Welcoming the Fall Season

The kids have headed back to school and soon the leaves will start to change colour. It’s hard to believe, but another summer has flown by and we’re entering into the Fall season! There are many things to love about Fall. The autumn colours are certainly one of them, as the resort transforms into a canvas of gold, red, and orange. We also enter into a season of harvest, cooler days, cozy nights, and travelers seeking a quiet place to unwind.

Summer Highlights

Turtle Wednesdays

Weekly workshops with the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (www.ontarioturtle.ca) were a hit! We got to hear about how we can do our part to help turtle conservation efforts, learn about the type of turtles in Ontario, and get up close with turtles currently in the Centre’s care.

Lake Life

Stoney Lake really is a gem in the Kawarthas. Cooling off on hot summer days was made that much easier with swimming, jumping off the water trampoline, grabbing a kayak for a paddle, or tubing with Ben. We’re glad to see guests enjoy life on the lake, taking a break from city life and the hustle and bustle.

Delicious Dining

Chefs Kyle and Mandy (along with our culinary team) hit it out of the park with fresh, delicious dining at both The Boathouse and Mount Julian (shout out to our yummy breakfast buffet in 1885). From soaking up the sun with a beer at The Boathouse patio or indulging in a 7 course tasting dinner at Mount Julian, there were lots of happy, full bellies. As we come into the harvest season, we can’t wait to serve up more local farm-to-table food for you.

Fall Plans

Fall Recreation Programs

View the schedule here! This kicked in on September 3 and is in effect until October 6 (at which point we switch to our Winter schedule). While things take a bit of a slower pace, there are still plenty of activities going on such as fishing, kayaking, bonfires, and our daily farm tours.

Art Tour

Fall means it’s studio time here in the Kawarthas, and there are lots of unique painters, sculptors, photographers, and more to be discovered. We put together a list of some local art tours that may be of interest. You can use Viamede as your home base to go out and explore.

Thanksgiving

It may still seem a ways away, but Thanksgiving is on Monday, October 14. We put on a Thanksgiving buffet featuring our own farm-raised turkeys. For you, this means no cooking and no dishes! Read more here about Thanksgiving at Viamede.

Our Fall rates are in effect from Labour Day until Thanksgiving.

 


Weddings at Viamede

Weddings are such a special event, but require a lot of decisions as well! Choosing a wedding venue is a big one, because it plays a key role in your theme, look, and feel. For couples looking for a unique setting, we’re highlighting why Viamede Resort could be a contender as the setting for your dream wedding.

Intimate

Viamede is the perfect venue to host up to 80 people comfortably. Rustic, waterfront, cozy, welcoming; this is a place where you and your guests can relax and focus on enjoying the big day.

Flexible

Our team will work with you to plan the wedding you want. Whether you want an outdoor wedding by the lake, an indoor wedding in our historic chapel, certain table configurations, seating, food concerns… you name it, we’re here to help. We’ve had live bands, Spotify playlists, and DJs, tuxedos with flip flops, Hawaiian themed weddings, and everything in between. Your unique vision will shine on your special day.

Straightforward & Transparent

When we quote a price, that’s the price. No hidden fees, no surprises, no weird add-ons. We are very transparent about what is and isn’t included (more details on what’s included here). We don’t upcharge for little things like wanting to borrow a projector or setting up chairs.

Inclusive

We only host one wedding per weekend, so you don’t need to worry about being kicked out early because another wedding party is coming in. This means you’ll get our full attention to work with your preferences.

 

Want to chat or take a tour of the resort? Shoot us an email at events@viamede.com (don’t worry, no high pressure sales-y pitches here – we hate those too). For more information about weddings at Viamede, click here.


The Case for Guest Rooms

Understandably, our cottages get snapped up pretty quickly during the summer months. We get it – the private deck, having a small kitchenette for cooking, putting the kids in the second bedroom so you have some time to yourself. Today, we’re going to make a case for why a guest room may surprise you.

1. Waterfront views

It may seem like the cottages get you the best views, but many of our rooms and suites have private balconies overlooking Stoney Lake. If you’re on the second floor of the main building, you get a really nice look out over the pool, docks, and wide vantage of the lake to spot loons.

2. You can still BBQ

That’s right! For guests who like firing up the grill to make their own BBQ lunch/dinner, The Porch Kitchen has two BBQs, picnic tables, utensils/dishes… pretty much everything you need to put together a delicious picnic. If you don’t want to do a grocery run, we also have a BBQ menu so we’ll provide all the fixin’s as well.

3. Breakfast is closer

Our fresh breakfast buffet in 1885 is that much closer when you’re staying in a guest room (as is our all-day coffee and tea station). DIY waffles? Enough said.

