Waterside neighbours

For some people, cottage season may be winding down as they sense the start of school again but I sincerely love September and October in Waterside- less fog and bugs and a little less busy in the park.So while I feel August is slipping away  as I do try to get 2 kids ready for school, I am looking forward to more weekends at the cottage in lovely weather as well this fall.  It has been great to see the park and Alma so busy  this year. I hear the businesses are doing as well or better even the year after Canada 150.  I hope to get out and enjoy the park a little more this fall. We tend to get to the cottage and not want to move very far because it’s just as beautiful here as it is anywhere 🙂

This week I want to introduce you to our wonderful neighbours in Waterside. I know many people know the winery because when people ask us where we are, all I need to do is mention the winery and people can then place where we are in Waterside.  Waterside Farms Cottage Winery has been in business since 2006.” Ed and Linda Mantell started the business with the help of New Brunswick’s Department of Agriculture and now make their own Blueberry ( 4 kinds!), Rhubarb, Cranberry and Blackberry wines. Ed has been in the wine making business for a long time. His family were wine producers in Europe before the Second World War. They immigrated to Canada in 1947 and resided in Kitchener, Ontario. Wine making was always a family event. Ed grew up making and learning from his father, the process of turning fruit into a wonderful wine.” Ed and Linda use mostly local fruit for their wine. All of their wines are fermented, filtered and bottled on site. They produce 7000 litres a year for sale in their shop. Also, a couple agency stores in the area sell some of their products.  I know at least a couple restaurants that feature their wine also like at the Cape House Restaurant at Cape Enrage. This year they have already sold out of Cranberry, Port and Blackberry.  I would say they are doing something right!

Although I don’t drink wine ( but did try a sample of their rhubarb wine), almost everyone who I saw come into their shop this weekend left with at least 1 bottle. Linda tells us there are people who come annually and stock up on their favourites for the year. They also have people ask why their wine isn’t more available commercially. Linda says they want to stay unique and retain their niche and clientele with their specialty wines.

You may have seen the picture I posted on social media this week. We met a very special lady at the winery who is biking from her home in Alberta to Newfoundland. I was very inspired by her attitude and stories. I could have hopped on a bike with her ( except for sleeping in a tent every night and a sore behind! ). She said the secret is in the shorts not just the seat!. Here she is getting ready to head out again to get to the Rocks by evening.  She made it there by 7:30 pm.  We are cheering you on Susan! I don’t feel bad about having to walk up some hills around here now after she told me she has to walk them too ( she does have 60 extra lbs on that bike but I’m sure I have at least 1/2 of that extra weight on my body that she doesn’t. 🙂 )

Here are some shots of the Winery property that Mark took this weekend while we were visiting:

Linda the owner enjoying a little break . That piece of stained glass came out of a local church their contractor had found.

So whether or not you drink wine, I hope you will support our local winery in Waterside. We hope they will be our neighbours for a long time!  Cheers!

 

 

A tour of Harvey

There is a little area called Harvey ( see map here ) just before you get to the marsh before Riverside-Albert on Route 915.  I love this area for its scenery and historic properties. We stopped in the other day to visit with the owners of Florentine Manor who have their property up for sale if anyone is in the market for a beautiful Inn. Mark and I stayed here for our anniversary about 14 years ago.  It is like stepping back in time when you walk in to this impressive Inn that was originally a residence built in the 1870s.  Mary Tingley and her husband Cyril have owned it since 1976 and have run it is an Inn since 1983. Mary grew up in these parts and has been working in the hospitality industry for 51 years between their Inn and a store across the street at Harvey Corner. We loved getting to know some history about the place and her involvement in it. She allowed us to take a few photos the afternoon we visited. You can find out more about the Inn on their webpage here. I wish I was in the market for an Inn- it sounds romantic but I’m sure it is lots of work and sacrifice.

There is another Bed and Breakfast as you turn off route 915 onto Mary’s Point Road. This is the road that takes you on a lovely scenic loop back to route 915 a few kilometres up the road.  This B and B is called Sandpiper’s Rest B and B which looks like a very comfortable place to stay as well. You can find their website here.

