Mother/mother-in-law O’Brien visit

We had yet another action-filled three-day weekend with Liam’s Mum. The weekend started on a Thursday evening, when we ate dinner at the Cove Inn. We drove around a lot of the small towns (Westport, Perth, Delta, Forfar). After she left, we put in a solid half-day of work. Here are a few highlights of the weekend.

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We saw this as we walked through Perth for the parade. They’re demonstrating how to build dry rock walls (no mortar)
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Delta Mill. This mill, from 1796, was recently restored to be both a museum and operating mill. The guy on the left is the “miller”. He volunteers his time for free but then gets to use the mill on the grain he grows. We bought two 2.5 kg bags of red fife whole wheat flour.
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We spent part of the afternoon at Scheurmann’s Winery in Westport. This is the only winery within 100 km and probably the northernmost winery in Ontario. They have just 6.3 acres of vines and import a lot of the grapes. Anyway, we enjoyed a bottle of their Riesling and took another two home. This was probably the highlight of the weekend.
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Charcuterie and artichoke dip; Nina and Beth
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Stopped off to put up our feet during our walk around town.
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Overlooking Westport and ____ Lake (I should know the name by now) from a lookout on Foley Mountain.
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Showing off some of Nina’s handy work: new ladder and painted railings. She finished some of the painting just in time for our departure so we don’t have to sleep in the fumes.
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A well-used “shower” (basically a garden hose and sprayer). In the 30+C temperatures, this has been very nice, enough enough the water gets to about 5C. Before the summer’s out, we’ll need some sort of obstructions for privacy. Maybe birch bark or trellis and vines. Neighbour Ernie is sure to get an eye-full in the mean time. Today, he dropped in on Liam equipped with boxers and boots.
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Potato and onions. The drought has not been good for the onions.
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Nina’s garden and pathway. This is a tick-free path (herbs to repel them and short grass or exposed rock to make the path unattractive to them)
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Close-up of the “path”, which will gradually be cleared more and more. Nina is planning on planting things like lavender, rosemary, and other smelly plants that no insect or animal eats or likes. Note the cool finds – rusty shotgun shells and THICK pieces of old glass bottle.
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Grape vine structure. Inspired by the vineyard, we built the start of a structure to make harvesting our own grapes easier. You can’t tell, but this is about 10 by 10 by 10 ft. The angle is terrible. It looks a lot more square in person! We hope to add a few more pieces over the coming months. Unfortunately, these (concord) are no good for wine. But they’re still good for eating and juice. Apparently, the birds think so too.
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Concord grapes. They taste terrible now, but should be ready in two months. The hope is that the trellis structure will allow them to thrive for a big harvest next year.
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Natural fire pit; not a grave. We removed a few cubic meters of soil to get down this low. Fires will have a tough time escaping this. Earlier in the summer during another drought Katie and Liam set a few contained grass fires to see how fast it spread. Answer: very! Also very satisfying.
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Motion-activated wildlife camera (“camera trap”) to see what visits our field.
First victim of the camera trap. A deer. We saw about 4-5 distinct deer over the weekend.

No more estate trips for two weeks. Liam’s got to get into conference hosting mode and Nina has a bachelorette party in Montreal.


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