Orr Lake Currents by Lynne Shier Brown
It’s almost time for the Orr Lake Ratepayers’ Annual Picnic and we can’t wait to see you there! For many families the picnic is an annual tradition and there are plenty of new faces around the lake to welcome as well. This is a great chance to have a day of outdoor family fun as you meet and spend time with neighbours.
Each year attendees share memories of picnics past and their joy in recalling such good times is clear. One long-time resident asked us to share her story of a great climax to the 2017 event. Ruth Woodcock writes, ‘As always, everyone at the OLRA Picnic last year had a wonderful time. I gave my 5 year old grandson, Kai, a strip of tickets for the donated prizes and he put almost all of them in the bag for the "Water Fun" prize. Later in the day when the winners were announced Kai waited patiently to hear his name. His disappointment was on his face when another name was announced. The winner was Tom Deas. Without hesitation, Tom walked over to Kai and handed him the prize. He said, "I watched Kai put so many tickets in the bag and knew he really wanted it so I put my tickets in too in the hopes that between the two of us, Kai could have that prize.” What a wonderful, generous teen we have living in our Orr Lake community!! Thank you again, Tom, for your caring gesture. It made a big impression on Kai and me. Also, a big thank you to Helen Gibb for having a camera handy to record the deed in such good pictures!’
Mark Sunday, August 5, 2018 on your calendars and plan to attend this year’s picnic from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm. You’ll find us at the park on South Orr Lake Rd enjoying contests, games and races, winning prizes, feasting at the BBQ, and discovering new identities courtesy of the artistic face painting of Mabel Moon (you can preview her talents here: http://www.mabelmoon.com/gallery.html).
All are welcome, and just one $10 Ratepayers’ membership covers picnic admission for the entire family, including the grandkids. You can buy your membership either online at orrlakeratepayers.blogspot.com or at the park on the day of the picnic. Most events are free with admission but bring a wee bit of spending money for some fun activities, drinks and treats.
If you have questions, or would like to donate prizes or volunteer (hours credited for students), please call Susan at 705-725-4120.
Come out and enjoy a day of old-fashioned fun by the lake!
Busy 4-H ‘ers
Some of the local 4-H members and their exchange partners from British Columbia donated their time to re-paint one of the ticket booths for the Elmvale Fall Fair. The Flos Agricultural Society sincerely appreciates their community service work. A true testament to the 4-H Pledge “Learn to Do by Doing”.
Happy Birthday wishes go out to Geg Webb, Debbie Bell, Lorne Belesky, Danielle Gianetto, Gwen Wheeler, Peter Sickinger, Kitty Burnett, Jackie Stott, Avery Riley, Wilf McGee, Glen and Yvonne Molto,. Happy Belated birthday to Steve Dubeau.
A big thank you to all those who helped at the BBQ Supper. Again we were sold out thanks to a few new comers. Reports are that the beef was excellent. Also thanks to all those that simply came and ate and enjoyed the meal
The next supper is out Thanksgiving Turkey Supper on Saturday, October 6. Hope to see you there.
On Sunday July 8th, we had “Jenny” whom we support her helping the kids “In Need”. She thanked us and told us about her work and help with kids in need.
Our Archer Family Picnic is held on August 12th, again at the Wyevale Park. Come and bring your food, family and appetite.
Anyone with news items for the paper, please call me and leave a message at 705 527 5274
While June is the month for migratory bird action, bringing all flavours and colours to backyard feeders, early July is the time for bird families. Dave, who is not normally bird observant, couldn’t help but notice that Yellow Belly Sapsuckers had bored a hole into one of our poplars and made a nest there. This fact was made obvious by the incessant cheeping of baby Sapsuckers coming from inside the tree The hole is adjacent to the path we walk several times a day to get from our cars to the house. This caused Dave to take a closer look around and notice that holes have been bored into several trees along the path. Suddenly Sapsuckers (not that he knew what type of woodpecker he was dealing with) became Public Enemy Number One. Woodpeckers are not one of the more melodious birds and the noise was annoying and non-stop. “I don’t know how the parents can stand it,” muttered Dave, staring up at the screeching, cheeping tree.