As we travel down the road we pass the old Harvey Hall and First Harvey Baptist Church. Continuing on we reach the Shepody Dam and the Anderson Hollow lighthouse that was moved here from a wharf on Waterside beach  many years ago.  There is a little green space here for admiring the view. We used to take the kids here to play on the replica ship and have a picnic. I couldn’t find a picnic table last time we drove by and the replica ship seemed to be falling into the river. I’m not sure who is responsible for the upkeep of this adorable space but hopefully it will stay as a place for visitors and residents to enjoy.  Mark took the most beautiful photos here one day a few years ago. He actually shared this one of the lighthouse in his guest post here.

Just a little ways down the road past some more historic properties we reach Studio on the Marsh– an art gallery dedicated to the works of Lars Larsen and continues to be run by his wife Michelle. She also features other local artists and photographers. We love browsing her studio and picking up a print here and there. We love stopping in during the Christmas open house when she has various discounts going on as well. Check out their Facebook page to see  an event happening on Aug 18th from 3-7 pm where you can meet wildlife artist and photographer Jacqueline Verge .

 

We are almost done our tour!  It ends at the beautiful area called Mary’s Point.We have enjoyed many afternoons and picnics at Mary’s Point over the years with our kids and family. I wondered if it was named after Mary Majka who lived there and  who had a lot to do with preserving this piece of land and the wildlife that visits it. There are numerous credits to Mary’s name throughout the last 50 years including organizations she has founded but alas, it was not named after her. I found this article about her in a Globe and Mail piece and local author Deborah Carr has written a book about her called Sanctuary. Canadian Wildlife Services is working toward getting a new interpretive centre and program going to highlight the area.  A new building is up at the site and we got to enjoy a couple evenings listening to interpreter Denis Doucet’s explanation of the migration of shore birds and lots about nature as well. He is a wealth of information! I will be visiting even more once the new centre is open. They are hoping for a soft opening ( not everything running) maybe this fall. Stay tuned for that! We have so many photos from here but here are a few we picked for this post:

This week will mark 6 months of blogging. I love sharing what we are doing or what I find inspiring in hopes of inspiring you as well. I still have lots to learn. Here’s to the next 6 months! If there is anything you would like to see or learn about let me know!

Thanks for travelling with us on The Road to Waterside!

 

 

Strawberry fields and Shepody River

We had a beautiful rare warm weekend at the cottage this past weekend. The water was calm, there was no wind, we could eat outside!  It felt like another part of the world. It was glorious! Saturday started out with breakfast on the deck- fresh strawberries from Codiac Organics in Moncton were included ( I also got some of my salad fixings for the weekend from them!). This started my inspiration for trying out some strawberry recipes this weekend while they were fresh.

We then got out and enjoyed part of Shepody River Day in Riverside-Albert. They had historical displays and free strawberry shortcake in the morning at the Rec Centre. We met some people we knew and were welcomed by long time resident and founder of Shepody Days- Beulah Morrissey. She was just a delight. She told us a bit about herself and what she does in the community. She is quite the little artist too- she is the one who painted the murals on the old community hall you see as you are driving through town. She gave me a booklet on some of the history of Riverside-Albert. I just love seeing the old pictures and hearing the old stories. Rainbow Seeds from Riverside-Albert provided the strawberries and Elaine Holmstrom from the Peck Colonial House provided the biscuits.

Shepody Days was started in 2011 by Beulah and her daughter to invoke some community spirit between the weekends of Alma’s Celebration Days and Hillsborough’s Homecoming Days. The events change from year to year but what seems to stay constant are the kayak races and the fireworks.  We went over beside the Riverside School and saw the races start in the afternoon. Beulah and another lady were the marshalls for the race.They were so cute. We loved seeing the community spirit and participation by everyone there. Check out the Riverside-Albert Facebook page for more photos by Doris Weir of the races and competitors. Congrats to Riverside-Albert for putting on another fine event!

