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Erin and Hillsburgh horticultural societies host District 7 fall gathering

Super soil - LEFT: Jane McDonald thanked Owen Goltz for his informative presentation on ‘super soil’ at the Ontario Horticultural Society District 7 fall meeting on Oct.  28 at the Ballinafad Community Centre. RIGHT: Jean Gordon, and judge Irene Oldford, right, congratulated Jenny Frankland for winning Judge’s Choice at the Ontario Horticultural Association District 7 fall meeting.  Photos by Bonnie Whitehead

Erin and Hillsburgh horticultural societies host District 7 fall gathering

by Bonnie Whitehead

BALLINAFAD - District Director Jane McDonald welcomed members to the Ontario Horticulture Association (OHA) District 7 fall general meeting co-hosted by the Erin and Hillsburgh Societies on Oct. 28 at the Ballinafad Community Centre. Secretary Frances Bouma took the roll call announcing 84 society members in attendance from 14 societies in District 7.

Erin Mayor Allan Alls reflected on the natural beauty of the area and was thankful for the commitment and partnership with the society.  

McDonald shared her views on the convention held in July in Richmond Hill. She noted impressive designs added a horticulture feel to the hotel. Entertaining and energizing speakers helped present the theme ‘Green Shore to Shore’ and gave thought to greening roof tops. She urged membes to consider working on the board, be aware of the changes with the webmaster, not to miss grant deadlines, and think about exploring the Groovy 70’s at the 2018 convention in Kingston.

The Harriston and Orangeville societies entered the pollinator habitat challenge, McDonald noted.

She suggested sharing board jobs and finding ways to attract new people to give local societies’ boards a try.

Treasurer Kathy Bouma shared the story behind the Stompin’ Tom plaque and his song about Ballinafad. She is looking for a new treasurer as she steps into the role as district director.

Guest speaker Owen Goltz, arborist, farmer and observer of Riverdale Farm and Forest in Englewood spoke about ‘super soil’. His presentation noted the lowest and smallest link is the biology in the soil. You need to achieve the ideal soil mixture and balance of minerals and nutrients for optimal growth and optimal health for each plant’s potential. Owen can be reached at for workshops, home gardening tips, pruning fruits and pasture management.

Show co-ordianator Jean Gordon announced with judge Irene Oldford that 11 exhibitors entered 15 exhibits with the Arthur Society having the most entries. Awards were given with Jenny Frankland of Erin winning the judge’s choice with her dried arrangement “From the Wild.”

In the afternoon, guest speakers Crystal Bradford and Liam Kijewski of Wildlife Gardening near Woodstock talked about ‘sustainable, low maintenance gardening’. They find beauty in all living things and accept holes in the leaves. Make meadows not lawns to increase the amount of bio-diverse greenspace, they urged. They recommend starting with a site analysis to develop a design of your garden taking note of the soil, intended use, harvest, natural or modern romantic look and growth pattern of plants. Kijewski and Bradford  can be reached at or 519-532-3818.

McDonald expressed appreciation to the hosts. The spring AGM will be hosted by the Elora/Salem society in Alma and the autumn meeting will be hosted by the Clifford society.


November 10, 2017


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