Local – The North Grenville Times http://www.ngtimes.ca The Voice of North Grenville Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:09:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Local family offers ethically-raised chickens http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-family-offers-ethically-raised-chickens/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-family-offers-ethically-raised-chickens/#respond Thu, 28 Sep 2017 13:08:03 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=8554 A Kemptville family is one of few in the area who are offering ethically-raised, genuinely free range chickens to the public. Bart and Maureen Millson bought their farm on Muldoon Road, just outside Kemptville, 15 years ago. For a while, they rented the land to local farmers, but eventually decided to build a house and […]

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A Kemptville family is one of few in the area who are offering ethically-raised, genuinely free range chickens to the public.

Bart and Maureen Millson bought their farm on Muldoon Road, just outside Kemptville, 15 years ago. For a while, they rented the land to local farmers, but eventually decided to build a house and turn the land into a hobby farm of their own. “I grew up on a farm in Southwestern Ontario,” Bart says. “I was eager to get back to it.”

The Millsons and their three boys farmed the land themselves in their free time, growing cash crops like corn and soybeans. Recently, however, they began looking for a new challenge and stumbled upon the Chicken Farmers of Ontario’s artisanal chicken program.

The program, which was launched in June, 2015, allows small scale farmers to raise up to 3,000 chickens a year and sell them without quota. Previously, they were restricted to 300 birds, which could only be used for home consumption, or farm-gate sale. According to the website, the goal of the program is to help small, local farmers to fill local food and seasonal markets and give Ontario consumers more choice and options on how and where they buy local chicken.

“They want you to propose alternative ways of marketing and reaching different target markets,” Bart says. “Our application was to raise our chickens as naturally as possible, have them outside as much as we could, and be truly free-range.”

Often, even when chicken products are labelled as free-range, the birds only spend a small portion of their lives outside, where they can run around and eat grass and worms, as well as traditional feed. Other than the first few weeks of their life (when they have to be kept warm with heat lamps), the Millsons’ chickens live in a large pen with an open concept shelter, where they can escape the summer wind and rain. “Our big thing was that we really believe in the idea of them having fun and enjoying their life, rather than being cooped up in a cage, even when they are being bred for meat,” Maureen says. “It was fun to see them running around outside and doing their thing,” Bart adds.

The Millsons’ chickens are also raised without antibiotics or growth hormones, something that you can’t guarantee when you are buying meat from the grocery store. “People can come out and see our chickens, and know, from day one, that is what they are buying,” Bart says. “We’re appealing to a subgroup of customers out there that have that consciousness.”

According to the Millsons (who admit they are biased) and many of their customers, the meat is also tastier and healthier than the traditional chicken on the market. “When the chickens can be in motion, the development of the meat is different,” Bart says. “It’s a richer, more oxygenated, healthier, tastier kind of meat.”

The chicken-growing season is now over for the Millsons, after having two flocks of 250 chickens to care for. They sold 350 of the 500 fresh chickens and had the rest frozen, to be able to sell to customers well into the Fall. They are continuing to sell their frozen chickens straight from the farm, and are also hooked up with the Two Rivers Food Hub in Smith’s Falls. They are hoping to get them in to the B&H Grocer in Kemptville at the end of the month, and are working on donating some chickens to the Dinner on the House program at the House of Lazarus, which provides a free dinner every Thursday to people in need.

Both Bart and Maureen feel that the first year has been a success, and they hope to raise even more chickens next summer. “It was great meeting people and seeing them excited,” Bart says. “There is a real sense of accomplishment, that we are contributing something to our community that they really want.”

For more information or to order chickens visit their website at www.kemptvillechicks.ca.

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Local man raises record amount for Parkinson’s research http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-man-raises-record-amount-parkinsons-research/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-man-raises-record-amount-parkinsons-research/#respond Wed, 30 Aug 2017 19:57:53 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=7946 A North Grenville resident has singlehandedly raised over $10,000 for Parkinson’s research. This is John Spiro’s 13th year participating in the Parkinson SuperWalk, a nation-wide fundraiser to raise money for Parkinson Canada. He got involved with the walk when he himself was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. “I wanted to help find the solution,” he says. […]

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A North Grenville resident has singlehandedly raised over $10,000 for Parkinson’s research. This is John Spiro’s 13th year participating in the Parkinson SuperWalk, a nation-wide fundraiser to raise money for Parkinson Canada. He got involved with the walk when he himself was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. “I wanted to help find the solution,” he says.