We ended up picking up a quart of strawberries from Rainbow Seeds to add to my recipes as well. I felt so bad for the owner Eliza- she worked so hard to get me that quart of berries. Thank you so much Eliza!  (Side note- We had planted about 50 strawberry plants  from Rainbow Seeds on our property  around 3 years ago but they aren’t doing that well this year- maybe too dry , maybe neglect, maybe late frost or the plants just getting too old but I will get a couple quarts eventually I think.  Our ground seems to be great for growing them , they just need a caretaker who is there to tend them more often. 🙂 )

The following 3 recipes come from Greta Podleski’s newest cookbook Yum and Yummer that came out this past year.  ( You will know her from the sister duo that started the LooneySpoon collection of cookbooks). I’ve tried a few of the recipes and thought I would try some involving strawberries.  This one we had for lunch- it is the Sensational Spinach Salad-with chicken, strawberries and avocado. It was delicious!

This one we had with our supper. I have made it a few times already this spring and summer. It is best eaten the same day – kind of goes mushy and juicy so I usually just make enough servings for whoever is eating. Greta calls it a Strawberry and Watermelon Salad with feta, mint and honey-lime dressing. Very refreshing and nice to go with some barbecued meat on a hot night.

This next photo is breakfast on Sunday- just some French toast with more berries and icing sugar. Simple and tasty with maple syrup of course!!

This last recipe is also from Yum and Yummer- it was featured with blueberries but it said to try it with fresh strawberries so I did. It is her Lemon- Blueberry (Strawberry) Cheesecake Parfaits. We had these for our dessert after lunch. What a refreshing berry taste!

Well there you have it . I hope you are inspired to get out there and try strawberries a few different ways! Leave us a comment and let us know how you like to eat your strawberries or where you go to get your berries! The store or u-pick?

Thank you Beulah for giving us more insight into this area we love so much and for letting us take your picture!

Cheers to another week!

 

 

Canada Day Celebrations

There was so many events going on this past weekend!!  I hope you all had a great weekend wherever you celebrated!  We ended up inviting friends and family for an open house in Waterside. It was a gorgeous weekend for weather so we were glad it worked out the way it did. Next year we may do it a different weekend because people were so busy with other Canada Day celebrations!

We had some neat visitors for the start of the weekend that we weren’t expecting. Mark captured some wonderful shots of these old cars that passed by in front of our place. They were part of  “The Great Race” featuring vintage cars travelling from Buffalo, NY to Halifax, NS. We had a hoot watching them come down the hill in their various decorations and attire. Mark captured some beautiful images of them and added some artistic flair. I just love the vintage feel they evoke. Makes you feel you were back in the 1900s!

I picked up some neat items at a neighborhood yard sale a couple weekends ago and was so excited to include them in our decor. First was this display case. I thought I had taken a before pic but I must have deleted it. Here it is finished with  a layer of typewriter black milk paint with schloss over top with a little distressing. It looks soo much better- it was a dark  reddish  tone before- I really love it and can’t wait to display different items in it. I need to find a little handle for it!

I found this cute wool hooked rug at the yard sales too- it was $20 . I couldn’t resist those maple leaves and the colours. I whipped up these pillows for the day as well using these pennants I got at My Home Mercantile in Moncton on Main St. It is the cutest shop hosting many local handcrafted and Maritime wares. They also house My Home Apparel https://myhomeapparel.com/ featuring clothing with a Maritime and Canadian flavour  that are made in the old Stanfield Warehouse in Truro.

I stencilled up this little sign using a Dollar Store Canvas and Fusion Mineral paint.

Here are some pics of the actual party on Canada Day with food , sun and people . What a great combination! Notice the extra little visitors we had in the morning- we had a Mama groundhog and her 3 littles visit the yard. They were cute but how will they be when they grow up??

We had a great time. Thank you so much for spending your day with us all the way down in Waterside!

This was the day after the party when we felt more relaxed- a day on the beach, post party food and general relaxation on our last vacation day. I did bring out a blanket on the deck but that only lasted a few minutes. It was hot in Waterside this weekend. So grateful and blessed.

 

 

A man and his camera

I have a very special guest for this week’s post in honour of Father’s Day. He is a special man in my life and the life of my kids. He is an awesome photographer, has a great sense of humour, is patient , kind and very generous. He has even developed some mean building skills in the past few years that have enhanced our cottage and saved us money. Without further ado, I introduce you to my better half , the one who makes me smile everyday and supports me in all I do. He is my partner in life, husband and father of my children- Mark Nicolle!

I feel honoured to be asked to contribute to this wonderful blog about the Road to Waterside.  Thank you Sheila for asking if I would contribute today’s post and share some of my favourite photos of the area !  

