It is a difficult time of the year to get enthusiastic about gardening other than browsing the colourful catalogues. This month I have decided to do profiles of local people who use nature within their pastime. We have many of these persons in our own area and they may even be your neighbours.
I have three more people to follow my previous years’ profiles. My first one is a gentleman who is a strong advocate for the role bees play in our world. The other two are not directly associated with gardening, although after talking with them I realized we all have an appreciation for nature one way or another.
tap here to see other videos from our team.
Angela Lassam – It’s Still Just Dirt
John Van Blyderveen from Holbrook owns a business named Oxford Honey. He has been involved with beekeeping since childhood, working alongside his father on the farm. He decided he wanted to share his lifetime of beekeeping and knowledge of the importance of bees today. He has been mentioned in programs on CBC, talked about by Martha Stewart, and has a Facebook page which is greatly followed. John has been involved in bee research done by the University of Guelph and has a vast knowledge of the controversy with neonicotinoids in agriculture. He has a great location where any beekeeper can source all their supplies. He also has a variety of products using the honey he produces. He sells a line of cosmetics, beeswax candles and various types of honey with his beekeeping supplies. During the summer months John has a one-hour tour on Saturday with a demonstration and question time. For more information on this check out www.oxfordhoney.ca .
My other choices are connected to Station Arts Centre in Tillsonburg where you will find a great selection of articles for sale. You can browse their display of giftware anytime set up in the old railway station.
Linda Hawken is an artist who retired to live in Tillsonburg. She has always been involved in arts and crafts besides being an avid amateur photographer. She enjoys the challenge of painting and has learned through various workshops how to paint great watercolours. I noticed her lifelike watercolour paintings of flowers in Tillsonburg Station Arts Centre and hope you will visit to see them. Her work can be found in private collections in Florida, England, Hong Kong and Japan as well as Ontario.
The third is Joachim Knauer, originally from Sweden, who also lives in Hickory Hills. He is an amateur photographer who enjoys the outdoors. On retiring he started woodcarving and demonstrated at various shows. Joe has received many ribbons for his work. His talent and enthusiasm is obvious from his many wood carvings of birds and other wildlife. He has carved beavers, deer, squirrels even acorns and sunflower seeds. To compliment his wood carving he has done some wonderful woodburning pictures from photographs taken on road trips. Some are even done in color using melted wax crayons for the colouring. Joe has written articles for the Ontario Woodcarver magazine and has a claim to a 1st in the Ontario Woodworking Championship 2018. He has many pieces of his creations and is proud of all of them. Some can be found in the Station Arts Centre. He has a website www.woodcarvingsbyjoe.net .
There are many people who have extended their hobby and share their work with others mainly to supplement their materials. In the case of Van Blyderveen his aim is to share his lifetime experience and knowledge of beekeeping.
It is notable that we can all find pleasure in the things in nature that surrounds us and transpose it into a hobby to share with others.
The next monthly meeting for the Tillsonburg Horticultural Society is Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Senior Centre Auditorium, Tillsonburg Community Centre. The speaker will be Hayden Dooney from Norfolk Growers Association. His presentation is on everything to do with apples. For further information look us up on the website www.tillsonburghortical.ca and check out Facebook – tillsonburghorticultural. Everyone welcome, join us for a meeting $2 or become a member for only $15 per year for added benefits.