4. Stay close together… or far apart!

Whether you want to get adjoining rooms with friends/family or you want something quiet and secluded, our rooms offer a wide variety so that we can best accommodate what you’re looking for on your vacation.

5. No missing out

Essentially, we just want you to know that staying in a guest room doesn’t mean you’re missing out from the full experience. Both our cottages and guest rooms are cozy, comfortable, and get you access to all of our resort amenities and recreation activities.

 


Hiking Trails in the Kawarthas

The Kawarthas region offers a wide variety of hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty. We’ve put together a list of just some of the local trails that are well worth a drive.

Stony Lake Trails

Website

We have to include this one since part of the 10 kilometre trail network can be accessed from right here at Viamede Resort! Enjoy scenic views of the lake, limestone cliffs, outcrops of Canadian Shield, and abundant opportunities to view wildlife.

Bobcaygeon Wilderness Park

Website

This 8 acre forested property offers over a kilometre of safe, accessible trails winding through mature forest cover.

Robert Johnston EcoForest Trails

Website

There are four trails totaling around six kilometres, passing through a mix of forest of wetlands.

Jackson Creek Kiwanis Trail

Website

This is a 4.2 kilometre multi-use recreational trail that extends from Jackson Park in the City of Peterborough to just west of Ackison Road in Selwyn Township.

Eels Creek to High Falls

Website

This is a 5 kilometre hike with the trail head located a short drive from Viamede Resort. There are some marshy areas and creek crossings to traverse, but well worth the effort for scenic lookouts and to see High Falls.

Fleetwood Creek Natural Area

Website

This conservation area west of Millbrook offers 3 trail loops totalling over 8 kilometres and includes an observation platform.


Civic Holiday Long Weekend Activities

Wondering what to do for the Civic Holiday long weekend? It’s one of the last long weekends of summer (sorry to bring that up!), so grab the family and use Viamede Resort as your home base for a Kawarthas weekend adventure. Here are a few ideas of things going on this upcoming weekend.

Bobcaygeon Midnight Madness

When: Saturday, August 3 | 7 to 11:59 PM
Where: Downtown Bobcaygeon

This annual street festival features sidewalk sales, live music and entertainment, inflatables, games, and more.

Simcoe Day Weekend

When: Friday, August 2 – Sunday, August 4, 2019 | 10 AM to 5 PM
Where: Downtown Fenelon Falls

There will be historical re-enactments, lumberjack demonstrations, music, arts, and more!

Stoney Lake Shed Market

When: Saturday, August 3, 2019 | 9 AM to 1 PM
Where: Carveth’s Marina, Selwyn

Browse second-hand treasures with proceeds shared between Five Counties and Quilts for Cancer.

Long Weekends at Viamede

We have to plug our own fun recreation schedule which includes pool volleyball, wine tastings, Kids’ Club (so parents can enjoy some time off!), and evening bonfires with s’mores.

Voyageur Canoe Tour

When: Monday, August 5, 2019 | 10:30 AM to 12 PM
Where: Peterborough Lift Lock (353 Hunter Street, Peterborough)

Hop aboard a voyageur canoe and traverse part of the Trent-Severn waterway, including passing through the Peterborough Lift Lock.

 


From the Mount Julian Kitchen

by Mandy Weaver, Culinary Chef

And so, with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Spring and summer seem to have blended into one and descended upon us in a rush and I, for one, am happy to welcome it in.

Greetings from the Mount Julian kitchen. I feel that it is high time I introduce myself. My name is Mandy and I will be cooking for you today. Taking the freshest ingredients I can either forage myself, gather from the garden (with Bob’s blessing, of course!), or source from local providers. Preparing and assembling said ingredients into a coherent dish for your sensory pleasure.

In my first couple weeks at Viamede, there were some adjustments made into my new surroundings: new relationships built, new foraging locations sought out, and new menu ideas blooming into existence. The North Kawartha area has proven to be a fascinating location, flush with much familiar vegetation as well as a few ‘new to me’ items ripe for the avid forager to discover. I always keep in mind the sustainability of the item foraged. Thus far in my short time at Viamede Resort, we have collected, frozen, pickled, preserved, dehydrated and utilised spruce tips, ramps (also known as wild leeks), lilac flowers, chive (so much chive), daylilies, as well as many other wild flowers. Now, berry season has started!

Bob the Gardener and I go for regular tours of the gardens to see what is usable now, and what I can start planning to use in the coming weeks. He’s grown oodles of lettuce varieties and herbs galore. The carrots, beets, and radishes are just at the baby stage, which pair perfectly with fish or make an enticing amuse bouche, and, don’t tell him, but I’ve even started getting into his peas.

I still have much to discover in the field of local farmers (mind the pun), however, Buckhorn Berry Farm has had a phenomenal strawberry season. Fingers crossed I make it out one more time before the berries are all gone.

