Ye Merrie Olde Low-Carbon Holiday Season! - theHumm December 2021

Ye Merrie Olde Low-Carbon Holiday Season! - theHumm December 2021

By Chandler Swain

The holiday season is following hot on the heels of the final word from the UN Climate Change Conference (COP) in Glasgow. The final declaration was cobbled together and a tad disappointing to say the least. Young activists who know our futures depend on aggressive action on the climate crisis are telling the world that it’s up to each and every one of us to do our part since governments still aren’t acting sufficiently or quickly enough to keep the climate in a safe place for all of us.

Climate Network Lanark (CNL) is focused on helping local citizens wade through all the information to help us take responsibility for lowering our carbon footprint in all aspects of life. Currently CNL is collecting information from the responses to our community survey (if you haven’t filled it in, please do so at to be able to show our County Council that the community is expecting the Lanark County Climate Action Plan to have aggressive targets and actions. Lots of excellent suggestions are on the table that are do-able and will only make our county more prosperous and resilient.

But for the moment we turn to celebrating as best we can our second holiday season compromised by the pandemic. More than ever, we need fun, celebratory activities with our family and friends. Are you wondering how to stick to your climate goals? Maybe you are already opting out of much of the hype, paring down the stuff, ramping up the spirit and following the hierarchy in the graphic on this page.

CNL would like to offer some ideas that support local makers and growers so you can feel better about not adding to “one of the biggest annual environmental disasters in the world”. Here’s what the website has to say about Christmas’ carbon footprint and its irreversible consequences: “A study in the U.S. suggests that during the holiday season, each person produces an additional 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2). This is equivalent to about three weeks of driving or about 3.8 percent of an individual’s annual carbon footprint of 36,000lbs.” Holy holly, Rudolf!

O Tannenbaum!

Imagine this: there are estimated to be 30 million Christmas trees sold in the US each Christmas season. Evidence collected by Telesure reports that with all things considered, artificial trees are two times as carbon-intensive as a real tree! We asked local organic Christmas tree grower Grant Martin of Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm what he has to say about how his seasonal farm produce — trees — sequester carbon (aside from through their roots into the soil). “A good source of sequestering carbon is intensive managed pasture,” Grant replied. “While we don’t pasture animals between the trees, we do grow clovers and grasses. This keeps the ground covered and insulated which promotes diversity and helps form symbiotic relationships between tree and grass roots. The grass in the pathways is allowed to grow taller to maximize carbon sequestering, and all of the plant material is returned to the soil.”

Aside from the carbon benefits of getting a locally grown live tree, says Martin, “by choosing real trees, people help keep jobs, money and carbon in their community. We love to see families creating their own traditions here when finding their Christmas tree.”

Let There be Light!

In our rural county there is a magical sight in the darkest days of winter: cheerful Christmas lights! This may be one of the most heart-warming things about the season. It is pretty common now to use LED lights and there are tons on the market; but how about we take care of them in the off-season so we don’t need to deal with a huge tangle of lights each December, then give up and buy more. When you do need more, make use of the variety of used goods stores and centres in our region. Most of them have enormous collections of Christmas decorations that have been donated through the year, and now fill their aisles.

Buyest Thou Less Stuff

That is an interesting quandary, as our whole economy is fueled by us buying stuff. Of course, when buying holiday gifts you can choose to buy local and buy used. TheHumm’s Gift Giving Guide and are two great places to start!

Another idea is to get creative about gifting a non-consumable. This is a service or an experience instead of an object — anything from making and hosting a special dinner to taking a grandchild on a special hike. How about a week’s worth of dog walking; a gift certificate for a massage, spa or haircut; some hours of a landscaper’s services or a monthly trial of a favourite craft beer?

Lanark County is so full of makers and growers of wonderful, imaginative stuff!

We offer up this Low Carbon Holiday Challenge and would love to hear if you were able to meet it! Let us know what you are doing for a low carbon holiday season by sharing your stories or pictures with Climate Network Lanark on instagram #cnlholidaychallenge or by email at .