A family of Jay’s caught our attention this past weekend with all their Blue Jay squawking and piercing calls. Two parents were teaching three baby Jays how to eat at our feeder. “You can always tell the babies,” I said to my brother-in-law as we stared out the window at them. “They look hopelessly dopey.” Even though it is early July, with all the promise of another month and a half of lazy summer days stretching ahead, it sounds like autumn in my backyard with the incessant chatter of this family of Blue Jays. The family of birds that truly gets the perseverance award in my backyard is a little House Wren, or Jenny Wren as my mom calls them. This chattering little bird took up residence in a blue bird box in our garden. I was surprised one day to see the box on its tall pole had moved from one side of the garden to the other. No Jenny Wren could be that ambitious. Turns out Dave had been working in the garden and had unceremoniously yanked the birdhouse out of the ground and pounded it back in on the other side. “Did you know there was a nest in there!?” I asked incredulously and got a nonplussed shrug of the shoulders in response. “There was certainly no one in there when I moved it,” came the response. The determined little Jenny Wren wasn’t deterred. She moved right back in where she laid and hatched her eggs, mercilessly harassing us as we tried to work in our garden.
In local news, don’t forget the meeting for the Craighurst Draft Plan of Subdivision is on July 19 at 5:45pm at the township office. There are lots of important questions to ask such as timing, cost of services to existing residents and what the plans are for the space that was intended for a school that has since been slated to be built at Horseshoe Valley.
Elmvale Pharmsave Now Open
70 Yonge St. S., Unit 1
Hours: 8:30-6:30 Mon. – Fri.; 9 -4 Sat., 10 – 4 Sun.
705 322-6464 www.pharmasave.com
A new Pharmasave opened in Elmvale’s south end at the beginning of June 2018. There is a refreshing coolness inside the store, a welcome contrast to the heat outside that has recently plagued our area. The shelves are stocked with diet aids, herbal supplements, nutrition products, vitamins, feminine care, mugs, purses, caps/hats, deodorant, health and beauty aids, cosmetics, greeting cards and paper products, baby needs, home health care, reading glasses, sun glasses and confections.
Note that it is Pharmasave and not PharmaPlus. Each Pharmasave is owned by a pharmacist, not corporate-owned. The company provides resources and programs that can be tailored to the store’s unique needs. Elmvale store owner, Carolyn Glover, designed the store herself to include a fully wheelchair-accessible customer washroom and wide aisles to accommodate moms with strollers. Also, the parking lot is large and easy to get to from the south end of Elmvale.
All drug plans accepted and it is a simple process to transfer from your current pharmacy. The $2 co-pay is waived on eligible ODB prescriptions. Blister packaging is available and prescription delivery is free. Every Tuesday there is a 20% senior’s discount, flyers can be expected twice a month and special discounts can be found in-store. In addition, earn free rewards on almost everything you buy with a rewards-points card, specific to the Elmvale store.
There is a PharmaSmart Blood Pressure (B.P.) Monitor onsite. It can take your blood pressure and pulse and print out a ticket with both readings on it. You can keep track of your blood pressure with a “Smart Card,” just ask a staff member for one. It will store your most recent 10 readings and you can use it to view your results online as well. The machine was made to sync wirelessly to a phone app – this feature will hopefully be available in the future.
On their website, the company says, “Our community matters at Pharmasave, Canada’s community pharmacy.” On the side of the Pharmasave building there is a sign that reads: “value, trust and integrity.” Pharmacy manager Ryan Gabet told me, “I am very excited to meet members of the Elmvale community and look forward to serving their medication needs.” Ryan sees a lot of people that have run into poison ivy and so plans to prepare a gel that will combine medicine from two different products into one. Offering this medication in a form that is easy and convenient to apply and that saves you money (two medications in one) is a perfect example of how Pharmasave is helping to support the health and wellness needs of the Elmvale community.
Come say hello to the staff at the Elmvale Pharmasave and find some good summertime deals; I was glad I did.