Having been born and raised in Norfolk County on the shores of Lake Erie, farming, foraging, preserving and freezing has always been a big part of my life. To now be in a position that, though far from home, brings me back to my roots, I feel quite blessed. I am grateful to my parents for providing me with a solid foundation in sustainably harvesting from the land, as well as the Viamede Team for inviting me in and providing me this opportunity to expand my knowledge, while also pursuing my career and living my dream all at the same time.

Signing off for now,

Mandy

 

Enjoy a 5, 7, or 9 course tasting menu at Mount Julian restaurant – call or email to reserve your table!


Why a Weekend Away is Good for Your Health

by Laura Belus, ND – Elevate Wellness Retreats

With the speed at which our society moves these days, a weekend away can be hard to come by, but could it be worth it in more ways than one? Getting out of your normal routine, unplugging, and reconnecting with your loved ones can have a profound impact on your health!

In our current culture, a weekend away may seem like an indulgence, but if you’re someone who has a stressful day-to-day life (who doesn’t?), it might be essential.

When you’re stressed, you release the hormone cortisol. Cortisol puts you into the “fight or flight” mode, which sounds primitive – because it is. Our bodies are triggered to release cortisol when the brain interprets “stress”. When evolution constructed this pathway, “stress” was something that put you in immediate danger – such as a bear chasing you. Today, “stress” can be anything from a big meeting, a traffic jam, or running late for work. These events aren’t as serious as a bear chasing you, but your body perceives it the same way and responds by releasing an array of hormones, including cortisol.

Cortisol suppresses digestion, immunity, and reproductive hormones (non-essentials during a stressful moment), and enhances cognitive function and muscular activity. This is why chronic stress can cause digestive problems, frequent infections, and hormonal irregularities. If you are under stress for a prolonged time, your cortisol levels can be consistently high, which can lead to elevated blood sugar, and fat accumulation around the midsection. It can also lead to exhaustion of your adrenal glands (which are responsible for making the cortisol), leading to a range of symptoms such as moodiness, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. Reducing your stress is critical to lowering your cortisol levels and maintaining optimal health. Here’s where a weekend away can help you deal with your daily stressors!

Not only is a weekend away relaxing, taking a break from daily stressors can have a profound positive impact on your cortisol levels, improving your mental and physical health. Getting out of your daily routine can provide you with a fresh perspective and give you clarity on any decisions you may be facing. A change of scenery, especially when that scenery is nature, is a great investment in self-care. It has even been found that spending time in nature by engaging in activities such as gardening can lower cortisol levels and reduce depression symptoms. When you take time to relax, you are actively improving your overall health by changing your stress hormone levels.

Going on vacation with loved ones is also a great opportunity to spend quality time together and allow yourself to refocus on what’s important. Going away with loved ones, such a romantic partner, can also help you and your partner learn how to support each other as you prioritize your health goals.

Regions of your brain actually undergo physical changes in response to chronic stress which are reversible if the stress lasts weeks, but it’s unclear whether these changes can be reversed if it lasts months or years. Taking a weekend off to destress is starting to sound crucial isn’t it? It’s a great balance to working hard Monday through Friday. You may even find that you return to work with more positive energy than when you left, feeling refreshed and ready to be productive. Go ahead and book a weekend getaway – it’s not an indulgence if it’s good for your health!

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway that includes your partner, why not join Elevate Wellness Retreats this September 27-29, 2019 at Viamede Resort to learn how to boost the health of yourself and your relationship. Learn more by visiting www.elevatewellnessretreat.com.

References

  1. Detweiler, M.B, Self, J. A., Lane, S., Spencer, L., Lutgens, B., Kim, D. Y., . . . Lehmann, L. P. (2015). Horticultural therapy: a pilot study on modulating cortisol levels and indices of substance craving, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and quality of life in veterans.
  2. McEwen, B. S. (2008). Central effects of stress hormones in health and disease: understanding the protective and damaging effects of stress and stress mediators. European Journal of Pharmacology, 583(2-3): 174-185.

Farm-to-Table Musings


Red Exclamation Point - Sensitivity WarningWarning: This blog post is about our farm program, and talks about animals being killed.


by Ben Samann, General Manager

For almost a decade, Viamede has had a farm program. From the first day, the purpose was officially to provide food for the kitchen and interest for the guests. Unofficially, it’s been a way for guests, staff, and me, to remind ourselves on where meat comes from.

For me, raising turkeys, chickens, and pigs for meat has been a way to keep myself grounded. The restaurant industry is full of wasteful practices, and for many, there’s simply a financial incentive to not waste food. By raising pigs, I look at bacon in the garbage and see a small part of a pig that gave its life. If I’m going to eat meat, and source meat for hundreds of people, then I need to make responsible, educated choices on the ethics and my own personal feelings.

