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Drought affecting crops, causing fire concerns Continued from front page

thing from carelessly discarded cigarette butts to shallow wells running dry to getting enough glasses of water in the day. It is like nothing Kinburn Farm Supplies owner John Herrick has ever seen before. “I’ve never seen it this dry. It better rain soon,” said Herrick, who’s been selling equipment and supplies to farmers for almost 30 years. “We need two or three inches of water and we need it now.” He said crops such as corn and soya are “a disaster” and that no amount of rain will bring some of them back. Even second and third cuts of hay are at risk. Others say the corn is two to three weeks ahead of normal growing time. And that hot summers come and go, just like cold winters. As for this year being a one-off versus a new reality for farmers to deal with? Herrick treads carefully. “Who knows,” he said.

Eli El-Chantiry also said he doesn’t know if this summer is a sign of climate change or a freak season. The West CarletonMarch councillor is focused on making folks aware to pull over when they see a volunteer firefighter flashing the green light in their private vehicle. And that it was likely a cigarette that caused last week’s Moodie Drive brush fire. “I know some people have a habit of throwing butts outside, but I hope to God people will think first,” he said. “And please, please out of courtesy please make room for the volunteer firefighters.” At Mountain Creek Golf Club up near White Lake, for five weeks now workers have been pulled from other areas to help with watering said club pro Jonathan Schaepper. “In this weather they are up at 3 a.m. to water,” he said. “And they have to do it by hose, because the sprinklers aren’t reliable in this wind.” Developer Greg Leblanc says walking in the woods in the Carp Ridge area this year is different than other years.

“Some of the trees are really stressed in a way I’ve never seen before,” he said. “And the ponds are really low.” Carp Garden Centre owner Tim Dyer said business is a disaster. He figures he’s losing about $100 a day in plants and trees. “The water just evaporates,” he said. “It’s been awful. And you only have a limited supply in wells. So you have to ration it out.” Dyer said it went from spring to cottage season, and that few are interested in gardening when the temperature is constantly in the mid 30 C range. The conservation authority said anyone in the Mississippi River Watershed who may be experiencing unusual problems or hardships due to low water are encouraged to contact MVC by calling 613-259-2421 ext. 233 or 243. The authority monitors weather conditions, river flows and water levels daily and issues watershed conditions bulletins as required. Find tips on conserving water and daily water levels and flows on the MVC website at www.mvc.on.ca.

Market continues to be a popular spot on Saturdays Continued from front page

“As you know, it is a nice mix between crafts, arts and farmers…about a 70/30 split, about 70 per cent food vendors,” Dobson noted.

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Watson, who pledged to return to the market again this summer, spoke about enjoying Hobbs’ butter tarts and the ever so tasty bacon on a bun that is served at the market.

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“There are some great traditions. I love coming to the Carp Farmers” Market,” Watson told those assembled for the small ceremony. “You should be very, very proud.” The mayor thanked everyone for supporting local farmers, whom he noted are “going through some rough times” due to the ongoing drought conditions. “Anything we can do to help those farmers sell their produce and get the word out that there is still lots of good produced in Eastern Ontario, please do so,” the mayor urged. For MacLaren, being at the market is like coming home.

He recalled how he was an early vendor at the market. “I am a farmer. I have beef cattle and we use to sell beef here and we did that for seven or eight years. I was on the board of directors,” MacLaren stated, adding he was recruited for the board by Hildegarde Anderson herself. “It was her that defined the best way and the only true way we would be a long-term sustainable market was to be a producer based market. What that means is when you buy food here; you are always being it from the farmer, the gardener or the baker who produced that food.” He emphasized this is what

has made the market so special and so successful for so many years. “Now it is almost like an institution in the Ottawa Valley. It is a proud time for me to be able to say I was part of the Carp Farmers’ Market, I was a vendor here in the early years, that I was on the board and helped Hildegarde Anderson to create what I believe is the finest farmers’ market in the province of Ontario…good food is always a pleasure.” El-Chantiry spoke about how the Carp market “gave birth” to the Lansdowne Farmers’ Market. “Well done to the Carp folks

who brought their experience from here,” he said. He also spoke to the drought conditions in West Carleton and urged smokers not to throw cigarette butts out of car windows as it won’t take much to start a fire. Wilkinson, who enjoyed a bacon in a bun, called the market a “great facility” for everyone in the west end of Ottawa. “That is what we are trying to encourage people to use locally-grown food, and to make sure we have locally grown food when we need it and secondly, it really helps the economy of farmers in the community,” she said.

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