Category Archives: Shopping

Antigonish Gift Shopping – Shop Local

As the cool days close in the warmth of gift-giving is in the air.  This year while you are looking for that special something, consider shopping local.  We have so much bounty available to us from local producers, crafters, artists and local shops. 

Your money goes much farther when you shop local.  Buying a thoughtful gift that is made locally, or something sold in a local shop has a huge benefit in your community.  That money goes back into the community and has a multiplier effect.

Here are a few gift ideas to get you started.

Check out the Antigonish Farmers Market and local gift shops for unique items that can be combined to make a gift basket – or given individually as hostess gifts, stocking stuffers or placed under the tree.  These could include preserves jams and jellies, wine or spirits, cheeses, honey, maple or blueberry syrup, a pottery mug, a wooden cheese board, a pewter opener, a pate’ or cheese knife – you are only limited by your imagination! Steinhart, Peace by Chocolate, Havercort Maple, Cornect Honey and more. Farmers Market, Grannie’s Antiques.

Another themed approach for your gift basket is select self care items – soaps, lotions, bath salts, aromatherapy, lavender sachet, creams and gels and cosmetics.  The Farmers Market, Happenstance, The Posh Peppermint, The Plum Tree are great places to check out as you create your gift basket.  Add your suggestions in the comments.

For the kids in your life – hand made wooden toys are durable and will last to become a family heirloom.  Check out Venluke Hand Crafted Wooden Toys at the Farmers Market. Knitted and crocheted toques, vests, socks, scarfs are great for all ages. Cuddly animals will be a hit for children (my Mom loves them too!).

A Few Photos of designers, producers, crafters and artists in Antigonish

Local galleries and markets offer an array of art to suit all budgets.  Our area is home to gifted artists in all mediums.  Art works range from large paintings in the original, prints matted and framed, photography and gift cards.  You will find sculptures from wood, iron, metalwork, pottery and ceramics.   Red Sky Gallery, Down to Earth Gallery, Granny’s Antiques, Through Rodney’s Eye, Felt Like Painting, Farmers Market.

Peruse the 5c to $1 and Cole’s Books for books by Nova Scotia authors to suit all ages from kids to adults. Enjoy selecting from a range of written and illustrated books that will be a long-held treasure.  We have an amazing number of Antigonish authors – Check the 5c to $1 to find a great selection.

A Gift Certificate for dinner at a local restaurant, or for an overnight getaway to a cozy Inn or a night on the town would make a welcome gift.   Organize tickets to a local production or a gift certificate to buy on a time of their choice to enjoy a local theatre production or musical event.  A gift certificate from a local store, or for an art class or workshop are also possibilities.   To mention just a few – Gabriaus, The Brownstone, The Townhouse, The Bauer Theatre, membership at The Keppoch, SeaWind Landing.  Add your suggestions in the comments.

We have many talented local jewelry designers.  Rings, necklaces, brooches, earrings, from modern abstract designs to Nova Scotia and cultural heritage designs all bring joy to the wearer.  Check the Farmers Market, Happenstance, Posh Peppermint and the Plum Tree.

Traditional crafts such as quilting and fabric art create beautiful treasures for the wall, the table or to cozy up on a bed or as a lap blanket for watching TV.  A quilt can be a gift for any age and treasured forever.  Maybe a sheepskin for a favorite chair.  Farmers Market

Winter favorite gifts for apparel ideas include sweaters, shawls, capes and scarfs, mitts, hats and leg warmers.  Think soft warm and attractive colors.  Maybe a sheepskin for a favorite chair, or sheepskin slippers.  Felted and Fleeced Creative Designs, Brook Ridge Farm,

Find unique and beautiful items for all ages and shop local. Take a stroll around town, visit the Farmers Market, shop online with local producers and hand crafters and artists, and give a gift that has local meaning and local impact to merchants, producers, crafters and artists.

I’m sure you have suggestions for other gifts and shops.  Please feel free to add in the comments.  It wasn’t possible to add every designer, artist and producer or shop.  We have a wealth of possibilities.  Happy Gift Giving and Shop Local!

Denise Davies

A Few Shops and Galleries

Lavender, Lavender, Lavender – A Feast for the Senses

As we learned about the types of lavender from Dave Belt, owner of Seafoam Lavender, we could see, feel and smell the differences in the lavender flowers.  Even though this is October some of the plants were still in bloom.