Any meat served in our restaurants is killed at a licensed abattoir, which means it’s properly inspected and certified. However, there are times when we kill animals on site, and staff are invited to learn the process, participate, and take a chicken home with them. This is entirely voluntary, and people come away with a much deeper understanding of where meat comes from, and why that matters.

Each year, at Easter, we get our chicks for the season. We raise chickens for fun, mostly, rather than the eggs, and most years, we re-home them to local hobby farmers. The most common breeds we get are Silkies, Brahmas, and other heritage breeds, but this year, we got Cornish Cross, a classic meat chicken. They grow almost too fast for their own bodies, and after a few weeks, are ready for the table.

Recently our sous-chef Mandy, groundskeeper Brad, and I, went to the farm and killed our chickens. It’s not something I enjoy in the least, and it prompts a lot of thinking – hence this blog post.

For a while now, Chef Kyle, Mandy and I have been talking about meat and what it means. We all see it very similarly – meat can be delicious and a fantastic part of a meal, but too often, we end up with flavourless, overbred and poorly cooked meat in a dish that really doesn’t need it. “Tofu’s a poor substitute for meat, but then, so is supermarket chicken.”

I cooked some chicken on the grill without seasoning, and you know what it tasted like? Nothing. If the whole flavour of the dish needs to be added anyway, what’s the point of having chicken in there?

For years now, we’ve worked with the idea that all dishes should be vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free unless there’s a good reason for them not to be – we don’t use beef stock in our soups or flour in our gravies, for example. This makes it easy to accommodate guests with most of our menu, but it’s also highlighted how easy it is to work without these things in many cases. Obviously, our creamy pasta has cream and cheese, our burger is all beef, and our pork chop is amazing pork from the pigs we raised on the property.

Meat should be a feature. We should be sourcing the best meat we can get, and using it in ways where it really stands out. If it doesn’t stand out, we should look at replacing it.

As time goes on, I imagine we’ll be learning more and more about this. In the meantime, it’s a lot of musing, playing, and learning.

Thanks for listening.


Canada Day Fireworks in the Kawarthas

Looking for a spot to take in a fireworks show on Canada Day (Monday, July 1, 2019)? Check out these family-friendly locations in the Kawarthas:

Bobcaygeon

Event Website
Fireworks Location: Bobcaygeon Beach Park
Start Time: 10:00 p.m.

Not only will there be fireworks, but you can enjoy free admission to an all-day Canada Day party at the Bobcaygeon Community Center/Fair Grounds.

Buckhorn

Event Website
Fireworks Location: Buckhorn Community Centre
Start Time: 10:00 p.m.

Family fun will be taking place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. At 8:00 p.m., music, snacks, and crafts lead up to the fireworks show.

Hastings

Event Website
Fireworks Location: Banks of the Trent River
Start Time: Dusk

All day activities are taking place in Campbellford, Warkworth, and Hastings.

Lakefield

Event Website
Fireworks Location: Isabel Morris Park
Start Time: Dusk

From 3:00 p.m. onwards, enjoy a petting zoo, face painting, children’s games and activities, live music, and more.

Minden

Event Website
Fireworks Location: Minden Fairgrounds
Start Time: Dusk

Activities throughout the day are taking place downtown, across the bridge, at the cultural centre, as well as the fairgrounds.

Omemee

Event Website
Fireworks Location: Omemee Beach Park
Start Time: Dusk

The annual Omemee Lions Ducktona 750 duck derby & BBQ starts at 1:00 p.m. at the Omemee boat launch. Afterwards, there will be live music and a kids free BBQ until the fireworks begin.

 


Viamede’s Summer Bucket List

Summer is officially here (anyone else ready to say so long to that cold and rainy spring?)! School’s out, long weekends await, and cottaging season is on. We put together our top 5 picks to check off your summer bucket list – Viamede style.

Feed Farm Pigs

Guests can go to the Viamede Farm at any time to visit with our turkeys, ducks, chickens, and quail. If you come along for a farm tour in the afternoon (part of our recreation schedule), you can help feed our pigs! We’ll also tell you all about how our farm works, where eggs are collected, and let you cuddle with a silkie chicken (they are very silky).

Feed Pigs at Viamede Farm; located at Viamede Resort in the Kawarthas

Join a Wild Food Hunt

Come along with staff for a foraging expedition and learn more about how wild food can be used in your kitchen. With things like cattails, chives, wild berries, and greens, what we find might just be in tonight’s dinner menu. For the foodies, we also recommend a tasting at Mount Julian and one of our other activities like Pickling or Bread Making Class.

