February is the month of Love.
Love for whom, though? Your wife? Your husband? Your kids?
What if every month was the month of Love? What if, instead of showing Love for our “loved ones” we showed Love for our local businesses and farmers? How about Love for the wonderful communities that make up Grey Highlands and Grey County as a whole?
Wouldn’t that be nice?
Love is one thing you can never get (or give) enough of. It transcends religions, race, age, gender...everyone needs Love.
But right now in the midst of this pandemic, we need Love more than ever. It is so easy to look at life through a negative lense and wake up complaining about this or that. It takes effort to wake up, give thanks and be positive...and show Love. Let’s put in the effort.
Let’s show more Love to our spouses and children, our families and friends. But let’s not forget to show extra Love for our local farmers and business owners. They need more Love. Let’s give it to them.
Let’s order more take-out from our local restaurants, buy more food from our local farm stores, and do more in general to shop locally. Let’s make it a habit...one worth keeping once this pandemic is behind us.
This month, we’ve featured someone with a lot of Love to give. Jenny Hanley of The Hanley Institute leads with Love (sometimes tough Love) every day. And thank goodness she does. Read her story on page 16.
As we celebrate the month of Love, don’t forget to show those closest to you how much you truly care. I do this by going to Markdale Flowers (about once every 28 days). They’ve developed a customized arrangement for me of a man leaving (and then shortly thereafter returning) to the dog house. It’s Mama Country’s favourite.
Speaking of whom, I’d like to wish my wonderfully amazing wife a very Happy Valentine’s Day.
Wishing all of you the same and I hope we can all band together this month and beyond to show more Love to our community.Keep on Loving Local.
Photo: Jenny Jelen
PROSPECTS FOR SPRING
Could someone tell me what happened to January? At the risk of sounding like a parrot, the real estate market has churned on and presented us with some truly staggering numbers - again. Finding the balance for clients hoping for top dollar in this current climate can be complex. I continue to work hard in a responsible way and am dedicated to my client’s safety and success.
I am REALLY looking forward to Spring. I am excited about the prospect of warmer weather, longer days and maybe even more than that; fresh, local maple syrup. It’s almost the season!
Have you ever tried to make maple syrup at home? I remember making maple syrup when I was a kid. We made the best ½ cup of syrup ever made but you will have to take my word for it. It was a week of waiting impatiently for the sap to drip and an afternoon making a small batch with the help of Dad. We only did it once though…not sure why but I am sure it had nothing to do with the mess we made, the hours it took to boil down while making sure it didn’t burn, short attention spans or the disappointment of a full pot turning into just about nothing.
It was a fun project we could do as a family. I am going to make it corny by telling you it taught us life lessons I did not appreciate at the time. It certainly gave us an appreciation for the time and effort local producers put into every bottle. Hard work, patience, and dedication can lead to a sweet reward and make everyone better as a result.
Keep looking forward, be patient, make local business your Valentine, and check in on your neighbours. Keep working hard and stay dedicated, soon we will all be hanging out at the next community event... how sweet will that be?
Sales RepresentativeRE/MAX High Country Realty Inc., Brokerage
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I remember the day Paul came home with a little brown bag with just five bulbs of garlic. He called them Music and he was thinking about growing garlic. That was 14 years ago and now we grow some of Canada’s best certified organic garlic, but before I continue on how those same five bulbs grew to 50,000 bulbs, let me say that it’s been a long road and a lot of going back to family roots.
My husband was always a farmer. His parents were farmers and his grandparents were farmers. The same could be said for me except I could kill house plants and hated the thought of weeding, Paul had a natural green thumb. He also had a full-time job as an airline pilot that required him to be away for days at a time and I worked full-time in the hospitality industry and ran our 2 kids everywhere to help balance the lifestyle we thought we all wanted.
Paul grew up on a 100-acre farm in Caledon with his mom and dad (who was also an airline pilot). His mom had a little market garden with fresh veggies and chickens. He grew up learning how to fix cars, fly airplanes and working up the land in crops.
I grew up in Bracebridge on 50 acres of rock and water where my dad worked at the Muskoka airport and my mother was a stay-at-home mom who tended to everything else. I always remember that my brother could play sports and other stuff but all that was offered to me were Girl Guides and learning how to knit, crochet, preserve food by canning, and baking. I hated being a girl back then. I told myself that I would never bake or can any vegetables let alone weed a garden and harvest. Knitting was a waste of time and who ever wanted to needlepoint? I was going to move to the big city. Unfortunately, I lost my mom in my late teens and all I had were memories of my selfish thoughts and wasted time.
Many years later, I met Paul and we started to have adventures together. We even sailed with his parents in some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the world and it was Paul’s mom who seemed to pick
up the reigns where my mom had left off.
She reminded me that the boat was your home and always needed work, to live life in the moment and learn to adapt to any situations, there was always a farmer to buy food from and that you had to preserve it to make it last. Also, your family was your lifeline so keep the communications open so you can survive together. What I’m saying is that all those girly things I hated as a child were valuable life lessons that I now use every day.
Go back to your roots, and start growing…
Lorraine Irwin is a mother, a wife, a theatre buff and the owner of Pure Music Garlic Products. She makes all of her garlic products using Organic Garlic grown on their farm (Boars Rock Farm). Check out her ad on Page 7.
PURE MUSIC GARLIC PRODUCTS
BOARS ROCK FARM
136407 Grey Road 12, Grey Highlands