 

My father instilled in me a love for the outdoors with many fishing, hunting, camping trips, very often along the Fundy coast region.  That love of the outdoors brought me continually to the Waterside and Fundy National Park region. By the time I could drive I was ‘down country’ more weekends than I wasn’t during the summers. I first met Sheila about 28 years ago around this time of year. On one of those ‘first dates’ we travelled the Road to Waterside on our way to Fundy National Park.  We have travelled that road multitudes of times since then, and Lord willing many more times to come. I have been so blessed to be able to share my love of this region all over again through sharing it with our 2 children as they have grown up.  

 

Through all of my relationship with Sheila and during our years of raising our children I have also had a passion for photography.  34 years ago I put down my lawn mowing money at a pawn shop and picked up my first ‘real’ camera. A few years after that I got a job in a camera shop that provided employment through high school, university, and for awhile after that.  I have always enjoyed being able to ‘create’ images and to share things I have seen, thus the name of my photo web site www.marksawthis.com  . I love to create images that are visually pleasing, but more than that, I like creating a visual journal.  I do want to create an interesting image. An image that would share the beauty or interest that I am trying to capture.  But what I believe we all love the most about our images is that memory, that feeling, that moment of our lives that a photograph can return us to.

 

With that in mind I want to share with you 13 images I have taken along the Road to Waterside.  Images that are a journal of years of driving to a place I love , with people I love.


This is Anderson Lighthouse.  It used to sit on a wharf at Waterside beach which has long since washed away.  It now sits in Harvey at one end of the Shepody Dam Road. I love the image because the light was so eerie and soft, and the sky was so interesting.  I have memories from the 1980s cutting across this dirt road on my way to my friend Chris’s Camp which was on Route 915.


Many will recognize Dickson Falls in Fundy National Park.  I have more photos of Dickson Falls than any man should. This is one of my Favorites. I could probably dig out some film photos from before there were stairs and boardwalks at the base of the falls. Do you have photos of Dickson Falls in your collection ?

Owl’s Head is certainly one of the most recognizable geological features you see from Fundy National Park.  The way it often catches and forces the Bay of Fundy fog upwards can look quite spectacular. This day had just the right amount of fog to be interesting to me.  The crows in the foreground make this image one I have favourited. There are not many birds more common as the crow around these parts. But I’ve often thought of creating a collection of interesting crow photos.


This is probably my favorite photo of a deer / fawn.  It was at Point Wolfe. Park staff had ‘flagged’ the path for the ‘Ship Haven Trail’ that was to be built the next year, so I thought I would get a sneak peek at the vistas it would offer. The sun was low, streaking through the tall trees.  A doe had just walked over the ridge in front of me and I felt disappointed I had missed the opportunity to get a photo of it. Then behind her came this fawn. The first shutter release piqued her ear , and afforded this pose for my second.  It was such a beautiful moment I almost didn’t care if the photo came out OK or not. It was such a memorable moment. Of course I did care that later when I developed the photos, I had an image that would be a favourite for the years to come.


I’m being verbose, I’ll babble less.  This is Long Marsh Creek on Route 915 at the bridge where you turn off to the Cape Enrage Road.  The timing made this image, ‘slack water’ that short time when there is very little movement in a tidal stream, sunset, freshly fallen snow. All these happened at the same time, and at the time I was driving past.

 Cape Enrage lighthouse.  How many have visited here before they restored the lighthouse keepers home, before the fences, before the gate and entrance fees ?  This was the early rays of light bathing the cape in late fall.

Above from many moons ago,  is my daughter during a visit to Mary’s Point.  I like so many things about this image, mostly that it brings back the memory of a beautiful evening with my family. Below are our kids sauntering along the Dickson Falls trail in Fundy National Park.  

Don’t like the weather ?  Wait a few minutes and it will change.  I have the feeling this saying is not unique to just the maritimes.  But I do like the next 3 images and how they clearly show just how much impact the weather can have on how a place looks. I specifically like how Matthew’s Head in the distance just disappears completely by the third image.  I like the drama in the sky in the first , the softness of the light in the second, and the highlights of the sun hitting the fog in the third These were taken from the driveway in Waterside. There’s a lesson somewhere in the fact that unsettled weather is what made these images valuable to me.