Written and photographed by Connie R. Smith
Springwater-Elmvale Farmer’s Market 2018
Municipal Parking lot, 35 Queen St. W., Elmvale
Operating Fridays from June 15 to September 28, 2018 • 9:00 am until 2:00 pm
The 10th season of the Springwater-Elmvale Farmer’s Market was officially launched Friday July 6th, 2018 by Mayor Bill French. Other officials on hand were: Don Allen, Deputy Mayor; Robert Brindley, Springwater Township administrator; Jack Hanna, Springwater Township Councilor Ward 5; Joanna Sutton-Wesson, manager of the farmer’s market; Arnold Johnston, assistant manager of the farmer’s market and Bob Simmons, past manager and information officer of the farmer’s market. A free butter tart was offered to everyone; compliments of Birch Farms, Valley View Farms and Campbell’s Country Emporium Buttertarts.
The mayor mentioned briefly the Community Improvement Program (CIP) that was put in place by Springwater Township last year. He was glad that Valley View Farms, one of the businesses represented at today’s market, has benefited from it and invited the other vendors to consider it. Through the CIP, Springwater Township can “provide grants or loans to eligible property owners and tenants for the purposes of improving their property or building; acquire and approve land, buildings and structure within the area.” [For more information, please visit www.springwater.ca]
Gwyneth Covey, a talented young lady from Elmvale, played guitar and sang. Her music was appreciated by many who stopped and listened and by those who browsed the market. She described her style as “singer-songwriter,” including songs by Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Shawn Mendes. She also played some original music i.e. songs that she herself had written. Gwyneth will be at the market every week with the exception of the last two weeks in July.
Here is a listing of the vendors present at today’s Springwater-Elmvale Farmer’s Market by business name; location; and what they are selling (counter-clockwise beginning at the entrance of the parking lot):
Phil’s Whirlygigs; Midland; garden folkart
Valley Farms Market; Elmvale; fresh local produce, baking and preserves
Bee by the Sea; Orillia; skin care products
Sock Raving Mad; location?; sock creations
Krysta Marie Designs; Wasaga Beach; handcrafted artisan jewelry
Everything Maple; Waubaushene; tea, spreads, dressing, syrup, jelly and sauces
John and Joyce’s Home Baking; Midland; meat pies, veggie pies and spring rolls
S.B.; Collingwood; foods from India: samosa, pakora, rice, chick pea salad with fruit & veggies, potato patties and Aloo ki Tikki with sweet hot chutney or with channa masala
Birch Farms; Hillsdale; butter tarts, tea biscuits and strawberry jam
Beach Baby; Wasaga Beach; handmade natural skin care products e.g. soap, lip balm, lotions
Say Cheese; Orillia; cheese and meat pies
Campbell’s Country Emporium Buttertarts; Victoria Harbour; tarts, pies, coffee cake, jams, maple syrup, honey and candles
Wye View Farms; Elmvale; bread and fresh vegetables
Mad Cravings; Wyebridge; fruit pies, cream cheese cinnamon buns, cookies, butter tarts and sweet potato bread
Libra Woodworks; Barrie; coasters, playing card holders, oven rack sticks, rolling pins, cutting boards, trivets, toaster tongs, pie lifters, bowls, honey dipper, Scottish spurtles (for stirring porridge), English spurtles (for general cooking) and muddlers (for crushing spices and mint)
Mayor French informed us in his welcome speech that he and his wife Lorraine are celebrating 50 years of marriage. Here’s some advice from Lorraine, who’s never gonna’ give up:
“Congratulations!” I offered. “But how do you do it?”
In Lorraine’s words, “With two different personalities under one roof, you’re going to have differences, you’re not always going to agree on things. You’re going to get mad at each other, but how you handle that, how you make the compromises, how you forgive, how you have fun together. If you don’t have fun together, it’s just not going to work, you gotta’ have the fun.”
I asked her, “Do you still go out on dates together?”
With enthusiasm Lorraine answered, “Totally, yeah. We were just at the movies the other night. We’ve always said to each other, ‘Would we have changed our life for anything?’ Never. We have so much fun together. Our life has been so interesting.”
