In & Around /Volume 1 /Issue 39

September 29, 2016

This Week:
Gardens of Lights in Montréal’s Botanical Garden
Apple Picking at Petch Orchards in Hemmingford

IN: Botanical Garden’s Gardens of Lights

Still in the midst of renovations to the Chinese gardens, the annual Gardens of Lights returns for another awesome storytelling experience using lanterns designed in Montréal, and handmade in China. What began with humble beginnings in 1992 quickly rose to the top of Montréalers must-see events year after year. This year is no different and next year will be even better (the renovations will be finished and the First Nations Garden will join the fun as well). About 1,000 lanterns, alongside projections and atmospheric lighting, will bring to life this year’s theme: Son of Heaven, the Chinese Emperor. Sunday is supposed to be so-so on the weather front, so I recommend hitting it tonight, tomorrow or perhaps Saturday. Give yourself a couple of hours to really immerse yourself in the full experience.

Gardens of Light

The Good: 

  1. Public transportation is a breeze and you’ll emerge from the metro or bus right into an outdoor, beautiful, natural realm!
  2. This is really something unique, and magical for humans of all ages.
  3. If you so choose, you can enjoy a special relaxation moment with traditional Japanese treats and tea.

The Bad:

  1. There’s still some construction around the area (of course) so if you drive, it will be annoying (here’s a helpful link to get around the orange cones).
  2. They close up shop at 9pm and the best time to see this, obviously, is at night… so if you’re only able to get there at 8pm or so, you may feel rushed.
  3. The Gardens of Light receives over 230,000 visitors each year… she gets busy!

The Useful:

  1. Gardens of Light, 4101 Sherbrooke St East, 514-872-1400.
  2. Official Website (avoid the line, buy your tickets online here).
  3. A sweet little video that captures the magic quite well.

Pro Tip:

  • If you’re going with a baby, moving about the Gardens of Light is much easier with the wee one in a baby carrier versus a stroller.

AROUND: Hemmingford’s Petch Orchards

As the weather turns a little more crisp, and your tastebuds start turning towards turkey and apple pie, I invite you to revel in my favourite season by supporting a local orchard (Les Vergers Petch Orchards) and helping those less fortunate (Core Care Foundation). My family has frequented Tim & Pamela’s orchard for as long as I can remember and I cannot recommend them, and their orchard, enough. Along with every variety of apple you could possibly want, you’ll also find pears, pumpkins, a petting farm and, weather-cooperating, a brisket cookout and corn maze! Also, for a few years now, Core Care Foundation has set up shop at Petch to promote their cause – helping the homeless eat healthy, fresh fruit. This year, Core Care won’t be on site but I’d still like to spread their message and encourage you to do one simple thing while you pick apples this autumn (regardless of the orchard you choose): Buy one extra bag to fill up (or many if you prefer), spend a little extra time with your loved ones choosing some lovely ripe apples for this extra bag, then take a moment out of your life to drop that bag off at a local shelter. For the past four years, Core Care has chosen the Old Brewery Mission as their main drop off point but as long as the fresh fruit is going to a good cause, that’s all that counts. Spread the word, enjoy the outdoors with your loved ones, support local business and help the homeless!

Petch Orchards

The Good:

  1. You’ll be supporting a long-standing family-run business, and helping others in need.
  2. Petch also has a small shop where you can purchase fresh baked goodies, coffee and other glorious items for your bellies.
  3. Oh… and don’t forget the new cider products that Petch now produces – Pomi Verde! 

The Bad:

  1. Part of the charm of Petch is the fact that it’s a small family-run orchard… as a result you won’t find as many child-distracting/occupying elements that you might be seeking (shows, pony rides, amusement park like installations, etc).
  2. The drive from Montréal to Hemmingford is painfully dull if you cruise down the 15 (as Google instructs). I encourage you to find an alternate route on smaller roads that have a more personality.
  3. On the busy weekends, parking can be a bit of a hassle since it’s a small orchard.

The Useful:

Pro Tip:

  • You may not be aware, but there is an artform to picking an apple from a tree. You should roll the apple upwards off the branch and give it a little twist. If it pops off, it’s ripe and ready for your mouth hole. If it doesn’t come off, it’s not yet ready and should be left to ripen for a future picker person.

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach of us more than we can ever learn from books.”
– John Lubbock | b. 1834 | English Baron

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