got into snowshoeing when I found that I could no longer comfortably cross-country ski due to arthritis in the feet and ankles. I still do a bit of skiing if I fortify myself well with Ibuprofen and don’t have to turn, or stop suddenly! There are many snowshoe styles – Huron, Ojibway, beaver tail, swallowtail, bearpaw, the list goes on. I have three different styles of snowshoes. For deep, fresh snow, I like to use the traditional Huron style as their larger size supports my weight far better in soft snow conditions. Wooden shoes with traditional rawhide webbing leave me feeling like I am one with nature as I seek balance in my life. The traditional Huron snowshoes have a long and storied history, from the days of their aboriginal inventors to the recreational use of today. The Huron style, as well as the similar Ojibway style – narrower and more elongated and built for speed and open areas – float easily over soft snow. The pointed tails on both styles are designed to act much like the rudder of a boat. Trailing lightly with each step, they keep the feet pointed in the right direction, leading to less fatigue over long distances.

Terry’s winter snowshoe trail around two of the neighbour’s fields. Photo by Terry Sprague.

OPEN: Mon. - Fri. 8 - 7 Sat. 8 - 6 Sun. 11 - 5 For our weekly flyer visit us at stonemillsfamilymarket.com

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Terry’s snowshoes (from left to right) Entry-level snowshoes for light snow cover, the traditional Huron style for deep snow, and the bear paw design. Photo by Terry Sprague. However, the Huron and Ojibway styles come at a cost of less maneuverability in forested areas. For these areas, I like my bear paw design. This style has been designed for hunting, trapping, birding and long-distance adventures in dense forest. The frame is usually constructed of Appalachian white ash and lacing made of raw cowhide, so they still have that traditional feel about them. More rounded, but still with enough length to prevent sinking deeply in soft snow, its shape allows me to manoeuvre easily in tight areas, around trees and bushes. The upturned toes get me over fallen branches with ease and if there is an occasion to be walking somewhere with them strapped to my back, they are not so long as to catch on my heels with every step. Cost-wise for any pair of snowshoes, shoppers are looking at quite a few dollars for a good set – at least, a couple of hundred dollars. I got my Huron snowshoes a few years ago at a local auction sale and although the bidding was fierce, I still walked away paying only $60. Some friends found their snowshoes at a second-hand shop and got two pairs for only half that amount. So, it pays to look around first before buying new. I don’t think my Huron snowshoes had ever been worn. However, if buying new, be prepared to pay for quality.

Last, but certainly not least, are my aluminium frame snowshoes. Gone is the traditional rawhide webbing and wooden frame. Plastic and aluminium, but still a big seller for anyone wanting something basic. The advantages of aluminium shoes are that they’re lightweight and smaller than their wooden counterparts, although I find them quite useless in deep snow. The smaller size makes them a better choice for tight spaces like heavily wooded areas. Many aluminium shoes will also have a crampon on the sole of the shoe designed for traction in difficult areas. However, in extremely cold temperatures the vinyl can become brittle, and crack or break. Additionally, many users have found wooden shoes can take more bending or flexing over uneven ground or rocks. And, those crampons can collect slush and freeze into a ball on the sole of the shoe. I do like my aluminium snowshoes though, and use them only when there is just a little snow and something is needed to take the edge off those conditions. As I write this, that’s all I really need for now. Terry Sprague lives in Prince Edward County and is a retired interpretive naturalist and hike leader. See his website at www.naturestuff.net . He can be reached at tsprague@xplornet.com.

