Sunday, 19 July 2009

Local Attractions

Yesterday Gord and I took in the "Country Soul Stroll," which is an annual event here in Sturgeon County. It showcases local rural attractions, like llama farms, horse riding schools, plant and tree nurseries, tea houses, artists, craftspeople, and more. There is a lot to see around here, more than we would have thought when we first moved here six years ago. Yesterday we took in two of the attractions, and one more today. We had planned to do more, but got off to a bit of a late start, which isn't unusual for us on a Saturday!

Yesterday we headed to Morinville's Vintage Petals Tea House, where we had some delicious tea (hot for me, iced for Gord), and tasty sandwiches. The proprietress gave us a little personalized talk on the different types of tea (white, green, oolong and black) which all come from the same plant (camellia sinensis). I sampled a delicious vanilla cream black tea, and Gord tasted the iced version of the mango blueberry herb tea. While we ate, another staff member gave us a short history of the ~1922 brick house and its various residents, some of whom still live in the area. I took a quick peek in the gift shop area upstairs, which was full of some vintage kitchenware, home made items and a few new items too. I resisted temptation there, but I did buy some of the delicious fair trade vanilla black tea.

Then it was on to our next destination, First Choice Tree Nursery. There we were treated to the sight of flowers grown into the shape of puffy skirts around wire manakins - picture Scarlett O'Hara's dresses, but made of flowers - just gorgeous! There was also a cabin-like gift shop, with window boxes full of rainbow chard, and Christmas-themed decorations inside. They keep their Christmas shop open year-round, apparently. It was also a full fledged tree nursery, and Gord and I found two trees we may plant in the Fall: a Burr Oak (the only oak hardy enough for Zone 3) and a "Rugged Charm" Maple. The oak tree will (eventually) produce acorns; it could be wishful thinking that the maple would yield syrup. We'll wait until the Fall to plant anything, and hope that we've had some more rain by then.

And today we returned to one of our favorite spots, Prairie Gardens and Greenhouses. It was a bit too chilly to partake in any ice cream or strawberry shortcake, but we enjoyed puttering around the perrenial greenhouses, considering what we can plant next year that will be both pretty and useful.

It was a really nice weekend, with these two leisurely outings, and some fairly long periods of rain overnight.

What are some of your favorite local attractions?

Pictures courtesy Country Soul Stroll Website, linked above.


Liz said...

Lang Pioneer Village. I adore anything pioneer. That's one class trip I make to sure to help out with...for the sake of the kids, of course.

Theresa said...

If you're ever out this way Liz you'll have to check out our Fort Edmonton Park - pioneer extravaganza! And I will happily come with you :)