It was a goal that fit nicely into a narrative. The K&P trail linking the Trans Canada Trail segments between Sharbot Lake and the Cataraqui Trail to ensure Frontenac County is part of the national trail network was to be complete by Canada Day 2017. A photo-op at the Trail head located at the exact location where the funeral car carrying Canada’s first prime minister switched onto the K&P line, for its trip to his adopted home town of Kingston as thousands looked on, would be the centre-piece of Canada Day celebrations in Frontenac County.
It’s not going to happen. The complicated final 12 kilometres of trail, which are located on lands that were sold off to the owners of abutting lands before the rest of the trail was sold to Frontenac County, have proven to be slow to acquire, as agreements need to be reached with each landowner. Only then can a contract for building the trail even be negotiated.
At their final meeting of 2016 in late December, Frontenac County Council accepted the bid by Crains’ Construction to build “approximately 4 km of the 12km remaining to be completed by the end of 2017” in the words of a staff report to Council. The bid price was $137,593 plus hst and Crains’ also agreed to honour the same unit pricing for one year should more trail be freed up for development as agreement with landowners are reached. Their bid was the lowest of 7 that came in, the second lowest was $195,200 from the Cruikshank Group.
At this time, 42 kilometres of trail, between Orser Road and the rail crossing in Tichborne have been completed. Work has begun in the City of Kingston to complete the Kingston portion of trail so it will run all the way to Lake Ontario.
Funding for the final section of the trail is coming from a Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program and the Investing Ontario Fund, which has made just under $500,000 available for the project.
Frontenac County Council members from Frontenac Islands and North Frontenac were able to secure special funding from the county for recreational infrastructure within their borders when the K&P Trail was first being developed. The trail is only located in South and Central Frontenac and county gas tax rebates were being used for its construction.
That money is all gone, as those rebates are going directly to the local townships, and funding the K&P Trail has come mostly from grants.
At the December meeting, Councilor John Inglis made a request to county staff for an accounting of all the money spent on the trail since the proposal to purchase and construct it was approved in 2009.
There is no set completion date for the trail.
A special certificate of recognition upon retirement was awarded Dan Bell, Portland resident and volunteer, for his years of outstanding contributions to the Portland Recreation Committee and the South Frontenac Recreation Committee.
His attention to small details (keeping water turned on, and opening and closing park facilities) and his accomplishment of large and lasting community improvements such as the new pavilion in Centennial Park and the playground equipment in McMullen Park were all a part of his continuing commitment to his community.
He seems to have had the rare ability to understand what his community wanted and needed, combined with the ability to raise enthusiasm and quietly help make things happen. As Mike Howe summarized: “Dan doesn’t say a lot, but I soon learned that when he speaks, it pays to listen.”
On June 21 over 250 children and their families gathered at the Flinton Recreation Centre for the second annual Touch a Truck event, which was sponsored by the Lennox and Addington Resources for Children (LARC) and the Flinton Recreation Club. Representatives of local emergency service groups, social service teams and other organizations were invited to attend and bring their vehicles for children to get up close and personal with. There were school buses, Hydro One trucks, an EMS ambulance and local fire trucks, tow trucks, tractors, transport trucks, race cars and more.
Becky Cavanaugh of LARC said that the purpose of the event is not only to provide a lot of fun for children, it is also aimed at familiarizing them with emergency service workers, their vehicles and the other equipment they use, which helps to quell the children's fears if they are in an emergency situation. “It's a fun thing for kids to do; not only do they get to learn more about the people, their vehicles and the services they provide but they get to do so in a friendly and fun environment,” Cavanaugh said.
A group of paramedics invited youngsters to lie on a stretcher and to experience some of the machinery and tests they would undergo in the event of a 911 emergency call. Paramedic Ryan Thielman explained, “We show them the tools that we would normally use in an on-scene call so that if they have to experience a call in the future, they will know that there is nothing to be afraid of and that none of this stuff can hurt them.”