Cannonball into Stoney Lake

There’s nothing like a classic Canadian summer of enjoying life on the lake. While you can kick back and relax by the pool (no judgement here), we’ve included this on our bucket list because taking a big leap off the water trampoline and cannon-balling into the lake is too much fun.

Family friendly resort; Stoney Lake in the Kawarthas; Viamede Resort

Go Cycling

If you’ve brought your own wheels or want to borrow one of ours, there are some neat places to check out by bicycle! You can stick to the back roads and explore along Stoney Lake (Eels Creek, about a 9 km ride, has a great hiking trail). Head back up to Highway 28 (which has paved shoulders), and pedal to Burleigh Falls for a picnic by the lock.

Try Something New

Whether you’ve never fished, played disc golf, gone stand-up paddleboarding, or been tubing, we’ll help you say you did something totally new this summer.

 


Garlic Mustard Chimichurri Recipe

by Kyle Wagenblast, Executive Chef

Foraging is in full swing and while everyone is talking and raving about Wild Leeks (yes, they are amazing), we are diligently working on doing our part on another tasty, but invasive green: Garlic Mustard!

Garlic Mustard is an herb that was brought over by Europeans in the 1800s. It is high in Vitamin A and C, and it is very tasty. The leafs are tender and slightly bitter with tastes of mustard greens and garlic, while the flowers have a spicy horseradish flavour.

That being said, go out and do your part to combat this invasive herb! Pick as much as you can find and make yourself something delicious; Garlic Mustard Pesto is a crowd favourite, but seeing as BBQ season is upon us, let’s switch it up a little.

Chimichurri! The grass routes of this sauce are Argentinian and typically accompanies most cuts of beef. It can even be used as a marinade.

Garlic Mustard Chimichurri

Garlic Mustard Chimichurri Recipe

Ingredients
  • 2 cups Garlic Mustard leaves and flower buds, tightly packed
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
  • ½ cup good quality oil
Steps
  1. Add all ingredients except oil to food processor and pulse until just chopped.
  2. Slowly add oil and continue to pulse until all oil is incorporated.
  3. Scrape down sides of the bowl and pulse a few more times.
  4. You’re ready to go; enjoy! This makes an excellent sauce or marinade for beef.

A Newbie Goes Boating

by Nicole Rogerson, Marketing Manager

I finally had the chance to experience the joy that is boating on Stoney Lake.

Here’s the thing: I know absolutely nothing about boats. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been on a motorboat. Usually, my idea of boating involves paddling in a kayak or canoe.

On a recent Monday morning, I came into work and settled in at my desk to check emails and catch up from the weekend. We’d just gotten some silkie chicks who were calling the lobby their temporary home, so I grabbed my camera to go shoot a few pics (and say “awwww” repeatedly over the cute little balls of fluff). So far, a fairly typical day. Ben then asked if I’d yet been out on the lake. After answering no, this led to grabbing my hat and sunglasses and trotting down to the dock. Of all days to decide to wear a skirt to work!

As we headed out, I snapped some shots of the resort from the water which slowly shrank away out of sight. My head was on a constant swivel as we cruised towards Upper Stoney. We caught sight of turtles sunning themselves on rocks, an osprey swooping out of the trees, and peeped at the cottages along the shore. Ben pointed out spots where rock lurked just below the surface of the lake. These are easy to miss and can catch unfamiliar boaters off guard (Stoney Lake does its name justice!).

Stoney Lake in the Kawarthas

We went past East Syndicate Island, protected by the Kawartha Land Trust and the largest undeveloped island on the lake. After seeing Big Duck Pond (a very good fishing spot, according to Ben) and coasting through a narrow channel which I wouldn’t have thought passable, we headed back.

Boating Stoney Lake

What a glorious experience!

The water sparkling in the sunshine and the wind tossing your hair around. Admiring the stunning combination of rock and forest, not even sure if you’re looking at island or mainland. It reminded me of the 1000 Islands, with cottages perched on tiny islands and bends leading to small coves and bays.

Stoney Lake in the Kawarthas

On returning to Viamede, I grabbed some shots of the tin boats which are newly available for guests to rent. Back on dry land, Ben said: “Anytime you need water shots, you could just grab a tinny”. I looked dubiously at the boat. If I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been on a motorboat, you can imagine how many times I’ve been at the helm of one (zero, it’s zero). Something tells me that, by the end of summer, that number is going to increase.

 

Rent one of our tinny boats or go on a boating excursion with Ben as part of our summer recreation schedule.


Dandelion Marmalade Recipe

by Kyle Wagenblast, Executive Chef

It’s that time of year again where, whether you love them or hate them, the dandelions are out in full force. When they start lining up for Mount Julian, we start lining up our pots!

