Field Notes for Summer 2019
Artistic pursuits, outdoor yoga, farming fun and a kiddie hike!
If you admire the depth and texture of encaustic paintings, there’s a hands-on way to get acquainted with the method. The Hive Encaustic Studio at the Alton Mill hosts a two-day Intensive Intro to Encaustics July 10–11 and August 26–27 with artist Kim Kool and her studio mate Karen Brown. You’ll learn how to use wax, photo transfers, stencils, pastels and ink to create your own piece. The class is aimed at everyone from beginners looking to explore this style for the first time to those advanced enough to be considering their own encaustic studio. After the class is over, there’s an option to pay for additional studio time.
Let it go
Crafted for painters looking for some added oomph, the Fundamentals of Intuitive Painting workshop covers the basics of playing with colour, line and texture, as well as finding fresh modes of inspiration. Experienced painters who want to branch out and add more mindfulness and intuition to their artistic process are also welcome. All-day classes are at the Alton Mill on June 29, July 27 and August 24, led by artist and teacher Michele Johnston.
Spend a day channelling your inner craftsperson at Spoon Carving workshops at Caledon’s Mount Wolfe Farm July 6 and September 7. Review how to source and select green (unseasoned) wood, sharpen and use tools, and then carve away. Tools and lunch are provided.
Get your hands dirty: Farming 101
Dreaming of tending to an idyllic sustainable farmstead, but your postage stamp-sized yard won’t cut it? Or want to grow your own veggies, but don’t know a tuber from a brassica? Good news: A number of local farms welcome agri-curious volunteers. Zócalo Organics in Hillsburgh, for one, invites visitors to work in the fields with them. For a more meet-and-greet vibe, go to the farm for their community potlucks, held one Saturday a month. If the timing’s right, expect music and campfires – that’s a score (or … s’more)!
For a major endorphin boost, take time away from your desk job and help weed, transplant, mulch, harvest and water at Grand River Gardens, north of Grand Valley. Volunteer to pay for your CSA share at Hillsburgh’s Everdale farm or go deeper with their robust for-fee farmer training.
If all that fresh air makes you want to nap, there are two sleepover options to consider. For an immersive farm stint, book a stay at Inglewood’s Riverdale Farm and Forest. When you rent their cabin, outbuildings, bunkie on wheels or campground space, you can help feed the animals, collect eggs and learn how the farm functions. (Bonus: The Caledon Trailway and Credit River are just steps away.)
Caledon’s Alabaster Acres offers farm visitors two huge canvas tents with all the glamping amenities — beds, firepits, a BBQ (all cooking utensils included), an outdoor shower and tubs. Take a tour of their farm, do a couple of chores or double down on their homesteading lessons on how to can jams or organic pasta sauce.
For more info:
Yoga on the move
If you could use a break from indoor yoga this summer, good news: It’s easier than ever to “namastay” outdoors in our region. Instructor Melissa Ward drops into the Terra Cotta Conservation Area to lead her Nature of Yoga flow yoga events at the Watershed Learning Centre, including a summer solstice session the evening of June 22, a class paired with a plant-based picnic on July 20, and another with a nature hike and forest bathing on August 24.
Over at Forks of the Credit Inn in Caledon, they’ve devised yoga camp for grownups with Soul & Spirit retreats featuring plenty of fresh air poses, bonfires, offsite excursions, gourmet meals and their chic inn lodging. And throughout the summer, Orangeville’s GoYoga hosts weekly Yoga on the Lake classes at the covered dock at Island Lake. Class styles include gentle flow, restorative yoga and a meditation session — all with a killer view of the lake and forest.
For more info and to register:
A spring in your step
Sure the footgear looks like something Iron Man might strap on to blast into the sky in pursuit of a bad guy, but devotees of the Kangoo Club fitness craze insist the elevated rebound boots are the key to an invigorating and safe-on-the-knees workout. Try them out at Kangoo Club classes at Community Living Dufferin in East Garafraxa, with options for beginners, advanced bouncers and tweens. Check out E Kangoo Club Orangeville on Facebook.
Kudos to the Dufferin Hi-Land Bruce Trail Club for offering a clever Children’s Treasure Hunt Hike for families to keep hiking fun for little ones. Visit their website to print a map of the 2.6-kilometre hike around the magical Middle Earth-esque Split Rock Narrows near Mono Cliffs Provincial Park. Find all the plaques marked with an “u” on the map (and don’t worry – there have been no pirate sightings there yet!). Then, when you’re back home, you and the kiddos jot down a description of each plaque on the online form, submit it, and the club will send you a free “Take a Hike” button. Find the map here: dufferinbrucetrailclub.org/childrens-treasure-hike.
A truckload of fun
The Albion Bolton Fairgrounds is home to the Touch-a-Truck charity event July 20. Kids can crawl in and over monster rides of all shapes and sizes, meet the drivers and follow up with face painting and a BBQ. The event is free, but donations to the Caledon Parent-Child Centre are encouraged. touch-a-truck.ca