Quyon garlic farm has appetite for success

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

Seeking an easily-managed crop with minimal waste and a long shelf life, Quyon farmers Anny Bourret and Christian Legere chose to grow garlic and the results have been delicious. The couple now produce seven kinds of garlic on their 50 acre farm, which they purchased 12 years ago and renamed Ranch de la Vallée.

"Garlic, you plant it while the kids are at school and you pick it up when the kids are home," explains Bourret. "What you don't sell or use, you replant. We started small with 100 bulbs to see how it would grow and we have been increasing since then."

This year, Ranch de la Vallée will put 9,000 bulbs in the ground. Available varieties feature ever-popular Music, huge but mild Elephant and creamy Siberian White, as well as Mennonite, Italian Purple, Russian Red and Rosewood, this last a very hard and hot-tasting variety. "When people want a real garlic taste they go with this one," said Bourret. "We wanted to grow unusual varieties and and we are always looking for types that are not so common."

Bourret is also diversifying her product line: she has recently concocted a phenomenal condiment made from cold-smoked garlic scapes (the curly flower stem) blended with sea salt. "I like to play with food and discover new tastes. The more and more I work with garlic and understand it, the more I like it," she said. "It's a beautiful product that stays fresh for a long time."

Bourret carefully assembles her braids of garlic, occasionally stacking different varieties for a selection of flavours into artistically clean, tight arrangements, the stalks bound with simple natural twine. Next this culinary inventor plans to investigate a garlic-based pesto and herbes salee.

Bourret and Legere are careful to grow their plants as naturally as possible, using black plastic mulch to handle weeds and only applying composted horse manure as fertilizer. The land on their 6th Concession farm used for the garlic beds had been fallow for at least 10 to 12 years so they are confident there is no residue from previous crops. Their kids - Annabelle, Benjamin and Auraly - love to help out at harvest, enjoying the task of pulling on the long green leaves to bring up the bulbs.

"We're trying to keep it simple," Bourret continued. "The kids are the priority. It's a lot of work but it's nice work: it's outside and I love it. I am my own boss with two employees: the sun and the rain; although they never listen to me and sometimes they don't turn up when I need them!"

Bourret also delights in introducing the joys of using fresh garlic to those who do not generally cook with it. "A lady I know said she only used pre-crushed garlic," Bourret recounts. "I gave her some fresh cloves and she was amazed. She told me, 'I was gaining on time but losing on taste'."

Ranch de la Vallée garlic products are available at Domaine Pontiac Village and various depanneurs within the Municipality, or through their website:

www.valleeranch.com

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

The beginning of everything: "Origins" watercolour show opens

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

You are invited to an extraordinarily moving exhibition of new work by renowned Luskville painter, Ruby Ewen.

Entirely painted in watercolour, the pieces immerse the viewer into multiple magical realms of creationism, imagination and classic myth.

Show runs: Friday, June 22 (opening event, 6 -- 8 p.m.) to July 22, 2018

Site: Stone School Gallery, 28 Mill St., Portage du Fort.

Cooking meets trucking at new restaurant

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

After two years of extensive renovations, Au Coin du Camionneur, also known as Trucker's Corner, opened in Luskville on Sunday June 17. 

Owners Benoit Galipeau and Robert Bergeron have completely reconfigured the building at the corner of the Eardley-Masham Road and Highway 148. New lighting, comfortable seating and large windows that open onto a breezy patio create an inviting ambience.

Building a new future for Pontiac with slaughterhouse project

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by: 

Kate Aley

After five years of planning, construction has now started on the Les Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac. Set on five acres on the outskirts of Shawville, the slaughterhouse is the brainchild of Quyon entrepreneur Alain Lauzon and three partners, Sofian Elktrousie, Ibrama Diagne and promoter Gilles Langlois.

“We are aiming to be open by end of October,” said Lauzon last week, as he watched forms being set for more concrete to be poured.

Turtle S.O.S.: Save Our Shells!

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Trouble in paradise.

It's June and that means those crazy turtles are once again roaming dirt side roads and busy highways alike; intent on finding mates, water and good nesting places as they have always done, paying no mind to the deadly wheels zooming past. I stop for a lot of turtles at this time of the year and so far we have all lived to fight another day. However I have never seen a turtle stuck in the bone-dry and baking-hot rink at the Luskville Community Centre before. Bad turtle terrain for sure.

Open letter to the Municipality of Pontiac recognizing the work of our municipal firefighters

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by: 

Sandra Barber

To whom it may concern:

Re: Recognition of volunteer Firefighters

While sitting at our dining table enjoying our first coffee of the day on Sunday, May 20 at 6 a.m., my husband and I both heard a very loud “thunk” and wondered what the heck it was. Curiosity motivated my husband to investigate further; he checked our basement, nothing amiss. Checked the living room located on a lower level, noticed a man sitting outside on the guard rail.

Kickin' it: Pontiac youth get into soccer

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by: 

Kate Aley

Some might say that young people are glued to their screens all day and all night. But that's harder to say when so many bright young people are running, kicking, playing and laughing in Luskville every Monday evening.
Community soccer classes started up on Tuesday, May 1st at the Luskville Recreational Park. The two- to four year-olds play in the softball field. The older group, aged five and up, play on the soccer field to the north.

How do rural communities comply with Quebec's Organic Strategy?

Categories: 

by: 

Kevin Brady

Current Situation:

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and an eventual a 'ban' of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020. Municipalities that comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs. As with the Municipality of Pontiac, many municipalities have chosen to pass resolutions to initiate door-to-door collection, with costs paid for by the residents.

Get ready, get set, get out: disaster preparedness in a bag

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

Remember this?

As the Pontiac watches epic levels of flooding in both New Brunswick and B.C. and considers our own possible return to inundation, it's time to let paranoia rear its helpful head and get ready to get out of the house. The concept behind having a so-called Go Bag is to have ready everything you might need to survive, out-of-doors, for about 72 hours... until help arrives or the zombies get you.

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