It would be amazing to be here in the peak season in July when the air is full of the scent of lavender from the millions of lavender flowers and buds on the surrounding slopes.  The lavender scent and taste is captured in the over 60 products created and produced by Suzy Belt and her team.  Lavender herbs for cooking, jellies, honey, and tea.  We enjoyed a treat of the Lavender Ice Cream and I have been cooking with the Lavender Herb blend at home and enjoying the jelly on toasted English muffins.  A lovely fresh flavor.  Soaps and skincare products, aromatherapy and bundles of dried lavender are just a few of other items.  The beautiful display of products and testers are appealing and make great gifts.

Seafoam Lavender uses sustainable hand picking of the blossoms which extends the season.  At peak times of the year, usually mid July, thousands of people come for the lavender festival and may choose to U-Pick their own lavender bouquets.  Lavender bud bouquets and Lavender Sachets are a wonderful way to bring that scent of lavender home.

We learned how lavender soap is made and saw how it is cut into bars with patterns of purple and white swirls. 

Seafoam Lavender is on the Northumberland Shore of Nova Scotia on the Sunrise Trail near River John.  Colorful and descriptive information panels describe the types of lavender, interesting facts about lavender and some of the production processes.  The sample garden with 25 selected varieties (out of 400) give you the chance to see and compare different varieties.  The purple theme through the buildings and accessories bring out the colors of the lavender flowers.

More Information

Seafoam Lavender website www.lavendercanada.com

3768 Highway 6
Seafoam (River John)
NS B0K 1N0

A Visit to Steinhart Distillery

The Antigonish Chamber of Commerce organized their monthly networking meeting “Business Connects” with a trip on the Luxury Bus to Steinhart Distillery in Arisaig.

The Luxury Bus is a great way to chat and meet with people as the comfortable padded seating goes around the bus – not in row seats.  Our driver, owner, Gerard MacIsaac was engaging and helpful.  Great way to travel with a group.

Such a beautiful drive along the Northumberland Shore.  A beautiful view of Arisaig from the patio at Steinhart Distillery.  Thomas Steinhart gave us a tour of the operations and an interesting history of developing his business.  It is amazing to see how this business has impacted employment and agriculture.  Wherever possible the ingredients are locally sourced.  Truckloads of rhubarb arrived from multiple farmers to be made into the rhubarb gin. Several of the products have won awards nationally and internationally.

At the bar we ordered from their variety menu of gin, vodka and mixed drinks made to order.  A wonderful way to socialize and network with the Chamber members and guests.   Looking forward to future trips to other businesses in the area.

More Information

Carol Rivoire at the Old Barn Gallery

Old Barn Gallery – Pomquet

Enjoy 5 galleries of art in a delightful farm setting with seasonal old-fashioned perennial flower gardens. In season the scent of roses fill the air.   The barn built in 1845 has a high vaulted ceiling and displays changing light and shadow on the art and studio.  The original horse stalls are converted to gallery space and Arthur Rivoire’s studio is now a gallery on the upper part of the property.   Views of Pomquet harbour and islands, and the country surroundings are visible from this upper area.

Carol Naveta Rivoire original art works and other noted artists are tastefully displayed in galleries inviting you to browse and soak in the environment.  Galleries include antiques and hand-crafted items such as rag rugs which were a home staple of the past.

The gallery is situated on the 300 acre Beaver Dam Farm, just 10 minutes from Antigonish. Chat with Carol Rivoire, artist/owner and founder of the Old Barn Gallery & Decor at Beaver Dam Farm.  She is a passionate abstract artist and collector.

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It is a true experience to visit the Old Barn Gallery and the art is affordable.

During the summer there will be artist workshops.  Check the Facebook page for details.

Old Barn Gallery 71 Melanson Road, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, B2G 2L4  (Pomquet area)

 

Antigonish Farmers Market

The Antigonish Farmers Market is an experience not to be missed.  It is known as one of the best Farmers Markets in Nova Scotia. Fresh local greens, veggies and fruits in season often picked the same morning from local farmers.  You will find hand crafted local cheeses and sausages, preserves, honey, Scottish oatcakes, cookies and cakes, Peace by Chocolate, Steinhart award winning spirits and more.  Buy a spicy burrito or Indian lunch to eat in or take out.