This image was sunrise at Redhead, before the latest bit of erosion removed some more of it.  Yet another lesson for me to ‘seize the day’ , and to do things while you can.

I’ll end with a simple silhouette of the Great Blue Heron.  For Sheila and I the great blue heron has come to represent our special place in Waterside.  For years we have enjoyed watching them and we still feel a special awe when we see them gliding overhead to the marsh, standing motionless as they fish, or preening in the sun as they are perched along the treeline.

Thank you for tagging along this photo journey on the Road to Waterside.  I hope you have many photos from the road trips that have meant so much to you in your lives.  Take some time this week to dig them out and let them bring you back to the days when you captured them. Let us know about your favourite road trips.

Thank you so much Mark, that was beautiful. I love it all and you!  Happy Father’s Day.

As a special thank you for following along and promoting our page and blog, we are giving away an 8 x 10 of any image you see on this post or on Mark’s website. We will do a random draw from any shares,likes and comments on this post or on our Facebook page “The Road to Waterside”. Draw will be made on Father’s Day!

A mussel story

I consider Mark and I to be somewhat discriminating and particular when it comes to our mussel game. We love a good serving of large, meaty mussels with some fresh bread and enough broth to dip that yummy bread into after the mussels have disappeared. We have been known to ask for more bread just for the yummy broth. Our first experience with having such mussels was when we were newly married and touring Cape Breton Island. We ended up at a restaurant where we ordered a bowl of mussels. They were amazing!! To this day, we always seem to compare the next plate of mussels to that first plate we shared as a couple in Cape Breton. We have had mussels in NB,  PEI, NS , Maine and New Hampshire . We have cooked them ourselves or have had them served to us at very fancy restaurants. Any time we see them on a menu we always debate whether we should get them or not at the risk of being disappointed.

We were delighted this past weekend to indulge in some of the best mussels we’ve ever had at Octopus’s Garden Cafe in Alma, NB. I had seen a picture and description of this mussel dish on their Facebook page recently. I mentioned them to Mark as we were heading down Sunday afternoon and he suggested we stop there for lunch on the way to the cottage. He didn’t have to twist my arm to stop and try them !

Here is a photo of our actual plate with 1 or 2 mussels missing because we couldn’t contain ourselves 🙂

 

Octopus’s Garden Cafe is located on the left right beside Saprano’s Pizza ( another favourite for their donairs!!) as you are heading into Alma.

They are open for breakfast at 7 am and run to 10 pm for lunch and dinner . Here is a quote from their Facebook page about what they offer:

“We take care to specialize in fresh, local, high-quality food – served to you at affordable prices. Our cheese, meat, bread, eggs, milk, butter, hot sauces, honey, tea, jams, and maple syrup are all sourced from local producers. We serve fresh-roasted, organic, fair trade coffee and espresso. Most of our organically grown fruit and vegetables are right from our own farm. ”

At  quick glance, I saw Armadale Dairy, ANC meats, Bay of Fundy lobster and scallops and lots of other local ingredients on the menu. They were getting the fresh pasta ready for dinner while we were there which seems to be quite popular!  They were kind enough to prepare mussels for us at lunch because they had time to do it but it is usually a dinner feature.

Here are some other shots in the Cafe:

I want to get a couple of these prints by Eric Goggin at Destination Art http://destinationart.ca

They have lots of local art featured throughout the cafe as well. They also have live music featured from time to time. (My son just informed me their name is taken after a Beatles song- they really do love their music I guess). It was so nice to see this business supporting other locals and we in turn can support them.
I hope you can all get down and try the mussels or anything else on the menu!. It all looked delicious.

See you next time on ” The Road to Waterside”!

Victoria Day recap 2018

Wow where did those 4 days go? It was wonderful to be back in Waterside! I hope you all had a lovely long weekend. I had so many projects to tackle that the 4 days just flew by. I wanted to get them at least started before the season got underway. I hope some of you got to visit some of the  businesses in Albert County who had an open house for the Fundy Studio Tour or maybe you got to Fundy or Cape Enrage for some of their grand openings and celebrations.

