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Harrowsmith Women’s Institute fashion show supports New Leaf Link

Harrowsmith Women’s Institute fashion show supports New Leaf Link

There was standing room only on April 26 at St. Paul's United Church in Harrowsmith for a special event that transformed the church’s main sanctuary into a runway for close to 40 models. The event, w...

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Founders of Kingston Nepal Foundation react to news of devastating earthquake in Nepal

Founders of Kingston Nepal Foundation react to news of devastating earthquake in Nepal

Written By: Julie Druker | Published: April-30-2015 | Category: SOUTH FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: Limestone Learning Foundation, People

Leslie Myles, managing director of the Limestone Learning Foundation, has for the last four years been connecting local students with the culture and traditions of Nepal, most recently with the help o...

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Loughborough PS gears up for 100th anniversary celebrations on May 1

Loughborough PS gears up for 100th anniversary celebrations on May 1

Students at staff and Loughborough Public School in Sydenham have been busy gearing up to celebrate their school's 100th anniversary. The celebrations will take place on Friday, May 1 from 4-8 p.m. wi...

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Laughing stress away

Laughing stress away

by Liz Steele-Drew If you had been a guest at the very first Comedy Night GREC ever hosted - last Friday night, you were probably wondering, as you sat hunched down in your seat, avoiding eye contact...

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“Pitch-In Day” at GREC

“Pitch-In Day” at GREC

In an effort to demonstrate their school pride and tidy up their school grounds, students and staff at the Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake donned plastic gloves and with garbage bags in...

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Cloyne's relationship to the Salmon River

Landscape ecologist and Friends of the Salmon River founder, Gray Merriam, was invited to speak at t...

Elginburg PS choir to sing at 70th Annual Battle of the Atlantic Ceremony

The 33 young singers that comprise the Elginburg Public School Choir are no strangers to guest perfo...

NAEC in cross-Canada experiment

by Valerie Allan NAEC is participating in a scientific experiment in partnership with Guelph Univer...

A Lesson in seed saving

By Dawn Morden, Mountain Grove Seed Cpompany SOME DEFINITIONS: Heirloom - Very old, usually more t...

Save our seeds!

by Dawn Morden, the Mountain Grove Seed Company Seed saving is an integral part of agriculture. Peo...

Museum to serve South Frontenac has roots in Verona area.

One of the conditions that were set out three years ago by South Frontenac Council when they agreed ...

Barb Sproule: 35 years in teaching; 20 years in politics

Barb Sproule is not a lifelong resident of the Ompah area, but she has learned to fit in over the ye...

Mel Good; the voice of the Parham Fair

Mel Good likes to say that he was born on Parham Fair Day, September 7, 1920, and “that wa...

Fiddleheads and the Wild Leek

Fiddleheads are one of the first green vegetables that sprout up in the spring and all we have to do...

Grace Arts Centre: A Venue for Music, Theatre and Art

When Grace United Church in Sydenham closed several years ago, it left the future of the former chur...

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  • Re: Euthanasia
    I celebrate the court's decision on assisted suicide because it gives people back some rights over their own body and mind. Society often misuses energy trying fruitlessly to restrict what people do with their own body. I'm grateful that we are moving towards being responsible for our own bodies. The…
    Written on Wednesday, 29 April 2015 23:40 in Letters
  • Re: All-candidates meetings
    I'd like to float the idea that at the upcoming All Candidates meetings, we the people get the last word. We get to ask a question, the candidates answer, and then we get an optional ten second closing statement. P.S. on the TFSA: Scott Reid and the Conservatives supported a…
    Written on Wednesday, 29 April 2015 23:40 in Letters
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  • Scott Reid and baiting the left
    It never fails. Whenever I see one the Scott Reid’s postcards in the mail, I think there will be a couple of extra letters to the editor to pick from next week, and I am rarely disappointed. After running the response letters there is the inevitable response from the pro-Scott Reid camp.Often Scott…
    Written on Wednesday, 29 April 2015 23:47 in Editorials
  • 10 Signs of Spring
    It's warm outside, not cold There is mud everywhere My road is flooded Where there is no flood, there are potholes All the messes outside from the fall are back, in spades Oh yeah, the geese are honking, the birds are chirping, the starlings are trying to nest all over…
    Written on Wednesday, 15 April 2015 22:54 in Editorials
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50 STORIES 150 YEARS

Museum to serve South Frontenac has roots in Verona area.

Museum to serve South Frontenac has roots in Verona area.

One of the conditions that were set out three years ago by South Frontenac Council when they agreed to support turning the former Hartington Schoolhouse, which is township property, over to the Portland District and Area Historical Society for a museum, was that the museum would ...

Barb Sproule: 35 years in teaching; 20 years in politics

Barb Sproule is not a lifelong resident of the Ompah area, but she has learned to fit in over the years. She spent her first seven years in South Porcupine, near Timmins, but when her father was injured while working in a gold mine, the family moved back home to Ompah, where both her parents were from. “It was a big change for me, moving from South Porcupine where there was an arena, stores and a big school, back to Ompah with its one-room school house. But I didn't mind, as far as I can remember. There was always lots to do, and that has never changed for me.” Her dad was not completely done with mining, however. Years later he was involved in a plan to re-open a gold mine near Ardoch that had been closed since early in the 20th Century. In the late 60s a couple of men approached him to help them open the Borst mine, and her father, who was a Shanks, took Barb and her husband to see the mine. They climbed down a 75 foot shaft, which Barb said “was not exactly something I enjoyed.” The two men died in a winter storm in Northern Ontario and that was the end of the last gasp of the gold mine industry in North Frontenac. When Sproule was young she also worked with her grandparents, the Dunhams, who owned the hotel in Ompah. There were three saw mills in Ompah in those days and she recalls that between summer traffic and logging, the hotel was “more or less fully occupied summer and winter". After finishing grade 8 at Ompah, she went to the new high school in Sharbot Lake, using the bus service that was also new, and graduated in 1954. By the fall of that same year she was teaching at Canonto School, at age 16. “I was too young to go to teachers' college, but they couldn't find a teacher for the Canonto school and they knew I was intending to become a teacher so they offered me the job and I accepted it.” Some of the 16 students were close to her age and one was the same age and bigger than her, so her solution to facing up to them was to not let on she was so young. That became harder to do when the Toronto Star send a photographer to Canonto to take her picture because she was the youngest teacher in Ontario that year. At that time teachers' college consisted of two summer courses and a full year course. Sproule went to Toronto for part of her education and Ottawa for the rest, and had her teaching certificate by 1956. She later transferred to Ompah and when Clarendon Central opened in the mid-1960s she taught there, and remained until she retired from teaching in 1989. Clarendon Central was a three-room school, and at the start there were 150 students at the school. Barb taught grades 3-5 and had 50 kids in her class. “It worked out fine. The older children taught the younger ones and everybody helped out,” she said. The biggest decline in the local economy took place in the 1980s. “The logging was in decline and people began going to Perth for work and the local businesses began to close. That was when all that really started to happen. It's too bad really that we've lost so much, and we really miss the restaurant; losing it has hurt everyone,” she said. Political career 1978-1997 It might not be the case that all politics in what is now ward 3 of North Frontenac and used to be Palmerson/Canonto Township revolve around the fire department, but it doesn't miss being so by much. So it is not surprising that Barb Sproule entered politics in the 1978 election in order to establish a fire department, which is something that the reeve of the day was reluctant to do. “We had a committee that had gotten together and was working on setting up a fire department and the council of the time would not support us in any way. So, we got some money and some property donated, and we bought a tanker truck and put a motor on it, which they got from emergency services out of Kingston. The reeve went and took the motor out of the truck. So I went to the reeve and said, 'Are you going to support it or not support it?' They didn't give it any support, even support in principle, so I told the reeve I was going to run, and I did and I won.” When asked who the reeve of the time was, she said “Well, I don't want to embarrass relatives” - an answer that doesn't really narrow down who it was, given the close knit nature of the community. Sproule served as reeve for five of the next terms, losing in one of the elections and winning the others, and was the reeve during the amalgamation process in the late 1990s. Like a number of the Frontenac County reeves at the time of amalgamation, she retired from politics instead of running in North Frontenac, although she has continued to sit on the Committee of Adjustment to this day, and regularly gets asked if she will run whenever election time approaches. “I enjoyed being in politics, but I like to travel nowadays, and I feel I've done my time,” she said. During her time as reeve, the first Official Plan for Palmerston/Canonto was brought in. In 1982 she served as county warden, the second woman to hold that position in the 118 years of the County's existence. The first was Dorothy Gaylord from Arden, who served as warden in the late 1970s and was still on the council when Barb had the position. When amalgamation was forced on the local politicians, there were a number of options on the table. “Those of us from the north end were really wary of the idea of one township for the entire county, which was one of the options, because we felt those from the south were really dealing with a different kind of community than ours. There was also talk of one township for the seven townships north of Verona, and we didn't like that either because we were worried that more attention would be paid to the townships that became Central Frontenac because they were bigger and we thought we might not get our share. So we set up North Frontenac and I think we did the right thing.” She recalls that the idea of eliminating the County level, which happened in 1998 and was overturned in 2004, was something that the four townships decided to do once they were established. “They didn't realise that by doing that they would be losing out on grants, so they made the right decision to reverse it, but they wanted to run things without the county interfering; that was the thinking.” Although she still follows politics, it is from a distance, as Barb Sproule has become somewhat of a world traveller in recent years. Her latest trip was to Australia last October, and she has made many trips over the years, with friends, on her own and once with one of her grand-daughters. She continues to live in Ompah, in the house she shared with her late husband, and still helps out in the cottage and campground business on Palmerston Lake that she and her husband started and her retired son now manages. Although the bright lights of South Porcupine were lost to her when she left (she did get to see the Olympic champion figure skater Barbara Ann Scott at the arena there when she was very young) there has certainly been enough going on at Ompah to keep her busy over the last 70 or so years.  

