Let’s Talk bout Honey and Maple

Jeremy Yearwood of Madoc, owner of  Pure 62 Local will tell us how he has built a business from making maple syrup, maple syrup bourbon, bee keeping, gift baskets and his lumber business. Jeremy is looking forward to answering your questions, and will sell you hives if you are  interested in purchasing your own. Product will be available for sale at the June meeting (cash only). Meeting date June 6, 7 p.m. at the Library.

Some Creative Recycling

Janis St John of 506 Tailgate Creations in Cloyne was the guest speaker at the Tweed and District Horticultural Society’s May meeting. Janis described herself as a “crafty” person who loves to create and try new things. She loves to repurpose the “old” to make it “new” again. She  admitted that she loves to “make a mess” but she did say she is very fortunate to have a husband who will clean up!!!

Growing up, Janis’ family always recycled items such as clothing and furniture. Her mother would repaint the furniture and sell it “at the end of their driveway.” And Janis still has a bin at the end of her driveway where people drop off furniture, old windows, screens and even an artificial Christmas tree and Janis loves to use these old items to make them new again!

One of Janis proudest moments occurred when she lived in Port Perry and she was on the cover of Country Woman and her beautiful garden was featured as the centre fold in the magazine. She has lived in Cloyne for 6 years so her present garden is still a work in progress!

During her presentation, she shared some of her “new” works of art…painted screens, stain glass windows, bird baths, a purse with a spring floral arrangement, driftwood creations, a wall hanging that she is rug hooking using old clothes, to mention a few.

Janis used an old picture frame with plexiglass to create a garden art piece during the presentation. She coated the plexiglass with clear silicone and smoothed the silicone with her hand wearing a plastic glove. She added battery operated fairy lights, stained glass that she has previously cut and coloured glass pieces. To add glitter, she sprinkled smashed patio door pieces. She then patted it down when completed and placed it on a birch tripod that she had made from trees on her property…..stunning! And one lucky member won the creation as Janis donated it as a door prize!

Janis stressed that she rarely buys new items for her creations…the bin at the end of her driveway is her “store”!! She uses stones, shells, buttons, old jewellery-basically whatever she can find. Much of her stained class came from a local church where the windows were being replaced. 

It will be interesting to see how many members will look at their “old stuff” with new eyes after seeing and listening to Janis! 

Upcoming Events:

May 20…Plant Sale at Memorial Park in Tweed….8:00 am

June 6…speaker will be Jeremy Yearwood who will be talking about maple syrup, maple bourbon and even the beehives he has on his property.

July 21-23…OHA Convention in Kanata

Stained Glass Demo – Next Meeting

Janis St John owner of 506 Tailgate Creations of Cloyne loves to craft and be creative in repurposing old and making it new again. From stained glass mosaic pieces, signs, wreaths, fall flower heads and recyclable items that all have a new purpose. 

Janice has been a vendor at Peterborough Flower Show and does craft shows local and in Toronto. 

A demo of using stained glass will  be done and Janice will talk about winter planting of perennial seeds.

A variety of articles will be for sale at the meeting. Please bring cash. Meeting date is May 2, 7 pm at the Library/

Earth Haven Farm

Aric Aguonie of Earth Haven Farm

Tweed and District Horticultural Society welcomed Aric Aguonie of Earth Haven Farm as the guest speaker at the April meeting. Using a power point presentation, Aric shared highlights of the farm and the various programs offered.

Aric is the General Manager of the 200 acre family owned business on Vanderwater Road in Thomasburg. The farm is demeter certified meaning that the agricultural practices used on the farm are “a step above organic.”  A requirement of this certification is that there are animals on the farm as a source of manure which is the main ingredient used in compost. The farm is home to a herd of Scottish Highland cattle. 

Aric’s main passion is the soil and developing the right soil to grow his crops. He constantly works the soil to make it right for the plants. He uses lots and lots of his animal compost in his soil. 

Everything produced on the farm is naturally raised with integrity and spirituality. The overall goal of his farm is an ever evolving journey to ensure that something is left behind for future generations. 

Several programs are offered through Earth Haven Farm:

-seedling sale in the spring

-CSA Food Boxes…. weekly or biweekly delivery of farm produce to locations in Tweed, Foxboro and at the farm…check website for details

-Food Sovereignty Project…one or two days a month, people gather at the farm to plan, plant seeds, weed, water, harvest and save the seeds for next year; there is always a social aspect to these days as the people enjoy a meal together, sing, share stories and socialize…check website for more details on this project

In conclusion Aric admitted that gardening is filled with many challenges but he enjoys looking for ways to overcome these challenges.

For additional details about Earth Haven Farm, please check their website….www.earthhaven.ca

Upcoming Events:

April 29…Rosanne Ballast of Stonepath Greenhouses and Landscaping will talk about planting and composting at the Tweed Library @ 11 am.

May 2  Meeting… 506 Tailgate Creations…a mother/daughter team who create whimsical glass art using recycled glass.

May 20…Plant Sale 

July 21-23…OHA Convention in Kanata



Earth Haven Talk

For our April 4 meeting, Aric Aguonie of Earth Haven farm will be our guest speaker.

Aric is the farm’s general manager overseeing the whole farm operation including the market garden fields, greenhouses, pastures, livestock ponds, forests, sales and marketing.

He will be giving a power point presentation about the farm, what they do and offer with a focus on their food sovereignty project.

Meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Tweed Library, side door.

Backyard Birds

Kyle Blaney talks about birds at the recent Tweed Hort meeting.

Kyle Blaney, an avid birdwatcher from Belleville was the guest speaker at the March meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. 

Kyle is on personal mission to identify 50 species of birds in Canada’s 290eBird regions. Over the years, he has contributed 6500 eBird photographs and 7700 iNaturalist observations. His images have been published in Canadian Geographic as well as in birding magazines in Canada and the United States. 

