Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | July 5, 2016
Garden lovers tour bus and travel writer enjoy local Garden Trail and attractions
MAITLAND - Standing in the middle of Mary Ann Van Berlo's garden one can hear the buzzing of bees and the steady clicking of camera shutters.

"As you can see, I've brought some passionate people," said tour leader Annie Pastor of her busload of clients fully equipped with cameras to document their experience of the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail. This is the first-ever tour Annie has organized to the Leeds Grenville gardens. The tour included Trail gardens as well as visits to local eateries, inns, attractions and boat tours over a four-night, five-day stay. 

"This will go a long way," Annie said of the photographs tour participants were taking. The images will spread the word this region is a destination for garden lovers, she added. 

"I think people are pretty impressed. They will know all about the 1000 Islands by the time they leave here," she said. Along for the tour was garden writer and photographer Larry Hodgson. He is one of Canada's best-known gardening writers and lecturers. 

"The whole experience is absolutely incredible," Larry said. "It's lovely to see so many beautiful gardens without having to travel too far." The local tour has 14 gardens this season.

Claire Leger is owner of Fern Mansion in Quebec, a famous oasis known for its beautiful gardens and 25 unique statues. She welcomes hundreds of visitors every season. She joined the ttrip to Leeds Grenville to get new ideas to take back and use in her own garden. "It's so marvelous! I'm really happy to be here," she said.

Her sentiments were echoed by Gerald Cusson, of Drummondville. It was his first time to the area and he would like to make a second trip later in the season. "I didn't know it was so beautiful here," he said, adding Annie Pastor's tour and Larry's articles will mean more tour buses will follow.

Learn more, see maps and images of the second annual 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail on our webpage. Five new gardens were added this year. 

The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office is looking for new gardens to join next year's Garden Trail. The Trail would like to expand into communities which currently don't have gardens in the tour, including Athens, Toledo, Delta and Westport. Please send email inquiries or suggestions to econdev or view the application form on our website.
Top feature photo: Garden specialist Larry Hodgson, third from right, provides a French translation of Mary Ann Van Berlo's (centre) description of her garden to visitors from Quebec. Below: A visitor takes a close-up.

Larry with June Norgaard, centre, of Kemptville's Norgaard Garden, and Annie Pastor, at right, of Voyage Louise Drouin. Photo below shows visitor Rolland Allard photographing the Van Berlo garden with the St. Lawrence River in the background. 

The Henderson family of Spencerville was featured in the Farm & Food Care Ontario's "Faces of Farming" calendar for the month of June. They are a sixth-generation farming family. Pictured, front from left, triplets Claire, Luke and Kate, Grace (third from left), Sam, Tracey, Andrew, Anna and Lily.
Local family featured in 'Faces of Farming'
SPENCERVILLE - The Henderson family of Kenora Farms was the 'Faces of Farming' selection for the month of June in a calendar published by Farm & Food Care Ontario.

Andrew and Tracey Henderson and their seven children have a large dairy farm with a herd of 160 and a robotic milking system. The herd produces Omega 3 milk. The Hendersons are also partners with another farm in transporting milk within the region from Kingston to Morrisburg. They grow alfalfa, corn and beans on the farm's 1,000 acres of land.

"Believer it or not, I don't get many calendar offers," Andrew joked when asked about being in the calendar.  "The kids had fun and its definitely had a lot more media attention than I expected." 

Learn more about the Farm & Food Care Ontario calendar or check out the website. An article about the Henderson family also appears in The Real Dirt About Farming blog.

Andrew Henderson is a producer delegate with Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd., one of the largest dairy co-operatives in Canada and largest in Ontario. Photos courtesy of Farm & Food Care Ontario.

Amanda Snider, bottom right corner, is a jewellery maker from Westport. She joins entrepreneurs from left: Cameron Fabrici, Bronwyn MacDonald, Nicholas Jannou and Ryan Pollock.
Westport entrepreneur in Summer Co. 
WESTPORT - Jewellery maker Amanda Snider is one of five young entrepreneurs in this season's Summer Company through the Small Business Advisory Centre of Smiths Falls/Lanark.

Her business is Little Bear Jewellery Designs and her work is available for purchase at local stores and online. Other businesses include Busy B Photography, Fab's Firewood, NJ Visuals videography services and RJ's Chairs for cottages.

Learn more about Amanda and her fellow entrepreneurs and the services they provide on our Community Media Releases webpage. For more information on the Small Business Advisory Centre visit their website.