Mel Good; the voice of the Parham Fair

Mel Good likes to say that he was born on Parham Fair Day, September 7, 1920, and “that was the only fair that I have missedsince then.”Mel ended up sitting on the fair board for 50 years and for many of those years he was the MC of the fair.“I never told any off-colour jokes,” he said, “but I did tell some corny ones, you know, like 'after you sit on them planks for a coupleof years your pants get sore'; that sort of thing.”He remembers a time when the fair was something that people spent the entire summer waiting for, and when there wasn't a lot of money around to spend at the fair.“One of the most important things I ever did as a director of the fair was to talk the fair board into making the fair free for childrenunder 12,” he recalls.He got the idea after noticing a young girl sitting on the fence at the edge of the fair one hot sunny fair day in the 1940s.“She had come down all the way from Sharbot Lake. I don't know how she got there, but at the end of the day I realised that she didn't have a quarter to get in. She just sat swinging on the fence all day, listening to the music. I don't think she even had anything to eat...I pushed that motion on them and they fought it a bit, but finally they went for it. The next year attendance at the fair doubled, so people said it hadn't been that bad an ideaafter all.”Before Mel's father bought a farm property near Parham in 1916 and began raising cattle and running a mixed farm, the Goods had been working as loggers, for some of the major lumber barons of the 19th century, such as HG Rathbun and John Booth.But Mel was raised on the farm. He remembers blowing the whistle to call the men to lunch when he was five years old, and he kept a herd of Simmental cattle until about 15 years ago.“I sold them for an average of a thousand bucks, which was pretty good because right after that the mad cow came in and they weren't worth half that. Still it was better than when I was a kid. We used to sell 10 to 12 a year for about $10 each, and those were 800 lb. animals."One March day in 1930 when he was nine, he was gathering sap with his father when they heard a plane.“It was a foggy day, desperately foggy, I remember. I was helping my dad make a sleigh that we used for gathering the sap. We heard a plane overhead and heard the motor shut off three times and then a big crash. We ran out there and saw the wreck. There was 22 inches of ice out on the lake and thetail end of the plane was all you could see of the plane; it was standing straight up in the ice. I got a glimpse of the two men inside the plane but their bodies were badly mangled and they were clearly dead. Seeing that really made an impression on me, and it showed me that there are a lot of rough spots in this world. It was a sad day for sure.”When Mel was 20 he started working in the shipyards in Kingston, and he remembers it was steady, hard work but the workers were considered crucial to the war effort.“I went to see about enlisting, and they said I was qualified but that I should go back to the shipyard where I could do more good.”In 1946, Mel returned to Parham to take care of his mother, keep up the family farm and to purchase the general store in Parham. With his wife Doris and her sister Jean he ran Good's store for 53 years until selling it to Hope Stinchcombe in 2009. Not only did they run the store, they also ran the post office and the train station for 25 years."We sold a lot of feed over the years, and a lot of everything that people needed. If there was something we didn't have, we could get it."They also gave credit, as many stores did in those years.“Most people were pretty good, but there were always some who took advantage,” he recalls. “One lady ran up $500 and then phoned over the next month looking to start another line of credit. But we kept good records.”One thing that Mel remembers is the numbers and prices of products, what he sold things for and what they cost him, and most importantly, how much he made and how much work he had to do to make it. Over the years, that understanding of the value of things has stood him in good stead, and ensured his prosperity even as Parham became less and less of a center of commerce.“When we had the train station and the truck traffic and all the farms were going strong, Parham was pretty busy, but the store kept us going all the way until the day we sold it, I can tell you that.”He also understood the value of real estate. The farm, which is 500 acres and has a significant amount of frontage on Long Lake, is still entirely in the Good name.“There were lots of people who sold waterfront lots for $200 in the 40s and 50s, which was a lot of money back then, but I told them they were selling off their most valuable thing for money that would be gone in a year. I still have all the value in the waterfront here.”The other thing that he has always done, and continues to do now, is collect and preserve artifacts from the past. Whether it is the wing of that plane that went down on Long Lake in 1930, which Hope Stinchcombe found in the store three years ago when she was re-doing the floors, or a crosscut saw from the late 1890s, which he donated to Central Frontenac Township and now hangs in the township office, to records from the past and all kinds of tools from the 18th and early 19th centuries, he has collected it all.He also has a story to tell about most of the items. He is pretty spry at 95 and is hoping to live longer than his mother did. She made it to 102.

Marcel Giroux: The schools, the arena, the library and the church

Marcel Giroux has been a busy guy since he came to Sharbot Lake High School to teach French and Gym in 1956. The school he came to was eight years old and it was already showing signs of being too small for the demands of the local community. A few years later, with the baby boomers hitting high school, the school was expanded during a two-year period in which Marcel served as the interim principal. “The high schools were under the supervision of Frontenac County at that time and the public schools were under the townships. The problem in the high schools was overcrowding. When Sharbot Lake High School was expanded in 1962 it was built on the premise that it would be 100 students in grade 9; 70 in grade 10; 40 in grade 11; 30 in grade 12; and 20 in grade 13,” he said. Most jobs only required a grade 10 education at that time, but that changed to grade 12 just as the baby boomers were coming through. “The school was built for 240 students and 380 students showed up in September. We had that problem for years.” In the late 1960s the push was on to close one room schools and establish larger public schools. Marcel, who was the head guidance counselor at SLHS by that time, a position he held until his retirement in 1988, visited those schools every year to talk to the grade 8 students who were going to come to SLHS the next year. He supported closing the one room schools and expanding Hinchinbrooke, Sharbot Lake, and Clarendon Central Public Schools, and building Land O'Lakes Public School. “People have a romantic view of one-room schools, but the reality was that of the 14 that were in our townships, one or two were good, most of them were pretty poor, and a couple of them were horrendous. The good ones had established teachers and financial support from the township and community. But that was rare. I remember visiting a school that was being taught by a young girl who had just graduated from high school herself. She was taking chalk out of her purse in the morning because she had to supply it herself. That's the kind of thing that went on.” In 1969 the Frontenac School Board was established. It included two rural high schools, Sharbot Lake and Sydenham; Lasalle High School in Pittsburgh Township and Frontenac High School in Frontenac Township. The Kingston and Frontenac Board merged sometime later. Eventually Lennox and Addington schools were added and the Limestone Board was established. Marcel Giroux was elected to municipal council in Oso Township in the fall of 1972, and he had an ulterior motive for seeking office. Within six months of his election he was holding meetings with representatives from three neighboring townships to talk about building an arena, a project he had wanted to make happen for a long time. “We realised quite quickly that between the four of us we were only big enough to build half an arena. The people in Portland Township were also thinking about an arena and they concluded they were only big enough to build half an arena. So we all got together. “Portland came up with ten acres of land bordering the boundary road with Hinchinbrooke and we developed a plan and eventually got it built. I remember that since it was built closer to the south than the north and people from Kennebec and Oso had to drive further, it was agreed that Portland would pay 52% of the costs and the other four townships would pay 48% of the costs.” One of the reasons for the long-term viability of the arena, in Marcel's view, was staffing. “Jim Stinson was the first manager and he ran that place very well for 40 years. That's probably why it has been so successful. When Marcel retired from teaching on a wintry Friday in 1988, he took it easy for a day, and then on the Sunday formed a committee to start working on building a new Catholic Church in Sharbot Lake. The congregation had outgrown the 45 seat, unheated church on Road 38 and Elizabeth Street by the mid '60s but for a variety of reasons no new church had been built. “We had 80 people coming to mass in the winter and 300 in the summer. We said mass in the parking lot of the beer store one Sunday, in the bar at the hotel, in the township hall, until we eventually started holding mass in the high school for 15 years, but we needed a church of our own." The property where the church is now located had been purchased for $2,500 in 1962, but over 25 years had passed and the congregation had $22,000 in their building fund. In 1988, freshly retired, Marcel was in a position to jump in. “The reason it happened then and not before was that Father Brennan, who was new and enthusiastic, had just come to our congregation, and there was also a new bishop in place. Suddenly the things that were in the way disappeared. A two-year fundraising campaign raised over $430,000 and the church took back a mortgage for $169,000 and a new church was completed in 1992. One of the best fundraising activities was spearheaded by Doris Onfrachuk. A half-finished waterfront cottage was purchased for $60,000 and was then finished using volunteer labour and donated materials. $100 raffle tickets were sold and $132,000 was raised. In the late 1960s the push was on to establish a Frontenac County Library. In order to make that happen, according to Ontario regulations at the time, the majority of the townships in the county, representing over 60% of the population, needed to establish branches. Pittsburgh and Frontenac townships already had branches in place, and they represented 70% of the population. What was needed, however, was for seven of the other 14 townships to get on board. Different people took on their own councils to convince them to start up a library branch. Marcel was involved in Oso Township, but as he tells it, the success came from the fact that when a petition asking for a library to be established was brought to Council, the first three names on the petition were those of wives of council members, and the fourth was the name of a woman who was sitting on council herself. “They had no choice; it was brutal,” Marel recalls. The first branch in Oso was a not much more than a set of shelves in the United Church Hall in Sharbot Lake. Efforts in other townships were equally efficient and in 1969, 12 of the 16 Frontenac townships joined together to form the Frontenac Public Library. When municipal amalgamation was about to take place, it became clear that since Pittsburgh and Frontenac townships were joining with Kingston, the Frontenac Public Library was no longer going to be viable. Marcel was the chair of the Library at the time, and representatives from each branch began meeting in September of 1996 to work out the details of establishing the Kingston Frontenac Public Library. “We met monthly for a while and then bi-weekly, each time taking on a problem that needed to be solved - and there were many. We had different labour agreements than the city, a different computer system, different procedures. But by the time amalgamation took place, we had all the legal agreements in place, and all the politicians in Kingston and the four new townships had to do was pass bylaws establishing the KFPL - and they did." While it seems like Marcel Giroux has spent his whole life on public projects, he has also been a husband to Pam since 1968, and is the father of four adult sons.

Alita Battey-Pratt: The story of the village of Latimer and County of 1000 Lakes

Alita Battey-Pratt moved to a historic home on Latimer Road in the 1960s, with her husband, who taught at Queen's University. They were trying to “get back to the land, to use a phrase from the 60's, grow our own food and all that,” she recalls. After having twin daughters in 1969 and a son several years later, Alita still had had enough time to do some writing, and had taken an interest in the history of the area. She began writing for the Triangle newspaper, which served Storrington, Loughborough and Portland townships at the time. When the project to create the book, County of 1000 Lakes, started up in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Alita was approached by Ethel Beedell, who came from Battersea, and Jenny Cousineau from Sunbury to work on the Storrington chapter of the book. Alita also ended up writing the Architecture chapter as well. The book is a 550-page people's history of Frontenac County from 1673 - 1973 and was published in 1983, “I was raising young children and couldn't take a full-time job. It was fun to do and having a group of people who were so committed coming from all over Frontenac County to do it was a great thing. We met probably once a month. Each district doing a chapter would send a representative, and we got to know each other pretty well. Of course there was no Internet or email, so we communicated by phone and even then it was long distance. Unfortunately the manuscripts are only on paper; there is no digital version of anything, and only a fraction of what was written ended up in the book,” she said, when interviewed from her immaculately restored Heritage Home on Latimer Road on a cold, clear, blustery February morning. All the research for the Storrington chapter gave her an insight into the history, not only of the former village of Latimer, but also of Battersea, Inverary and Sunbury. One of the many interesting stories of the development of the area in the mid 19th Century was the development of Perth Road and the bridge over Loughborough Lake, which was necessary in order to bring development to Loughborough and Storrington Townships. Development in the 1830s in the area between Kingston and Loughborough Lake was hampered by a lack of good roads. In fact there are accounts of the requirement that landowners were required to put in a certain amount of time working on public roadways as a form of taxation. “In 1853, every landowner in Storrington whose assessed property was less than £50 had to perform two days labour on the roads, and this increased to 12 days for wealthier landowners,” said Battey-Pratt in her manuscript. When it came time to build the major north-south arterial roads, Perth Road through Inverary and Montreal Road through Battersea, the Province of Upper Canada was not interested in paying the entire cost, so “joint committees were formed from county councilors and citizen shareholders." The Kingston and Storrington and Kingston Mills Road Company was formed in 1852. In 1854, the first 12 mile stretch of road from Kingston to Loughborough Lake was paved, and two toll booths were installed, which brought in £200 in revenue the first year. It cost £7,293 to build the road, including £615 for the bridge over the north shore of Loughborough Lake. By the winter of 1855, a winter road had been built all the way up to Big Rideau Lake, where Perth Road still ends today. The rights to the road were sold in 1860 to “a triumvirate of three men, A.J. Macdonell, Samuel Smith and Sir J. A. MacDonald” James Campbell built the first subdivision in what would become Frontenac County in 1855, subdividing his farm to form 2 acre lots along Perth Road in what was subsequently renamed Inverary from the original name, which was Storrington. The toll on Perth Road remained in place for decades, much to the consternation of many people who made use of it on a regular basis. Jabez Stoness, who carried the mail for 35 years over the Perth Road, paid $3,000 in tolls over that time. In one celebrated case, “The wives of men working in the stone quarry north of Inverary refused to pay the toll because 'they were just taking lunches to their husbands'. They raced through the gate, [tollmaster] Charles Gibson went to get the bailiff ... and warrants were made out for the women's arrest. They were summoned to appear in court, held in Osborne's tavern, and the court fined them $16.50,” a hefty fine considering the toll was only 4 cents each way. Even a toll road can deteriorate, however, and in 1890, Jabez Stoness, no doubt angered by a lifetime of paying fees, refused to pay any further tolls because of the condition of the road. Noting that the county engineer had deemed the road was “dangerous and impeding Her Majesty's travel” Stoness argued that tolls could not be charged until the road was improved and he won the case. In 1907 the county offered R. H. Fair, who had purchased the road in 1899, $3,000 for the road. An arbitration board set the price at $7,000 and in June of 1907 the purchase was completed. The tolls were removed from Perth Road once and for all, and a steel bridge was constructed over Loughborough Lake, putting an end to decades of difficult crossings over rickety bridges (and ferries when the bridges would collapse every 10 years or so) One of Alita's interests during the writing of the book was the history of Latimer and the history of her own property, which was originally granted in 1799. During the research phase for County of 1000 Lakes, a neighbour who was living on the property that at one time had been John Woolf's store, found a sack full of papers which, when inspected, yielded a very clear picture of how the store and the Village of Latimer functioned in the mid 19th Century. At one time Latimer, which was the first settlement north of Kingston in what would become Storrington, had a post office, two cheese factories (including one that was turned into a fire station in the 1970s) a store and other amenities. John Woolf came to Latimer from Thorold in 1820 or '21, settled and opened a black smith shop, which became a trading post. Alita is still excited by what those old documents said about life in Latimer almost 200 years ago. “What I found was that he kept scrupulous records of everybody who came and went from his trading post, because people didn't have cash. If you came in with homespun - the Campbell ladies made a lot of homespun, that has been documented - they would trade that for wheat or flour or scantling [small timbers]. “So you had a document that ran for 50 years, of everything that went on in the community, every family, every trade, recorded in pounds, shilling and pence, until it became dollars and cents after 1850.” The documents also tell when houses were built and who built them “Captain Everett, who was a wealthy man and an owner of the toll road, would buy flooring for a full house in one go, and you would get to know when he took on construction projects. The Ansley family who lived on the farm where Alita lives, were in the lumber business, and most of their trading was done in terms of flooring, scantling and cedar shingles and they would trade for ground flour and ground peas, etc. Her research also revealed details about the history of her own house and the families that owned and operated it and the surrounding 200 acres of farmland. “It was built by Amos Ansley, who was a United Empire Loyalist and a well known master builder. It became interesting to me partly because when my husband and I purchased the house it was in a derelict state and we spent years restoring it so we learned a lot about how it was built in the process. But I also happen to be from a Loyalist family myself, and it occurs to me that a master builder such as Ansley would either have crossed paths with my family or at least they would have known about him.” Amos Ansley Jr. ended up owning a mill in what would eventually become the Village of Battersea. Ansley sold the mill in 1830 to another Loyalist who moved into the area, Henry Vanluven. Vanluven and his sons became an economic force in what became know as Vanluven's Mills until the name was changed to Battersea in 1857. He was also the first reeve of Storrington Township when it was incorporated in 1850. “Battersea had a larger population in 1850 than it does now,” said Alita, “and it had a gristmill [which burned down] a number of sawmills in and around the village and a large tannery. It was a thriving industrial centre in its day.”

