Spring saved! Water to stay free, protected

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by Joel Balsam on August 20, 2014

On Aug. 18, La Pêche council passed a resolution promising to protect the Wakefield natural spring and keep it free.

On Aug. 18, La Pêche council passed a resolution promising to protect the Wakefield natural spring and keep it free.

Several key members of SOS (Save our Spring) Wakefield clapped and cheered at La Pêche council on Aug. 18 as the municipality passed a resolution promising to protect the Wakefield natural spring and keep it free. “For me, it’s sort of the end of a long journey,” said Chair of SOS Wakefield Peter Andrée, who has been lobbying for protection of the spring to the three levels of government since 2011.

In the resolution, council adopted all of the recommendations made in the 900-page hydrological study including prohibiting the use of road salts on Valley Drive and testing for formaldehyde, chloride, perchlorates, and bacteria. Council also promised to protect the catchment area that feeds the spring by waterproofing ditches, writing new zoning rules to prohibit residences or commercial businesses from practices that are potentially harmful to the spring, and to educate residents on Rockhurst, Pinecrest, and Valley Drive about being careful with their septic systems and dangerous products on their property. Furthermore, the municipality will hire another study to trace water along the suspected spring’s path to see if any groundwater is finding its way into the pipe that supplies thousands with fresh, clean, drinking water. “It’s nice that council has unanimously decided to conduct measures to protect the spring in the far future,” said Andrée.

In question period, Andrée asked to know what the municipality’s plan is for the Rockhurst sandpit – the area identified in the study as a main source for the spring. Mayor Robert Bussière responded that the sandpit, which is more like a large mound of clay arising from Hwy 5 construction, is currently in the control of Couillard Construction and it is unlikely anything will be built on the area for a long time due to the height and instability of the clay – unless, that is, someone wants to build a ski hill, joked Bussière.

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Taste of the wild: Ferme et Fôret brings out flare in local fare

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by Anastasia Philopoulos on August 20, 2014

Sean Butler and son Téo hang out with their chicken friends. Ferme et Forêt is the only farm in the region producing Animal Welfare Approved eggs.

Sean Butler and son Téo hang out with their chicken friends. Ferme et Forêt is the only farm in the region producing Animal Welfare Approved eggs.

In their first year of commercial production, the dynamic duo behind Ferme et Fôret finds that what sets them apart from the competition isn’t necessarily the delicious veggies they’ve planted, syrup they’ve tapped, or granola they’ve baked. It’s the wild fruits and vegetables they’ve harvested that have captured the imagination of Chelsea market goers and Ottawa restaurateurs alike.

“It’s actually quite a major part of our business right now. It’s taking off a lot more than we had originally anticipated,” said Geneviève LeGal-Leblanc of Ferme et Fôret. “People that have come [to the market] previous weeks, say ‘what do you have that’s wild this week?’”

LeGal-Leblanc and partner Sean Butler own and operate their farm, Ferme et Fôret, which is located between Wakefield and Rupert. The pair moved up to the area from Ottawa in early 2013 with their two-year-old son, Téo. They plant and harvest a variety of successful products, but LeGal-Leblanc marvels at how excited people get about the wild foods they harvest.

“We feel that the foods that are wild are naturally adapted to this climate, have more flavour, and actually have more nutritional value than a lot of the food that’s already out there,” she said.

Beyond wild foods, Ferme et Fôret plant and harvest about 30 kinds of uncertified organic veggies, which they hope to get certified in the coming year. Additionally, they’ve tapped 320 maples this spring, hoping to hit 3,000 next year, and make organic granola (which was baking in the oven when this happy reporter dropped by). The couple also offer free-range eggs, which are the only Animal Welfare Approved eggs in the region (the most stringent animal welfare certification in North America).

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Go-to-gal: Life as a pivot nurse in the Hills

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The Strain and The Belle Game on fire at The Sheep

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By Mark Leahy Special to the Low Down   It was another night of epic tunes at the Black Sheep on July 31 as local darlings The Strain and Vancouver’s up-and-comers The Belle Game set the place – almost literally ­– on fire. With powerful vocals, crashing cymbals, thundering bass, killer keyboards, and strong song […]

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Down and out without drivers’ ed

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On violence, victims, and navigating the legal system

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What strikes Dawn Moore most about her research on interpersonal violence is how disconnected the legal community is from the reality of women’s lives. The associate professor of legal studies at Carleton University recently launched a new research project looking at how evidence is used in cases of domestic violence, or what she calls ‘interpersonal […]

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Chelsea council battles over bylaw process

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The Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MAMROT) might have finally given its nod of approval for the water and sewer project in Chelsea, but information concerning the controversial bylaw that held the project up for close to two years continues to plague the municipality. Councillor for District 3, Barbara Martin, took to Facebook on Aug. 8, […]

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Mom in tax snare

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Revenue Quebec goes after 79-year-old for daughter’s tax mess Sallie Grant says she’s a hostage in her own home. About 18 months ago, the 79-year-old pensioner discovered Revenue Quebec had put a lien on the Low house and farmland she has called home for over 20 years. While there’s no problem with Grant’s taxes, she […]

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‘One so tiny had so much strength’

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‘Sparkplug’ CF champion dies at 25 A few years back, Jessica Forsyth was about to attend a gala for cystic fibrosis when she was hospitalized and needed extra oxygen. “She felt really self-conscious about wearing an oxygen tube in her nose and didn’t want to go at all,” explained high school friend Courtney Clarke. But […]

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Chelrod’s show n’ shine for 50th anniversary car show

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With cars so sleek and shiny you could go blind, Chelsea’s Chelrod Car Club celebrated it’s 50th anniversary at Hendrick Farm on August 3 with a car show. Prestigious pistons old and new were on display; many with the hood up for a sneak peak at what engine the ride was packing. The event was […]

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