Monday, May 9, 2011

a busy spring weekend

This weekend was absolutely packed full of potential activities: Doors Open Hamilton, the Spring Special Show at the Aberfoyle Antique Market, the AGH Spring Art Sale, The West Hamilton Artist Tour, and veggie/fruit planting activities up at Gary's farm. We were sadly only able to participate in a few of them.

After doing a little bit of gardening at home, Erick and I headed out with Thea to check out a few Doors Open locations.

First we visited William Reid's Cottage near Dundurn castle. It used to be home to William Reid, the gardener to Sir Allan Napier MacNab who was the owner of Dundurn Castle. It is over 150 years old, and the City of Hamilton has bought it and is in the process of restoring it back to the way it once was. This awesome linoleum flooring was peaking out from under some new flooring in one of the rooms. And I have no idea what that kitten thing is (maybe the lid to a cookie tin?), but I think they found it under the walls above the fireplace and decided to leave it there. I like it.

Next, we walked over to the kitchen garden itself. I was beyond impressed and extremely jealous of it. They were growing a large variety of vegetables, including asparagus. They had some of the asparagus covered with wicker baskets to keep them from turning green. This process is called etiolation. Since the plant is kept in the dark it does not produce chlorophyll (thus remains white) and allocates more of its energy to growing. Neat!

Thea will be doing a more detailed post on the Beehive blog about Dundurn Castle's kitchen garden later this summer, so keep an eye out for it!

Our last stop on the Doors Open tour was the Mohawk Trail School (we started late, and got mildly lost, so didn't have the time to see everything we wanted). Built in 1882, it is one of Hamilton's first one room brick school houses. It was actually in use until 1965. It was very cute. I loved the little enamel cups hanging in the hall.

After we visited the school, we went to up the farm where we planted a whole bunch of strawberry plants and 140 rhubarb plants. A lovely Saturday.

Sunday we got together at my grandma's house to celebrate the life of my grandpa. He didn't want a funeral, so just family got together to share memories instead. It was lovely. In addition to celebrating his life, we also celebrated mother's day and my brother's birthday.

A good weekend.


K. said...

Man, the Dundurn Castle and Kitchen Garden are right up there in terms of favourite spots in the city. The historical interpreters (I think that's what they are called) are so incredibly friendly, generous (in sharing their time and knowledge, as well as freshly picked veggies!), and all around wonderful :) I definitely need to check out the Mohawk Trail School one day. Thanks for sharing these pictures!

Kate Hunter said...

Glad you enjoyed them!

I'm definitely planning some picnics to the Dundurn castle grounds this summer. It's a short bike ride from our house, so there's no excuse! And I'll cross my fingers that someone will share some kitchen garden veggies.

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