NORTH FRONTENAC NEWS

North Frontenac Council - April 27, 2015

North Frontenac Council - April 27, 2015

Support for seniors in North Frontenac At Monday's council meeting in Plevna, Catherine Tysick, a Community Support Manager from North Frontenac Community Services (NFCS) explained to Council the many different services they provide to seniors and physically disabled people who ...

Townships continue to invest in doctor recruitment

Anyone walking in to the waiting room at the Lakelands Family Health Team in Northbrook last Wednesday, April 1, might have thought someone had served some bad tuna at a joint Council meeting. Four members from each of the Addington Highlands and North Frontenac Councils were sitting or standing, waiting to be called into the clinic. However, none of them seemed particularly under the weather; they were only waiting to spend some money and secure another physician for five years. Each of the townships has committed $15,000 per year for five years to help pay the medical school expenses of Dr. Matt Dumas, who in turn has committed to remaining at the Family Health Team (FHT) for at least that length of time. This is the second time that a physician has been encouraged to practice at Lakelands in this manner. In July of 2012, Dr. Anne Wilson began accepting patients in Northbrook to fulfill a similar five-year commitment, which runs until July of 2017. There are currently five doctors affiliated with Lakelands, including Doctor Tobia, who started the practice decades ago, Dr. Peter Tam, and the venerable Dr. Alan Elliott, who works two days a week. Lakelands Family Health Team is part of the North Kingston Family Health Organization and Dr. Dumas heard about the Northbrook clinic when he was working on a short term contract at the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team in 2014, after graduating from Queen's Medical School earlier in the year. What Matt Dumas found, when he visited Northbrook, was a location that seemed somewhat familiar to him. “The land around here is pretty similar to where I grew up, near North Bay. Matt Dumas lived in North Bay for most of his youth. He is a member of the Dokis First Nation, and he spent some of his summers on the French River, which runs between Lake Nipppising and North Bay, staying with family on the Dokis Reserve. “The landscape there is very similar to what I find in this area, lots of lakes and swamps, a Canadian Shield wilderness area,” he said. He is entering into this agreement with the Lakelands FHT with some experience, as he has been working for them on contract since late in 2014. “The staff and the other doctors here have been more than welcoming, and there is a lot of knowledge in this community that helps me as I pursue a career in Family Medicine, which is what I really enjoy.” In addition to providing service in Northbrook and one day a week at the Denbigh satellite clinic, Dr. Dumas is also maintaining ties in Kingston by teaching a course with the Department of Family Medicine at Queen's, where he is an associate professor. According to Janice Powell, the executive director of Lakelands, Dr. Dumas has been well received by the patients he has been serving over the last few months. “He is good at listening carefully to what patients say,” she said. “One patient in Denbigh came up to me as they were leaving the clinic one day, and said 'you have a good one there, you'd better not let him go.' And now we don't have to, thanks to the townships.” The townships of North Frontenac and Addington Highlands have been involved in medical services for a number of years. The townships began looking at putting money aside for doctor recruitment 10 years ago, and when Doctor Tobia was considering turning his practice into a Family Health Team, which came to fruition in 2010, the townships were involved in the transition. Addington Highlands now owns the building in Northbrook where the Lakelands headquaters is, and rents space to the FHT in is Denbigh Community Centre. The townships have continued to put money aside for recruitment over the years. With this latest investment, each of them will have spent $150,000 on direct recruitment.

Snow Road breakfast benefits local Alzheimer Societies

Over 170 diners attended the most recent Saturday morning breakfast fundraiser on April 4 at the Snow Road Snowmobile Club (SRSC). Following the meal, the club’s president, Ruth Wark, presented two cheques of $433.50 each to representatives from the Lanark and the Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Alzheimer societies. The annual fundraiser was started years ago when a member of the community, the late Colonial St. Pierre, whose wife had passed away from the disease, asked if club members would be interested in raising money for the Alzheimer Society. The SRSC has been fundraising for the Society ever since. Wark said that the fundraisers have become a focus for the club due to the fact that so many members of the club have had loved ones with Alzheimer’s. “All of us here have had people in our lives who have been diagnosed with the disease and this is our way of giving back to the community.” Vicki Poffley, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of KFL&A, who was present at the club to receive one of the cheques, said that she and her staff very much appreciate the donation and that community fundraisers are a big part of how they are able to support those affected by the disease in the local community. “About 75% of our budget is raised through events such as this as well as from other fundraisers and donations by members of the community. These funds are used not only for the services and supports we provide but also to raise awareness that the society is here in the neighbourhood to help support individuals and their families.” Following a diagnosis, the Alzheimer’s Society offers education and supports to individuals and their families to enhance their quality of life and to encourage their continued social interactions. Poffley explained that the Alzheimer's Society's satellite office, which was up and running in Sharbot Lake from 2008 to 2011, was closed down due to cost concerns. However, the Kingston office continues to service the area. “We found that a lot of the support that we were providing in the community here was home-based so we are continuing with that support even though the office has been closed.” The Kingston office continues to offer a community Alzheimer support group at the United Church in Sharbot Lake, which takes place regularly on the first Tuesday of the month at 1PM. The support group was discontinued for a while but has now started up again. Those looking for more information about the supports that the Alzheimer’s Society provides can call 613-544-3078 or visit www.alzheimer.ca/kfl&a Cheryl Bingley, a board member with the Alzheimer Society of Lanark County, also attended the fundraiser and received a cheque and was equally thankful for the donation. She stressed the importance of having funds available to spread awareness and support the existing services available at her office. “There is a significant aging population in this area and it is very important that people are made aware of the services that are available to them.” Lanark residents wanting more information about the supports offered at the Lanark office can contact Louise Noble at 613-264-5060.

North Frontenac Council

CFDC presents ideas and options to North Frontenac Council Anne Prichard from the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC) made a presentation to North Frontenac Council at their meeting on Tuesday, April 7 explaining how the non-profit organization operates and how the services they provide can benefit the residents of North Frontenac. She also pointed out that both Mayor Ron Higgins and Councilor John Inglis have served on the FCFDC board in the past. The FCFDC offers many different tools to help the local business owner, from grants and low-interest loans, to workshops and mentoring. Prichard outlined a few of the key focus points of the FCFDC: encouraging local business growth, attracting small scale food and beverage businesses, and expanding the supply of tourism accommodations. She also explained that the organization aims to “stimulate the community and economic development throughout the Frontenacs” and has recently helped attract Back Forty, an artisanal cheese maker, to the area. Back Forty is currently setting up their operation and will soon be making their award-winning cheeses in North Frontenac. Mariclaro, a design company that makes high-end bags and fashion accessories out of recycled material in Snow Road, has also benefited from support from the FCFDC. As of a few months ago, approximately 25% of FCFDC loans went to the tourism and accommodation industry, 23% to the retail industry, 14% to the service industry, and 14% to the food production industry. The food production sector is expected to grow and represent a larger portion in future. Prichard encouraged the council members to point local business owners, or people looking to start their own businesses in North Frontenac, towards the FCFDC. For more information visit frontenaccfdc.com. In Case Of Emergency Lisa Harvey, a field officer from the Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management (OFMEM), spoke about the province's emergency management plan and North Frontenac's emergency protocol. She explained the intricacies of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), which states that every municipality and every ministry in Ontario must develop an emergency management program. She assured the Council that North Frontenac has a “really good emergency management program...and a very good Community Emergency Management Coordinator (Fire Chief Steve Riddell).” The EMCPA requires that the municipalities have a series of tools in place to assist them in a time of need. These include, among others: forming an emergency program committee; doing a hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA); creating a report on critical infrastructure; designating an emergency operations centre (EOC); annual training; and public awareness. Certain aspects of the program, like the HIRA and the critical infrastructure report, influence how North Frontenac's emergency services would respond in the case of an actual emergency. Harvey explained that when there is an emergency and 911 is called, some combination of first responders, be it fire, police, and/or ambulance, are dispatched. In the case of severe emergencies, the EOC is alerted, and subsequently brings the mayor and other emergency and administrative personnel into the process. At this point, only the mayor can decide whether to declare a state of emergency to the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (POEC), a command centre that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, out of Toronto. Harvey explained how the EMCPA can help facilitate and expedite decision-making by council and how the EMCPA allows the head of council (Mayor Higgins) to make executive decisions. Language in the EMCPA defends council decisions, made during an emergency, as being the best they could make based on “the information that the group had at the time” she said. The EMCPA also gives the municipality the power to circumvent their normal by-laws, as long as they're not in violation of the law. Harvey explained how this might expedite an emergency response. For instance, in a situation where “you don't have time to get three quotes to purchase a piece of equipment that might save a life”. Mayor Higgins asked Harvey in what situation he should declare an emergency. “If you're ever asking yourself, 'should we declare?', do it,” Harvey said.

