Dunnville Horticulture Society

Gearing up for a Busy Year!

Debbie Thomas, President
Dunnville, Ontario.

DHS Gearing up for a Busy Year!

Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) resumed their regular program nights on January 19th, with a January record number of members attending. Everyone enjoyed a Q&A panel of “Master Gardeners” from our very own member gardeners who fearlessly tackled any question thrown at them.

Thanks to Lester Fretz, Marlene Link, and host, Deb Zynomirski. It proved to be enlightening, fun, and often hilarious. DHS next program is Thursday, February 16th with Hannah Jacobs from Matchbox Garden and Seed Company. She will be presenting on Heirloom seeds, open pollination and vegetable boxes.

The topic is timely as it corresponds with DHS annual free seed exchange.

February’s program is also the date of the early bird membership draw. Memberships can be purchased that night to qualify.

To attend DHS programs a membership is not a requirement. All programs are open. Doors open 6:30pm, program starts promptly at 7pm and conclude by 8:45pm. We meet at the Optimist Hall in Dunnville.

DHS is tackling its biggest project ever, in partnership with Haldimand County and Dunnville Christian School. To be completed this year is the restoration of the Centennial Fountain located in Centennial Park. The restoration includes repairs to uprights, the restoration of the frieze panels, and the planting of a living wall which will replace the original water feature.The lagoon area of the original fountain will become 4 separate, beautifully planted gardens. Plans also include revitalization of the existing butterfly garden in front of Muddy along Hwy 3 and a naturalized pollinator garden. Haldimand County will be reworking the current paths in the park.

Fundraising will be ongoing and DHS welcomes donations. Anyone wishing to contribute to the project may contact President Debbie Thomas (905) 774-3064 or email debbie.j.thomas@ gmail.com. Tax receipts over $25 are issued as DHS is a registered charity.

Join us on April 29th for a Kick-Off as work commences. This event is open to the public to preview the ongoing restoration and to meet and greet the volunteers. Our Re-dedication Ceremony Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, September 23rd with more details to come.

-submitted by Debbie Thomas, DHS President


It’s Maple Syrup Time

Sandi Marr, DHS Secretary
As a child, I looked forward to tapping our maple tree and checking the pail for sap. With just one pail, we didn’t collect a lot of sap or need a sophisticated evaporator. We boiled the sap on our kitchen stove and had enough syrup for a pancake or two. I learned to appreciate the gifts of nature.
     When I remarried in 2008, my husband and I discovered we shared this childhood experience. My mom found a small evaporator at a yard sale and we purchased some pails on Kijiji. We tapped about 50 trees in his parents’ bush in Wainfleet. We ran a pipeline with 50 taps on the hillside at my parents’ cottage in Lowbanks where my dad previously tapped trees.
     Our grandson helped us split wood for the evaporator. Our granddaughters enjoyed running up the hillside to check the pipelines. It was a good 1st season, and, despite the ups and downs, we were pleased with the fruit of our labours, “liquid gold.” As we reflected, we knew this was a hobby we wished to continue together. Even though it was hard work, it connected us with the Divine and with each other.
     We traveled to Quebec to visit other maple syrup producers. We attended the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association annual meeting and talked with Mennonite farmers. We added a few more taps and purchased a larger, more efficient evaporator.
     We are learning as we go. In our culture, waiting is often a negative thing. In the bleak winter months, we patiently wait for the sap to run, and then, for sap to boil into syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup.
     We learn to be attentive to the weather and process. Sap runs when daytime temperatures are above freezing and the night temperatures are below freezing. When the syrup gets close to completion (7 degrees above the boiling point of water, approximately 219º and 66.9 to 68.9 Brix scale on a hydrometer) it requires constant attentiveness. They say, “Everyone loses one batch and then you learn to be attentive.”
     Mother nature presents challenges along the way. Squirrels chew our pipeline. Warm temperatures cause the sap to sour if it is not boiled down fast enough. The season warms up quickly, causing the trees to bud and season to end. We are reminded we are not in control of nature. But despite the challenges, we experience great pleasure in the sap to maple syrup process.
     For more tips about nature and gardening visit www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org. Join us from 7-9pm, March 16, for our DHS monthly program night, at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St., Dunnville. Karen Bushert & Moritz Sanio (Grand River Conservation Foundation) will present “Trees and Bees.”
     For more information, call Debbie Thomas, Dunnvillle Horticulture Society/Garden Club President (905) 774-3064 or Deb Zynomirski, VP (416) 556-9337.


April 21& Sat 22: volunteers to help staff the DHS booth at Home show (min 2-3 hours)

April 21& Sat 22: volunteers to do a mini demo at home show, either Friday or Sat (10 minutes)

April 29th 11-1pm: volunteers for the Fountain Kick off,
to speak with visitors, and/or assist in Butterfly garden rehabilitation, prep and plant

May 12th 5-7pm: volunteers to assist with pricing and sorting plant donations at drop off night

May 13th 6am-1pm (plant sale 7am-noon): volunteers assist with plant sale set up, selling, clean up

May 27th 8am-?: volunteers for planting day assist with planting, handing out water, providing instruction to volunteers at beds

June to Sept: volunteers to weed town beds; hoping for 2 volunteers for each bed over

June 24th members-only garden tours: need 6 gardens for tour. Would you like to open your garden to members?

