A Couple’s Life with Nature

Tweed and District Horticultural Society’s November meeting was brimming with information for the members. Brad King, a director from District 3 Ontario Horticultural Association along with members, Elizabeth Churcher and George Thomson were guest speakers.

Brad highlighted the work that the OHA does for its members…insurance rates, liability issues, grants, conventions, programs and fundraising. Volunteer hours from all 267 societies in Ontario are used  to obtain funds for the OHA from the government. He stressed the importance of submitting these hours annually….and as we all know, gardeners are always volunteering!! Brad also installed the slate of officers for the 2023 Executive.

Brad King, District 3 Ontario Horticultural Association Director speaks at the Tweed annual general meeting.

Elizabeth and George, both active members of the Tweed HorticulturalSociety shared their slide presentation, “Making Friends with Nature”.The couple spends a lot of their time in nature and in their garden. Their personal goal is to always try to learn more about nature to develop a deeper understanding of it. Their slide presentation highlighted the many ways they both enjoy and respect nature.

Elizabeth was immersed in nature starting as an infant as she was born and raised on a 130 acre farm just outside of Bancroft. She had “nature’s garden” just outside her door! As a child she was always exploring plants, birds and animals. Her mother was an avid gardener and Elizabeth admitted that she learned so much from her. As an educator, Elizabeth always tried to instill the love of nature in her students.

Elizabeth Churcher and George Thomson.

George, on the other hand was born and raised in Toronto near Dufferin Street and St Clair Ave…he definitely did not have “nature’s garden” outside his door. His outdoor experiences as a child were family outings to Balm Beach and Lake Simcoe  where he was intrigued by the clams, crayfish and other fish. George always had an interest in wildlife, birds, insects and aquatic life. George attended the Ontario Agricultural College where he was able to truly connect with nature.

George and Elizabeth are involved in many projects that support nature…building bluebird boxes on their property, reporting bird sightings to various organizations in Canada, completing amphibian and reptile surveys, using the fields on their property to allow birds like the bobolinkand eastern meadow lark to nest, and driving for Sandy Pines, an organization that helps animals injured in the wild.

Their love of nature is seen in their gardens as they grow plants to support nature, for example pollinator gardens for the bees. They have an extensive veggie garden….onions, tomatoes, beans, potatoes garlic, broccoli, cabbage, radishes, squash, zucchini, carrots plus a raspberry patch where Elizabeth picked 90 quarts of berries during the summer of 2022! 

The couple is sharing this love of nature within their local community. They volunteer at their church which has numerous vegetable gardens. This year 650 pounds of fresh vegetables were donated to the Tweed Food Bank. Elizabeth was instrumental in writing and obtaining funds to start this garden on the church property.

By writing a weekly column for the local paper, The Tweed News, the couple shares their passion about nature with a wide audience. 

And according to Elizabeth and George, the best part of all their hard work is taking a moment to sit back and truly appreciate the wonders of nature!

Next Meeting…December 6 @ 7pm; more information about the program to follow

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