Reviving regular musical happenings in Harlowe

The community hall in Harlowe has seen an upsurge in activity this past year thanks to the efforts of a few community-minded music enthusiasts. The regular Harlowe Open Mic/Music Jam/Community Potluck, which takes place on the last Saturday of each month, along with the Olde Tyme Fiddlers who play there every third Friday of the month, have been attracting close to 50 guests at each event. These musical happenings came about thanks to the efforts of members of the Harlowe Rec Club, three of whom I had a chance to meet at the hall on March 28 while the Saturday Open Mic/Music Jam was in full swing. Marie White said that the new regular events came about after the Saturday evening dances, which had been taking place there for 13 years, since 1997, started to wane. “The dances started to sour”, Marie said, “and because we had to pay the band and pay for the advertising for the dances, well... it just wasn't worth it anymore.” In an effort to keep some kind of regular musical events happening at the hall, Marie who loves music and just so happens to be the president of the Olde Tyme Fiddlers' Association in Harlowe, with the help of other members of the Rec committee, who include Marie's husband George White, Terry Good, Pat and David Cuddy and Jannette, initiated the Open Mic/Music Jam and Olde Tyme Fiddlers events. These now keep locals and other music lovers from further afield coming back to Harlowe regularly every month. Admission is free and guests are invited to make a donation to the hall to help pay for its upkeep. Marie pointed out one couple from Enterprise, Al and Louise Taylor who were up dancing. “They come every month all the way from Enterprise and never miss a week”. Music lovers from Harlowe, Hendersen, Enterprise, Northbrook and other hamlets in the area as well as one couple from Ottawa also regularly attend. On the day of my visit the musical entertainers included Jimmy Dix, Mary O'Donnell, Arnold Miller, Kevin O'Donnell, Ray Whitelock, Dave Johnston, Mary Johnston and Doreen Black. Like most former two room schoolhouses that have been converted into local community centers, the Harlowe hall has become a hub for the local community. Its hard wood floors and ample hall space plus its updated kitchen and washroom facilities make it the perfect place for entertaining large groups. While I was there, committee members along with volunteers Fay and Ray White were busy setting up the potluck buffet table in an adjacent room with loads of home made desserts and savory dishes. Committee member Terry Good spoke of the history of the hall, which opened in 1948/49 and was run as a school until 1971/72. At that time it was taken over by the Rec hall committee and in 1986 a $60,000 Wintario grant that was matched (and then some) by funds raised by the hall committee group, allowed for some significant renovations These included moving and updating the kitchen and washroom facilities and the addition of a new roof. While Harlowe over the years has lost its post office and general store (it used to boast three stores), Good said that he is thankful to still have the hall in the community. The Rec hall club members welcome new visitors to come out to Harlowe, where they stress, “All are welcome”. I would bet that the friendly atmosphere, great music and wonderful food will ensure that one visit to Harlowe is not enough.

CENTRAL FRONTENAC NEWS

Laughing stress away

Laughing stress away

by Liz Steele-Drew If you had been a guest at the very first Comedy Night GREC ever hosted - last Friday night, you were probably wondering, as you sat hunched down in your seat, avoiding eye contact with the keenly intuitive comics, why has something like this not taken place s...

“Pitch-In Day” at GREC

In an effort to demonstrate their school pride and tidy up their school grounds, students and staff at the Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake donned plastic gloves and with garbage bags in hand picked up trash in around the school property on their annual Pitch-In Day on April 23. The students collected countless bags of debris and recyclables and as a result the school property is looking much cleaner and tidier for the spring season. Mr. McVety, who teaches grade 10 Civics, and Mr. Leonard, who teaches global studies, history and social sciences at the school, were assisting their students with the clean up. School Principal, Heather Highet, said, “Winter tends to leave a lot of garbage behind and this Pitch-In Day at the school not only tidies up the school property but it is an opportunity for students to celebrate Earth Day and gives them a chance to take pride in their school and community.”