During the presentation, Kyle used his photos to show some birds that might visit our birdfeeders. He also gave advice about their favourite food as well as recordings of their sounds. His presentation included…Mourning Dove, Downy woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Purple Finch Black Capped Chickadee to mention just a few. 

According to Kyle, bird migration is fascinating as some birds travel from the Arctic to Antarctica in a zig zag route across the map.

Kyle explained that through citizen science namely, iNaturalist, you can post a photo of any living thing, where you saw it, add some audio if available and amateurs and experts who follow these pages will reply to help with identification. You can use eBird in a similar fashion…note this site is for bird identification only. 

By using these two resources, Kyle plans his outings to the various areas. eBird also helps him plan what he might see in an area on the days he plans to visit. 

Sewage lagoons are a spectacular place for bird watching since they don’t freeze over during the winter months. Although the Tweed lagoon is not accessible, it does have great bird watching sightings with the trees that surround the lagoon 

As Kyle pointed out, it is always a surprise what birds will visit our . gardens. By naturalizing our yards, we are inviting birds to be guests on our property.

Contact info for Kyle…

Instagram at @kblaney   

Kyle Blaney (kyleblaney.com) 

Upcoming Events:

April 4 Meeting… Aric from Earth Haven Biodynamics in Thomasburg will be the guest speaker. Aric will talk about how their produce baskets can be purchased. He will share how they operate and grow their produce naturally. 

April 11…Zoom Executive Meeting

April 29…District 3 Meeting in Bancroft

May 20…Plant Sale 

July 21-23…OHA Convention in Kanata

Backyard Birds

Our March meeting will feature guest speaker Kyle Blaney talking about birds you might find in your backyard.

Kyle uses his photographs to show a sample of birds that might show up at your bird feeder, with advice about their favourite food and behaviour, as well as recordings of their sounds. He also explains how he uses citizen science projects eBird and iNaturalist to help plan birding vacations. Kyle’s insights will encourage you to connect with the fascinating world of birding in your own backyard and beyond.

Kyle Blaney (kyleblaney.com) is an avid birdwatcher from Belleville on a mission to identify 50 species in all of Canada’s 290 eBird regions. He is a data analyst for Shad Canada (shad.ca), a non-profit that provides unique youth experiences. Kyle is a strong believer in citizen science, having contributed 6500 eBird photographs and 7700 iNaturalist observations. His images have been published in Canadian Geographic and birding magazines in Canada and the United States. He can be followed on Instagram at @kblaney.

Making a Birdhouse

Linda Yorke (left) helps Julie build a birdhouse.

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society enthusiastically welcomed Linda Yorke as their first speaker of 2023.

Linda, The Carpenter-Her was raised on a farm near the village of Belhaven which is located between Keswick and Sutton. She has alwayshad a love for nature and started building birdhouses when she retired. 

Linda displayed several different kinds of birdhouses as the style depends on the birds you want to attract. One member of the audience who said she does not do any woodworking became Linda’s assistant and with Linda’s guidance, a generic birdhouse was constructed during the meeting.

A couple of key points…

-the entrance hole needs to be a double thickness of wood or use a metal covering to prevent squirrels from chewing the wood to get the birds

-drainage is necessary…a door that opens will help and this makes for easy cleaning in the fall

-baby birds have an easier time leaving the house if the interior wall below the opening is “roughed up” a bit

-to obtain good ventilation, make small notches in the corners and drill holes in the top edge of the birdhouse

-perches are optional but they can encourage predators

-place the houses 5-10 feet high and facing away from prevailing winds

-houses can be left natural or painted with water-based paint and Varathane

– suggested wood was Number 3 Pine which tends to have a few more knots…but the birds do not seem to mind this as long as the wood is solid

Birdhouses are a great way to rid your yard of unwanted bugs…bluebirds’ diet consists of 70% insects, barn owls 75% and house wren 98%. Two birds you do not want are the starling and house sparrow as they are invasive and take over all the best spots as they nest earlier than the other birds in the spring. 

Linda suggested several resources…


-eBird and Merlin Bird ID (app)


-Field Guide of Birds of Eastern Regions (book)

-nestwatch.org/learn/all-about-birdhouses/managing-house-sparrows-and -European-starlings

Linda’s “assistant” was presented with the birdhouse she constructed with Linda’s assistance! As Linda said, “A birdhouse is a wonderful addition to any garden.”

Members received instructions to make a generic birdhouse as was demonstrated during the meeting. And since the March meeting’s speaker will be discussing birds in our backyards, many members will probably get started constructing birdhouses to welcome birds in to their yards!

Upcoming Events:

March 7….Kyle Blaney will be speaking about Birds in our Backyard.

How To Build A Birdhouse

Linda Yorke

Linda Yorke, of The Carpent-Her, will join us at our Feb. 7 meeting to discuss building a birdhouse. Meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Library.

In her own words:

My name is Linda Yorke, The Carpent-Her.  I was raised on a farm north of Toronto between Keswick and Sutton in a little village called Belhaven.   I’ve always had a love for the land and nature.  I started building birdhouses as a way to keep myself busy after retirement.

Success of your birdhouse depends on the design of your nesting box as it relates to the species you are trying to attract.  Take for example a chickadee vs a Hairy WoodPecker.

We will cover how to build a basic birdhouse. What is important to the health and safety of the bird.  What are the most important features to include in your design to keep our feathered friends safe and healthy.  What tools are required.  Where to hang the birdhouse, how high, which way should it face and when to clean.

Building your own nesting box and seeing a family move in to raise a family is so rewarding.  A birdhouse is a wonderful addition to any garden.

Let’s learn how to build a birdhouse!