Merry Christmas from

Lindsey and Brenda Hannah & family


Ask our butchers for

Self-serve COFFEE COUNTER specialCut cut. Meats Fresh Bakery • Deli • Produce • aFresh We carry a large line of gluten-free products

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Wishing you a safe and peaceful Holiday Season

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3 generations of dedicated service to our community

613-379-2440 613-379-2440 December 2019 / January 2020 • The SCOOP


Phragmites: The Great Invasion Paige Bissonnette – Conservation Technician


uropean common reed (Phragmites australis), typically referred to as Phragmites, is a perennial grass invading Ontario’s wetlands, beaches, and roadsides. Phragmites, a non-native plant introduced to Canada from Eurasia in the 1800s, has spread from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. What does Phragmites look like? Phragmites shoots resemble bamboo with long slender stems growing up to or exceeding five meters. The seed head consists of a dense, long silky flower with approximately 2,000 seeds. How does Phragmites spread? Phragmites can spread rapidly and grow dense colonies over 200 stems per square metre, out-competing native vegetation. Although Phragmites typically grows along water bodies, the long, dense root system of large colonies of Phragmites allows for the exploitation of dryer habitats such as roadsides. Most notably, you may have noticed dense stands of Phragmites along the 401 corridor. Phragmites spreads through seed dispersal and through the spread of

rhizomes and stolons that break off from the root and get transported to other habitats. Growing along waterbodies provides a dispersal advantage, as seeds and rhizomes can be transported downstream by flowing water. Phragmites can also get caught on boat motors, which allows for the accidental spread to other waterbodies. Why should we care? Dense monocultures of Phragmites can crowd out native vegetation by blocking sunlight and taking up space that native plants need to flourish. Native vegetation is needed to provide food and habitat for many species-at-risk such as turtles, amphibians, and spawning fish. Although Phragmites occupies large areas, there is no evidence to suggest that the stands provide habitat or food for marsh-nesting birds or the insects that birds need to eat to survive and reproduce. Phragmites can also alter the hydrology of the waterbody it grows next to. Phragmites uptakes and respires large quantities of water which results in lower water levels or clogged drainage ditches. What is being done to stop the spread of Phragmites?

Managing Phragmites is far from straightforward. A combination of techniques and a lot of time is needed to rid a single population. Herbicide application is the most effective control method, however caution is needed in spraying near water bodies and pesticide use is regulated so you need to be trained and licensed to apply them. Mechanical methods of removal such as mowing and/or cutting, compression rolling, and hand pulling can be effective but are not always effective by themselves and you must take care to ensure root fragments and seeds are not transported elsewhere. These methods are labour intensive, especially for large stands. Typically, an integrated management approach is needed, combining multiple techniques to most effectively manage the population. An extensive understanding of the population of Phragmites in question and the surrounding habitat is needed to make an informed decision on how to best manage the population. What can we do?

Phragmites australis in the Great Lakes. Photo by Elizabeth Banda/NASA.

from Greg, Cheryl, Ian, Jim, Matt, & Stephanie 501 County Road 15 Tamworth, ON K0K 3G0 (613) 379-2192 www.storringseptic.com 10

The SCOOP • December 2019 / January 2020

reviewing the Best Management practices here: www. ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/wpcontent/ uploads/2016/07/Phragmites_BMP_ FINAL.pdf. Another way to help manage the spread of Phragmites is to get out there and volunteer! Recently, Friends of the Salmon River held a volunteer event at Beaver Lake Park to educate the public on Phragmites best management practices and did some hands-on stewardship. Keep an eye out for more local events to do your part in managing this invasive species.

The best place to start is to learn to identify Phragmites properly to reduce its spread and refuse to buy or plant Phragmites. If you find Phragmites on your property, report your sighting and all other sightings of 113 Richmond Blvd. #8 www.tiflooring.ca Phragmites to www.eddmaps.org/ Napanee, ON K7R 3Z8 sales@tiflooring.ca Ontario and then t. 613-409-1500 make a plan for f. 613-409-1501 controlling it. You Residential & Commercial Sales and Installations can learn more Carpet - Vinyl - Hardwood - Laminate management Ceramic Tile - Luxur y Vinyl Tile and Plank - Wall Decor techniques by

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Phragmites australis seed head in winter.


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GrassRoots Growers Wild Edibles in Your Own Backyard Blair Richards-Koeslag


earning about wild edibles is an exciting and fun way to relate to the wilderness around you. My fall presentation, hosted by the GrassRoots Growers, was about just that, wild edibles in your own backyard. I talked about plants that are probably growing in your yard and have generally been weeded out. The primary focus of the talk was to encourage the attendees to respect and care for the community that the plants are being harvested from. The talk on October 1 was well attended despite the terrible weather. Here is a summary of three of the many plants I discussed.