A Lesson in seed saving

By Dawn Morden, Mountain Grove Seed Cpompany SOME DEFINITIONS: Heirloom - Very old, usually more than 50 years, usually passed down through generations. Are open pollinated. Open pollinated - The ability to breed, with offspring being the exact replica of the parents. Hybrid - A mix of two or more open pollinated varieties. The first generation of offspring usually displays all dominant genes. They are usually all the same, e.g. all tall, red tomatoes. However, in subsequent generations of growth, many recessive genes are displayed as well. Almost all of the plants are different. If you want to breed your own seed, pick the plants with traits you like from the second (mixed) generation of offspring, and remove the other ones. Save the seed, then replant the following year, doing the same thing. Continue for as many years as it takes for all of the plants to be the same. There are some varieties that have inconsistency as a characteristic; they are called landraces. Beans may have multicoloured pods, or dried white beans may include 5-10% of yellow or brown beans. Annual - A plant that produces seed in one growing season. Annual vegetables include tomatoes, beans, peppers, peas, lettuce, rapini, mustards, all squash, corn, broccoli, radish, eggplant, and rapini. Biennial - Plants that require two years of growing to produce seed. They require vernalization to flower (a period of cold). Plants can be overwintered in the garden under a thick mulch of hay, or stored in the root cellar and replanted in the spring. Biennials include onions, beets, other brassicas, parsnip, carrots and celery. Do not collect seed from plants that flower the first year. Self-pollinating plants - Are in-breeding. Flowers are “perfect” that is, they each have both male and female parts. One flower, with no bees or wind, can produce fruit. They do mix a little. To maintain genetic diversity it is advisable to grow about 25 plants when saving seed. Self pollinated vegetables include tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, peas and beans. Cross-pollinating plants - Are out-breeding. Plants have separate male and female flowers, or need male parts (pollen) from one plant and female (the stamen) parts of a different plant. To maintain genetic diversity, it is advisable to grow about 100 plants, but as few as 20 can be used (corn requires at least 100). Cross-pollinated vegetables include brassicas, squash, onions, spinach, beets, carrots, corn and parsnip. Inbreeding depression - Deterioration of size, vigour, and yield due to inbreeding. Never use only one or two plants for seed saving, especially cross-pollinating ones. Clonal - Cloning. Potatoes, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes. These plants will produce seed, but take multiple years to grow to full size. Cloning produces full size plants in one year. PLANTING YOUR GARDEN FOR SEED Basic plant biology - plant>families>genus>species> varieties Through pollination by insects or the wind, varieties in the same species will mix with one another. To prevent cross-pollination, options are maintaining an isolation distance, hand-pollinating (caging, bagging, taping techniques), or timing of flowering. The level of adherence to these guidelines is related to the purpose for saving the seed. For self-pollinating plants, isolation distances can be reduced a little, fairly safely. Bees usually fly up and down rows, but do sometimes skip sections (20-50'). They do not usually go from row to row; they go to the closest flowers. If there are flowering plants between varieties of the same species, then the risk of cross-pollination is reduced. Is seed is saved from the center of plots, and middle of rows, then the risk of cross-pollination is reduced. Allow space between plants to improve airflow. This helps to prevent disease. Never plant all of your seed in one planting! Bad things can happen. Save some of your valuable seed just in case you need to replant, or do not have success growing it that year. If you have seed saved from multiple years, plant a little from each year. this will increase genetic deversity and strengthen your plants. SELECTION AND HARVESTING OF SEED Selection - Select plants for health, strength, timing (early and/or late), quick germination (early to sprout, early to bear), good maturation, disease resistance, heat, drought, rain, and cold tolerance. Look at the plant as a whole. Look at the shape, colouring, size, durability, and disease resistance of the fruit as well. Rogueing - Remove plants that do not perform well or are "off" types, ones with poor traits. Do this before and after flowering. If seed is saved only later in the season, and the early produce used, then it will be selected for lateness. If seed is saved only early in the season and the remaining produce is used, then it will be selected for earliness. Collect seeds throughout the season. Some at each harvest is best. Try not to select for high yield alone. This diverts the plant's energy to doing that, often compromising sweetness or quality. Seed plants are still useful. The outer leaves of lettuce plants can be harvested to sell or eat. Off types of tomatoes or peppers can be potted and moved (or replanted) to a location where they will not cross with seeds to be saved. Fruit can be sold or eaten. The flesh of peppers, melon, watermelon, squash, even tomatoes can be used without harming the seeds. Harvesting - Harvest at proper maturity. Tomatoes, melons, squash and peppers should be ripe. Cucumbers very over-ripe. Harvest dry seed with low moisture content. Lettuce, brassicas, beets, and spinach should be dry. Harvest when the maximum quantity on the plant is ready. Beans and peas should be dry, but can be harvested when the pods have shrivelled and thinned, and the bulging legumes are prominent. CLEANING AND STORAGE AND CARING FOR SEED. Cleaning - Curing seed. Squash needs to sit after it is picked for one month, to allow seeds to ripen properly. Cucumbers, for two weeks. Watermelon and melon can be used when they are ripe. Dry seeds - Umbel, podded, and clustered seed. Harvest whole limbs. Run thumb and finger up the branch when it's dry to dislodge seeds. Pods can be crushed, and the large debris removed. Winnow what is left. Put seeds in a low-sided container and use a fan, the wind or your breath to carefully blow away what is not seed. These types of dry seed can be stored at any stage (as long as it's dry), and cleaned later. Beans and peas should be removed from pods as soon as possible to prevent mold. Spread out to dry until seeds become hard. Wet seed - There are two methods for cleaning wet seeds (seeds that form inside the vegetable). The first is the simplest and is used for cleaning squash, peppers or watermelon seeds. Remove the seeds from the vegetable when you eat it. Squash and watermelon seeds can be rinsed in a strainer. Spread out on a non-stick surface dry. They are dry when they become hard, breaking instead of bending. The second method involves fermentation and is used for tomatoes, cucumbers and melons. Fermentation helps reduce seed-borne disease. Do not let seeds sprout. Cut the fruit in half and scoop out the seeds. Put the seeds into a glass jar or yogurt container. Add a very small amount of water. Leave the container on the counter for a few days until there is white mould on top and it smells bad. Then, stir vigorously and add ¼ to ½ cup water. Let it stand for a couple of minutes. Carefully pour off the water (and yucky stuff) from the top of the container. Its okay if there are some seeds in it, these ones are no good. The good seeds are at the bottom. Add more water, let stand a few more minutes and pour the water off (carefully) again. Repeat until the water is clear and seeds at the bottom of the container are clean. Spread seeds out on a non stick surface to dry. Storage - Be certain your seeds are dry before storing. Never heat seeds to dry them. Never dry seeds in the direct sunlight. Never overuse silica powder as a drying agent because if seeds lose all of their moisture, they will die. Store seeds in a moisture-proof container. Only glass and metal are airtight. Muslin bags or paper envelopes absorb moisture and are good. Multiple packets can be placed in a canning jar for storage. Label each packet of seed with the variety name, year grown (location grown on property), and when to re-grow or check germination. Do not mix seed from different years when storing seeds. Seeds need to be stored somewhere dry, cool and dark. Not in humid or damp environments with fluctuating temperatures. The refrigerator is good. The freezer is great, but only if the seeds are dry enough. Otherwise, seeds will crack when moisture inside them freezes and expands. Cold temperatures slow down the energy consumption of seeds, so lengthens their viability time. Caring for seed - Check for germination if not growing every year. To germinate, most seeds require 75 degrees F. temperatures (peppers and eggplant 80°, cowpeas 85°). To test germination, count the seeds that were planted. At the end of the first week, count how many sprouted, and carefully remove them. Do this at the end of weeks two, three and four. Add the total number of sprouted seeds, then calculate the germination percentage. If there is 20% germination, that means that 20% of the seeds are still alive, but also that 80% of the vigour is gone from all of the seeds. Seeds should be re-grown when germination is around 70%, to maintain good quality. Appendix. Categorization of vegetables The AMARYLLICACEAE family (aka liliaceae, or aliuceae) Species: i) allium ampeloprasum. LEEKS ii) allium sativum. GARLIC (no scapes) AND ROCAMBOLE (has scapes) iii) allium schoenoprasum. CHIVES iv) allium tuberosum. GARLIC CHIVES v) allium cepa. ONIONS AND SHALLOTS. Has subspecies. a) aggregatum. shallots, multiplier onions, potato onions. b)cepa. onions that produce seed. c) proliferum. egyptian onions (aka walking onions or tree onions). Leeks, onions and shallots are biennials. Seed producing alliums have perfect flowers but are outbreeding. Chives and garlic chives, once established, will provide seed each year. garlic has lost the ability to reproduce sexually so will never cross with itself. Isolation distance: 1.6km Life expectancy of seeds: 2 years The BRASICACEAE family. Species: i) brassica napus. RUTABEGA, SIBERIAN KALE, SWEDE TURNIP, FINNISH TURNIP. Has subspecies. a) napobrassica. rutabegas grown for their roots. b) pabularia. rutabegas grown for foilage (siberian kale, hanover salad). c) rapeseed. canola including winter rape kale ii) brassica rapa. TURNIP, RAPINI, CHINESE MUSTARD iii) raphanus sativus. RADISH iv) brassica oleracea. BROCCOLI, CAULIFLOWER, CABBAGE, BRUSSEL SPROUTS, KALE, KOHLRABI, COLLARDS Broccoli, Rapini, chinese mustard, and radishes are annuals. All others are biennials. Brassicacaea flowers are perfect but require insects for pollination. Many varieties are self incompatible (sterile), so multiple plants are required to produce seed. Alternate day caging can be used for seed purity. Use a knife to cut an x into the cabbage and cauliflower heads, so that the seed stalks can emerge. Isolation distance: 800m for radish. All else 1.6km. Life expectancy of seeds: 4-5 years The CHENOPODIACEAE family. Species: i) beta vulgaris. BEET, SWISS CHARD, MANGEL ii) chenopodium quinoa. QUINOA iii) spinacia oleracea. SPINACH Chenopodiaceae are wind pollinated. Beets, swiss chard and mangels are biennials. They will not flower until roots are mature and vernalization has occurred. Beet seeds are clusters of 2-5 seeds each. When growing, thin leaves so that only one leaf stalk grows on each plant. Use at least six plants for seed (beta vulgaris). Quinoa and spinach are annuals. The quinoa grains are the seeds, they form in large heads on stalks. Quinoa is short day sensitive and will develop flowers or seed until late in the season. Spinach is either a male or female plant. At least 4'x4' of spinach plants are needed to grow seed. Plant in plots to aid fertilization. Only the female plants will bear seed. Isolation distance: minimum 8km. Life expectancy of seeds: 5-6 years The COMPOSITAE family. Species: i) helianthus annuus. SUNFLOWER ii) lactuca sativa. LETTUCE Annuals. Flowers are perfect, most self compatible. Alternate day caging can be used to produce seed. Seed heads may need to be bagged if birds are consuming the seeds. Sunflowers are outbreeding plants. Sunflower seeds are found in the shells that form on the flower head. Remove seeds from the flower heads but leave them in their shells. Lettuce is an inbreeding plant. Lettuce seeds form on flower heads from bolted lettuce. Harvest lettuce seeds when the fluff sticking out of the seed pods becomes dry. Winnowing does not work for lettuce seed. Use your fingers or a screen. Types of lettuce include crisphead, butterhead, cos (romaine), stem (celtuce, asparagus lettuce), leaf and latin. If growing a crisp head variety, heads should be cut down the centre to allow emerging flower stalks to form. Isolation distance: lettuce 8m. sunflowers 4km. Life expectancy of seeds: lettuce 3 years, sunflower 7 years The CUCURBITACEAE family. Species: i) citrullus lanatus. WATERMELON ii) cucumis melo. MELON. Has seven subspecies cucumis iii) cucumis sativus. CUCUMBER v) cucurbita maxima. SQUASH (eg. hubbard, most pumpkins) vi) cucurbita mixta. SQUASH (eg. cushaw) vii) cucurbita moschata. SQUASH (eg. butternut) viii) cucurbita pepo. SQUASH (eg. zuchinni, acorn, spaghetti) Annuals. Plants have separate male and female flowers. Most require pollen from a different plant. Grow at least 20 plants. Blossom taping is often used to maintain seed purity. In the evening, tape shut blossoms just about to open, or just opened. Tape male and female blossoms. In the morning, after the dew has dried, pick, untape and remove the petals from the male flower. Carefully untape the female flower and pollinate using the male one. Retape the female flower closed. Hand pollination is most successful with the first few blossoms, early in the season. Melons abort about 80% of their blossoms. Cucumbers will abort their blossoms during drought or extreme heat. Harvest only ripe fruit for seeds. Allow cucumbers to turn a dark yellow orange (overripe) before picking. Let cucumbers sit (at room temperature) for two weeks, and squash for a month after picking. Seeds can be removed from melons and watermelon, when fruit is ripe. Isolation distance: 0.8km. Life expectancy of seeds: 5-6 years, cucumbers 10 years The LEGUMINOSEA family. (aka faboideae, caesal piniodeae, mimosoideae) Species: i) arachis hypogaea. PEANUT ii) pisum sativum. PEAS iii) phaseolus vulgaris. BEANS, BUSH, POLE iv) phaseolus coccineus. BEANS, RUNNER v) phaseolus lunatus. BEANS, LIMA vi) glycine max. BEANS, SOYA vii) vigna unguiculato. COWPEAS Annuals. Bagging or caging techniques can be used for seed saving. Peanuts need to be saved overwinter in their shells for replanting in the spring, and need 120 days of hot weather to grow well. Bean and pea seeds are the beans and peas in the pods. Allow to dry on plants before harvesting, or remove entire plant with roots and hang upside down in a warm location until dry. Isolation distance: peas, bush and pole beans, cow peas 15-20m. Runner and soya beans 0.8km. Lima beans 1.6km. Life expectancy of seeds: 3-4 years The SOLANACEAE family. Species: i) capsicum annuum. PEPPERS ii) lycopersicon lycopersicum. (aka lycopersicon esculentum) TOMATOES, CURRANT TOMATOES iii) solanum melongena. EGGPLANT iv) solanum tuberosum. POTATO v) physalis pubescens. GROUND CHERRY vi) physalis alkekengi. CHINESE LANTERN Annuals. Currant tomatoes are ¼” in diameter, red and grow in clusters. Potato leaf varieties of tomatoes tend to cross pollinate so have a greater isolation distance. Potatoes should be saved overwinter and replanted in the spring. Isolation distance: Peppers, 165m. Tomatoes at least 5m, potato leaf varieties 50m. Ground cherries and chinese lanterns 50m. Eggplant 15-20m. Life expectancy of seeds: peppers, ground cherries, chinese lanterns 3 years, tomatoes 4-10 years, eggplant 7 years. The UMBILLEFRAE family. Species: i) apium graveolens. CELERY ii) anethum graveolens. DILL iii) daucus carota. CARROT AND QUEEN ANNES LACE iv) pastinace sativa. PARSNIP AND WILD PARSNIP v) foeniculum vulgare. FENNEL vi) coriandrum sativa. CILANTRO vii) petroselinum crispum. PARSLEY Have umbrella like seed heads. Cilantro, dill and fennel are annuals. Celery, carrots, parsnips and parsley are biennials. Isolation distance: carrots, fennel 0.8km. Others 1.6km. Life expectancy of seeds: parsnip 1 year. carrots, parsley, fennel 3 years. dill 5 years. celery 8 years. The GRAMINEAE family. (aka poeceae) Species: i) zea mays. CORN ii) sorghum bicolor. SORGHUM, BROOM CORN Annual. Timing of flowering can sometimes be used successfully. Select a mimiature corn that matures quickly, such as tom thumb. Plant around May 15. Select a full size corn, preferably of a different color to plant in early june. Often if cross pollination occurs, the different colour kernels will show on the cobs mixed in. If sweet corn is planted near field corn, the sweet corn will not be very palatable. Use a 100 yard minimum distance that includes a barrier such as a forest, or field of sorghum. Allow ears to mature or dry on plant. Pick and peel back the husks, remove silks and hang cobs to dry (or lay flat turning once a day). Pick kernels off, the kernels are the seeds. Isolation distance: 3.2km. Life expectancy of seeds: 3 years The LABIATAE family. Species: olimum basilicum. BASIL Annual. Isolation distance: 50m. Life expectancy of seeds: 5 years The LILIACEAE family. Species: asparagus officionalis. ASPARAGUS Seeds form in round pods on tall feathery stalks. Isolation distance: 3.2km. Life expectancy of seeds: 5 years

Save our seeds!

by Dawn Morden, the Mountain Grove Seed Company Seed saving is an integral part of agriculture. People have been saving seeds for thousands of years. Seeds from wild plants were collected and grown again and again over time. The plants evolved into the foods that we eat today. For example, the wild relative of cabbage evolved to become collards, and then later, cabbage. Cabbage plants then further evolved to form broccoli and cauliflower. Our ancestors saved their seeds; it is how they grew their food. These seeds were special. Seeds are living organisms, they are alive. They adapt to the external conditions and climate of where they grow. As a result, saving seeds from your garden improves the performance, strength, quality, yield and resilience of your plants. Seeds are disappearing. Today, 19 types of vegetables have 25% fewer varieties than there were in existence 30 years ago. For example, there are now 97 fewer types of cauliflower then there were in 1981. Seed diversity is absolutely necessary for food security. Different varieties of the same vegetable perform differently from each other. The more seed diversity that exists, the better our chances are to grow our food successfully, especially in today's changing and unpredictable environment. Seed extinction is a real threat to our existence. There are over 50,000 species of plants at risk of extinction today. Fortunately, there is increasing awareness with regards to the importance of seed diversity. Farmers and gardeners everywhere are working together to preserve our seeds, and our heritage. Seed banks, co-ops and libraries are being created by many communities locally, nationally and internationally. These community seed saving initiatives and regional seed systems are critical to food security, seed sovereignty and to our resilience as people on this planet. Locally, the Kingston Area Seed Saving Initiative is working towards creating a sustainable system of locally grown, quality seeds for farmers and gardeners. No single person can save every variety of seed. Collaborative efforts are imperative to the preservation of seed diversity. If each of us saves our seed from one variety of one vegetable each year, together we can save thousands of varieties from extinction. Saving seeds cuts costs of gardening, develops better seed, and allows us to participate in the glorious cycle of life. Seed companies often change the particular seeds they sell, and someday, you may be the only one who has the variety of seeds that you have been saving. It is important to consider the type of seed you are growing when you are saving seeds. Seeds from heirloom and open pollinated plants will grow new plants exactly like the previous ones. These are the seeds that we need to save. Hybrids are mixes of different kinds of seeds. Seeds saved from hybrids will not grow plants that are the same. Use only heirloom or open pollinated seeds for seed saving. To learn more about seed saving and how to grow, save, clean and care for your seeds, visit www.mountaingroveseed.com.  