The children had their blood pressure taken and were also hooked up to the electrodes used for taking an electrocardiogram.
LARC provides other services to children and their families in Lennox and Addington, including playgroups, parenting courses and other outreach programs. For more information about the services they provide call 613-354-6318 or visit www.larc4kids.com
The Touch-a-Truck event also raised donations for the food bank.
The opening of bass season last weekend attracted fishers in droves to the Land O'Lakes region to take part in a number of bass derbies that offered up many opportunities for fishers to win big. At the Double S Marina in Ompah, which is located on the shores of Palmerston Lake, owners/operators Denis and Rose Bedard held their 11th annual Bass Derby on June 21 and 22.
On Sunday when I visited, boats were making their way to the marina’s main dock for a final noon weigh in, with many participants hoping to bag the $1,000 first place prize. Denis Bedard was handling the fish coming in and staff member Kate Osborne was recording the weights. Adults could weigh in up to eight fish and children up to four. The winners with the greatest average overall took home the prizes. Ron Skevington and Robin Soluri of Frankfurt weighed in two bass that together weighed 4.45 pounds. It was their second year at the derby and Ron said he came back this year because of its “laid back feel” and his “not having to worry about heavy duty competition since everyone here gets along really well.” This year the derby attracted a total of 41 teams in that many boats. Over 100 people participated, 20 of them children who dined and fished for free. The $100 weekend ticket per team included fishing both days, a Saturday night steak dinner and a visit by Canadian champion bass fisherman Big Jim McLaughlin, who was to make a Sunday appearance to hand out the winnings.
This year the derby included fishers from Kingston, Ottawa and Perth and many of the participants rented cottages nearby for the weekend. The Bedards enjoy running the derby and especially love seeing the kids participate. They offer a prize to all of the children who participate and the young fishers can also win cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25. The couple purchased the marina in 2003 and have been running the derby ever since.
The weekend’s big winners were Dan Griffin and Tim McGuire, who took the $1,000 first place prize for their 23.99 pound total; Mark Lemke and Shauna Rowland won $500 for their combined 21.7 pounds and the $250 third place prize went to Tyler Ahsick and Kirt Zummers who weighed in 20.54 pounds. The young winners of the day were Braydan Dunham who won first place with his 9.68 average; Meagan Dunham who won second place for her 6.78 and Harrison Sargeant, who won third with 4.29.
For those who have never visited, the Double S Marina, which has now been renamed the Palmerston Lake Marina, is a full service marina that sells gas, fishing licenses, tackle and has a fully stocked convenience store, a full service post office and ice cream. They offer boat, kayak, canoe and paddle boats rentals and service and store boats on site. There is a payphone on the premises and free WiFi. The Palmerston Lake Marina is open all year round and is located at 9637 Highway 509 just west of Ompah. In the words of Denis, the location offers up some of the best fishing in the area.
“In order to survive in business in this area you have to do more than none thing,” said Don Yearwood, who opened the Bishop Lake Trailer Park in 1986 with his wife Helen. At the time their only employee was their son Bob, who had to take work outside the region in the wintertime. The business grew over the next ten years, with the addition of a motel and more services,
15 years ago this weekend, on the first day of Walleye season in 1999, BL Outdoor Centre opened. It was the biggest single change to the business and is being celebrated this weekend.
When interviewed about the store 5 years ago on the 10th anniversary, Bob Yearwood said that the business had been growing each year as new services were added and seasonal and permanent residents realized the prices were competitive and the service level was infinitely superior to what is on offered at box stored in urban centres.
That trend has continued.
BL Outdoor Centre carries a full range of hunting and fishing gear, as well as hiking and camping equipment in addition to operating a laundromat and supplying propane.
“The biggest growth in the last five years has been in the woman’s market,” Bob Yearwod said last week, “women have taken to hunting and fishing like never before and we stock more and more products that are geared toward women.”