Mallow (Malva neglecta), is popular

with little people and big people too. Their seed heads have been nicknamed “fairy cheese.” Mallow can be used as a mild-tasting salad contribution, or a gardener’s snack, as I explained that my favourite way to consume wild edibles is as a grazer, nibbling along the way. The little white flowers can also be added to salads or as a plate garnish, adding a simple beauty to any dish.

Pigweed or wild amaranth

(Amaranthus retroflexus) is a plant sacred to the ancient Aztecs for its energy-giving seeds but has been demoted to a weed in our gardens. Not anymore. Pigweed has replaced spinach in my diet, because of its abundance and frankly, I prefer the

is a community-based group located in Stone Mills Township. Our mission is to

flavour. Full of minerals and calcium, it encourage interest in local and organic gardening; improve our practical knowledge rivals any cultivated green in nutrient of all aspects of plant life; support related educational initiatives both locally and value. I fill my freezer up for the winter provincially, and provide networking opportunities for gardeners. with these steamed greens. The tiny seeds are used in baking and porridge, For more information visit our website at www.te-grassrootsgrowers.weebly.com are known for their high protein content, or email us at tegrassrootsgrowers@gmail.com and health food stores sell the cultivated varieties at a healthy price. They can be gathered by shaking the seed heads into a brown paper bag.

Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica), is our

local superfood. Nutrient-dense and easy to identify, if you touch it and it stings you, you’ve found the right plant. Stinging Nettles are great for tea all winter and if the greens are dried, they ...is a community-based group located in Stone can be used in soup or stir-fries and are Mills also great steamed. It is a host plant forTownship. Our mission is to encourage many of our local butterflies, so I use it in local and organic gardening; improve interest early in the and knowledge then leave it of forall aspects of plant life; support related ourseason practical them to enjoy after I notice the telltale educational initiatives both locally and provincially, and provide holes of their activity on the leaves.

GrassRoots Growers

networking opportunities for gardeners.

General guidelines for harvesting wild plants for food or medicine For more information visit our website at


1. Make sure you have a positive ID; if or email us at tegrassrootsgrowers@gmail.com you don’t, then DON’T HARVEST! Ask Blair Richards-Koeslag speaking to the GrassRoots Growers this fall. your local plant geek (my email is at Photo by Richard Saxe. the bottom) or check a field guide and then double-check with a different field guide. reason for existence is not only for you 2. Make sure you are not in a polluted to have a wild food experience. Find a area or close to a road, factory, or way to say thank-you that feels good to where there has been dumping of toxic you. chemicals or other contaminants. 4. Leave the location that you harvested 3. Show respect to the plants; remember from in better condition than you they are living beings and their main found it. Pick up garbage and if you are digging a root put a new seed from that plant in the hole (if available) you made and cover it up again, neatly. Make sure you ask permission of the landowner before you harvest, or that you are not in a is a community-based group protected eco-system. located in Stone Mills 5. The Rule of 7; if there are fewer Township. Our mission is to than seven of the plant do not harvest any, if there are seven you encourage interest in local and may take one... unless they are organic gardening; improve endangered or rare then you may our practical knowledge of all take none! If they are an invasive aspects of plant life; support species, you may take them all! Harvest nothing unless you related educational initiatives understand their role in the both locally and provincially, environment and their status under and provide networking the Endangered Species Act. opportunities for gardeners. 6. Harvest at your own risk. Start with small amounts to make sure For more information you don’t have any allergies. Do more research on your own! Always visit our website at check multiple sources.

GrassRoots Growers

Audience members inspect the array of plants brought to the presentation. Photo by Richard Saxe.

Please email Blair with your plant questions at blair.richards.koeslag@gmail.com.

www.te-grassrootsgrowers.weebly.com or email us at tegrassrootsgrowers@gmail.com



Registered with the Canadian Diabetes Association

462 Adair Road, Tamworth, ON 613-379-5700


During the month of December, we will be accepting non-perishable unexpired food items for fines in support of local food banks. We will waive $1 from your account for every item you donate.