Here is a little recap of what we did:

This is our dining table and a chair in its current state:

I love the base but don’t like how my original paint job is looking on the top- I wanted a driftwood look but I am not loving it and wanted to try something different.

I sanded the table and seats all down to the original finish. I was going to try a new product by Homestead House called Stain and Finishing Oil but I couldn’t get the look I wanted on my samples.

So I went back to a layered look with just Fusion mineral paint. That way if I still don’t like it down the road I can still paint over it without any trouble. I’m still not sold on this look but it looks much better than my 1st go round. The kids think it looks the same as what I had before. I will keep you updated on what I do next. Any suggestions are appreciated!

The second project I wanted to do was reseal our IKEA counter tops. They are still looking good but I hadn’t sealed them again since we 1st installed them in 2015.  When I went to take a soap dispenser off the counter when I got to the cottage Friday there was a slight black ring beside the sink and I knew some water had gotten under  the surface. The counter tops just have a thin wood veneer on top and I was scared to sand too much but I heard you can do that to try to get stains, water damage ,etc out of it. I sanded it lightly but not sure I made much of a difference.

These are a couple before shots:

During: putting on the tung oil.

And the after: I don’t know if I see a difference. The counters appear richer and renewed in person but that spot beside the sink is still noticeable. I will need to be more careful with what gets left on the counters!!

We did get out for a short drive on Monday- I wanted to see the new pavilions and Visitor Center at Wolfe Lake and the  Chignecto Recreation Area  across from Chignecto campground.  This new recreation area will have bikes for rent for many new trails that have opened up for bikers.

Here is the new visitor center at Wolfe Lake- it will also have a smaller version of the Fundy Guild’s gift shop here too.

The new outdoor recreation center isn’t completely finished but is in a similar style to the Visitor Center. We had a lovely chat with a staff person and I even tried out a couple bikes!  I love bikes! One was a Fat bike and one was a Plus bike. It felt like I could ride anywhere or over anything with one of those! See the smile on my face 🙂 Would be fun to ride on Waterside beach! Even a couple of those kids behind me pretending not to know me tried out the Fat bike.

Outdoor Elements is the company from Sussex who will be in charge of bike rentals. They are also now in charge of boat rentals at Bennett Lake. We will miss “Sinc’s Boats” but look forward to what Outdoor Elements has to offer Fundy for further use and enjoyment of the Park. You can check out the Outdoor Elements website for information on rentals under their “Fundy Adventure Center” tab. (https://www.outdoorelements.ca/rent ) It looks like you will be able to book your bike, boat or camping experiencing online  in the future. They are  going to have a small retail outlet in Alma to hook you up for your outdoor essentials. They are hoping to have some packages in the future as well, teaming up with some local businesses for an even better experience! They will be offering winter adventures too so those of you who love to get out in winter will have choices in Fundy to stay active as well. They also have a Facebook page ” Outdoor Elements” or “Outdoor Elements-Fundy Adventure Center” so you can follow along with their updates and services as the season progresses. We love what they are doing so far!

Welcome to Fundy “Outdoor Elements” !

 

 

Down memory lane- part 1

Since it’s my birthday tomorrow I thought I would share a little more about me and my background with the Fundy region. I love looking back at where people come from and reading their biographies so I thought it would be fun to go down memory lane to some familiar spots in Fundy where my family has spent some time. Some of these are priceless.

These 2 photos are oldies from my husband’s side of the family. I can see with our mutual love for the area it was inevitable we would be drawn together and want to build down there. When I see this sign I think of my son working at the the Fundy Guild gift shop last summer- he got lots of questions from people asking where Alma was, 🙂 Maybe we still need this sign up there!

It’s amazing how little this building has changed!! I’m glad the flowers are still as nice!

Summer of ’69- My Mom and Dad at Fundy with my grandparents at Bennett Lake before they headed off to UNB. These are some old pics so bear with me in the quality department. We are talking vintage here!

The playground and green space was and still is popular with families.

 

This was one of our favourite beaches to explore down in Alma at the border of the park when the tide was out. We were so disappointed to see what was done to this beautiful landscape this spring with the man made addition- totally changes the feel, view and memory of this special beach.

Some fun days camping at Headquarters- picking fiddle heads, getting lobster and sticky buns, going to the evening programs at the Amphitheatre, hiking- all wonderful memories.