 

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Dandelions are one of the first plants to really green up in the spring. They are also one of a few plants that are entirely edible from the flower down to the root. Typically we pluck the leaves and, yes, we have all had dandelion in salad. Boring!

So, what else can we do with this plant? The roots are often dried and used to make a coffee or herbal tea. The leaves, when young, are tender and great for salad, but another idea is to add them to a soup.

And last, but certainly not least, the flower! Vibrant yellow in colour, full of nectar, and essential for our bees. The flower is also the most fun to play with because there is so much you can do. You can fry them in butter, make fritters with them, dandelion wine is a popular choice, or you can even make beer. Today, we are going to make some Dandelion Marmalade!

Dandelion Marmalade recipe; foraging dandelions

Dandelion Marmalade Recipe

Ingredients

4 cups water
4 cups dandelion flowers, yellow and white part only (I picked 7 cups roughly to achieve this)
¼ cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons of pectin (about half a pouch)
4 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Steps
  1. Bring water and dandelions to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer; you should get 3 cups – if not, add a little water.
  3. Combine pectin and ½ cup of sugar in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. Bring dandelion water and remaining ingredients to a boil. Slowly add pectin mixture, stirring constantly and boil for 1 minute.
  5. Skim any foam that may have formed and store in air tight containers.
  6. Refrigerate till set, about 4 hours.
  7. Enjoy!

Note: The shelf life on this should be at least 2 weeks if heat sealed even longer.

 

Our restaurants serve food made with fresh, foraged, and locally farmed ingredients, all part of our Whole Hog food philosophy.


Hanging Baskets Plant Care Tips

by Bob the Gardener

Hanging baskets are a beautiful and versatile way to plant mixed blooms. They also make a great gift idea and, once planted, are relatively low maintenance. To keep your plants looking fresh all season, here are some of my care tips for hanging baskets:

Hanging Basket Maintenance
  1. Water often and thoroughly.
  2. Deadhead blooming plants (here is a useful article on deadheading flowers).
  3. In a mixed basket, replace plants as needed.
  4. Fertilize (see below).
  5. Cut back leggy plants.
Fertilization

Second to watering, fertilizer is the most important thing to keep your baskets looking great all season. By constantly feeding, you are ensuring that your plants maintain all the nutrition necessary to grow large and produce blooms. You should find your basket weekly with a water soluble fertilizer. I recommend using a 20-20-20 fertilizer (20% nitrogen, 20% phosphorus, and 20% potassium – the remaining 40% is chemically inert).

Learn more care tips and join Bob on a garden tour, held as part of our spring and summer recreation schedules.

 


What’s On This Victoria Day Weekend

The Victoria Day long weekend feels like the official kick-off to cottage season. Although it’s not yet summer, the countdown is on! If you’re hitting the road for the long weekend and headed to or through the Kawarthas, here are some activities and events for a perfect family getaway:

Bethany’s Victoria Day Weekend

Where: Bethany Park, Bethany (Google Maps)
When: Friday, May 17-Monday, May 20
Event Website

Enjoy activities such as fireworks, family BBQ, karaoke, the 29th Annual Show & Shine, petting zoo, parade, 33rd Annual Pie & Cake Contest, and much more.

Buckhorn Spring Craft Show

Where: Buckhorn Community Centre (Google Maps)
When: Saturday, May 18-Sunday, May 19 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Event Website

Find over 75 exhibitors and artisans with home made products like clothing, jewelry, home decor, and more. Drop into the Crafters Crafe for homemade soups, sandwiches, and more.

Rotary Victoria Day Fireworks & Family Night

Where: Del Crary Park, Peterborough (Google Maps)
When: Saturday, May 18 beginning at 5 p.m.
Event Website

Fireworks, local entertainment, and a children’s program. Live music begins at 5 p.m. and admission is free.

Viamede Victoria Day Getaway

Where: Viamede Resort (Google Maps)
When: Friday, May 17-Monday, May 20
Event Website

We’re switching over to our spring recreation schedule which includes activities like fishing, farm tours, and bonfires with s’mores. Resort amenities include an indoor pool, steam room, games room in 1885, nature trails, and much more. Guest rooms and pet-friendly cottages.

Whetung Spring Art Show

Where: Whetung Ojibwa Centre (Google Maps)
When: Saturday, May 18-Sunday, May 19 from 1-4 p.m.
Event Website

Beat the tourist season and check out what’s new and exciting at the Whetung Spring Art Show. Their most popular artists will be on hand to display their craft and ideas.


Trout Lilies & The Joy of Foraging

by Ben Samann, General Manager

One of the joys of foraging is finding a community – countless happy little plants around us are known to many people as edible. So, when we hear of a new plant, we go online to find recipes, suggestions, and, importantly, conservation information.

A few years ago, we discovered trout lilies.