December 2019 / January 2020 • The SCOOP


Deck the Halls in Napanee Nicole Senyi


he Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is hosting a special volunteer event in Napanee the first week of December – just in time for the holidays. Help the national land conservation organization conserve globally rare alvar habitat on the Napanee Plain Alvar by removing eastern red-cedar. This native tree is spreading across the landscape due to fire suppression. Removing these trees will mimic natural processes such as fire to restore natural, open alvar and improve habitat for grassland birds. Volunteers will spend the day on Napanee Plain Alvar Nature Reserve cutting small eastern red-cedar trees. Participants will select one eastern red-cedar to cut and take home as a Christmas tree. Once finished outside, volunteers will be invited back to the NCC Napanee office to use the cedar branches to make festive wreaths to take home.

One of North America’s great limestone plain landscapes, the Napanee Plain is a rich complex of wetlands, forests, lakes, grasslands, and alvars. Naturally open habitats with a thin to non-existent covering of soil over a base of bedrock (either limestone or dolostone), alvars are home to many rare and unique species. Because of limited soil, fewer plants grow on alvars. This results in naturally open habitats perfect for grassland birds, including eastern loggerhead shrike.

To learn more, or to volunteer, visit www.natureconservancy.ca/napanee-cv. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private

6. One walker with four legs but no wheels 7. Three metal canes 8. Two walking boots 9. One bed pan 10. One walker with wheels 11. One very large shower seat

To acquire these items, contact Lion Robert Gaffney 613 379 2680 or Lion Frank Rowan at fprowan048@gmail.com.

LAKEVIEW TAVERN THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 BIG BUCK DERBY SP ONSOR S! • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

A1 Corner Store A&D Snacks Awesome & Beyond Shop Camp Luna Sugar Bush Canadian Tire Napanee Carol Hinch Croteau (Mary Kay Cosmetics) Concrete Plus Custom Tree Service Devon Cafe & Five Corner Craft Don Fenwick Giant Tiger Napanee Great Canadian Oil Change Napanee Greater Napanee Gunworks Hart N’ Hart Heather Wood Holmes Hydrofracturing Holmes Store & Lock John’s Taxidermy Ken’s Gun Shop Labatt Brewing Company Louise Ouellet (Carlson Wagonlit Travel) Mark & Darla Shepherd Matthews Studio McCormick’s Country Store

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Metro Napanee Napanee & District Rod & Gun Club No Frills Napanee Northfleet Concrete Paul Langevin Pete Locke (Sysco Foods) Peterson Hunt Camp Ralph Vankoughnet Auction Services River Bakery Café and Patio Russell Wood Sam’s L’il Variety Shelin Pools Ltd Sleeman Breweries Steam Whistle Brewing Stone Mills Family Market Stone Spindle Farm Storring Septic Service Sutcliffe Septic Service T&E Small Engines Tamworth Pro Hardware TCO Agromart Ten Point Taxidermy Todd Steele (L&A Mutual Insurance) Tom Sulpher Tuepah Excavating Vanness Automotive

Congratulations to this year’s winners! Stephen Janeway Aaron Shiel Brian Tyner Fernando Pereira Dave Sonnevield Jason Mercer Ryder Thompson Isabella Baker Candy Sovie Trevor Dillon Bob Kirk

1st Big Buck (226) 2nd Big Buck (221) 3rd Big Buck (215) 1st Doe (156) 2nd Doe (155.5) 3rd Doe 1st Apprentice (123 buck) 2nd Apprentice (109.5 buck) 1st Women’s (114 doe) 50/50 = $530.50 Shotgun meal draw


DECK THE HALLS IN NAPANEE Saturday, December 7 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 837 Nugent Rd, Newburgh, ON

Alvars are rare; they are found in only a handful of locations across the globe, including the eastern European Baltic region, the United Kingdom and Ireland. In North America, almost 75 percent of alvars are in Ontario.

