Quyon garlic farm has appetite for success

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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

Free art classes for the municipality: meet the teachers

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by: 

Kate Aley


Thanks to the generosty of the Municipality of Pontiac, four art classes are being offered to our community, absolutely free of charge. Details of the classes can be found in your fall activities bulletin, delivered in your mail box last week. Pontiac2020.ca interviewed the four teachers to find out more about the classes and the artists.

100 Homes in Pontiac Hit by Devastating Tornado Plowing Across Outaouais Region

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by: 

Thomas Soulière

It was one minute after five o’clock on Friday afternoon when the tornado that made landfall 9 kilometers away in Dunrobin, Ontario crossed Route 148 in the Breckenridge sector of the Municipality of Pontiac.

A Tale of Two Approaches

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by: 

Sheila McCrindle and Kevin Brady

See Also: When you live in a place without curbs, does it make sense to have ‘curbside’ collection of compost?

The MRC des Collines de Gatineau is comprised of 7 municipalities. The smallest Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette is small enough to be exempt from complying with the Provincial Residuals Strategy. The two most densely populated, Cantley and Chelsea, have respectively 83 and 60 people per square kilometre. These two municipalities also have the highest median household income by a considerable margin.

When you live in a place without curbs, does it make sense to have ‘curbside’ collection of compost?

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by: 

Sheila McCrindle and Kevin Brady


Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and eventually a “ban” of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020.  Municipalities who comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs.   The Municipality of Pontiac has responded by passing a resolution to initiate door to door collection with costs paid for by the residents. 

Fun for all: new play equipment at Onslow Elementary

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by: 

Kate Aley

If you hear a higher pitch of childhood enjoyment coming from the Onslow Elementary School playground at break time, it's probably due to the exciting new playground equipment installed there last week. Pontiac2020.ca asked Home and School committee representative Stacy Johnston for some details.

Pontiac Community Gym hopes to open by end of year

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by: 

Kate Aley

Despite some setbacks and delays, work continues on the building on Clarendon Street that will house the Pontiac Community Gym. Coordinator Rachelle Dinelle gave Pontiac2020.ca an update.

Dedicated volunteer recognized with Governor General's medal

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by: 

Kate Aley

Luskville's Hélène Belisle (above) has been an extraordinary force for good in the Pontiac for decades. She has served as councilor for the Municipality of Pontiac, as a school board commissioner for the Commission scolaire des portages-de-l'Outaouais (CSPO), instigated and still facilitates the breakfast club at Notre Dame-de-la-Joie in Luskville, all while operating her own small business, Salon Chez Hélène. On September 11, Belisle was awarded the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers, which recognizes exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians through the office of the Governor General of Canada.

Lacing up for the 2018 Terry Fox Run

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by: 

Kate Aley

September brings many things, among them cooler weather, fall fairs and the Terry Fox Run.

Regional coordinater John Petty is once again chasing the elusive goal of having 200 participants at this years run on Sunday, September 16.

Petty, along with his late wife Betty and legendary friend Rick Valin, has been facilitating the run practically since there was one.

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