Some of our favourite look out spots ( we would sometimes have extra kids tag along 🙂 )

One of our favourite spots for picnics! Can’t believe this look off area is the same!!

Had to include this last one since it’s just down the road from our place in Waterside- Cape Enrage has changed a lot as well since we started going here. Looking forward to what the new director has in store for this beautiful gem and treasure of NB.

If you are curious, here is what the seeds look like after a week at home. Not sure if this is how they are supposed to look. One tray got fried in the oven when my son turned it on my accident. Oops, will try planting some more. If any of you have any advice, let me know!!

The random winner of the package of seeds goes to my Mom!

Thanks for reading everyone. Hope you are enjoying the lovely spring weather we have had this week!

Until next time!!

 

Seeds to sow

While I love the idea of watching things grow and knowing I grew something from seed, the only experience I had with it was when I was 1st married and did try growing a bunch of plants from seed. Needless to say, I didn’t try it again. The plants were so flimsy and pathetic looking that it was just easier the next few years to buy plants all ready to put in the ground.

I still love the idea of growing my own plants though. So when I heard Farmer Brown (http://farmerbrowns.ca ) was going to give a demonstration on seed starting for Seedy Saturday (sponsored by Foods of the Fundy Valley)  in Hillsborough, I thought I would check it out again. LIsa aka “Farmer Brown” was very helpful and informative. She has had lots of experience owning a greenhouse business for ~ 17 years and working for growers before that. Apparently she supplies the flowers for Fundy Park and the City of Moncton. If you have loved seeing those flowers as much as I have you know she has sound knowledge and experience and great quality plants as a result. I have never visited her greenhouses but always try to see what she has going on when we drive by going the “back” way to the cottage. We will have to visit her this year and get a tour around her place.

This was Farmer Brown’s booth set up with some lovely looking specimens

Some of her top tips was to make sure the soil is not too wet or dry when trying to germinate the seeds. Start with a non soil mix and keep the soil  : seed ratio small at 1st like the size of an egg carton or smaller. They like warmth so she suggested a great spot is in your closed oven with the light on ( not the heat !) to help them germinate.  You may need to mist 3-4 x/day to keep them moist. Most seeds do not need to be covered but you can cover with some vermiculite so the new plant is able to get rid of its seed head as it pokes through the dirt.  Once you see the 1st set of true leaves ( not the 1st 2 leaves- that’s called the Cotyledon!) you need to start to fertilize with a 12:4:14 type fertilizer. You don’t want long and leggy plants!  You want more leaves than stem and a compact plant growing for optimal transplanting potential and harvest.

Once the seeds have germinated you need to move them to a light source to get stronger and bigger. She said a basic fluorescent set up is all you need and keep it about 6 inches above the plant for 14-16 hours to simulate the light from outdoors. Most plants need to be transplanted into bigger containers before they get outside- timeline seems to vary for this depending on your plant.  There was a little debate about when it’s safe to plant outdoors. Lisa mentioned it even depends what side of the road and where frost hits first that may determine when and where you are safe to plant.

This was the Cochrane Family Farm booth from Upper Stewiacke

Some of the booths set up for Seedy Saturday

There were lots of great people at Seedy Saturday. Here were some of the vendors:

Farmers Browns Greenhouse- www.farmerbrowns.ca/
Mapple Farms- www.mapplefarm.com/
Fundy Farms- www.facebook.com/FundyFarmslocalharvest/
Annapolis Seeds- www.annapolisseeds.com/
Bee Wise BeeKeeping- www.facebook.com/beewisebeekeeping/
Hillsborough Farmers Market- https://www.facebook.com/Hillsboroughnbfarmersmarket
Cochrane Family Farm- www.cochranefamilyfarm.com
Bear Roots Forest- www.bearrootsforest.ca
Tansy Lane Herb Farm- http://www.tansylane.ca/
Jems Preserves-
The Saucy Apron-
Canadian Hemp Creations-
Curryville Community Center- Veseys Bulb Fundraiser

After seeing all that wonderful inspiration I decided to experiment on my own after my fails from many moons ago. I ordered some seeds from Rainbow Seeds in Riverside-Albert  who have an online business selling Heirloom and Non-GMO seeds. I then visited Jill ( aka Miss Fancy Farmer http://www.missfancyfarmer.ca/) at the local Coop to get my soil, vermiculite and fertilizer. Here is what I’m starting with:

I’ve put in corn, green beans, sugar pie pumpkins, pickling and Armenian cucumbers. The other seeds like carrots and lettuce I can sow in June I think and they will do well on their own. I want to give the other stuff a head start if I plan to try them at the cottage in the fog and wind. So we’ll get these babies in the oven for a few days and see how they do. Follow along to see how they and I fare!

