Organic Workshops: Madawaska House Retreat and Organic Gardens

2014 Organic Gardening Workshops

January 11: Winter Planning for Organic Gardening

This workshop is an introduction of the following topics. It is designed to give the basics to build on. As we go through the year each of these topics will surface again in other workshops.
Planning the garden with the lay of the land; companion planting; crop rotation; planting with the moon.
Where: The Rural Roots Café 10 – 2 lunch included

Jan. 25th: Getting Seed Orders Together

Difference between organic, hybrids, heirloom and heritage. What exactly is GMO? Seed catalogues of good reputation and reading catalogues with our growing season in mind. Ordering seed with seed saving in mind. Bees!!!
Where: The Rural Roots Café 10 – 2 lunch included

February: 8 Composting and soil health. From kitchen to garden soil nutrients, plants that assist with composts. What is slow and quick composing?
Where: The Rural Roots Café 10 – 2 lunch included

February 22nd: The principles of bio-intensive and permaculture organic gardening, includes raised beds, no till, hugelkulture techniques.

Where: The Rural Roots Café 10 – 2 lunch included
(seeds and plant orders can be taken at this time)

Rural Living: Learning Community Support

This past week I learned first hand exactly how community support really works in this area by being part of the team that put together the grand openings of Foot Fix, Heritage Home Furniture and the re-opening of the Heritage Shoppe ( the last being one of the darlings here).

Sometimes, when you organize these kind of things you are never sure just how they will work out but due to the people involved and the community sponsors things went without a hitch.  Living North of 7 would like to give shout outs to the sponsors, the ribbon cutters Joe Neuhold (The Elk Man) and the town Mayor Bernice Jenkins as that is what we do here, support the community & businesses in our own little way.

living north of sevenSpatopia donated a beautiful foot spa set and not only do they give generously by way of time or product, they also shop at the Heritage shops.  Nicole Duncan re purposes goods she finds into beautiful new creations (keeping things out of the landfill)  but you have to drop by Spatopia to see what I mean.

Country Camera Studio and Image Gallery donated a gift certificate and there are so many ways to be able to use this as Christmas iscountry camera just around the corner. From getting your family shot done for this years card (digitally or hard copy) to the art in the shop. Their new art shop has many artists from the local area and I go in weekly just to check out the new pieces that they have. There is one particular piece that I have my eye and will be in my possession soon…. I can’t wait to have it hanging on my wall.

living north of seven

One other sponsor I am not sure how many of you are aware of is Waterbeads Canada who also donated a foot spa package.

Waterbeads have many different uses like growing plants, centre pieces to even tactile development. Imagine your Christmas centerpiece all done with the red and white beads lit by a few floralights….stunning.

Last but certainly not least the South Algonquin Eatery and Pub came through with some great nibbles for the guests plus anyone who attend received a 10% discount on their meals after the openings. Did we take advantage of this deal, of course 🙂 A group of about 20 of us went and had a great meal, lots of laughs and of course dancing to the pub’s entertainment that night. Shane our bartender was awesome as he probably had his hands full with us.

Thanks to everyone that was a part of this or came out and showing this urban girl how the rural community comes together in support of their own.

Rural Review: Access to goods and services you want…not always an easy thing

Living North of 7 DilemmaLiving in a small rural community, you get to know the small business owners and usually see them every day out and about and shop there weekly or if you are like me almost daily as I can only buy what I carry ( or in my “old lady” buggy as I am often told).  Being able to get to know your local business owners is a wonderful thing which I am enjoying. As they get to know you and your tastes, they are able to know what you are looking for before you do.

For example, as soon as I am through the door at the Rural Roots Cafe or the South Algonquin Eatery and Pub my order is already being served up. To me this is quality service and the chat you usually end up having always puts a smile on my face or my sides hurting from a good chuckle.

Another exceptional thing is the quality of unique goods you do have access to here from food, art to spa products. I am in awe of Nicole Duncan at Spatopia/Hill 88 with the spa products to the gluten-free recipes that she creates. Yes, I do try to recreate one or two recipes but mostly I let my mother as she is now following Hill 88 as she is practicing a gluten-free diet.