Can you get through this holiday season procuring everything you need for your celebration right here in Lanark County? Sourcing gifts that are produced and sold right in the county is very helpful in shrinking our collective carbon footprint. Personally, we are doing the really hard work of sampling wine, beer and spirits from Lanark and Ontario producers to choose as presents. It’s tough work, but somebody has to do it!

Driving to malls and shopping online doesn’t compare with being out and about in the community — meeting your neighbours and being inspired by our local creative spirit. Happy Low Carbon Holidays!


Showing the Local Love for the Holidays! - theHumm December 2021

By Kris and Rob Riendeau

Here at theHumm we’re big on local economies. The retail and service businesses in the small towns that we cover play a huge role in the cultural life of those towns. Each store, restaurant, or small enterprise attracts and serves a particular clientele — some inside the community, some from outside. Some businesses host their own special events; others join together with local festivals to make the whole experience more vibrant. Many provide support in cash or in kind to local initiatives. All of them add their own particular flavour to the delicious mix that is small-town Ottawa Valley.......


“Winter Wonderland” Festival in Carleton Place - theHumm December 2021

Carleton Junction in Carleton Place will come alive from December 10 to 12 with the sights and sounds of a Winter Wonderland! The Winter Wonderland Festival encompasses a variety of outdoor winter activities, live entertainment, music, food vendors and more. Tickets are on sale now online at Tickets Please ( or 485–6434), or in person at the Carleton Place Arena at 75 Neelin Street.

Friday’s kick-off will have the crowd amazed with a fire show by Brant the FireGuy at 5:2......


Peggy Schenk — She’s A Sketch! - theHumm December 2021

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

Peggy Schenk is delighted that postcards are making a comeback. This Perth artist creates picture postcards that feature her whimsical hand-drawn sketches. Captured in pen and ink with watercolour accents, her sketches celebrate the beauty of the everyday mundane. From a hockey rink scene to a tangle of Christmas tree lights, her sketches warm the cockles of your heart.

It’s inevitable that as photography becomes more accessible and ub......


A Memorable Christmas for Women in Need - theHumm December 2021

Lanark County Interval House and Community Support (LCIHCS) is bringing back their Angel Tree campaign again this year. Much like last year, the Angel Tree is available virtually at . The website allows donors to select a person to support this holiday season from the comfort of their own home. To encourage shopping local, LCIHCS has paired up with twelve local businesses to bring The Twelve Days of Christmas Giving to Lanark County. More details will follow on LCIHCS’ social media!

“Our emergenc......


Nothing Sketchy About It —Get Thee to the Theatre! - theHumm December 2021

By Heather Phaneuf

There I was, ear pressed up against a wooden door in the Almonte Library listening in to a Sketchy Santa rehearsal — around me the sounds of a vacuum clearing up the day. I leaned in closer. What? Sure, it was a frosty night, and yes, I had my mask and gloves on, but still a chill set in. The things I heard. The marvelous, perturbing things I heard!

Don’t even ask me about the power of the Clayton Rhombus… I tremble as I type this… you’ll just have to buy a ticket and find out. Let......


Folkus is Back!
Full Season of Concerts Planned for 2022
- theHumm December 2021

By Sandy Irvin

It’s been a minute, as the kids say. After shutting down partway through our last season and missing a full year, it’s been over 600 days since Folkus held a concert or even a sound check indoors at the Almonte Old Town Hall. We miss you, and we miss having live concerts. With the recent provincial announcement about concert venues, it looks as though we can indeed hold a series this winter. And we are so glad to be back!

It will be still Folkus, but things will necessarily ......


ABBA Revisited —The Christmas Show - theHumm December 2021

ABBA Revisited is North America’s #1 tribute to ABBA, and its members have been dazzling audiences across the globe since the year 2001. ABBA Revisited recreates the magic of the band with authentic costumes, spectacular harmonies and note-perfect musicianship, taking their audience on a musical journey back in time.

From Vegas to Bermuda, Mexico to Dubai, ABBA Revisited has recreated the show-stopping look and sound that fans around the world can’t resist! This must-see show will be live o......


The Art of Gift at Strévé - theHumm December 2021

“The Art of Gift” is the new show of fine art and fine craft at Strévé Design Studio Boutique and Gallery in Downtown Perth!

