Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas

Need a stocking stuffer or gift idea?
Check out these gifts in support of the Muskoka Heritage Foundation.
Affordable too! $20 or less
Tea Towels

Back by popular demand: Muskoka Heritage Foundation tea-towels. These fly off the shelves because of their high quality and unique designs. A new design just arrived (bottom)! $17 each.

DVD: History of Muskoka

Life on the Edge: a DVD about the history of the Muskoka region. From the Anishinabek, to the European settlers, to the first tourists. This 2 hour documentary explores Muskoka's history through interviews with historians, photgraphs and re-enactments. An amazing stocking stuffer- only $20. Watch the trailer!

Book: On the Living Edge

On the Living Edge: offers a host of ideas on waterfront living including help with septic system health, native plantings and shoreline wildlife, as well as tips for purchasing and building on shoreline properties. We are offering it for $20.00 including tax!! A great bargain and a perfect gift for your cottaging friends and family.

Book: Old Muskoka

Old Muskoka tells the stories of the first cottagers in Muskoka in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Exceptional photographs and rich history describe the area, grand cottages and times spent on the lakes in Muskoka.

Interested in supporting our work directly?
Become a member!
Or donate on behalf of your family and friends!
Only $50 for the year. Contact us!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Considering logging? Read this first!

Have you been offered money from a logger to harvest your woodlot?
Interested but think there is a better way?
There is!

It requires researching sound advice to make the best decisions possible to protect the health and integrity of your woodlot.
Woodlot owners harvest trees for many reasons: to generate income, produce lumber or firewood for your own use, create recreational trails for skiing, hiking, or hunting, improve wildlife habitat, or to maintain the health of your forest.
These reasons are not mutually exclusive.
Whatever your reason, there are many factors to consider first.

Do Some Research
The choice of a silvicultural system depends on characteristics unique to each woodlot. The book "A Landowners Guide to Careful Logging" provides landowners with sound advice as they make decisions to protect the health and integrity of their woodlots, while maximizing financial returns. Download it, or pick up a free copy at MHF.

In addition to a silvicultural system that is appropriate for your woodlot, a reputable consultant and/or logger is a must. They ensure that logging operations are conducted accordance with good forestry practices and that other values in the woodlot are protected and maintained. This guide also has more information about this selection process. Contact me for a list of loggers in Muskoka.

Make A Plan
Download or pick up a copy of "A Guide the Stewardship Planning for Natural Areas". Fill in the blanks on the worksheets to make a personalized plan for your woodlot. I have these books at the MHF office and they're free! Also, see the upcoming December issue of the MHF newsletter, the Steward, for an article about planning for your stewardship activities.

Learn, Read, Explore!
Access resources: do some winter reading.
Attend workshops: learn from others and the experts
Explore your property: what wildlife lives there? when and where is it wet, dry? what kinds of trees? what do you use it for?

Consider becoming a landowner participant in the Stewardship Program.
I'd love to chat with you about how the program can help you! Contact me today.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Forestry Workshop

The Ontario Forestry Association, in partnership with the District Municipality of Muskoka, is offering a landowner workshop in the Muskoka area.

This informative workshop will provide you with tips and tools to help protect trees in your woodlot from disease, insects and other natural threats. The workshop will also provide landowners with information on how to manage a forest harvest, contracts and oversight, planning, managing expectations and informed decision making. Information will provided on the Managed Forest Tax Incentive.

When: Saturday November 27th, 2010

Time: 10am - 2pm (Classroom and field trip)

Where: Macaulay Public School, Bracebridge ON

Lunch will be provided

Pre-Registration Required!

Contact the Ontario Forest Association 1-800-387-0790

Interested in some prep reading for the workshop?

Check out these articles about Forest and Ecosytem Health on the Muskoka Watershed Council website

The OFA has an article about the Value of Our Forests

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On my shelf: The Practical Naturalist

Last week, Liann Bobechko, author of Cottage Life's "Cottage Kids" blog wrote about how much she is loving the book "The Practical Naturalist". Read her entry here.

The more we understand about the natural systems where we live, the better actions we can take to protect and conserve Muskoka's resources.

One of the reasons the stewardship program exists is to encourage good stewardship of Muskoka's private lands. Above, landowners from the program receive their gatepost sign this summer.

But what is stewardship?

Stewardship means taking good care of our land and water. It requires sound planning and informed choices based on good information.

Take some time this winter to do some planning over the coming months so that come spring you are ready to take action on your land, shoreline, and garden. More on this topic in a upcoming post...stay tuned!

In Stewardship,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Local Food Movement

Fall is a time for harvest!

But with the frost and cold weather setting in- and even *gulp*- snow, the harvest is winding down. Fortunately, there are ways to continue enjoying the delicious fresh foods from the summer and fall.

Like this Canning & Preserving workshop:
Offered by Savour Muskoka
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Mark O'Mara Clubhouse @ Delta Grandview
For details go here

Savour Muskoka promotes local food. Like I wrote about it a past post, eating locally is important because:
  • fresher food
  • better quality food
  • food travels less distance
  • less chemicals in our food and on the land on which it was grown
  • supports the local economy

My favourite:

  • connects us with our food source and the land

Are these things important to you too?

There is another workshop you should know about:
Local Food Development: brainstorming session
Saturday November 20, 2010
Muskoka Delta Grandview Resort
For more information, go here
Interested in learning more about the local food movement?
If you are in Muskoka and this topic peaks your interest (after all, we all have to eat!), I encourage you to attend the brainstorming session.
You can also read more in books like these:
And checking out websites like these:

See you at the workshops!