Spatopia’s products are all natural, that’s right chemical free. Nicole has vast experience in developing new and innovative products like bath balms, body scrubs and butters, facial toners to essential oils. These are all her own creations and I urge you to drop in as you won’t be disappointed.

Like all small towns, we have the grocery stores, the all in one stores, restaurants, hardware stores and a few clothing stores so you can exist with what is available.

Now here comes the rub…. you might not want what is just available, ok I might not.  So, is this wrong of me to go to a larger city occasionally to buy what I want or need for that matter? Sometimes it comes to selection of what I am looking for, or price point, or I just want to go have a day/weekend in the city. Thank goodness for the TROUT having shopping days every once in a while that gives me the access to do so on the days I am not going with a friend that drives (see I can still support a community business while going out-of-town).

Shopping outside your community to me is not a bad thing. Tell me what you think in the comments below.


Just a couple things to do this Saturday if you’re living north of 7….or just visiting!

The following would be of interest to poetry enthusiasts in the Bancroft area:
Here’s a last minute reminder that a poetry contest will be held today, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Bancroft Public Library. This is our Bancroft area contribution to the big, annual, worldwide day of poetry event called “100 Thousand Poets For Change.”

Bancroft & Area Autumn Studio Tour Sept. 21 & 22, 28 & 29, 2013 added 6 new photos to the album Photos from first weekend of tour, one more to go.

Artists from the tour on tour!Donna Caldwell - Oil painter
Donna Caldwell's studio - oil painterDonna Caldwell - Oil painterArtists from the tour on tour.

Somewhere over the rainbow sits the Kinmount Gazebo, a destination this Saturday to artisans demonstrating their craft in celebration of Canada Culture Days. More demonstrations just up the rail trail at Kinmount Artisans Marketplace.

Somewhere over the rainbow sits the Kinmount Gazebo, a destination this Saturday to artisans demonstrating their craft in celebration of Canada Culture Days. More demonstrations just up the rail trail at @[448753495201223:274:Kinmount Artisans Marketplace].

Rural Review: Critters, Comforts and Clips


After moving here from Toronto the first thing I did was seek out a groomer/pet store, as those who know me, my pets are top priority. When seeking a new groomer, I usually go on referrals but yes, also do my research online. What did I find? Critters, Comforts and Clips in Bancroft were referred to me by just about anyone on Facebook and my mother.

Dista Goguen the proprietor of Critters, Comforts and Clips is a warm, outgoing and what I like most about her is she is outspoken and tells it like it is. Over feeding your pet, or maybe your pet might just need some training…she’ll tell you.

Dista relocated to North of Seven like a lot of people, by meeting her partner Rob Switzer. They dated about 6 years before she took the plunge to move to the area. This was after doing 2 years of research on the economics, location and what she needed to provide the community that was yet being delivered.

What Dista provides is a top-notch pet store with everything you can imagine and probably more. The grooming side is cleaner than a hospital.  Everything is cleaned to the highest of standards,  tools are consistently being maintained and even their towels are professionally laundered.

Not only is she a licensed veterinarian technician of 15 years, she has been grooming for 20. To me this is Critters 2key, when they do groom your pets they see things that we might miss thus being able to be more proactive with your pet’s health.  By having the technician background she is able to assist your pets special needs which might be diabetes, prone to ear infections, post-op surgeries, epileptic, back/knee trouble. They are thorough when first taking your pet to assess their needs. For example, they check my dog when being groomed for growths as Sammy already had cancer and a mass cell tumor removed when he was just 2. Another set of experienced eyes goes a long way with health prevention.

Dista has also been involved with a behaviorist that has been featured on National Geographic plus two key other organizations PIJAC ( Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council) and the Ontario Dog Groomers Association …again more experience that you and your pet benefit by.

Lastly, Dista and her team have the patience, kindness and care for each pet that walks into her store and that is proven to me time and time again by my own pup. So if you are looking for a new groomer or pet store…try Critters, Comforts and Clips, you love it and so will your pet.

You can reach Critters, Comforts and Clips by dropping in at 37 Hastings St. North, Bancroft, Ontario or give them a call at (613) 332-1216.