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Journal Le Haut-Saint-François
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Mercredi, 29 mai 2013


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Here's how to cook up some scrumptious potting soil. Set up a sieve, half-inch mesh or so, over a cart or big box. Sift half a bag of black soil into it.

Now sift two quarts of peat moss and vermiculite onto the pile. Ditto for sand, then compost.

Nest, a handful of wood ashes, another of oyster shells or crushed egg shells, and a third of Jersey green sand mineral mix.

Finally, add four quarts of sheep manure, also sifted. Stir thoroughly, until evenly coloured.

And there it is. Brian Creelman's potting soil. At his seedling workshop last week, 30 eager eyes watched as he stirred it up. Then 30 handy hands planted precious heirloom seeds and seedlings into it. Roly poly Red Russian Kale seeds. Delicate Optima Lettuce seeds. Yellow and Red Pear Tomato seedlings.

Yummy soil, happy plants, delicious veggies. If it seems a bit complicated, just go to the source - Creelman's Seeds for Life has just launched a spring sale of heirloom seedlings. He's got 34 varieties of heirloom tomato plants. The biggest are Brandywine and Caspian Pink. The smallest are Lemon Drops, a little yellow current tomato!

Heirloom tomatoes are that antique generation I remember from my childhood - luscious, juicy, flavourful. They have little in common with what Creelman calls the "cardboard" hybrids of today, bred stiff to resist bruising in transit.
Creelman has 30 other heirloom plants. Tomatillos are a bit like purple Chinese lanterns - great for chutney. Swiss chard. Kale. Celery. Lettuce, and more.

Heirloom veggie heaven is at 222 Route 112 West, near Bishopton. Look for the BIG tomato sign. It's open right now, seven days a week, until June 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Info: 819-832-4969.

Creelman's seedling workshop was brought to us by the Eaton Corner Museum. It happened in a sunny area behind the Foss House, at the corner of Laberee Road and Route 253.

That's exactly where to be on Sunday, May 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, for a Garden Bee. Up to 15 volunteer gardener apprentices are invited to help us plant the Museum's 2013 Heritage Garden with a small variety of plants that would have been grown by the early settlers, said secretary Jackie Hyman. To join the gang on May 26 or as the garden grows, call 819-875-5256 and reserve a place.

Over at the Sawyerville Community Centre is the Eaton Corner Museum's next great event - its annual general meeting on Friday, May 24, at 7 p.m. Burton McConnell will tell about his research on "Life in East Clifton, 1867 to 1900, based on the Diaries of Sheepskin Joe Taylor." The business meeting includes reports on projects - a new permanent exhibit, a heritage garden, work on a new reception area and parking lot, and more. All are welcome.

All this work means the museum won't be open for visitors until August, says Hyman. Questions? Want to volunteer? Call Mario at 819-875-5256.

Beef, pork, potatoes, vegetables, salads, rolls and cake are followed by a dance. What could it be but the mechoui fundraiser for the Cookshire Fair? That's on Saturday, May 25, from 5 to 8 p.m., in the McAulay Centre at the Cookshire Fairgrounds. Admission is $17/adult; $6 for ages 6 to 10. No fee for children under 6. Info: Neil or Marlene Burns, 819-875-3656 or

At first you feel you are holding the sadness in, and then it seems that it's holding you up, instead. "There is no grief like the grief that does not speak," said Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

But how to reach out for support? And how to offer support to someone else who has experienced loss? Grief educator and counselor in Montreal, Dawn Cruchet will speak about such questions in a videoconference called Demystifying Grief. It's planned for Wednesday, May 29, at 10 a.m. to 12 noon, at the Community Learning Centre, at the Pope Memorial School in Bury. It's in English. All are welcome.

This conference comes to our neck of the woods via the Community Health Education Program of the CHSSN and Townshippers' Association. It is funded by the McGill Training and Retention of Health Professionals Project through Health Canada. Info:

Being a caregiver for a family member can be exhausting and overwhelming. Sometimes it's hard to take care of yourself. Sometimes you feel like you're alone.

But not anymore. That's the good news - care is there for caregivers. Three local partners offering care for caregivers are APPUI pour les proches aidants-Estrie (support for caregivers), the Centre d'action bénévole du Haut-Saint-François (volunteer action centre), and Aide domestique du HSF (domestic aid).

They've joined forces to offer several information sessions about their services. The session in English is on Wednesday, May 29, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. It's in Cookshire, at the AFÉAS Hall, in the basement of the Municipal Hall, 220 Principale Street. If you or someone you know might be interested in learning more, here's your chance. Admission is free, and refreshments are served.

United: Sunday services and Sunday school are at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire, and at 11 a.m. in Sawyerville (for details, listen to message at 819-889-2838, and for more info, leave a message and phone number).

Anglican: Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury (with Sunday school for children) and 11 a.m. in Cookshire (819-239-6902).

Baptist: In Sawyerville, the worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French (819-239-8818).

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by May 27 for publication June 5 and by June 10 for June 19.

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