Consider giving gifts to your family and loved ones that are handmade, artful, made by only one person, and infused with soul and love. Every item in the main floor boutique and in the second-floor art gallery at Strévé Design is meant to be collected, cherished and then passed down to the next generation. Call this way of thinking old-fashioned and the way people used to l......


Giving a Gift to Last
Support MMLT and Preserve our Future
- theHumm December 2021

By Robert Betcher is the President of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust

Each holiday season, if we are lucky, we surround ourselves with the people and things we love most. A lucky few, like Paul and Cathy Keddy, awaken each day in a place that brings them wonder and joy — their forest.

The study and love of nature is a lifelong journey. Each foray into the forest can bring delightful discoveries and wonderful curiosities that send us searching for field guides and pique our desire to share with friends.

Paul and Cathy Keddy are MMLT members, eco......


A Tale of Two Tales - theHumm December 2021

If you’re looking for wonderful local gifts for children, you can’t get much more local than books written and illustrated by authors in our area. Here are two that are available right here in Lanark County!

Felicity Mouse

Wendy Healey has been a stay-at-home mom, a daycare worker and an Early Childhood Educator. Her first book, Felicity Mouse and her Farmhouse Adventures, is based on her experiences growing up in Carleton Place — specifically on Glen Isle. When h......


A Creative New Spark in Perth - theHumm December 2021

By Kris Riendeau

One of the best parts of running an arts paper in these parts is getting to know the creative movers and shakers in our community. Over the years, theHumm has written about several different initiatives undertaken by Heidi Stepanek and Peter Dixon — including the Orion Theatre Company (whose production of The Rocky Horror Show blew our minds and made us life-long fans) and the Perth Academy of Musical Theatre (PAMT — more recently known as the Academy for Musical Theatre). So we were delighted to hea......


Rock, Gravel & Sand - theHumm December 2021

By Susie Osler


The rain is pelting down — splashing, seeping, excavating, and running through the soil around my home. Rain-made rivulets, originating atop the hill in the gravel road I live next to, weave small watersheds that wiggle downhill, becoming jagged channels that wind into even bigger canyons carved from the soft sediments of the road’s shoulder. Following the path of least resistance, the flow curves down our laneway — a tumbling migration of water and accumulated d......


Give the Gift of Nature - theHumm December 2021

By Vickie Walsh

In a year that has highlighted both our need for nature and the very real impact we have on the environment, a meaningful approach to gift giving this holiday season includes all things nature-related.

It is the perfect year to allow values to lead the way in our traditions. That can include shopping for products that are sustainable and made from recycled or eco-friendly material. It can mean prioritizing local and Canadian stores. More businesses, such as mine ...more

Feeding Hope Together - theHumm December 2021

By Claire Marson

Towards the end of the summer, at St. Paul’s in picturesque Almonte, we spent a lot of time at parish council meetings struggling with whether or not to put on our annual Harvest Supper. Each year, many meals and a portion of the ticket sales from the Harvest Supper went to the Lanark County Food Bank and those struggling with food security as well as to those at Interval House, an emergency shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

Other churches and organizations were sta......


“Just In Time” Studio Sale - theHumm December 2021

On Saturday, December 11, everyone is invited to a wee day-long, open hearted, open-doored offering of nourishing goods for the soul. This special studio sale will feature an eclectic assortment of ceramics and drawings from Susie Osler, hip handmade leather goods from Willa Murray Design, and a host of nourishing herbal products from Clarendon Herbals. 5% of sales will be donated to a local Indigenous-led organization or project.

This pop-up sale will take place from 11am to 5pm at 2501 ......


Holiday Maker’s Market at North Folk Café - theHumm December 2021

For three weekends in December, incredible local makers, bakers and artists will come together for an annual Holiday Maker’s Market at North Folk Café in Perth. This free event is happening on December 3–5, 10–12, and 17–19.

Dasha, the owner of North Folk Café and organizer of the Maker’s Market, wanted to create a relaxed shopping atmosphere for customers and take pressure off the makers’ shoulders to have to “man their booth”. The market’s format is a fun pop-up with booths set up like a......