BL Outdoor Centre is always expanding its product lines, including Browning Firearms and accessories, Hoyt bows, Danner and Lacrosse boots, and aline of moccasins from Quebec.
“But as I said, what separates is the service we offer. If you buy a rifle or a crossbow and there is a problem with it, we can wither adjust it here or we wil send it to the manufacturer and make sure our customers are satisfied. You can't get that elsewhere,” he said.
BL Outdoor is also involved in marketing and selling through Facebook, an new innovation this year.
“We need to keep looking at new products, new markets and new services,” said Yearwood.
BL Outdoors and Bishop Lake Campgrounds, which employed one part-time person in 1986, now keeps Don and Helen Yearwood, as well as Bob and Allison, and Dennis (last name) working year-round, in addition to seasonal employees in the summer.
And now, even though the campground, which has been fully subscribed for a number of years, is only open in the summer, the store is so well established for year-round outdoor sports that as much business comes in during the shoulder seasons from September 15 to June 15 as it does in the prime summer season.
While the tourists and seasonal population have come to rely on BL Outdoors, the support of local hunters and fishers has been crucial to the stores success, and as the store celebrates its anniversary this weekend, it is the local community that the Yearwoods are thinking of.
“When we had our ten year celebration, we offered propane at $10 for a 20 lb tank. As everyone knows the price of propane is not what it was 5 years ago, but this weekend we will be selling it at $15 for 20lb. We are also putting some special sales in place.
The first thing that stands out about Lucas Wales is his youth. At 24 he might be the youngest general manager in the 70-year history of the Land O'Lakes Tourist Association (LOLTA), which works on behalf of tourist operators in Frontenac and L&A counties and the Municipality of Tweed.
On his second day on the job last week he was being briefed by long-time administrator, Joanne Cuddy, who has provided continuity in recent months and over the years. The association has now seen five managers in the last dozen or so years.
Wales will have to learn quickly because the LOLTA Annual General Meeting is slated for May 7 this week. The LOLTA membership includes a wide variety of businesses from a large geographic area, and they are anxious to find out the direction Lucas Wales plans to take the association in.
He brings a background in municipal government and economic development and tourism. He has worked for the Municipality of Tweed on their asset management plan; in the economic development department of the Town of Marmora, and most recently, for the Eastern Ontario Trails Association on their strategic plan. Before that he attended Loyalist College in Belleville, where he studied Public Relations.
All of this background, as compact as it has been in his relatively short working life, will come in handy as Wales will have to deal with the LOLTA membership, the municipal governments who have provided financial support to the association over the years, and provincial bureaucracy and granting programs.
“One of the major focuses this summer will be to complete our contract with Fish TV, which is a two-year contract that we are in the middle of. Afterwards we will take some time to assess the contract to see how we are going to continue to serve the fishing industry locally. There are lots of other opportunities in the Land O'Lakes as well. We have trails, canoeing and kayaking, golfing, cycling, dark skies and many other opportunities to focus on,” he said.
Another focus he noted was to foster partnerships with other players such as the FAB region (Food and Beverage) Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance, the K&P Trail development and others to make sure that LOLTA members are linked in to other efforts to promote the region.
“One of the things I will be doing is meeting with some of the community development managers in the various townships and counties. I will also be looking to meet with members and other business owners to make as many connections as possible for the association,” he said.
As someone who is born and raised in the Tweed area, where he still lives, Lucas Wales is pretty familiar with the Tweed and Lennox and Addington parts of the LOLTA region. He said he is very much looking forward to getting familiar with the eastern end, to seeing the lakes, and to meeting the people who make the region a unique opportunity for visitors.
By Ankaret Dean, Lanark County Master Gardeners
There is nothing like watching a few seeds popping up indoors when there is still snow on the ground. By starting seeds indoors they get a good head start on those planted outdoors. This means that you will be enjoying your fresh vegetables that much earlier.