Central Frontenac Council - April 28

Staff outlines plans to mitigate $255,000 budget pressure In an effort to mitigate the township's $255,000 budget shortfall that resulted from an oversight in the public works total formula, CAO Jim Zimmerman and treasurer J. Michael McGovern presented council with their six step plan to reclaim the $255,000 error. First they reduced the original $255,000 in the estimated costs for the repair/replacement of the township's fleet of vehicles to $227,000. Changes to the staff salaries resulted in an additional $34,000 in savings and a deferment in securing a loan required for the Fifth Lake Road Road construction project will reap an additional $55,000 savings in interest. A reduction to the estimated Phase 1 costs for the 2015 Environmental Assessments in the municipalities by restricting the proposed assessments to just four sites at a cost of $2,500 each will save an additional $70,000 from the original $80,000 in the budget. Councilors had trouble agreeing with a $50,000 reduction in the proposed $295,000 gravel budget for 2015. Councilor Brent Cameron wondered if a $50,000 reduction in gravel would meet the townships needs. CAO Zimmerman responded by saying that day-to-day stock piling of material would help, as would lumping a series of municipal roads into a single contract. He added that though there may be a slight reduction in the level of service to the township as a result, that a reasonable level of service could still be achieved with the reduction. Council passed a motion for staff to proceed with their proposed plans and ordered that staff provide them with a regular monthly status report concerning the matter for the remainder of 2015. CF Council extends CIP beyond Sharbot Lake Council unanimously passed a motion to expand the township's Community Improvement Plan to include other hamlets and villages in the township. Originally the plan, which was initiated three years ago, was to include only Sharbot Lake and to date it has attracted just 12 applications. The news should be welcomed by residents and business owners in other villages across the township. A public meeting will be scheduled at a later date to convey the details of the program and the application process. Kennebec Shores sales building and privy approved Council approved a motion allowing the owners of the Kennebec Shores development to sign a memorandum of understanding with staff allowing the former to construct a sales building and privy on township land in order to better promote the sale of the lands Delegations Anne Prichard, executive director of the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC), made an in depth presentation to council outlining the numerous services, programs, loans and grants that are available to local individuals and businesses in the township with the hopes that that council and staff will steer aspiring entrepreneurs their way. The FCFDC aims to encourage economic growth by promoting local businesses and tourism in the area and by promoting and supporting community vibrancy in the township. Mayor Frances Smith congratulated Prichard on her hard work. Wallbridge Lane Resident appeals to council re back tax concerns Robert Scrymgeour appealed to council to show him leniency for back taxes and interest he owes on two deeded properties, comprising a total of six parcels of land located on Wallbridge Lane. He cited family illnesses, deaths and his own medical issues, which he said have kept him from clearing up the matter sooner. He also said the MPAC valuations for the properties were ridiculously high. He described one as “swampy” and one as having a dilapidated shack, which he said MPAC described as a cottage. He offered to pay the township $400 a month in back taxes and interest until he can get the matter settled and before the township reclaims the lands. Rather than accepting payments from Scrymgeour, council passed a motion ordering staff to consider the matter and suggested that he return to council for their next meeting to resolve the matter. Water levels one metre below average Councilor Bill MacDonald informed council about information he gleaned at a recent meeting of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, where it was announced that lake levels are well below average for this time of year. “Unless we get rain we could be facing imminent water shortages,” MacDonald said.

SOUTH FRONTENAC NEWS

Harrowsmith Women’s Institute fashion show supports New Leaf Link

Harrowsmith Women’s Institute fashion show supports New Leaf Link

There was standing room only on April 26 at St. Paul's United Church in Harrowsmith for a special event that transformed the church’s main sanctuary into a runway for close to 40 models. The event, which was organized by the Harrowsmith Women’s Institute (HWI), brought to light ...

Founders of Kingston Nepal Foundation react to news of devastating earthquake in Nepal

Leslie Myles, managing director of the Limestone Learning Foundation, has for the last four years been connecting local students with the culture and traditions of Nepal, most recently with the help of Pema, a Nepalese citizen and practicing Tibetan Lama. When I spoke to her by phone on April 26, she said that both she and Pema Lama were “devastated and shocked” after hearing news of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the Kathmandu valley in Nepal on April 25, killing and injuring thousands and leaving many more homeless and in desperate need of food, water and shelter. Myles said that Pema Lama was “in shock” after hearing the news, but he has since learned that a number of his family members residing in his home village located in Sanku, Nepal are safe, though he has yet to hear from his father and grandfather and other family members who live in the village of Mugu located near the Tibetan border. Pema Lama, who has been in Canada as part of the Limestone Learning Foundation and the Limestone District School Board's “Global Connections Project", has visited Harrowsmith and Loughborough Public schools as well as other schools in Kingston since he arrived in Canada in 2013. Since his arrival he and Myles founded the Kingston Nepal Foundation and are currently in the process of finalizing its charitable status. One of the goals of the foundation is to build a medical clinic in the Himalayas in Pema Lama's home village of Sanku, in order to provide health care, education and community outreach to local residents there. To date Myles and Pema Lama, along with the foundation's core group of committee members, have raised funds for the build through a number of fundraisers, most of them held in Kingston, where Pema Lama has shared his practices and teachings in yoga and meditation with supporters. Myles said that as a result of the recent earthquake, the foundation's focus has changed for the time being. With the clinic project currently on hold, the foundation is now striving to provide aid to the residents of Sanku where half of the homes have been demolished and the other half are badly in need of repair. “Right now we want to send immediate aid to the local community in Sanku who are in desperate need of it right now," Myles said. “At this time we feel that because Pema is here with us and since Sanku is his home, we should be focusing our energies there right now”. However, Myles also stressed that immediate help is needed all over the Kathmandu valley and the surrounding areas. Donations can be made at any of the major international aid agencies. Prior to the earthquake Pema was planning to return home to get started on the clinic building project. He now believes that he will have to delay his return until things in Nepal become a bit more stable. Myles said that after Pema returns to his home country, he plans to return again to Canada to continue the work he has been doing through the Global Connections Project. For more information about the Kingston Nepal Foundation visit them on facebook.

Loughborough PS gears up for 100th anniversary celebrations on May 1

Students at staff and Loughborough Public School in Sydenham have been busy gearing up to celebrate their school's 100th anniversary. The celebrations will take place on Friday, May 1 from 4-8 p.m. with events taking place at Loughborough P.S., Sydenham High School and the Grace Centre. A number of displays of students' work will be set up in the foyer at LPS and the school's Spirit Store will also be on site offering up a selection of LPS logo and crest-bearing spirit gear, including lanyards, t-shirts, scarves, school supplies, bracelets and more. The LPS school mascot, Leo the Lion, will also be making a special appearance. For those requiring a meal, the LPS school council will be putting on a barbeque at Sydenham High School and there will be a raffle with a number of prizes donated by local businesses and individuals, including a gas barbeque, travel accessories, and a number of gift certificates courtesy of Trousdale's General Store. An old-fashioned photo booth will be set up and those wanting a historic pic will be able to don period costumes. Next door, at Sydenham High School, there will an anniversary cake cutting at 6:15 p.m., followed by speeches by School Board Trustee, Suzanne Ruttan, and School Superintendent, Krishna Burra. Then at 7 p.m. LPS students from grades 5-8 will perform a play titled “One Hundred Years of Learning”, written and directed by Christine Harvey. The play is made up of a number of vignettes including skits, songs and dances. It hearkens back to the area's first native inhabitants and covers the history of the Sydenham community and the school. A number of events will also be taking place at Sydenham's Grace Centre, including an art show by LPS students in the main hall. Students from the grade7/8 challenge program will be offering up tours of the community garden that they are growing there, and which will provide fresh vegetables and other produce to the local food bank and to seniors at Sydenham's retirement residence. Loughborough Public School has a unique history. Originally built in 1915, it has undergone two major expansions since that time, the most recent in 1993 when a new library, entrance way and new classrooms were constructed, which brought an end to its outdoor portables. The school has received awards. In 2002/2003 it was named the Associate School of the Year by Queen's University. It has also birthed a number of unique programs, including its annual Girls Active Living and Sports (GALS) conference, which was recognized by none other than Oprah Winfrey. Helen Peterson, who has been principal at the school for the last four years, and taught there for five years, is thrilled to be a part of the school 100th anniversary celebrations. “This is a unique opportunity for students, staff and the entire community to celebrate 100 years of teaching and learning at Loughborough. Many of our students have parents and grand parents who went to this school and its great for our students to see, understand and celebrate how the school has changed so dramatically and adapted so well over the last one hundred years. In 1915 education looked very different to what it has become today and that history represents something interesting for students to learn about and understand."

Elginburg PS choir to sing at 70th Annual Battle of the Atlantic Ceremony

The 33 young singers that comprise the Elginburg Public School Choir are no strangers to guest performances and over the years they have been invited to sing at numerous community happenings. The group has performed many times at the Fairmount Home and last year they were the special guests at Miss Emily Fennell's CD Release party and concert, which took place at the Ambassador Hotel in Kingston. Recently the choir was invited to perform at the 70th Annual Battle of the Atlantic Ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, May 3 beginning at 11 a.m. at Navy Memorial Park in Kingston. The Battle of the Atlantic Service has been commemorated annually every year since the end of World War 2 in 1945 and choir director Jennifer Guild said the invitation came as “an incredible honour”. Guild, who teaches grade three at the school and founded the choir, said the group will be performing a number of commemorative songs, including Remembrance Day by Bryan Adams, Highway of Heroes by the Trews, I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan, One Tin Soldier and Blowing in The Wind. The choir, which sings primarily in unison with touches of added harmonies, will be joined on stage by a number of musicians, including Annette McCaffrey who teaches music at Elginburg, along with Greg Ross, Steve Stenman and Scott Martin. The choir is made up of students from grades 3 through 8. It has been in existence for six years and continues to grow year after year. The students practice regularly at lunch and recess and in gearing up for this special performance they have also been practicing after school. I visited the school on April 23 after the choir had just returned from a music festival at Prince Charles Public School in Napanee, where they had been invited to perform, and I had a chance to watch them in rehearsal. One could not help but be moved by their dedication and the joy that they take in performing together. I spoke with a few members of the group, who spoke of their love of singing and the opportunity it brings them to visit numerous places and people in and around the community. Guild is a dedicated and enthusiastic leader who strongly believes that the choir gives the students a chance to express themselves in a different and special way. “I chose very inspirational songs, which give the singers a chance to sing their hearts out and the opportunity to just let everything else go. When they are singing they are really in the moment and they really seem to enjoy the music that they are making together as a group.” The singers were wearing their brand new choir shirts and Guild said that she is trying to instill in them the understanding that the upcoming concert is “a big opportunity and also an important part of Canadian history.” Their participation in the Kingston ceremony will no doubt make it a memorable one.

Grace Arts Centre: A Venue for Music, Theatre and Art

When Grace United Church in Sydenham closed several years ago, it left the future of the former church building, a large stone hall, in question. It could have become a private home or apartments or a commercial space. Instead, it was leased and is now owned by Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCSC). The agency’s original intention was to divide the space up into offices. They stripped out the interior furnishings, removed the sloped floor, and realized that what was left was much too amazing to be lost. At the urging of the board, particularly chair Joan Cameron, Don Votary was hired to oversee the restoration. He repaired the original wainscoting and floor, insulated and painted the walls. He kept local artist Ole Jonassen’s 1950’s painting (directly on the back plaster wall) of the road into Bethlehem. Although the primary use of the hall was and is day programming for seniors and various community groups, SFCS offered some local artists the opportunity to use the hall for local arts and cultural events. This became Grace Arts, a volunteer committee which hosts art exhibitions and live performances in Grace Hall. Grace Arts is the public face of a volunteer committee of Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCS) which hosts art exhibitions and live performances in Grace Hall, Sydenham. The committee includes representatives from across South Frontenac Township. Their mandate is “to recommend and organize uses of Grace Hall which celebrate, promote and support the diversity of creative expression in our South/Central Frontenac community.” The hall opened with an afternoon variety concert that included a choir, vocal soloists, a poet, a composer/pianist, a country gospel singer, a folk singer and a harmonica solo. Since then a number of local artists: painters, paper-makers, photographers have hung their work on the walls, and have come to discuss their creative processes. There have been evening performances of song, storytelling and instrumental music. If you would like to showcase your painting or other visual art, for further information please contact: Hanna Back, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 613-372-5240 and Rose Stewart, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 613-372-3656 For music, poetry, storytelling, drama travelogue or something not on this list, contact either of the above or Nona Mariotti, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information. We need volunteers to help with occasional tasks, such as putting up posters, helping with event set-up or take-down, or acting as events-greeters. Many events are free or by donation. When admission is charged, it is to pay the performers: profits are earmarked toward upgrading the hall’s facilities. Better lighting, acoustics, and perhaps a moveable stage are all on the wish list. Whenever a group donates a portion of their services to programming needs of SFCSC, that event is advertised as a fundraiser.