You’ve seen them, you just don’t know about them. They’re some of the first greens to pop up, and once they start, they’re everywhere.

It’s important to know a few things. They’re sweetest when they first come up, and once they flower, they turn a bit bitter. They’re slow to spread to new areas, but come back year after year in the same patch. The leaves are easy to harvest, and while the roots are a nice starchy snack, pulling that kills the whole plant.

We’ve been using them for years, mostly in salads (and as a source of vitamins on my hike home). There’s something magical about finding food just sprouting up in nature.

But we’re adventurous! No more “just put it in a salad!”

What are people doing with them? Off to the internet, Chef Kyle! Find some interesting uses! Foraging blogs are easy to find, and many write about how awesome trout lilies are. Recipes abound, but it was the same story: use them in salads, add them to salads, or cut them up and eat them in a salad.

…okay then. Thanks, internet. Off to the lab we go!

Dog with science experiment, captioned

Chef Kyle and I set to work. We pickled, in 3 styles. We jellied. We boiled, mashed, and served in a stew. We made sugar cookies. We candied. Dehydrated.

Interestingly, while this was going on, we were interviewing for a new sous chef. Mandy was coming for an interview to cook a 5-course tasting menu for us. She made a trout lily granita.

In each case, the trout lily flavour was incredibly mild, but always added something. Sometimes it was sweetness, other times we tasted the astringency (bitterness), and sometimes it just added a nice hint of green. But, it was interesting.

At this point, we have a bunch of ideas. We’ll see how many pan out, but there’s fun to be had. It’s an exciting year ahead!

Read more about our food philosophy and how we use foraged, farmed, and locally grown ingredients in our restaurants at The Whole Hog.

 


Top 5 Photo Spots at Viamede

by Nicole Rogerson, Marketing Manager

Photos are one of the best souvenirs of a vacation. The memories and moments that can be captured in a single snapshot are wonderful ways to remember the trip, the people you were with, and the sights you saw. One of the fun things about Viamede is that there is such a wide variety of things to do and see, that it makes for tons of photo opportunities. It was hard to narrow it down, but I’ve picked my top five favourite spots:

Indoor/Outdoor Pool

Indoor pool at Viamede Resort; Ontario resort in the Kawarthas

The indoor pool area at Viamede has beautiful wood paneling, lots of natural light with its floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace, and a swim-through section to an outdoor pool area. It captures really well in a photo and you can either get some action shots of the kids cannon balling into the pool or relaxing by the side of the pool taking in the view of Stoney Lake. This lends itself to various shots as well, whether the trees are changing to autumn colours, snow flakes are falling, or boats are drifting past on the lake.

Photo Tip

For a different angle, grab your camera and walk back out the pool entrance and then take a quick trot up the stairs to the second floor. This will take you to the balcony overlooking the pool which makes for a really cool perspective. Another angle, which I took in this photo, is sitting the camera low to the floor so you get the reflection from the window in the water.

Viamede Farm

Who doesn’t love a picture with a cute little pig?! Our farm animals love visitors and they are adorably photogenic. Head down to the farm at any time to snap a pic or you can also join a farm tour to get up close and personal as well.

Dockside

It’s such a quintessential Canadian summer photo: sitting by a lake in a Muskoka chair with a drink in hand, watching the sun set over the trees. You can picture it right? That’s why the docks in front of the main building area make for a great photo spot. You might even catch a loon passing through.

Photo Tip

Take advantage of golden hour! This is the period of time just after sunrise or right before sunset. The daylight is softer and warmer, which provides beautiful lighting (whereas when the sun is at its peak midday, shadows have a harsher contrast and squinting is unavoidable). For more dedicated photographers, there is even a website that calculates when golden hour will occur on a given day.

Viking Oak

Viking Oak on the Stoney Lake Trails, Kawarthas; Viamede ResortHit the Stoney Lake Trails and discover the Viking Oak. We’ve been told this tree is 450 years old, but we’ve also been told it’s rude to ask about age. This is a beautiful spot tucked away on the trail and a really neat place to snap a picture. This is also another spot which looks so different in all seasons, whether it’s bursting with green leaves, surrounded by fall foliage, or covered in snow.

Photo Tip

Get someone to pose next to the oak; on its own in a photo, it’s hard to tell just how massive it is! Having a person (or more!) in the photo helps give it perspective.

Viamede Chapel

Where else do you go on vacation to a resort and find an 1800s chapel? This is a really neat building to check out and there are a couple different perspectives to try shooting. You could get a shot sitting on the steps outside the door among the gardens or try having someone silhouetted in the open doorway with the wood paneled interior and old pews on display. It’s a unique and unexpected location which is why it makes my list.