Over his 12 years with the walk, he has raised $42,000 for Parkinson Canada, and last year he hit a personal high of $7,500. He says he made the goal of $10,000 for this year to try and surpass last year’s personal best. John is very well connected in the community and surrounding area, as he plays bridge, euchre, and is an avid golfer. He also has a part-time job driving for Myers Automotive Group. He asked his friends, neighbours, playing partners, and colleagues for support, many of whom knew about his goal and were very generous. “I usually go to Tims for coffee in the morning, so I hit up that group too,” he says.

His fundraising effort was also bolstered by a golf tournament he organized in June at Rideau Glenn Golf Club. “That was the kick to the fundraising this year,” John says. “We raised between five and six thousand dollars.”

Although John does have a page on the Parkinson SuperWalk website, he prefers to do most of his fundraising face to face. “I like the personal touch better,” he says. It’s a lot of work, and you have to talk to a lot of people to raise as much money as John has, but, clearly, he was up for the challenge. “I am retired, so I would rather be doing something than just sitting,” he says. “I don’t even own a TV.”

As of right now, John has surpassed his goal and hit the $11,300 mark. He hopes to get to $12,000 before the walk on September 9 in Ottawa. It is possible that he will be the top fundraiser for the Parkinson SuperWalk in Canada.

According to the Parkinson SuperWalk website, the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s is on the rise, with more than 25 people being diagnosed per day in Canada. That number is projected to rise to 51 new diagnoses a day by 2031. The Parkinson Superwalk is the largest nationwide fundraising event for Parkinson Canada. Approximately 10,000 people, from coast to coast, organize and take part in the walk every year. Since 1990, the walk has raised $35 million for support services, research, advocacy, and education.

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Research on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder by local resident http://www.ngtimes.ca/research-fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder-local-resident/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/research-fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder-local-resident/#respond Wed, 19 Jul 2017 19:03:48 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=7346 A Merrickville resident has made it her mission to look into changing the way people see and treat Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder [FASD]. Katie MacLaurin is a mother of five who is going into her second year of the Master of Social Work program at Carleton University. Her job with vulnerable children in the Department […]

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A Merrickville resident has made it her mission to look into changing the way people see and treat Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder [FASD]. Katie MacLaurin is a mother of five who is going into her second year of the Master of Social Work program at Carleton University. Her job with vulnerable children in the Department of Foreign Affairs pushed her to go for the degree; however, her decision to research FASD is more personal. “Our family has some experience with the disorder,” she says.

According to the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Ontario Network of Expertise, FASD is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental health, behavioural and learning disabilities, with lifelong implications. Health Canada estimates that there are at least 300,000 people living with FASD in the country, although researchers say this estimate is conservative.

As someone who has experience with the disorder, Katie has found that it is very poorly understood and heavily stigmatized. Because of this it is often misdiagnosed, causing the child to be improperly treated. “If the numbers are so low that a jurisdiction doesn’t feel like there is a need for services, those services aren’t made available,” Katie says. “To be on the spectrum right now is not a super place to be in Ontario.”

Katie’s research will be focused on looking at what other provinces, specifically British Columbia and Alberta, are doing for treating FASD. “These jurisdictions are 15-20 years ahead in the treatment of FASD,” she says.

She believes that, while it is important for a child with FASD to get help, it is equally important to provide their parents or caregivers with support. “It is important that the family also receive some level of intensive investment about how to parent a child with FASD,” she says. “I have yet to find a program that does that.”

There is also the barrier of the stigma that is attached to the disorder, which Katie would like to see banished, once and for all. There are many things that may cause a woman to drink while she is pregnant. Sometimes, a woman may not find out she is pregnant until it is too late, and some doctors still tell women that it is ok to have a glass of wine, even though the World Health Organization has stated that there is no safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. The stigma, according to Katie, also does nothing to address the socio-economic injustices that contribute to poverty and addiction. “I believe strongly that no one intends to do anything during their pregnancy that may have implications for the baby,” she says. “There is not room in the discussion for blaming.”

