Road Trip: Leaving Quebec

Last summer Emily and I got married.

(photo by Rosalie Board – Emily’s bouquet by Rene Primeau)

We gave our folks very short notice and had a small ceremony – this kept stress low and enjoyment and happiness high. However, combining short notice with vegetable farming in June meant we couldn’t get up and leave on a honeymoon.

So last fall when the Tourne-Sol team was planning the 2012 season, Em and I floated the idea of both of us leaving for most of June.

Our three c0-farmers were agreeable to the idea and we made a plan.

(photo by Ryan Young – Dan’s boutonnire by Rene Primeau)

This June Em and I got our honeymoon. We went on a road trip through New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Maine. And though we did spend some time camping, hiking, reading, and sitting on beaches; we also visited a dozen or so farms.

My next few posts will cover the agricultural highlights of our Maritime tour.

Au Gr des Champs

Our first stop out of town was Au Gr des Champs in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

An organic raw milk dairy that produces great cheese. (Their daughter Marie-Pier also happens to be working with us at Tourne-Sol this summer.)

They have a heard of Swiss Brown Cows that are raised on pasture.

We stocked up on cheese and hit the road.

La Socit des plantes de Kamouraska

Down the St-Lawrence, we visited Patrice Fortier at La Socit des Plantes in Kamouraska. I’d been to Patrice’s place a couple of year’s ago in the fall (read about that here!).

Patrice is a fellow seed grower. He grows a number of ‘normal’ seed crops such as …

onions. He’s been selecting for fall planting to give summer onions the next year. The seed crop takes an additional year.


And Johnny Jump Ups.

But Patrice also has a fascination with the unusual. His gardens (and seed catalog) are full of strange things including …


Sea Kale, and I was impressed to see …

Blue camass (Camassia quamash), which I didn’t know could survive out here.

One thing I love about Patrice’s place is the weed population. With such a medley of seed crops, the weed seed bank has been dramatically altered.

Angelica dots the farms scape.

Volunteer Orach comes up through the garden beds (a convenient weeding snack). In addition to claytonia, sweet cicely, did I mention skirret?, and more …

We were disappointed we couldn’t stay at Patrice’s longer – the next day he’d organized the first (perhaps annual) Parade du haricot St-Sacrement (The St-Sacrement Bean Parade) in honor of an heirloom bean from the region.

Le Jardin de Mtis

Just past Rimouski, we went to le Jardin de Mtis in Grand Mtis.

In the late 1800s, this was the summer fishing camp of George Stephen, who founded the CP railway. When he passed away he left the lodge to his niece Elsie Reford.

Elsie Reford was a big fan of salmon fishing but in the 1920s when the doctors told her she had to stop, she switched to gardening. Le Jardin de Mtis is what these gardens became.

Azaleas in bloom.

Himalayan blue poppy. One of the signature flowers of the garden.

And from there we drove down into New Brunswick … (join us next post for more road trip fun)

9 thoughts on “Road Trip: Leaving Quebec

  1. Congrats on your belated nuptials danny and emile. Love to you both and HI to the folks! marilyn ciccotosto

  2. Looks like you had a wonderful trip. I try to squeeze in some gardens while I’m away. Spent a week on Cape Cod last month and passed some lovely flower gardens on our daily walks. Reminded me of the old English cottage gardens. Also had the opportunity to see the Monet exhibit at the NY Botanical Gardens up in the Bronx. It was unbelievably beautiful. They also had two of his paintings on display… added bonus. Hope you are both doing well. So excited to hear the baby news.

    1. I think visiting gardens might run in the family! I wasn’t so thrilled about it when I was young but nowadays I can’t get enough.


  3. What a wonderful trip combining some together time, adventure and inspirational farming. Thanks for sharing these stories.

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