The Tamworth Lions have the following medical devices available to the public for free, if needed. The items are: 1. Raised toilet seat with lid 2. Two shower/bath seats 3. Eight wooden crutches for adults and one child pair of crutches 4. Two pairs of metal crutches 5. Two wheelchairs

land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast, with over 84,000 hectares (207,000 acres) in Ontario. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.

The SCOOP • December 2019 / January 2020

PAID TRAINING FOR SCHOOL BUS DRIVER LICENCE Martin’s Bus Service will PAY you while you participate in our FREE TRAINING PROGRAM to get a B Class licence! We are looking for school bus drivers for these locations: Napanee · Kingston · Trenton · Sharbot Lake · Perth

Contact us today to get started with


Martin’s Bus Service has competitive wages with evenings and weekends off. Minimum Requirements: Are you 21 years old • A valid G licence • Good driving record Must complete and pass a Ministry of Transportation medical examination and obtain a clear police record check with vulnerable sector clearance.

Send your resume to: kdawdy@martinsbus.ca or call 613-354-7545 / 1-800-831-6872 Solution to the crossword puzzle on page 13:

Puzzle Page Crossword: “Some Restrictions Apply” by Matt Gaffney


December 2019 / January 2020 • The SCOOP


Know Your Heart: “Kennedy Road” Debuts In Kingston Jerry Weller


eturning to Kingston as a musical headliner “is a thrill,” says Sheila Carabine, whose career has taken some unexpected turns since she opened for Great Big Sea frontman, Sean McCann at the Octave Theatre, during the 2017 Live Wire concert series in Kingston. Kingston audiences may recall that Carabine (pronounced, Kara-bean) had spent the previous 16 years in the Juno-nominated folk duo, “Dala” with singer-songwriter Amanda Walther, who has been on hiatus since becoming a busy mom. Carabine confides, “We’re best friends,” adding that the two still “hang out all the time and are going to keep making music together for as long as we can breathe and sing.” However, Carabine has taken a few interesting roads getting from there to here. She has a new, Canadiana music duo: “Kennedy Road” with a new singer-songwriting partner: Brian MacMillan.

Making their Kingston debut together and backed up by the 100-strong Open Voices Community Choir, “Kennedy Road” is becoming known for its “commanding stage presence,” “haunting voices,” and as “master collaborators” (-Burdock, Music Hall, Toronto). Carabine and MacMillan will perform their unique blend of Canadiana folk-rock, Saturday, January 18, 2 p.m and 7:30 p.m., just ahead of the release of their first album. Tickets are $15 ($5 under 18 or underemployed) at Tara Foods, Novel Idea, Brian’s Record Option, www.openvoices.ca/tickets, choir members, and at the door. The venue is Cooke’s-Portsmouth United Church, 200 Norman Rogers Drive, Kingston. To continue with her story, Carabine felt that, because “Dala” was on a break, she needed to keep moving ahead, creatively. She decided that it was time for her to gather her courage and to write, record, and independently release her first solo album, “All In.” Carabine admits that “there was a lot of fear” about the project, “but ... facing those fears is the best thing I ever did.”

this christmas, give the gift of Music!

Offering private voice lessons for children and adults 30-minute sessions & 45-minute sessions KSVC can be part of your vocal journey “Helping you find your voice”

ksvcmusic.com karen Sheffield Vocal coaching 613-929-2321 909 County Rd 12, Roblin

“I was very nervous because you’re laying it on the line by putting something out under your name, and I am glad I did ... people who are familiar with Dala have been very supportive.” Reviewers were impressed, noting that the 2017 album revealed “profound strength and emotional depth ... sometimes stark, other times lush, but always able to draw the listener in closer and closer to Carabine’s spirit,”

Brian MacMillan and Sheila Carabine of Kennedy Road. (-Jim Barber, MusicLifeMagazine). Carabine was, however, still unsure about the trail ahead. She had already spent more than a decade on the North American indie and folk music road, touring with popular musical acts such as Chantal Kreviazuk, Tom Cochrane, Jann Arden, and Matthew Good. Then, her path met that of Brian MacMillan, a beloved singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, with a warm personality, quirky sense of humour, and gentle spirit. Often compared with James Taylor and Bruce Cockburn, MacMillan’s musicianship was already in demand, having led him to perform with Barenaked Ladies, Wailin’ Jennys, Garth Hudson, John McDermott, and Lowest of the Low.

