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 watershed icon white bg 74x74 editorial | Watershed’s award-winning editorial
takes readers to the heart
of our community
with insightful stories
and articles.


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 watershed icon white bg 74x74 design | Watershed’s classic design appeals
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drawn to its artfully
designed pages.

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circulation | With a regional circulation of 25,000 magazines per issue, Watershed is the largest publication
in the region.




Casting The Net of Opportunity


A year ago, the possibility of a Syrian refugee becoming part of Kendall and Joanne Dewey’s family-run commercial fishing operation was next to none. But when Slieman.…read more

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author: David Newland   
photography: Johnny C.Y. Lam

Joint Ventures


Whether you agree with its legalization or not, cannabis will definitely have an economic and social impact on our region. You’d be surprised at the spectrum of locals who are…read more

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author: Tom Cruickshank


Capturing the Essence Of Deborah Samuel


The acclaimed Canadian photographer’s unmistakable edgy style and her unique interpretation of the subjects captured by her lens, makes for hauntingly beautiful…read more

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author: Janet Davies  

A Centre for Connection and Creativity Through Music


Twenty years ago, Donna Bennett and Brian Finley had a dream to develop a summer music festival that would showcase classical, jazz, folk, and show music in a welcoming…read more

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author: Chris Cameron


BEYOND THE GARDEN GATE: Winter at Tamarack Farms

author: Denny Manchee / photography: Meg Botha

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Even the Dorset-Rideau-cross sheep need a hit of grain when it's 30 below and howling. Houston, the Great Pyrenees guard, agrees.

THEY WORK LIKE DOGS. They have dogs (three) and 130 sheep and eight New Hampshire hens and a growing market garden and five grown children.

Meet the indefatigable Nancy and Richard, who retired from corporate life a few years ago and then hurled themselves into a new adventure of relentless work and sustainable farming.

Why? Because the land seemed to ask for it, although that wasn’t clear at the beginning. “It started as a passive investment,” says Nancy. There was no grand vision when they bought the 100-hectare property in Northumberland in 2012, since they were still living in Vancouver, where they’d spent the previous two decades. “But once we decided we were going to live here, we wanted it to be a working farm,” says Richard, who has family roots in the area. “The property had been fallow for the better
part of 60 years. There had been attempts to establish a gravel pit but the permits were a problem so the land just sat and grew weeds.”

“Hardscrabble, no curb appeal!” adds Nancy, laughing.

The first project, even before building a house, was a dry stack stone bridge over one of the creeks. “It’ll still be there in a thousand years, and it seemed more appropriate to drive over the creek than through it,” says Richard, who camped in a trailer on the property while the house was being built.
The speed of their scale-up speaks to their unstoppable energy and brilliant project management. In the first year and a half, they cleared 100 acres for hay and sheep pasture, tapped 150 maple trees, put in two ponds with the help of Ducks Unlimited, planted 20,000 trees with Trees Ontario, created a market garden, raised two pole barns, fenced and then welcomed sheep onto the land. Sure, they hired people to help, but they also bent their backs to the infinite tasks that confronted them.

“You don’t get to this stage in life without working hard,” says Nancy who, like Richard, is in her late 50s. “We’ve built houses. We’re workers, although sometimes I get a little tired. I said to Richard the other day that we have to figure out how we can actually have a day where we’re not working 14 hours but we’re still at the farm.”

Challenges? There’ve been a few. Last winter, the ground froze before they had a chance to get the water lines in for the sheep. They were “hand-bombing” water twice a day, hauling five-gallon buckets from the back room of the house down to the heated water tank.

The learning is constant – lots of old-school research and reading – and they’ve had great help from their neighbours. They ask lots of questions, use common sense and avail themselves of all the expertise they can rustle up.

“It’s a luxury at our age to be doing something completely new,” says Nancy, who rolls with the punches, even the bloody drama of lambing. “I never wanted to be a veterinary gynecologist. Ever!” she says. “But when it comes to it, you actually do that stuff because you don’t want the sheep to be uncomfortable, right?”

For the most part, Nancy focuses on growing, making and selling things – during tomato season she was delivering to the city three days a week – while Richard, who has a design sensibility, handles infrastructure. He put in a sawmill when they were constructing the house and, yes, he’s learned how to use it, and still has all his digits intact. “This place is for the soul,” he says. “It’s about using the materials and opportunities we have here to rehabilitate the land. We don’t own it, we are stewards.”

