To quote Bruce Cockburn, “I’m going to the country…sunshine smile on me.”

Sunday, July 29, 2018Smiling Sun

Summer is in full bloom and my mind is on day trips out to the country. Lazy afternoons spent meandering along village streets and picnicking along the banks of  pretty rivers are what I am dreaming of. With this in mind, I’ve gathered together some links to happenings of interest in nearby towns. I hope you can take time off to enjoy some of the abundance of scenery we have all around us. If you head out today, bring an umbrella just in case.  Note:  a 40% chance of rain means 60% chance of good weather.

If you can get organized in time this morning, a trip out to scenic Westport and area will allow you to tour a number of unique working gardens and farms with a focus on sustainability.  To buy tickets, visit this site:

Garden Tour: Revitaizing Food and the Land (Westport, Smiths Falls, Perth)

This is a sample of one of the four gardens on the tour:

Visit the garden of two permaculture teachers on 1/5 of an acre of land. Learn about our permaculture design for this site, now in its 8th year, and how we created edible gardens to replace our suburban lawn.  See edible perennial polycultures, a hugelkultur bed, sheet-mulching, a greenhouse, outdoor and worm compost. 

Over 100 species of useful perennial plants, including: 

  • cooked greens: goji tips, nettles, fiddleheads, Korean celery, beetberry, daylilies, lambsquarters and good King Henry
  • salads: sorrel, arugula, alliums, sedum, mallows, garlic mustard, oxalis and reseeding kale
  • berries: currants, elderberries, wild strawberries and raspberries
  • root veggies: sunchokes, skirret, groundnut, cinnamon yam and daylilies
  • herbal teas: bee balm, lemon balm, catnip, mint and ground ivy
  • herbal tintures: echinacea, elderberry, St John’s wort, mullein, oregano and thyme
  • birch sap and black walnuts

Also on today, the Taste of the Valley Herb Fest at White Lake  is the successor to the very popular and long running HerbFest outside previously held just outside of Almonte, Ontario.

For more information see:

For something to plan for another weekend: on August 11 a drive out to beautiful Perth will allow you to stock up on local garlic. Why buy garlic from Argentina or China?

mountain of garlic
Photo from

Perth Garlic Festival

see also:

And more garlic can be had from Carp area farmers, also on August 11. On offer are a range of inventive products made with “the stinking rose”.  Garlic jelly is amazing with cheddar cheese on toast.

garlic contest
photo from

Carp Farmer’s Market Garlic Festival

Buy a braid and you’ll have local garlic in to the winter. (or braid your garlic yourself)

If you prefer the sweet fragrance of lavender to the savoury smell of garlic, you might rather visit Lavender Ridge Farm and Store near Luskville some weekend this summer.

photo from

One last stop that is definitely on my “to do” list is a visit to local Carp vineyards and winery where they grow both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their website says they are: “practitioners of truly sustainable viticulture”. Tastings are from 11 to 6 on Sundays. They can also be found at the Landsdowne Market.

KIN Vineyards near Carp


wine glass

Enjoy the last weekend of July. Please excuse my lazy blog. We are packing up the picnic.


I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine…


One thought on “To quote Bruce Cockburn, “I’m going to the country…sunshine smile on me.”

  1. Westport has to be one of the greatest little treasures in this part of the world – such a gorgeous setting in the Rideau system – so much to do and see any time of year. Today would be perfect for a trip. Thanks for the suggestion!


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