Sept. 8th Haldimand Motors Great trike race event: volunteers to participate night of event, on float, walkers, trike racers (2)

Sept 23rd Centennial Fountain park rehabilitation celebration: volunteers volunteers volunteers ***still planning event

Oct 21: volunteers for town bed cleanup day 9am-? last year done in under 2 hours.

Nov 4th 10am-?: decorating the town planters for Christmas (24 planters) last year done in under 3 hours.


Feb. 2017 DHS Monthly Program – Optimist Hall

Sandi Marr, DHS Recording Secretary




Thursday, February 16, 2017

A February record attendance of 77 people signed in. Members and guests were warmly welcomed. Housekeeping details were announced including procedures around Sign-in sheets, Washrooms, Ways & Means, Memberships, and Refreshments.

The business portion was kept to a minimum with updates by Debbie Thomas, President and Deb Zynomirski, Vice-President. The back wall displays our monthly Treasurer’s Report, Sponsor/Donor List, Program Minutes, District 9 Events, and non-DHS events. Minutes are printed on agenda backs. Since emails are sent out to members, please ensure we have your updated email. To see upcoming DHS and other events visit our DHS website at www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org and look under EVENTS.

Centennial Park Fountain (CPF) update: fundraising initiatives and planned activities include partners and planned activities (April 29 Kick-off CPark, Sept. 23 CPF Rededication), CPP grant from Haldimand County, Mayor’s Gala recipient, Application being made to Libro, Member donations (tax receipts issued), Lions Club donation $1,000., Kinsmen Club donation $1,000.

6th Annual Blooms & Bubbly Garden Tours, June 25: DHS members are invited to participate in this fundraiser by Senior Support Services. Anyone wishing to have their garden as part of tour please contact Senior Support Services at (905) 774-3005.

Volunteer opportunities highlighted: April 29 Kick-off, April 21-22 Lions Home & Garden Show, May 12-13 Plant Sale. See Debbie and Deb during break for sign up sheets. These are great opportunities for those who may not be able to “get down on their hands and knees” to help volunteer in other ways with DHS. Check our website “NEWS UPDATES” for more volunteer opportunities.

Student Volunteer Recognition: Debbie read a letter of recognition commending Shaunasy Thomas for her service to DHS. We wish her all the best in her continued volunteer work with other organizations in Dunnville. We welcome Mason Zynomirski, providing Tech support. Dunnville Secondary School (DSS) students are invited to obtain Community Service Hours by volunteering with DHS. One Bursary may be awarded to a qualifying DSS student (criteria includes 10 hours volunteering with DHS, along with pursuit of post secondary Horticultural-related studies).

Tonight’s refreshment volunteers were thanked: Keith & Marie B., Nellie, Helen E., Sharon S. Congratulations to Don & Barb D. on their 60th wedding anniversary. Thanks to Barb & Don for providing cupcakes to celebrate. March refreshments were volunteered by: Lorraine S., Sherry, Denise R., Alicia S.

Breaktime was announced with time to sign up for volunteering, early bird memberships, Ways & Means tickets, and seed exchange.

Early Bird membership draw was announced. Winner: Sue Milligan. Tonight’s speaker, Hanna Jacobs from Matchbox Garden was introduced. “Heirloom Seeds, Open Pollination, & Veggie Boxes.” She inspired us with her knowledge, experience, and passion. Questions and answers followed. Everyone is invited to their 4th annual plant sale, May 20, 10 am to 5pm for organic vegetable garden plants and seeds. If you would like to reserve your plants, visit http://www.matchboxgarden.ca/seed-shop and fill out the seedling order form. Gardens are open during the plant sale for everyones’ enjoyment and exploration.

Closing remarks were offered. Everyone was invited back to hear Karen Bushert & Moritz Sanio on March 16 “Trees and Bees.”

Ways & Means raised $83.00 and winners were announced by Betty B. & Gwen V. Kitchen donations were $42.10

Everyone was dismissed. Thanks to all who volunteered to make tonight’s evening such an enjoyable time.

Sandi Marr, DHS Secretary

DHS & 4-H Junior Gardeners Program 2017

Margaret Bottrell

Sat. May 13: Register and pick up your plants! 111 Broad St. E., Corner of Broad & Cedar St., at the Dunnville Country Parking Lot. 7am-noon.

Sat. May 26: Planting Day! 8am-noon. Meet at Dunnville Bridge parking lot.

July: Home garden visits/inspections

August: Home garden visits/inspections

Thursday, Oct. 19: Junior Gardener Awards Night as well as Flower/veggie Show* at the Dunnville Optimist Hall, corner of Main/Cedar St. All entries must arrive by 6:30pm. Program begins at 7pm. Judging to follow. Parents, siblings, and other family members are welcome.

Sat. Oct. 21: Garden clean up day! Meet at the Dunnville Bridge parking lot, 9am-11am.

Margaret Bottrell, Jr. Gardener Coordinator

(289) 683-8850


-only one entry per person per category

-all plants must come from your garden

-prizes for: 1st, 2, 3 in each category

Categories: largest sunflower head, best decorated or carved pumpkin, best vegetable animal, best flower arrangement