She continued, “I think that, today, people are not willing to go that extra mile when they have problems, when they feel like, ‘I’m done with this.’ If you can get past that, get around that corner; it’s going to get exponentially better. But you have to have that attitude of, ‘Am I willing to forgive?’ And the one question I have always asked myself (is), ‘do I still love this person?’ Yeah, I’m still madly in love with this person. So, let’s see what we can do. Let’s see where we can go. And never give up, never, no!”
For more information on the Springwater-Elmvale Farmer’s Market, please contact:
Written and photographed by Connie Smith
Barrie Hill Farms
2935 Barrie Hill Rd., Springwater, Ontario
Open Daily: 8am -
The sun was high overhead and hot (~25 C) as my friend Sue and I walked to our friend’s house in Elmvale Thursday afternoon. We piled our berry baskets in the trunk and headed off to Barrie Hill Farms. It had rained the night before but by this time, i.e. noon, the ground was dry so we were hopeful that mosquitos would not be a nuisance.
Upon arrival we parked and paid the $5 “pre-pick fee” at the check-in area, put in place to offset losses incurred from some people eating large quantities of berries in the field. It was explained that the $5 was a deposit and would be deducted from what we paid when we took our strawberries to the cash register. Baskets were for sale at the check-in area.
Outside the farm market building we found a seat on the waiting wagon, pulled by a tractor that took us across the road and on to the strawberry fields. Each of us was assigned two rows of bushes to pick from. There was straw on the ground between the rows of bushes, the strawberries were free of dirt and I was pleasantly surprised at the absence of bugs. The berries were plentiful and I appreciated that three times a staff person came by and enquired whether or not we were finding berries to our liking. She suggested that, to determine the degree of ripeness I preferred, I simply taste-test them. I discovered that I prefer the ones less ripe for, to my palate, they were tart and the riper ones sweeter.
We worked in the dry heat for about an hour; by the end of it my middle-aged knees and back were agreeing that the baskets were full enough. I had filled a 4 quart basked and a 2 L basket. We walked back out to the end of the rows and soon a wagon came by, returning us to our starting point.
There is much variety at Barrie Hill Farms. At the farm market, in addition to fruits and vegetables there are: flowers, pickling and jam-making supplies, milk, eggs, honey, meat pies, lasagna, fruit pies and crisps, scones, preserves and jams, syrups, salsa, sparkling cider and more. At the till I added to my baskets of strawberries a thirst-quenching Jones Green Apple Soda and a package of 4 mouth-watering strawberry scones – yum! After the pre-pick fee was deducted, my bill was a manageable $32.05.
Across from the farm market building there is a café and bakery offering hot drinks and “made fresh to order” frozen yoghurt which, unfortunately, escaped my notice today.
I learned from Morris Gervais, the owner: Barrie Hill Farms used to be a tobacco farm. Barrie Hill Farms was established by Morris’ parents in 1968 and is family owned and operated. In 1977 they opened for their first season of pick-your-own strawberries. It worked out well as the picking season for strawberries is June and July; for tobacco, August and September. Today their list of crops is quite impressive and their spring-summer-fall harvest schedule includes: asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, peas, new potatoes, blueberries, raspberries, fresh cut flowers, beans, pickling cucumbers, melons, sweet corn, apples, tomatoes, pumpkin, squash and kiwi!
Barrie Hill Farms website [www.barriehillfarms.com] promises “fresh country air and peaceful scenery” and I, for one, believe they delivered well on that promise. Another trip to Barrie Hill Farms this summer is on my to-do list, to visit their café and bakery and perhaps try their “made fresh to order” frozen yoghurt.
Written and photographed by Connie R. Smith
TD Summer Reading Program
Ages 5-12 are invited to our awesome TD Summer Reading Week program: Tuesday July 17-Friday July 20, Elmvale Branch,Tuesday July 24-Friday July 27 at Minesing Branch and Tuesday August 7-Friday August 10 at Midhurst Branch. Registration has started and a refundable $10 deposit is required. You’ll receive a FREE Pony Ride coupon at Rounds Ranch when you register!
Teen Summer Bingo is back!
Register to win prizes like full size chocolate bars, gift cards and more! Each week is a different prize and all you need to do is read! Registration has started so be sure to come in and participate July 1 – August 17.