FRONTENAC COUNTY NEWS

Interested in sustainability in the Frontenacs? Join us for breakfast!

Interested in sustainability in the Frontenacs? Join us for breakfast!

Frontenac County’s Sustainability Advisory Committee invites you to the county’s 2015 annual Sustainability Breakfast, free of charge, on Friday, May 8 at the Grace Centre (4295 Stage Coach Road in Sydenham), 7 – 10am. Celebrate our communities' efforts toward becoming more susta...

Ravensfield Farm: Titia's Land Loving Journey

by Jonathan Davies Titia Posthuma believes that all land deserves to be loved. Anyone who farms knows that land is classed by its current capacity to grow desirable, marketable crops, and Frontenac County, while it has a beautiful diversity of landscape, and some great agricultural ingenuity, is not known for an abundance of prime land. More than 20 farmers from across the region, brought together by CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training), gathered at Ravensfield Farm on April 8 for a full day of touring fields and back country - not to bask in pristine, manicured pastures but to become more fully aware of the complex bio-systems that farms are, and consider what the farm wants to become above what we want from it. "Observation is king," says Posthuma. When she bought a 200-acre farm in the Maberly area in 1981, it was an overgrazed desert, a condition that would not be cured with a quick high-tech fix. It was not until 1989 that she began to earn a livelihood from the farm, growing vegetables and raising animals for meat and for fertility. Over the decades, she has paid attention to soil in ways that most farmers never consider. For example, when she sees thistle - the "worst of the weeds" that "won't let go", instead of simply eradicating it, she first takes its presence as a sign that the soil is communicating a likely calcium deficiency - and a need for amendments, including an increase in humus. When she sees prickly ash - an equally offensive plant - she sees a shade source and deterrent to animals that would otherwise disturb tree seeds. And where farmers first settled the region by burning forest to clear cropland, Posthuma recognizes their immense value: namely that a soil's stable nutrients are derived not from grasses and animal manures, but from tree matter like leaves and chips, which form the basis of any healthy soil. As the tour group stood in a grove dotted with a mix of evergreens and deciduous trees, Posthuma asked, "How many trees do you see that would have been here 30 years ago?" Apart from a few sturdy oaks, almost all were not much older than me. The forest is slowly being regrown. While Posthuma's land has seen transformations since she began working it, she knows how quickly ecosystems can be degraded. She introduced me to the writings of Sir Albert Howard, who studied soil in the early 1900s and reported, in his book "The Soil and Health," "The foundation of industrialization has been impoverishment of the soil." He noted that between 1914 and 1934, there was more global soil loss than in all of history prior to that time. As the soil is neglected, rains become unabsorbed and floods abound, as do wind erosion and drought. The United Nations has declared 2015 “The International Year of Soils.” The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has cited issues such as a loss of organic matter, salination, and erosion of soils as being tied to unsustainable land management practices. These can include a variety of industrial practices, from mining to oil and gas extraction, but also agriculture. A 2013 United Nations report, titled "Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake up Before it's too late" recommends an increased prioritization of farming methods like those Posthuma espouses - small-scale and ecologically-focused – as a measure in helping preserve soil, and in doing so, ensure food security. In essence, the report suggests a counter-intuitive argument that organic and small-scale agriculture - often perceived as being less efficient than industrial agriculture - are crucial to feeding a growing population, in contrast to chemically intensive, biotechnology-based practices. Meanwhile, food industry groups and government food and agriculture agencies have put forth the argument that organic agriculture is no better than what is currently the norm in Canada, and prioritizing it would lead to a great increase in land use for the same output volumes. A recent publication, entitled "The Real Dirt on Farming" (published by Farm and Food Care Foundation) states, "there is no evidence that organically produced food is healthier or safer than food that is [conventionally grown]." When I presented Posthuma with this quote, she noted that the merits of organic practice depend on the degree of commitment to its principles. "It's how you're doing it that matters. There are a lot of dedicated people that are going the extra mile to work with their soils, to increase the nutritive quality of the food that is being grown on that soil, and that food has been demonstrated time again to have a seriously increased nutritional impact of a positive nature." For consumers, or "eaters," the issue of price is often as important as nutrition and ecological viability. As “The Real Dirt on Farming” states, "Canadians enjoy one of the lowest-cost 'food baskets' in the world, spending only about $0.10 of every dollar on food," reminding the reader that low food prices are dependent on maintaining current industrial-scale production methods. However, as Albert Howard noted long ago about industrial agriculture, "The food was cheap, the product was cheap because the fertility of the land was neglected." It is these connections that reinforce Postuma's and others' concern with the tension between what humans want and what the land will provide. "You cannot take the economy of nature," says Postuma, "And supplant it with the nature of humans and come out ahead." The tour wrapped up in Posthuma's home. Attendees ate lunch in her living room and talked more about observing what goes on in our surroundings. Posthuma began a discussion on the way animals transform what they eat and how the manure they produce enriches soil. A chicken, for example, is able to accomplish the impressive task of digesting rocks with its gizzard. The friction involved in the process creates energy, and that energy goes back to the soil, depositing calcium and other minerals. Cows, meanwhile, which are micro-accelerators of digestion, impart high levels of bacteria. Every animal, when closely observed, makes its own soil-enriching recipe. As a farmer, Posthuma has been called upon to impart her knowledge and observational expertise to others through presentations and on-farm tours like this one, but she is, as she puts it, "first and foremost a farmer, tending farm." She is a vendor at the Kingston Public Market, and runs two CSA programs, one in Kingston and the other serving the Perth area. As a vendor, she is not keen to proselytize on the merits of her practices and the quality of her products. "I send out information with every single vegetable I sell, in the vegetable itself," she says. If her efforts toward creating good soil really are making for better food, then, it seems, the food should speak for itself. Jonathan Davies is a farmer himself, and operates Long Road Eco Farm near Harrowsmith with his partner X.B. Shen. Jonathan is contributing a series of articles called Frontenac Farming Life, which profiles the lives of local farmers who are trying to make a living through farming, navigating struggle and hope. If you would like to have your story considered, please contact Jonathan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rain brings some relief from low lake water levels, burn ban conditions

The first burn ban of 2015 was declared by South Frontenac Fire Chief, Rick Cheseborough, late last week, but was lifted after the rains on Monday. Spring burn bans come into place because as the snow recedes, the dead grasses, leaves and other vegetation from the previous year can easily catch fire and spread. Until new growth takes hold, there are considerable fire risks. Meanwhile, concerns were already being raised about the potential for low water levels for the coming recreation season, but significant rains on Monday have made a difference. According to readings after Monday's rain, Mazinaw Lake, the headwaters of the Mississippi River system, had climbed to within 14 centimetres of normal levels, from 34 centimetres (13 inches) under normal a day earlier. Other lakes further down the watershed are at lower levels relative to normal. Big Gull is 27 centimetres below average. Crotch Lake, which is used as a reservoir lake for the lower lakes in the system, remained 57 centimetres below average levels for this time of year even after the rain. Meanwhile within the Rideau system, Bobs Lake, which is used as a water source for the Rideau Canal, is 25 centimetres below normal, although it is only 15 centimetres below the target level set by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.

Frontenac County Council goes north.

Frontenac County is holding meetings at each of the four townships over the spring and summer months. The first of these meetings took place last Wednesday (April 15) at the North Frontenac Council Chamber in the mezzanine of the Plevna Fire Hall. At the start of the meeting, an in-camera session concerning wages was held, after which in open session, council approved two separate agreements. The first was with CUPE Local 2290. An Interest Arbitration Award report, which is binding on the two parties, settled terms for 2013 and 2014 retroactively. The wage settlements are 1.75% in 2013 and 1.5% for 2014. With the settlement, the parties will be able to begin negotiations for 2015 and beyond. A negotiated settlement has been reached between the county and CUPE Local 109, which represents the operators of ferry services for Frontenac County. The three-year agreement runs until 2017 and includes wage increases of 1.5% in 2015 and 2016 and 2% in 2017. No funding for coffee table book on Frontenac County Orland French and his publishing company, Wallbridge Books of Belleville, produce hard cover books about Eastern Ontario Counties. These include a book on Lennox and Addington that was reviewed in the Frontenac News several years ago, and most recently Wind, Water, Barley and Wine: the Nature of Prince Edward County. The books include geological and historical information, natural history, aerial photography, and statistical information. They are designed as collectors' items and promotional material for the local counties. French appeared before Frontenac County Council in March, proposing to produce a book about the County to mark the 150th anniversary. He was seeking a commitment of $70,000, the cost to be split between the county and its four constituent townships. In return he would produce 2,800 copies for the use of the townships and the county. The books could be sold for $40 to return a profit to the investors in the long run. The 150th Anniversary Celebration Committee took a look at the proposal and recommended that the county invest. However, in a staff report, CAO Kelly Pender pointed out that the task of selling the books would be saddled on county staff, who are already busy and would have to take time away from other duties. As well, the potential exists that the selling will not be entirely successful. His recommendation, which was not taken up by the 150th anniversary committee, was that since “the historical book project as presented by Mr. Orland French requires a prohibitively high initial investment and, given the extremely labour-intensive nature of selling the books, the potential for the County of Frontenac to recover its cost is low, and the project holds relatively low value as a marketing tool for the region, be it resolved that the County of Frontenac not provide financial support for the historical book project as presented by Mr. Orland French.” Pender also pointed out that the county's procurement policy says that unsolicited proposals for financial investment are not to be considered by the county. “You can, as a council, suspend your procurement policy and consider this, but that is the policy,” he said. Councilor John Inglis from North Frontenac said that he thought that, given Mr. French's track record, “there is no problem of credibility. There is certainly room for this. I would propose that we support it to some extent.” His position was the opposite of Ron Higgins, the Mayor of North Frontenac, who said, “I do not want to support this in any way.” In the end Higgins' view represented that of the rest of Council, and the proposal to support the book was defeated by a vote of 8-1. County to look at 68 areas of service delivery with a view towards collaboration A report from the so-called CAOs group on shared service delivery was presented to Council. The group is made up of the Chief Administrative Officers of the county and its four member townships, who were all on hand at the meeting. Since the meeting took place in North Frontenac, the CAO from Frontenac Islands, Darlene Plumley, had to board a ferry at 6:00 am to make the 10 o'clock start time in Plevna. The report starts with the premise that two long-held beliefs about the relationship between the townships and the county needs to come to an end. “Holding to the traditional characterization of upper tiers [counties] as out of touch, or the lower tiers [townships] as not up to the task, only guarantees a limited future for the County,” the report said. The report identified 68 different items of service delivery, under eight headings: human resources, municipal planning, corporate communications, council co-ordination, finance, economic development, emergency planning, and Information Technology & GIS/mapping. It suggests that each of the 68 services be analysed according to a matrix where the ease of implementing change is considered as well as the expected cost savings/service improvement. Those areas that are both easy to change and liable to improve service and save money will be pursued first, and others will be pursued later on or left off entirely. While there are a large number of services to be considered, in the short term planning and information technology services are the focus. “At this time we are looking for support for this process in principle, and we will bring back a further report in the fall," said CAO Pender. “Any item that we identify for change will be brought to council on its own, and the costs and benefits for all involved will be put before Council." “I think this is definitely a positive venture,” said South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal. “I certainly welcome this and the role that the CAOs are playing," said South Frontenac Councilor John McDougall.