Some vegetables well worth planting indoors are leeks, onions, the brassica family of kale, broccoli, cabbage etc., and herbs like slow-growing basil. Plants like lettuce will come along much faster when planted out as transplants but do equally well planted outside. Peas are quite hardy and will do well to be planted outside in early May as soon as the ground is workable. The delicate vegetables such as squash, cucumbers and melons, tomatoes and peppers cannot be planted outside until all danger of frost is gone, and definitely have to be started indoors.
When to start planting seeds indoors is debatable. For the hardy veggies transplanting outside is easier, although it is important that the ground has had a chance to warm up.
When planting the more delicate veggies it is important not to start the seeds too soon, as they are dependant on warm sunny weather to go outside. For most of these it is best to wait until the beginning or middle of April.
Here are a few tips on starting seeds indoors. Use a commercial seed starter mix, and a container with drainage. Mark the container with date and type of seed. Cover seeds with a thin layer. Use a fine water spray and keep damp at all times. Warmth encourages germination, and covering with a piece of clear plastic will keep in moisture. As soon as the seeds sprout place them in good light or under full spectrum lights. If crowded, transplant into individual pots. Lift out each seedling carefully by holding the leaf not the stem, and gently place in a hole and cover firmly.
The process of taking your seedlings outside requires a slow exposure to the sun and wind. Start by exposing them for one hour a day, and gradually increase it to a few hours before finally transplanting them into the ground. Another method is to place them under a bush so the sunshine is quite well shaded. If you have a garden shed, the pots can be put in a wheelbarrow and easily pushed in and out.
If you are transplanting the delicate family of veggies, it is a good ideas to have a few old blankets or towels at the ready just in case they need sheltering for late frost.
For more gardening information or questions contact:
by Ankaret Dean, Lanark County Master Gardeners
Although window boxes and hanging baskets have been in vogue for many years this year people are taking a new look at growing plants, such as vegetables in containers.
With the renewed interest in growing vegetables and herbs, the garden nurseries are offering an ever growing variety of containers. It is even possible to grow tomatoes in a upside down hanging plastic bucket, growing downwards from a hole in the base. Check on the internet for details on this idea.
Firstly. The most important consideration is where to put the container. Shade is easier because the earth does not dry out so quickly on hot days; however all veggies and herbs need at least half a day of sunshine It is possible now to buy containers or bases on wheels, which can be moved about as the sun level changes during the summer and can also be rotated at the same time. All containers should have a drainage hole in the base, and should be put on a large saucer/plate to avoid rotting a wooden floor or flooding the patio.
The second consideration is the soil chosen to fill the container. Because the plants are usually planted very close together it is essential that the soil is both well fertilized and will hold moisture. A purchased bag of potting soil is recommended. If the container is very large, the base of the pot can be filled with Styrofoam peanuts used as fill by packing companies, but alternatively, heavy, large stones can be used. At the end of the year, containers should be emptied and stored under cover or turned upside down to avoid freezing and cracking. The soil can be put into a garden bed or on the compost pile.
Planting should be planned before visiting the nursery. Put high plants behind and low ones in front, and leave room for the plants to fill out during the summer. Although the containers are limited in size, there is always the potential of growing plants upwards. Either buy a small trellis, or make one using first-year shoots and interweaving with raffia, wire or string. Try planting cucumbers, climbing beans, gourds or morning glories. If the container is in a windy situation be aware that it could blow over.
Careful watering is essential with container gardening. Ensure that the container has a drainage hole at the base; too much water can be as damaging as too little. It is possible to get a high-tech watering device with a timer that will water the containers on a regular basis, but it cannot tell if there has just been a thunderstorm. I prefer to keep a watchful eye on the containers, keeping the soil damp but allowing them to dry out between waterings.