Summer Reading Club
Want to keep your reading skills sharp over the summer? We’ve got weekly incentives for the young readers in our community and it’s all FREE! Registration for the reading club has started with the reading incentives take place July 1 – August 17.
Summer Chess Club
Ages 11+ are invited to this weekly Chess Club (beginners are welcome). Wednesday July and August, 10am-11am at Elmvale Branch. We even have a 3 or 4 person chess board to play on! No registration is required for this drop in program. Please note there will be no chess club on the last Wednesday in July and August (July 25 or August 29) but we will be having a chess tournament on Wednesday August 22 to finish the summer season.
Reading Without Walls: Comic Book Event
In partnership with Jack’s on Queen we have a comic book workshop event taking place this summer! Saturday July 14, 12pm-2pm for ages 7-12. Cost $2. Please register for this event.
Join us on Tuesday July 17, 10:30am Midhurst Branch for our annual make a mess storytime! You will hear messy stories, sing messy songs and then play with slime, paint and all the other fun things you don’t want to clean up at home! This program is free but registration is required for supplies.
Ages 5+ and their parents are invited to participate in this special STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program to make their own marble maze. Thursday July 19, 11am-2pm drop in with registration required at Midhurst Branch.
Lego Building Challenge
All ages are welcome to participate! Thursday July 19, 10:30am-11:30am at Minesing Branch. Our next date is Thursday August 16.
This program is also run weekly Fridays 10:30am at Elmvale and Midhurst Branches.
Star Wars Escape Room
Can you find the lightsaber and get the door open and help our droid escape in 30 minutes? Ages 7-12, groups of 5. Saturday July 21, 11am-3pm, Elmvale Branch. Cost: Free. Registration is required by Wednesday July 18.
Ages 9-14 are invited to come exercise their colourful, creative genius seide at this crayon masterpiece event. Thursday July 26, 5:30pm-7pm at Midhurst Branch. Cost $2. Registration is required.
Ladies Night Out Movie Event
Gather your friends and laugh together at this special movie event for Ladies on Friday July 27, 7pm at Minesing Branch. Cost $4 for drinks and snacks to complete the fun! We will be watching I Feel Pretty with Amy Schumer.
Summer Family Bowling
Families are welcome at this drop in event happening in the Minesing Vintage Bowling Alley (must set up own pins). Wednesday August 8, 2pm-4pm Minesing Branch. Cost: Free! This is an unsupervised event.
Summer Garden Craft
Ages 5+ and their families are invited to drop in and paint your own garden decoration! Thursday August 16, 5pm-7pm, Midhurst Branch. Cost: Free. No registration required.
Teen Movie Pizza Party
Bring your friends to our movie day tribute to author James Dashner. We will be showing: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure with a break for a pizza lunch between movies one and two. Friday August 17, 10:30am-4:30pm Elmvale Branch. Cost $5. Please register for this program. Must be age 13+ to attend this program.
Let’s Talk Science
In partnership with Lakehead University we are offering a special, one time only program for ages 6-9 focused on light and sound making straw whistles, kazoos, creating stethoscopes and wind turbines! Wednesday August 22, 1:30pm-2:30pm (Light and Sound program), 3pm-4:30pm (Wind Energy program). Cost $1. Space is limited so sign up early! Payment/registration are required by Friday August 17.
The Medicine Wheel Garden at Maple Grove Public School By Kate Harries
It all began with a telephone call on the day of the huge snowstorm in mid-April. With the thermometer hitting 37 Celsius on my patio today, it seems so long ago. Nancy Astin, a teacher at Maple Grove Public School in Barrie, came on the line. She had a project. An amazing project - a Medicine Wheel garden!
In one sense, this was right up my alley. I specialize in native plants, and these are the ones that the first peoples of this area would have used as medicines – whether for food, healing or spiritual well-being. But I don’t have that knowledge. My interest in offering the plants that make up the natural communities that would have been found here before the settlers arrived has been to heal our space on the planet, to link with other gardeners in creating networks so the creatures that support our foodweb can flourish.