LDSB outstanding service awards

Prior to their regular board meeting on April 8 at the Limestone District School Board offices in Kingston, school trustees handed out their annual Outstanding Service Awards. Among the recipients were three local residents who were honored for their dedicated service. The first is Cheryl Allen of Sharbot Lake, who has served on the school councils at the former Sharbot Lake public, intermediate and high schools, and at the new Granite Ridge Education Centre in various roles, including many years as council chair. Allen began her service on school council in 1994 when her eldest daughter became a student at Sharbot Lake Public School. Since that time she has served on various councils and spearheaded the purchase of a number of requests presented to the council, which have included the school's score clocks, playground equipment, and more. The citation honoring Allen stated that over the years she has continually “set a mood on council supportive of providing a safe and caring environment for all students”. As a active participant in the PARC (Program and Accommodation Review Committee) she was a tireless supporter of the new Granite Ridge school, recognizing the benefits that a new school could provide for future students in the area. In the past Allen has successfully nominated several other people for LDSB awards and when I interviewed her by phone earlier this week she said that she was shocked and honored to be on the receiving end this time around. Asked what made her get and stay involved in her local school councils over the years, she said, “I, as a parent, felt it was important to get involved and to offer my help wherever it was needed.” Allen, who is currently the school council's vice chair, said that with the upcoming graduation this June of her youngest daughter, she will be taking a break from council and will be looking at other possible ways to continue to offer her services as a volunteer in the community. Andrea Woogh, a grade 2/3 teacher at Loughborough Public School in Sydenham, was also honored with an award. In her citation Woogh was recognized as a “distinguished leader amongst her peers and someone who promotes each student's uniqueness while ensuring she has the training and skill sets needed to offer her students a nurturing, learning environment.“ Woogh, who has undertaken training in Aboriginal education, dispute resolution, literacy and technology, has introduced students to a number of innovative learning experiences, which have included the Yellowknife pen-pal program, and through a partnership with local high schools, woodworking and computer programming opportunities. She has helped co-create the LPS Green Team in an effort to certify LPS as an “eco-school. As an active athlete herself, Woogh recognizes that students' “growth and development can also occur outside the classroom”. She has coached soccer, track and field, volleyball and basketball at LPS as well as hockey and soccer in her local community. Sharon Isbell, a long-time teacher at Loughborough Public School, was also honored with an Outstanding Service Award. Isbell was cited by Kim Deline, who wrote that she is “an effective educator, leader and communicator" whose positive teaching style and compassionate interactions with students demonstrate her love of teaching on a daily basis. In her dedication to being the best teacher she can be, Isbell pursues her own personal professional development and was cited as “inspiring her students and fellow colleagues by offering extra programming through various school clubs while also acting as a liaison for the school's drama and arts programming.” Isbell is also involved in championing the school's Green Team in their effort to gain eco-school status and is an active member of the school's 100th anniversary committee. I spoke with Sharon Isbell by phone earlier this week and she said, on behalf of herself and Ms Woogh, that they were extremely honored to have received the award. "We both feel so humbled. There are so many teachers who go above and beyond their daily requirements and we are just grateful and feel privileged to be able to work in this school community with so many committed staff members, parents, students and administrators.” Helen Peterson, principal at LPS, was thrilled that two of her staff members received awards and said “Sharon Isbell and Andrea Woogh represent the epitome of excellence in teaching. They focus on quality education for all students. They are both examples of the reality that it is just as much about who you are as what you teach. They lead students and other staff by example. Sharon and Andrea are part of the outstanding staff at Loughborough that put the needs of our students, our future, first!" Heather Highet, principal at Granite Ridge, was equally pleased with Cheryl Allen's award and said she was “thrilled that the LDSB has recognized Cheryl for her unwavering support and decades-long contributions to our school councils."

ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS NEWS

Cloyne's relationship to the Salmon River

Cloyne's relationship to the Salmon River

Landscape ecologist and Friends of the Salmon River founder, Gray Merriam, was invited to speak at the Cloyne and District Historical Society's regular monthly meeting on April 20. In his talk titled “The Relationship of Cloyne to the Salmon River”, Merriam began by explaining th...

NAEC in cross-Canada experiment

by Valerie Allan NAEC is participating in a scientific experiment in partnership with Guelph University. Students, staff, and visitors may have noticed the giant “Malaise” trap situated behind the school. This trap attracts and traps insects, which are then sent to the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario in order to assign a barcode to their DNA. This is a cross-Canada endeavour, involving secondary schools in each province. NAEC is the only school in Limestone District School Board to participate. Ms. Randle, a Science teacher at NAEC, applied for this opportunity. NAEC was one of about 60 sites selected from over 200 applications. Ms. Randle explains, “When I heard about this opportunity at STAO 2014, I knew that this was the type of project that I wanted our students to participate in.” The Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO) at the University of Guelph outlines the program in some of their literature: “Through this program we have provided thousands of students with information on biodiversity, DNA barcoding, and the star of our program — the Malaise trap. Because this tent-like apparatus is so effective at collecting insects, we provide each class with its own trap to explore biodiversity in their schoolyard.” The trap is set up for three weeks, and specimens are collected by students throughout that time.

NAEC Student Silver Performance

submitted by NAEC On April 18, Wyatt Keller of North Addington Education Centre competed in the Eastern Ontario Regional Skills Competition Qualifer event held at St. Lawrence College. Competing in Small Powered Equipment, Wyatt wrote a trades exam, reassembled a small engine and completed a wiring project. Winning second place, Wyatt now moves on to join fellow NAEC'ers Terri-Lynn Rosenblath (Graphic Design Studio Production) and Kameron Armstrong (Work Place Health & Safety) on Team Limestone, who will travel to the Ontario Technological Skills Competition in Waterloo, May 4 to 6.   

Addington Highlands Council

Presentation to members of Denbigh Abinger, and Ashby Fire department. The formation of the Denbigh, Abinger and Ashby (DAA) fire department came about as the result of two things. First, in the mid 1960s the township council requested that the Ontario Fire Marshall's Office conduct a fire protection survey for the township. When the survey was completed and provided to the municipality it came with a number of recommendations, mainly that a fire department be set up and what it would need. At the same time the DAA Centennial Committee was doing fundraising for anniversary projects and the volunteer fire department was one of those projects. Money was raised to purchase a portable building from a Belleville trucking company and was moved to the township for use as a fire hall and roads department building. More money was raised to buy a truck, and a used milk tanker truck was purchased and refurbished. The township purchased some equipment and other equipment was donated. It was sometime after 1967 that all of the equipment was finally in place, the volunteers were trained and the department was formally established, with William Scott Senior, who had been a firefighter in Toronto, serving as the first fire chief. The service was entirely made up of volunteers, and a fire phone system was set up so that when the emergency number was dialed it rang in designated homes. The volunteers in those homes each had a list of firefighters to call. With municipal amalgamation at the beginning of 1998, the service was amalgamated with the Addington Highlands Fire Service. A plaque commemorating all those who served between 1967 and 1997 was commissioned by Addington Highlands Township, and on Monday night, April 20, the plaque and certificates of appreciation were presented to volunteers from those years who were able to attend. A number of the volunteers were on hand in person to receive their certificates, but a larger number were not, as there are many who have died or left the area since being fire department members back in the 1970s and 80s. “This is just a small token of appreciation for all of the service provided over those 30 years by the Denbigh, Abinger and Ashby Fire department and all its members,” said Reeve Henry Hogg. After receiving their certificates, the firefighters who were on hand posed for a picture with the commemorative plaque, which will go on permanent display at the Addington Highlands Community Centre in Denbigh. Notes from Council meeting Fees waived for community wind power meeting - Paul Isaacs has organized a meeting concerning the NextEra proposed wind farm in Addington Highlands this Saturday (April 25) and he was asking for the use of the Denbigh Hall for free. The meeting will concern itself with creating three lists: a list of benefits from wind turbines, a list of detriments from wind turbines, and a list of questions to ask concerning wind turbines. Council approved the request for waiving the fee. The idea of holding a public meeting sponsored by the township in ward 1, was also raised at the meeting and council will be considering setting one up. NextEra, as part of their public process, is going to be setting up an information Open House in Denbigh in late May. The Open House will be part of NextEra's push for council support for the project. A motion of support from the local township is one of the elements in the bid that NextEra will be submitting to Ontario Power Generation (OPG). A competitive bidding process is being used by OPG to determine which company they will sign a 20 year contract with for the purchase of 300 megawatts of wind power. As an incentive to Addington Highlands Council, NextEra is offering a $350,000 annual payment for the life of the contract. Those payments are contingent on two things happening: NextEra needs to the be successful bidder, and Addington Highlands Council needs to have supported the bid. Support for a private members bill - Sylvia Jones, Progressive Conservative MPP for Dufferin-Caledon, is sponsoring Bill 36, the Respecting Private Property Act, which if enacted will increase the fines for trespass on private property. The bill would establish a minimum fine of $500 for trespassing and would increase the limit for compensation to the landowner to $25,000 from the current limit of $1,000. Council passed a motion supporting Bill 36. Water levels low in Mississippi Valley Councilor Kirby Thompson, who represents AH on the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority Board, reported that Gord Mountenay, who has been monitoring water levels in the watershed for 35 years, said that the lake levels are at historic lows this spring. The MVCA controls the flow of water within the system by using flow control dams, but the options are limited when water levels are low. (see "Rain brings some relief from low lake water levels - burn ban conditions")

Bull attacks local petting farm owner

Barry Smith is lucky to be alive following a vicious attack that took place at Land O' Lakes Rescue/ Petting Farm in February and left him with eight broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken pelvis and five broken vertebrae. Smith, who along with his wife Donna operates the farm on Road 506 near Cloyne, was attacked by the family's nine-year-old bull, a Holstein that Barry himself rescued when it was just three days old. Donna said that the bull, known as Mickey Moo, had up until that day “been a very friendly animal”. After Barry rescued the bull nine years ago, he bottle fed it himself until it was able to eat on his own. The attack occurred at approximately 4:30 pm on Family Day, February 16, when Barry as usual was putting the farm animals to bed for the night. Donna said that while he was opening the gate to let the bull into the barn, a nearby truck back-fired, startling the horses located in an adjacent enclosure, which likely in turn agitated the bull, causing it to crash into the electric fence. This sent it charging into the same area where Barry, who had his back turned at the time, was located. He was struck down to the ground by the bull, which then repeatedly tossed and flipped him into the air, after which time, using its head, it continued to ram him into the ground. Eventually Barry was able to pull himself under a nearby truck for cover. According to Donna, the bull also attempted to lift the truck off the ground while Barry was still lying underneath it, unable to move. “I don't know what happened to that animal but it seemed at the time like it really wanted to see my husband dead.” Barry's 15-year-old daughter Darian, who had been in the barn at the time of the attack, heard her father's screams and ran out. She tried to get the bull off him by repeatedly hitting it with a stick but to no avail. Thinking her father had been killed, she ran to the house and called 911. Donna said it took about an hour's time and many frantic attempts to get the bull safely enclosed, which she was finally able to do with the help of her children. It was only after that that the emergency responders could finally reach Barry, who by then was not only seriously injured, but also hypothermic. According to Donna he said that he “could not feel his legs”. Barry was then rushed to the Lennox and Addington County Hospital, where his condition was eventually stabilized. He was then transferred to Kingston General Hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair his broken pelvis. He remained there in ICU for a week, and two weeks later was transferred back to the Lennox and Addington hospital, where currently he is undergoing physiotherapy and is in a wheelchair. He is still unable to walk since he is not allowed to put any weight on his left side while his pelvis heals. The bull has been removed from the farm. The incident has obviously left the entire family shaken and while Barry is now able to visit his home on the weekends, it will no doubt be a long while until he is back on his feet. In the meantime Donna said that she, her children and a number of neighbors are working extra hard to keep the farm going. They are still planning to open it up as usual for the May long weekend. Prior to that time they are asking any interested volunteers to help assist them with the annual clean up of the farm grounds in preparation for the busy upcoming season. The clean up will take place on Saturday & Sunday, May 2 & 3. Anyone interested in helping can contact Donna at 613-336-0330.


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