Hot, sunny, windy days will cause them to dry quickly, particularly hanging baskets. I know someone who watered her hanging baskets twice daily at the peak of summertime. There is now a product that can be added to the soil, which will increase the absorbency of the soil and lengthen the periods between watering.
Control of insects, mold and other annoying problems like burrowing chipmunks can usually be solved by careful watching. "Prevention is better than cure", so it is said. Picking off critters by hand, spraying a mild soap solution on and washing it off later is probably all you need do. Dead head flowers to prolong blooming (not squashes) and add a little fertilizer later in the summer to perk things up. Otherwise enjoy your container vegetable garden. Bring in delicate herbs to overwinter on the window sill.
For more gardening information or questions contact:www.lanarkmastergardeners.mgoi.ca
by Dale Odorizzi, Lanark County Master Gardeners
Growing your own vegetables is the most rewarding form of gardening—the plants are beautiful and you can eat the results. Starting your vegetable transplants from seeds kicks all of these rewards up a notch. Every time I pick up a tiny tomato seed and imagine the bushel of tomatoes it will produce, I am amazed. Also, starting your own vegetables indoors lets you get your hands dirty sooner!
To grow seeds, you need growing medium, containers, water and light. I typically purchase a soilless mix to start my plants. You can make your own using equal quantities of good garden soil, clean, coarse builders sand and peat moss. The garden soil should be sterilized by spreading in a shallow pan and baking at 275F (135°C) for 30 minutes. Moisten your growing medium before planting. When watering is required, stand each container in a tray of water to dampen, until the medium is moist but not wet.
I like to start my seeds in seed trays or flats. I can start all the tomatoes I want in one tray and they come with a handy clear dome cover. Be sure to label the type of tomatoes. They will all look the same in a few weeks. While the trays are quite flimsy, if handled carefully they will last a long time. Once the tomatoes have germinated, I transplant into small pots—3” (7.5 cm).
Tomatoes and peppers love to be transplanted. Each time I move them up a pot size, I plant them as deep as I can. Roots will form along the planted stem, making the plants hardier. They also like to be tickled. Every time you walk
by your seedlings, wave your fingers through your plants. Your fingers will smell like tomatoes—bliss!
Seedlings can be grown in a sunny window. If you decide to grow more seedlings than your window will hold, you may have to resort to using fluorescent lights. You can purchase tiers of grow lights or create temporary shelving from planks stacked on bricks with your lights propped on top. Special “GroLight” tubes are available but are very expensive. They add little to the health of your plants. We have found that using one “warm” tube and one “cool” tube ordinary fluorescent provides the full light spectrum at a much reduced cost.
The back of your seed package will tell you how deep to plant your seeds, when to plant and anything special you must do to get the seeds to germinate. They often refer to “the average last frost date for your area”. In Eastern Ontario, that is May 5th. A rule of thumb is seeds should be covered to three times their diameter.
Damping off is one problem with starting seeds indoors. To avoid, sterilize all seed containers. Use only sterile growing medium and sow seeds thinly. Do not allow your containers to be overcrowded. Water the seed trays from below. Damping off can be stimulated by nitrogen so make sure your seedlings develop 3 true leaves before fertilizing.
You will recognize damping off if your seedling flops over. If this happens, remove it and its neighbours mmediately. If the soil appears too moist, move the container away from other seedlings. Although not scientifically proven, many gardeners have had success watering their plants with chamomile tea or sprinkling cinnamon on the soil. For years, I have started my own peppers and tomatoes from seeds indoors. For all other vegetables I have simply planted seeds in the ground where they are to grow.
This past autumn, our Master Gardener group visited a local greenhouse that grows greens for local restaurants and one of the presenters at our Technical Update indicated that they start all of their plants indoors to transplant out. Their rationale is that they have better plants, they can germinate cool weather crops (such as lettuce) all year long and they can plant what they need each month.