The Holiday Magic Continues in Perth - theHumm December 2021

As the holidays approach, the festive celebrations continue in Perth. Perth Tourism welcomes you to experience the magic that our charming town has to offer, and to explore the numerous events taking place during the Christmas season.

As you wander the streets checking off your holiday shopping list, you might encounter The Grinch or Santa and his elves, all of whom will be making appearances as part of our event series called Weekends in Perth. Precious Moments Carriages will be provid......


“Have a Lanark County Christmas” Holiday Contest - theHumm December 2021

The Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Smiths Falls and Perth Chambers, is launching a Think Local shopping contest to support local businesses during the holiday season.

The Think Local “Have a Lanark County Christmas” contest launches invites residents to submit their receipts for any purchases made within Lanark County between November 20 and December 24. For every $20 in purchases submitted, one ballot (to a maximum of ten ballots ......


Is it Christmas Already? - theHumm December 2021

By Glenda Jones

How did this happen? I’ve hardly got the plants put away when suddenly I hear rumblings of Christmas shopping. Not so much shopping maybe, but rather Christmas searching, since all those container ships moored mid-ocean or wherever are holding us hostage for merchandise. It’s strange that the stores have stuff at all — could be it’s all last year’s stuff dusted off and dressed up to be new again. The thing is, being denied in-store shopping last year makes us all the more eager to get our hands on real live stuff, so we see it as new and exciting. However, this doesn’t take into account t......


Horses of the Country
An Interview with Author Claudia Smith
- theHumm December 2021

By John Pigeau

 It should be argued, and perhaps rather vigorously, that to liven up any boring old dinner party you only need to invite a rural historian. They are, after all, brimming with knowledge of the most delightful, interesting and often unusual facts. On subject matters that please, as well. Typically, they are gifted storytellers too — awash with charming anecdotes told only to them, and snatches of odd and little-known tales, those delicious morsels of lore and stories of times gone by th......


Passing the Family Pastimes Torch - theHumm December 2021

By Kris Riendeau

When the world seems to be changing incredibly quickly, it’s good to know that some things are made to last. In the case of Family Pastimes, those things come in colourful boxes and contain imaginative and cooperative games! Owners Jim and Ruth Deacove have been running this delightful business in Brooke Valley for 50 years and are now into their eighties. I have fond memories of playing such games as “Sleeping Grump” and “Max the Cat” with my own kids (who are now aged 27 and 30), so when I h......


The Five “Horts” of Lanark County - theHumm December 2021

By David Hinks

I reserve a special place in my heart for our Lanark County Horticultural (Hort) Societies. These are groups of enthusiastic gardeners (some might even say obsessive) who in their own quiet ways make our communities come alive. In the gardening season, Hort members can be seen planting tulip bulbs at the Cenotaph in Almonte, adding some plants at the Victoria School Museum Garden in Carleton Place, taking care of gardens at several historic properties in downtown......


Ye Merrie Olde Low-Carbon Holiday Season! - theHumm December 2021

By Chandler Swain

The holiday season is following hot on the heels of the final word from the UN Climate Change Conference (COP) in Glasgow. The final declaration was cobbled together and a tad disappointing to say the least. Young activists who know our futures depend on aggressive action on the climate crisis are telling the world that it’s up to each and every one of us to do our part since governments still aren’t acting sufficiently or quickly enough to keep the climate in a safe p......


Curious & Kind Presents
- theHumm December 2021

On Monday, December 13, Curious & Kind presents a very special show at the Almonte Old Town Hall hosted by Danielle K.L. Gregoire. It features performances by comedian Dawn Xanklin, musician ......


Learning in Almonte is Closing the Door
- theHumm December 2021

By Glenda Jones

After careful consideration, the organizers of Learning in Almonte are turning out the lights in our classroom. Various circumstances besides the pandemic have made it difficult to continue.



Blues On The Rideau Still on Hold
- theHumm December 2021

James Doran, the dynamic organizer of the amazing Blues On The Rideau (BOTR) concert series at the Cove Inn in Westport, has had to delay the reboot of his series once again. James writes: “I hav......