So in another sense, I was intimidated. As an immigrant, I don’t have the experience borne from the teaching of parents, grandparents and elders of the traditional uses of native plants, and I have little understanding of the meanings of the four directions teachings upon which the medicine wheel is based. I knew one thing, we could not proceed without getting advice and leadership from local indigenous people. Maple Grove was ahead of me there – they have had a long-standing partnership with the Barrie Native Friendship Centre and a meeting was arranged.
I was late. I joined Nancy and her colleague Greg Smith along with Hank Monague and Vanessa Kennedy from the friendship centre in a classroom at the school. The conversation was a little stilted at first, but a sense of trust developed as we shared our thoughts. I had compiled an initial list of plants that I handed round – but had realized at the last minute that I had made a mistake in matching the four key sacred plants to the four directions. Hank, squinting at the list, nodded when I acknowledged the error. So we chatted, and we laughed, and the plans were made,
The four directions of the medicine wheel have multiple layers of meaning. East, South, West, North… Kindness, Honesty, Sharing, Strength… Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... Fire, Earth, Water, Wind…Yellow, Red, Black, White...Eagle, Turtle, Buffalo, Bear...Tobacco, Sweetgrass, Sage, Cedar...These categorizations are just the start of a complex indigenous world view that imbues every aspect of our universe with spirituality. The teachings can take you a long way.
The next step of the journey for us was a blessing of the ground. That task fell to Neil Monague from Chimnissing, who came to the school yard to talk to the importance of this space that is rooted in an ancient culture and will give expression to bright hopes for growth and renewal. He gave tobacco and he sang. He told stories, shared his wisdom and, in the way of Ojibwe elders, he made us laugh.
I had made out a detailed plan of the garden – but I was uncertain about one issue. The medicine wheel garden is bisected by two paths in the shape of an X – but where does the X align with the points of the compass? The temptation is to have one path run north-south and another east-west. I had seen illustrations of medicine wheel gardens with direction poles that weren’t at the end of the paths, rather at the centre of each of the four sections of the garden. Nothing I’d read had made this clear, however, but Neil confirmed my thinking. The compass points should run through the centre of each quadrant's bed, and the paths should run northeast - southwest, northwest - southeast.
The time had come to clear the sod and lay out the garden. I left that to the folks at the school. Much planning was done there that I wasn’t involved in, including discussion with indigenous students and their families. I heard there was a desire for roses, and added the Virginia Rose to my list of plants. Nancy wanted the garden to be surrounded by large rocks. These came from my neighbourhood near Elmvale - Nancy spent a couple of hours picking the perfect ones, 29 in all - and David Anderson of DDA Trucking delivered them. Then they were carefully positioned in place. Amazing job! When I arrived with plants on June 5, I was blown away by the presence the rock circle conveys to the site.
The sod had been taken off and piled up nearby, the paths were carefully marked out with string and soil had been spread in the quadrants between the paths. So all I had to do was position the pots of plants where they were to be planted by the students. Wrong! I stuck a fork in the ground and discovered, under the beguiling layer of rich black earth from Garden Gallery, solid clay, stiff and unwelcoming. Fortunately there was a detail of students on hand and, provided with the necessary implements, they fell to and broke up the clay and mixed it up with the imported soil. When they finished, another group arrived, the indigenous students who did the planting. I let them get on with it. They did well, digging out the holes and crumbling the clay in their hands, mixing it with the new soil (plain soil, no amendments, at my request) as they backfilled. Then we went back and forth with watering cans, to get the plants watered in. As we worked, other students and teachers came by to wonder at the medicine garden. When I left, a lone student was pacing the paths, back and forth, in every direction. Starting his own journey of discovery.
Kate Harries owns Return of the Native plant nursery. For lists of information resources and of the plants used in the Maple Grove Public School medicine wheel garden, see a longer version of this article at www.returnofthenative.ca
Lnuch at Paul’s No Frills
On June 22, 2018 Paul Gibbons of Paul’s No Frills hosted a dinner for Wendat’s Staff, volunteers and Clients. This Loblaw’s event encourages the people to eat together and share a community experience. Wendat is very grateful to be chosen by Paul Gibbons as a community of people that deserve a nice hot meal, an evening of fun and sense of community spirit. The Midland Legion was very generous in donating the hall for a few hours in support of this event. When community members get together everyone wins.