When To Start Transplants
by Dale Odorizzi, Lanark County Master Gardeners
Vegetable Start Transplant Direct Seeding
Basil Start May & June. Transplant out June & July Plant June & July
Bush Beans No need to start indoors Plant late May to Mid-July, every 2 weeks. Plant for Thanksgiving late August
Dried Beans Plant Late May
Pole Beans Plant Late May
Beets April to June. Transplant out April-July May & June
Broccoli April to June. Transplant out May to early June May & June
Cabbage May. Transplant early June May
Carrots Direct Seed in May
Cauliflower April to June. Transplant out May to early
May & June
Coriander April to August
Corn Mid May to June
Cucumber Early May, transplant in June Late May
Eggplant March, transplant in June
Green Onions March to July April to July
Kale June and July June and July
Lettuce March to July. Transplant April to August. April and May and then Late
Melons Early May, transplant early June
Onions February to early March. Transplant Mid April Onion sets in April
Peas April and May
Peppers Start early March, transplant June
Potatoes May and June
Radish April and May and then August
Rutabaga Mid May, transplant early June Plant in May
Salad Greens April to September
Spinach Start March, April and July. Plant in April, May
Plant April, May and August
Swiss Chard April, transplant May Plant in May
Tomatoes Late March, transplant in June
Turnip April, May and August
Winter Squash Early May, transplant in June Plant Late May or early June.
Zucchini Start May, transplant in June Late May
The Land O'Lakes Garden club was started in 2005 by Lynn McEvoy of Cloyne.
The original members quickly joined up with garden clubs in larger centres such as Belleville as members of District 3 of the Ontario Horticultural Association. They remain members of the OHA and recently hosted the district at a meeting on May 3, which was held at Pineview Free Methodist Church and was very well attended by people from the other 15 clubs within the district, including Athens, Brockville, Bath, Ameliasburg, Trenton & Bancroft. At that meeting, a local expert, Coleman Boomhour, gave the keynote address on the subject of the Emerald Ash Borer, which is set to devastate Ash trees throughout Eastern Ontario.
The Garden Club has been associated with Pine Meadow Nursing Home ever since it started up, with the first project being to establish gardens at the home in 2006 and 2007. The club continues to maintain the gardens on a year-round basis, and each year they plant annuals in the early summer.
One of the largest projects of the Land O'Lakes Garden Club was the rehabilitation and beautification of the Pioneer Cemetery in Cloyne, a project that was undertaken in conjunction with North Frontenac Township. The cemetery had been in a state of decline and then was devastated by the Cloyne micro-burst in 2002. However, after a lot of work, dignity has been restored to the grave-sites of some of the early settlers along the Frontenac Addington Trail. The club continues to maintain the cemetery with twice-annual cleanups.
One of the most visible of the club’s projects is the ongoing planter project at locations along the Hwy. 41 corridor between Denbigh and Kaladar. Identical planters are located at businesses and other institutions in hamlets along the roadway, and each year the club puts in plantings in June to decorate the area throughout the summer months.
“This year we will be planting drought-resistant petunias to spill out of the planters as well as a plant called phormium,” said Mary Kelly of the garden club. Mary added that the hosts of the planters are responsible for watering and fertilising throughout the growing season.
The garden club meets each month between April and November at 7pm at Pineview Free Methodist Church before taking the winter off. They used to take July and August off as well, but there are a number of summer residents who wanted to take part in educational events so those months are now included. The meetings are announced in Northern Happenings and the next meeting is tonight, May 8. The topic is: "Permaculture" - how the right soil is important for gardens”, presented by Master Gardener Tom Mercantonio.
Among the more popular events the club has held have been two garden tour & tea events in Cloyne and Harlowe, which gave community members a chance to poke around in club members’ gardens and talk plants.
Last year the club held a Tea at Pine Meadow to mark the 20th anniversary of the home.
The motto of the Garden Club, is “you do not need to be a gardener to join the garden club”, all are welcome.