The farm gate is open at the UPA Open Door event



Kate Aley

Both country folk and city slickers came out for the 15th edition of the L'Union Producteur Agricole (UPA) Open Doors event on Sept 10. Luskville's La Riveraine, the only site within the Municipality of Pontiac, welcomed well over 100 visitors. They were able to tour the farm which dates from 1905, enjoying old machinery, tiny ponies and proud peahens, not to mention sampling some delicious pancakes.

From left, master chefs Louise Alary, Bruno Alary and Marie-Lise Couillard serving pancakes made of corn, oats, wheat or buckwheat.

The Open Door event was created to help people see where Canada's food is produced. La Riveraine, currently operated by Louise and Daniel Alary was founded by Daniel's grandfather, Jean-Baptiste. The road leading to the farm is named Odessa after Daniel's father. The farm produces grains and maple syrup and also hosts a popular sugar house restaurant in the spring.

Blacksmith for the day, Jean Laframboise was hard at work in La Riveriane's forge.

The farm also features a large collection of vintage farm machinery and a historical section with a forge and kitchen. There is also a wooden chapel housing a remarkable array of religious artifacts rescued from a decommissioned church in St. Jean-Marie Vianney, Qc. 

Local farmers and UPA members Ronald Belisle, left, and Blake Draper greeted visitors by the apple orchard.

"When people drive in, you can see them staring all around them," said Draper. "During an Open House last year, we had a young calf and a boy asked us if it was a pony. I had to ask him to repeat the question. He was about 15 years-old and he was serious. That really shows that these events are so important for education."

A tractor-drawn wagon traveled around the fields, visiting corn, wheat and soy crops.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Online Survey: Benefiting from Nature in the Pontiac


Do you spend time outside enjoying nature?  If so, McGill University PhD student Dalal Hanna would love to hear from you in an anonymous online survey.  She is conducting a research project on the diverse ways people living in the regions of Bristol and Pontiac benefit from nature, and how they would ideally like to benefit from nature in the future. Dalal does this research because it generates information that can help society come up with improved ways to manage the diverse benefits we get from nature. The project seeks to improve knowledge and is purely academic.

The summarized and anonymous findings of the project will also be shared with your community in December 2018 at a gathering, and made available publicly online and to local land use planners.  

Sondage: profiter de la nature dans le Pontiac


Est-ce que vous passez du temps à apprécier la nature ? Si oui, une étudiante au doctorat à l’Université McGill, Dalal Hanna, a un sondage web anonyme à vous proposer. Elle fait présentement de la recherche sur les diverses façons dont les gens des régions de Bristol et de Pontiac profitent de la nature, et comment ils aimeraient idéalement profiter de la nature dans le futur. Dalal fait cette recherche parce que ça génère de l’information qui peut aider la société à développer des meilleures façons de gérer l’environnent. Son projet cherche à améliorer les connaissances, et est purement académique.

Un sommaire anonyme des résultats sera partagé dans votre communauté en Décembre 2018, ainsi que disponible en ligne.

Si ce projet vous intéresse, s’il vous plait visitez le sondage en ligne ici :

Le sondage prend environ 30 minutes à compléter.

Si vous avez des questions, n’hésitez pas à contacter Dalal Hanna par courriel ( Vous pouvez aussi contacter son superviseur de doctorat, Elena Bennett (

Merci énormément pour votre temps !

Early Morning Blaze Destroys Barn in Luskville



Thomas Soulière reader Nina Lépine-Forget alerted us to the fire and sent us this image of the blaze taken just before the arrival of firefighters to the scene

An early morning fire completely destroyed a barn on a farm located at 2002 route 148 (chemin Eardley) in the Luskville sector in the Municipality of Pontiac Monday.

Le tour des jardins et cadeaux du Pontiac


Le tour des jardins et cadeaux du Pontiac est une visite auto-guidée de neuf jardins champêtres. L’accent porte sur les méthodes écologiques, les aménagements favorisant la biodiversité et les plantes indigènes. Des artisans du Pontiac seront sur place pour vous faire découvrir leur art, livres et cartes. Les jardiniers vous proposeront quant à eux, des légumes écologiques, des semences et des plantes, ainsi que des tisanes, paniers et différents produits de leur terroir.

Great gardens and gorgeous gifts on tour


Pontiac Gardens and Gifts is a self-guided garden tour featuring nine country gardens in West Quebec’s beautiful Pontiac region. The focus is on organic techniques, wildlife-friendly designs and native plants. In addition, regional artists and artisans will sell their art, books and cards. Some gardens will be selling nursery stock and seeds, organic produce, herbal products and more.