Katie is hoping that her findings will allow her to make some recommendations specific to Ontario for a province-wide strategy for FASD. This comes at an appropriate time, as the province recently announced funding for a strategy to combat FASD. Katie expects that this is part of the reason she received the Hilary M. Weston Scholarship from the provincial government, which grants money to two Master of Social Work students each year doing research in the field of mental health. “My hope is that we get to the point that Autism did ten years ago. Let’s just accept it for what it is, end the stigma, and put supports in place, so that young people with this disorder can reach their maximum potential.”

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Lockwood Brothers Construction, http://www.ngtimes.ca/lockwood-brothers-construction/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/lockwood-brothers-construction/#respond Wed, 03 May 2017 19:48:24 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=5537 Local homebuilders, Lockwood Brothers Construction announced Wednesday, April 19, that it has been named the Winner in the Inaugural Ernest Assaly Award given by Tarion Warranty Corporation. The new Ernest Assaly Award is similar to a lifetime achievement award. It recognizes the highest level of excellence in Ontario home building while honoring the legacy of […]

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Local homebuilders, Lockwood Brothers Construction announced Wednesday, April 19, that it has been named the Winner in the Inaugural Ernest Assaly Award given by Tarion Warranty Corporation.

The new Ernest Assaly Award is similar to a lifetime achievement award. It recognizes the highest level of excellence in Ontario home building while honoring the legacy of Ernest Assaly, a highly respected leader in the residential building industry who was Tarion’s first Chair. Only a select number of Ontario builders met the rigorous criteria required to even receive an invitation to make a submission.

The recipients who were considered had to have demonstrated a commitment to building quality and innovation, customer service and community involvement.

The company was also nominated as a finalist in the 2017 Homeowner’s Choice Award, in the small volume builder category.

Lockwood Brothers Construction is a custom home building company located in Oxford Station, Ontario and has been building homes in the area for the past 18 years.

When asked, Corey Lockwood, owner of Lockwood Brothers Construction, said he was “humbled to win this award. It is because of the support from our family, the community, our subtrades, clients and the great team we have that has allowed us to achieve this honor.”

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Green, Clean and Local http://www.ngtimes.ca/green-clean-and-local/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/green-clean-and-local/#respond Tue, 24 May 2016 13:35:48 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=1907 Community group Merrickville Goes Green is gearing up for their 7th annual Eco Fair at the end of the month. This year’s Fair will feature over 40 vendors, all centred around clean, green and local. “We see it as a networking and showcasing event,” says Scott Kelland, spokesperson for Merrickville Goes Green. “The purpose is […]

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Community group Merrickville Goes Green is gearing up for their 7th annual Eco Fair at the end of the month.

This year’s Fair will feature over 40 vendors, all centred around clean, green and local. “We see it as a networking and showcasing event,” says Scott Kelland, spokesperson for Merrickville Goes Green. “The purpose is to introduce the vendors to potential customers but also to their partners in the community.”

This year, the Fair will be offering a number of workshops focused on green living. Workshops will start at 10:30am, and will run throughout the day, on everything from container gardening for herbs, to backyard composting, to how to make fermented foods. “One of the reasons we put so much emphasis on workshops this year is that we believe that over the last couple of generations a lot of important skills have been lost,” Scott says. “Re-skilling is important.”

While the Eco Fair is Merrickville Goes Green’s flagship event, they also hold smaller events and fundraise to support many environmentally friendly causes throughout the year. This year they are selling composters and rain barrels at a discounted price to support initiatives like the Two Rivers Food Hub, the Merrickville Community Garden and supplying books about sustainability and the environment to the Library. “We are a small group of people who believe we have to walk the talk,” Scott says. “If we believe in sustainability, a more resilient community and environmentally friendly things, we should be doing everything we can to promote those ideas.”

Earth Hour celebrations, potluck picnics and walking tours through the village are other events that Merrickville Goes Green has spearheaded over the years. This fall they are hoping to have a harvest event to showcase the incredible local food that is grown in the area.

The Eco Fair is being held at the Merrickville Community Centre on May 28th from 10 am-3 pm. Admission is free.

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