I’d like to welcome all old and new followers and encourage you to subscribe to my blog! It means giving me your address at the top right corner of this space and I will send you an e-mail every time a new post comes out so you don’t have to keep checking all the time! I try to post every Wednesday or every other Wednesday. You may need to check your other folders at first if it doesn’t come right to your main inbox folder.  Thanks so much!

Oh I almost forgot!! I ordered an extra pack of mixed lettuce seeds I’d like to send a lucky reader. Leave a comment or subscribe and I’ll pick a name and send you some seeds you can plant for yourself!!

 

 

 

Maple Season!

Maple Season and Spring- my 2 favourite times of year!  We are blessed in this part of the world to have an abundance of places to get our maple syrup. Some people tap a few trees on their own land to make their own but most of us head to local maple sugar camps or the store for our fill of maple syrup. One of my favourite memories is taking the kids every year into the camps in Stilesville to get our fresh maple taffy and candy.

I wanted to investigate more of what Albert County had to offer for maple syrup production and I was pleasantly surprised. Once I started inquiring there were even more than I thought producing this wonderful elixir in the hills and valleys of Albert County. I am going highlight just 3 of them that I got to know more about.

I first became aware of this next couple and their maple syrup making production when I saw their product for sale down in what was the Church Market in Riverside Albert . This year I saw them featured in the April edition of the Connecting Albert County newsletter and loved hearing more about their story.  http://www.connectingalbertcounty.org/

You can go to the link above to check out the full article about their maple syrup called “Black Sheep Maples” and to sign up for the newsletter written by some wonderful volunteers on a monthly basis. They have lots of great information and keep you up to date on upcoming events in Albert County!

Angela and Ryan Macdougall’s official business is Fundy Farms: Local Harvest. They are on facebook so you can follow them and stay up to date on their offerings and events. They have a  farm stand that I try to check out through the summer on the way to the cottage right by the main road between Edgett’s Landing and Hopewell Cape. They sell herbs, teas, maple syrup, veggies, dry soup mixes, etc at local markets and stores as well. Here are some of their own photos.

The second camp I’d like to feature is called White’s Maple. They are a 3rd generation maple producer with most of their sap coming from trees on Caledonia Mountain. They recently expanded their camp in Shenstone ( in back of Hillsborough) to offer All You Can Eat pancake breakfasts each weekend during the maple season. We got out there this past weekend to see their operation and brought back some Maple butter. We didn’t get their breakfast but it looks delicious!

The last feature is one of the biggest producers around our area. It’s Brigg’s Maples who has their production office in Riverview at the Chocolate River Station.  Most of their sap comes from trees just north of Fundy Park.  We enjoyed some lovely taffy this weekend as part of Riverview’s Maple festivities and got a huge jug of maple syrup. I wonder how long it will last? We’ll be taking some to the cottage for sure! Here are some pics from the weekend: ( Thank you to the staff at Brigg’s for letting us take your picture!)

One of my favourite things to do is bake, so of course I had to use all these wonderful products as well! Here is the maple scone recipe that is in the April issue of the Connecting Albert County newsletter ( you can pre-order the cookbook the Albert County Museum is selling here http://www.albertcountymuseum.com/ cookbook) using Briggs’ maple syrup with White’s Maple butter on top and I indulged by putting Black Sheep maple syrup in my coffee!

I then wanted to bring a dessert to our Married Couple group so found a Maple butter tart recipe on Pinterest to bring and also used Black Sheep Maple syrup for that as well. It was decadent!!  https://pin.it/bgebsum4oud6jo

Well that was fun and yummy!  Thanks to my talented husband for tagging along and taking a lot of these photos. Tell me  how you like your maple !  Syrup, taffy, cream, butter or candy?