Individually, Carabine and MacMillan were doing fine. Together, their vocal blend, on-stage chemistry, and intense, poignant songs began gaining unusual traction (“I love you ... Great show, guys.” – Errol Nazareth, CBC BigCity). “We are so excited about how the music is sounding,” MacMillan enthuses. “Sheila Carabine and I have been writing lots and singing lots and it’s one of my favourite things to do so please come out and hear us.” Like Toronto’s north-south street of the same name, “Kennedy Road” creates music that looks back just as much as it looks ahead. With velvety vocals and dreamy guitars, Kennedy Road conjures dusk and memory, grit and grace. This is music from the heart, for the heart.

Family Owned And Operated Since 1984

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The SCOOP • December 2019 / January 2020

Happy Holidays and warm wishes for 2020!

Cloyne Pioneer Museum Seeks New Curator


stablished in 1983, the Cloyne Pioneer Museum is seeking a new Curator. The Museum is operated by the not-for-profit Cloyne and District Historical Society. The Society’s catchment area is the Highway 41 corridor from Kaladar in the south, to Denbigh and Griffith in the north, as well as Flinton to the west, and Harlowe to the east. Museum collections, both in artifacts and documents, reflect the history of this area beginning from settlement times in the 1850s, with emphasis on such themes as settlement and pioneer life, mining, logging, tourism, and the building of the Addington Road. The Museum is open from mid-June until Labour Day and receives over 1,000

visitors during the summer. Students are employed throughout the summer to ensure the Museum is well staffed to receive visitors. Margaret Axford has been serving as volunteer Curator for the past 20 years and is retiring from the position. The Curator liaises between the volunteer Board of Directors, students, membership and visitors. Maintaining exhibits, receiving photos, documents, and articles for display, and archiving are part of the Curator’s duties. If you wish to be a vital part of preserving our local history, please email pioneer@mazinaw.on.ca or call 613-336-2203 for more information.

BATH CANADA DAY FUNDRAISER CALL FOR APPLICATIONS... funding projects in arts, culture, health, education, recreation, environment, youth and children, seniors and social services in support of Lennox and Addington communities. Charitable organizations and non-profit groups from across Lennox and Addington County are invited to apply. Fillable applications are available on our website www.cffla.ca or a hard copy may be picked up at the Foundation office, 47 Dundas Street East, Napanee. Applications for funding are being accepted from Monday, November 25, 2019 through to Friday, January 24, 2020 @ 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, December 11, 7:30 p.m. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Domino Theatre, Kingston Tickets: $20 available at: Fast Freddies, 242 Main Street, Bath Schell’s Market, 408 Main Street, Bath W. J. Henderson Rec. Centre, 322 Amherst Drive, Amherstview


Warm & Safe


Jonathan Mc Donald MORTGAGE BROKER


613·354·2224 Call me today for your FREE consultation!




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December 2019 / January 2020 • The SCOOP



Wishing you all the joys of the season and happiness throughout the coming year!

to so many individuals and local businesses for their continued support in making it possible for the Lions Club to do the work we do. We look forward to continuing to serve our community this upcoming year.

while quantities last



50lb bag • tax included

VISIT US FOR GREAT GIFT IDEAS for the hobbiest, animal lovers and all of your furry and feathered friends

11 Pleasant Drive, Selby • 613-354-4424

Bring Home the Feeling of Christmas

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

Merry Christmas!

All clients & customers, your business through the year has been sincerely appreciated.


613-354-4347 613-379-2903 16

Robert Storring & Gwynne Storring Broker

The SCOOP • December 2019 / January 2020


Profile for The SCOOP

The SCOOP // December 2019 / January 2020  

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 2019 / January 2020  

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...