The market is a great place to find unique gifts of hand made jewelry, knitted and crocheted items, photographs, wooden toys, leather goods, stained glass sun catchers, dream catchers, silver and metalwork, soaps and lotions.

A visit to the Antigonish Farmers Market (2017)

A variety of entertainers add to the atmosphere.  The market is a great place to meet and chat with the locals.

The Antigonish Farmers Market is just a short walk from StFX on James Street.

Weekly on Saturday 8:30AM – 1PM

More Information

Halifax Seaport Farmers Market

Where can you enjoy a great breakfast, entertainment and a chance to browse and buy from local vendors on your visit to Halifax?  The Halifax Seaport Farmers Market is just the spot.

We visited on a Saturday morning when everything was in full swing.  The “Dispossessed” entertained with their Appalachian music and children dancing.  There’s a great view of George’s Island and the lighthouse.  After enjoying a great cup of coffee and mini quiche with friends on the second floor overlooking the market below we explored the local goodies.  The market has artisans and local vendors with arts and crafts, jewelry and locally produced items like soaps and beauty products.  I was most interested in the local produce and always look for something new to try out.

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My most exotic find was a Lions Mane mushroom from Maritime Gourmet Mushrooms just outside of Halifax.  With the variety of shapes and colors of mushrooms it was difficult to choose.  The Lions Mane mushroom looks like a fuzzy ball.  I got instructions on how to cook it and couldn’t wait to try it out when we got home.  I also found local multi-colored carrots, basil and baby spinach and another new veggie for me – celery root.

Here are photos of the veggies including the Lions Mane – and the recipe I cooked up with it and baby spinach.  Yummm

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The market is located on the Halifax waterfront, not far from Pier 21 and behind Via Rail.  It is open (winter hours) 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Market will be reopening on Mondays starting April 30.

More information

 

Seafoam Lavender, Northumberland Shore

Seafoam Lavender

We decided to do a day trip along the Sunrise Trail from Antigonish, via Pictou to Tatamagouche.

Although the day was cloudy and cool in early June it was an enjoyable and scenic trip.  We stopped at Seafoam Lavender along the Northumberland Coast.  It was early in the season so the Lavender was not blooming but the scent on walking into their shop was heavenly.  Kathleen welcomed us and explained that all the lavender products are produced in-house by this family owned business.

We purchased a couple of lavender plants for our garden and have been enjoying the Lavender Essential Oil and Lavender Soap to give that fresh lavender fragrance at home.  There was a lovely selection of products – Lavender Sugar, Lavender Sea Salt, Essential Oils, Lavender Herbs, soap, creams and skincare products and more.  The shop is very attractive and welcoming.

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Seafoam Lavender Festival PosterOutside we explored the information panels with their stories of lavender.  You can learn a lot on this stop and it will be wonderful later in the season when the fields of lavender are in bloom. Thank you to Seafoam Lavender for their photos of the fields in bloom and their poster for the July Lavender Festival.

A great time to visit will be at their annual Lavender Festival July 15-16. Create your own lavender bouquet with U-Pick and enjoy the gardens in flower. Bring a picnic and enjoy the Northumberland coast.   You will find Seafoam Lavender on the section of the Sunrise Trail between Pictou and River John.

Lavender, courtesy Seafoam Lavender Lavender fields, courtesy Seafoam Lavender

More Information

SEAFOAM LAVENDER CO. & GARDENS
(SEASONAL ONLY, 1 JUNE – 30 SEPT, 10-6 DAILY)
AND BY APPOINTMENT
3768 HIGHWAY 6 (SEAFOAM)
RIVER JOHN  NS  B0K 1N0

Farmers’ Market Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has wonderful Famers’ Markets.  A great way to meet some of the locals, try fresh local produce, enjoy entertainment, shop for arts and crafts from local crafts people.  Markets vary by area so check out the local bulletin board or shop to find out the dates and times.  Or check the link below to “find a market”.

You can look for food, art, photography, crafts, jewelry, breads, cookies, muffins, fiddlers, dancers, local produce, jams, jellies, honey and sauces, beer, gin, vodka and wine, quilts, and more.  Ask for recipes and tips if you find unfamiliar items.

Enjoy a visit to the Antigonish Farmers’ Market

Find out more

Pomquet Day Trip

 

This article was originally published in The Casket Exploring Pomquet. The Casket June 18, 2015 http://www.thecasket.ca/archives/45730. This edition contains more photos and maps.