What do their kids think? “They’ve really embraced it and they want to come here and bring their friends,” says Richard. Though these five young adults are scattered across the country they will all be at the farm for Christmas. The fare will include local food, some of it carrying the family brand, “Tamarack Farms: Remarkable Food, Sustainable Farming”. One could add, brought to you by remarkable people.


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FENCE POSTS: Champlain Slept Here

author: Dan Needles   illustrator: Shelagh Armstrong

There is a legend among historians that Samuel De Champlain, the great mapmaker, explorer and arguably the first “Canadian,” spent the winter of 1615…

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MUST, MUST, MUST: What’s New and What’s To Do

Our Must, Must, Must section highlights a broad range of events, festivals, activities and galleries that contribute to the diverse character of the Watershed region…

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author: Victoria Taylor, Landscape Architect, MES, MLS, OLA

Windbreak, buffer, treeline, green fence, field margin, shelterbelt, fence line, hedgerows…some of the terms used to describe the living corridors that bend and flow…

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WATERSHED PRESENTS: The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Oriana Singers

author: Cecilia Nasmith

It started 50 years ago, when a handful of friends, who were to call themselves the Oriana Singers, gathered around the kitchen table at Helen Massie’s farmhouse. The small, dedicated group shared a love of madrigals – a form of vocal chamber music – and a love of community..


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GEORGE'S POND: Springing Into Action

author: George Smith   illustrator: Lee Rapp

Aaaah spring – the most deliciously anticipated season of the year. Most people I know start to lose patience with snow and frigid temperatures around mid-February…

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CULTURAL CURRENTS: Manasie Akpaliapik

author: Shelby Lisk

A whale jaw becomes the figure of Sedna, the shoulder bone of a walrus imagined into a man playing a drum, while muskox horns and caribou antlers lie on a dusty shelf, waiting to see…

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INNOVATION: Sound the Alarm

author: Meghan Sheffield   photography: Sasha Sefter

Imagine the typical tech innovator, the face of a new start up. If the image that comes to mind is cowboy meets computer nerd – the basement-dwelling, Zuckerberg-type – picture…

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HABITAT: The Carolinian in our Backyard, and Beyond

author: Norm Wagenaar  

Although our school books clearly delineate one forest region from another, the lines on the ground are blurred…

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FIELD NOTES: A Spring Procession of Bobolinks

author: Terry Sprague   photography: Helmer Nielsen

Every May 1st, my binoculars are aimed in the direction of the bromegrass fields beside our house. It’s time for the bobolinks to announce their arrival from their southern Brazil…

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LOVIN' THE LOCAL: A Showcase Of Locally Curated Products

author: Stephanie Campbell

We’re Lovin’ the Local: A showcase of locally made and locally inspired products that reflect the heart and soul of entrepreneurs rooted in Watershed Country

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FOOD & DRINK SCENE Foraging Ahead With Albert Ponzo

author: Albert Ponzo   photography: Johnny C.Y. Lam

Welcome to the local Food & Drink Scene where Watershed shares its secrets and discoveries. Our region is blessed with creative chefs, restaurateurs…

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A CURATED COLLECTION: Gatineau River, Gracefield 1955

The Art Gallery Of Northumberland Presents: A. Y. Jackson…

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MEANDERINGS: Belleville Harbour Circa 1900

author: Orland French   photograph: Courtesy of Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings

In the cold, snowy winters of the 1800s, gangs of lumbermen, deep in the forests of central and northern Hastings, piled up logs along the banks of the Skootamata…

First Words

first words

John De La Cour was on the masthead of the first issue of Watershed but we were friends long before I started publishing the magazine. In the early ’90s, John acted as my campaign manager when I ran for council... read more


I read with great interest the article in a recent issue of Watershed that told the story of the Black Fly, an innovative and exciting electric airplane that was developed in Northumberland County…



summer camp section

Watershed is compiling a list of
Summer Camps to occupy your art-obsessed,
stem-enthusiast, burgeoning thespian or
jack-or-jill-of-all-trades this summer.



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partners master northumberland
forests ontario


hairline wide 865x8CONTRIBUTORS
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shelby lisk

shelby liskA freelance photographer, videographer and writer from Kenhté: ke…

sasha sefter

sasha sefter

An award-winning photographer based in Southern Ontario, Sasha is a recent graduate of the photojournalism…

christopher cameron

christopher cameronWith a new career as a freelance writer and editor, Christopher channels the dedication and discipline…