Relax or swim on a sandy beach, browse fashions, enjoy an Acadian lunch and hike through woodsy trails all in beautiful rural Pomquet, Nova Scotia. Just 12 minutes from Antigonish turn off on the Taylors Road exit from Hwy 104 to Pomquet and within minutes you are enjoying a country road with views of Pomquet harbour, rolling green hills and bird song.

The tiny Acadian community of Pomquet, overlooks the Northumberland Shore between Monk’s Head and Pomquet Harbour. This rich area of bay, harbours, islands and forest was for centuries the home of the Mi’kmaq and then settled by French settlers in the late 1700s.

Pomquet map

Pomquet map

From Taylors Road, take the left turn to L’Église Ste. Croix (Holy Cross Church) built in 1863. Genealogy buffs will find gravestones from the 1800s and the Pomquet Museum located just north of the church with historical photographs and genealogical information (Call 902-386-2679).

Continue on and turn right to Pomquet Beach Provincial Park, a peaceful long (3 KM) sandy stretch of beach on the Northumberland Shore. This is one of the best swimming beaches in the area and during the summer is supervised by lifeguards. Boardwalks lead up to the beach through the dunes and sea grasses. Enjoy a beach walk with the fresh salty air and the gulls above and a view of Cape Breton on a clear day, or beach comb for shells, stones and drift wood. Some areas are protected for the Piping Plover nesting sites. Facilities include change houses and washrooms.

Follow the wooden boardwalk trails from the beach parking lot with interpretive signs on the history, geology, plants and animals of this area. The grasses and plants found on the sand dunes are well adapted to the salt environment. The boardwalk protects the undergrowth and provides an easy view of blueberries, cranberries, beach mosses and grasses.

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Back on Monks Head road – continue on to Chez DesLauriers situated on a hill above Monk’s Bay, with a spectacular view of Pomquet Beach and harbour. The heritage home was built in the 1860s. Enjoy a home cooked Acadian lunch on Fridays during the summer. Learn about the geology and history of the area in the Interpretive Centre.

Behind Chez DesLauriers, wander to the top of the hill behind the house and well-marked signs point the way to the Acadian Trail, a 6KM series of loop trails along the meadow cliff, through the forest with mossy and well-kept paths, and along the shore. Bring along your nature guide books to identify mushrooms, mosses, trees and birds. The inland trail weaves through forests of various ages, including 100-150 year old pine trees, and views of Cape Breton Island in the distance.

Retrace your drive to the Taylor Road intersection and continue on to visit The Old Barn Gallery & Boutique to find hand selected one-of-a kind designer fashions, handbags, fun art and antique dishes. You will get lots of decorator ideas and you can enjoy cookies and tea on the patio. The Boutique recently was awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

Be sure to bring water, snacks or a picnic lunch, sunscreen, bug spray, and your sense of adventure.

Directions

  • Exit Highway 104 on Taylors Road between Exits 35 and 36. 10 minutes from Antigonish, 40 minutes from the Canso Causeway.
  • Or Exit from the 104 Highway on the Upper Pomquet Road across from the St. Andrew’s sign. Closest exit for Melanson Rd and the Old Barn Gallery and Boutique.

For More Information

Artport Gallery Co-op Halifax Airport

 

Artport Gallery Co-op
Stanfield International Airport, Halifax

Artport Gallery artistsThe gallery houses original works by ten local Nova Scotia artists: Peigi Alcorn, Annabelle Caissie, Judy MacIntosh, Warren Melanson, Heather Bowman, Marshall Burgess, Anne Duggan, JoAnne Muise, Pat Stewart, Janet Jones

One of the artists is on site during the open hours.  Drop in and chat and find out more about the artists and their works.

It is a delight to see a local artist cooperative at the airport.   Not only is it fun to browse but also a great place to buy from local artists for gifts or for yourself. Be sure to ask for the artist card to get more information.

Artport Gallery Co-opartport gallery-3481 Artport Gallery Halifax AirportYou will find a wide range of styles and mediums including watercolors, acrylics, oils originals and reproductions in various sizes and formats including matted prints, cards and bookmarks.

This is a great addition to the airport and its support of the arts.

Contact information

Open daily 8:30 am – 8:00 pm
During hours: 902-873-4446
After hours contact Marshall Burgess 902-429-9073