1800s chapel at Viamede Resort; Ontario resort in the Kawarthas

Honorary Mentions: Wedding Point (hello floral-lined gazebos), The Boathouse patio (#foodie), kayaking on Stoney Lake


We enjoy seeing your photos online! Tag us directly or use the hashtag #viamederesort so we can show it some love.


Ontario Turtle Conservation Conversation

by Wendy Baggs, Education Coordinator, OTCC

The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) is home of the “Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre”. Our mission is to protect and conserve Ontario’s at-risk native turtles and their wetland habitats. The OTCC is a multifaceted hospital that uses a multi-pronged approach to conservation, employing Hospital, Science and Education. The centre is supported by a province-wide network of local veterinarians, private clinics, and other wildlife centres who perform admissions and emergency care. The OTCC holds “Turtle Trauma Workshops” to help train veterinarians and rehabilitators throughout Ontario. The centre has a network of over 5oo Turtle Taxi Volunteers that transport injured turtles. Injured turtles arrive from all across Ontario!

Photo of large turtle; Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre; part of Viamede Resort's summer recreation programmingOntario Turtles At Risk

Seven of the eight species of Ontario’s turtles are now listed as ‘species at risk’. Habitat destruction is the primary cause for many of the species’ decline, followed by injuries and early death from automobiles, boats, fish hooks, dogs, and humans. Other species of wildlife are also injured and killed, however most animals have young from the previous year to mate and replenish their population. Less than 1% of turtle eggs and hatchlings survive to adulthood. Turtles can take from 8 to 25 years to reach maturity. It can take 1500 eggs and up to 60 years to replace one nesting female killed on the roadside. Therefore, every turtle saved is beneficial to the population.

Conservation Efforts

The OTCC treated 940 turtles that were admitted into the hospital in 2018, and incubated over 3700 eggs that came from injured females admitted.

We are currently taking care of over 800 turtles that have been staying with us for the winter. Our Education Program reached over 15,000 people. Currently, we are radio-tracking a group of our ” headstarted” juvenile Blanding’s turtles, alongside a group of wild juveniles, to ensure they are surviving and thriving. We are entering our 7th year in this study.

The OTCC strives to increase awareness of the challenges facing Ontario’s turtles and to inspire individuals to act!

The OTCC will be holding turtle workshops as part of Viamede Resort’s summer recreation programming. Come meet a turtle and learn more about conservation efforts! You can also follow OTCC on Facebook and Twitter.


Spring Has Arrived

by Bob the Gardener

April showers bring May flowers! At this time of year, it’s time to prepare flower beds and lawns for spring. The time that you spend in prepping will help your plants thrive and makes maintenance easier later. Here are some simple steps for getting your gardens ready.

Flower Beds
  1. Remove all leaves.
  2. Cut back perennials if required.
  3. Clean all leaves from Hostas if present.
  4. Prune shrubs (flowering).
Lawn Care
  1. Remove leaves from the lawn.
  2. Around the end of April, cut the lawn on a high setting (3-3.5 inches).
  3. Overseed lawn with grass seed; by overseeding, it will help with the weeds.
  4. Apply fertilizer to the lawn (high nitrogen, e.g. 24-5-5). To save a step, you can use a farm fertilizer seeder with maximum 50% fertilizer and 50% grassy seed.
  5. Always water after applying or seed on a day when rain is in the forecast.
Seed Preparation

It’s time to start seeds inside for your garden. For a vegetable garden, start your tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, and lettuce. For flower beds, start seeding blooms such as marigolds, dahlias, and zinnias. Use a good seed-starting soil for your seeds. When seeding:

  1. Fill container with soil.
  2. Water with warm water.
  3. After seeding, cover container with plastic.
  4. Remove plastic when you see plants.
  5. Keep plant soil moist.
  6. Place seeds in a sunny location.

Bob will be leading garden tours as part of our summer recreation schedule.


Spring Cleaning at Viamede

by Ben Samann, General Manager

My family has a long tradition of spring cleaning. There’s something so satisfying to seeing the first signs of spring, going outside in a t-shirt, taking a breath of (what seems like) warm spring air, then dashing into some unseen corner of the house to purge whatever’s accumulated there.

Both at home and at Viamede, we’re often surprised by what comes out, really.

Every year, Viamede closes in April to get ready for summer (we will be open for the Easter weekend!). Usually we do a lot of small projects we never get to otherwise, as well as just a general property clean up.

This year, we’re doing it a bit differently.

I’ve owned Viamede for over 8 years now, and honestly, there are crawl spaces and storage rooms I probably go into less than once a year. We have outbuildings that probably served a purpose at one point, but they’ve just been sitting here for a decade, housing wildlife and… stuff.

So, amid a dozen other projects (replacing some railings, building a more permanent sun shelter, changing our lock system, painting, staining, and similar), we’re also doing our first (annual?) yard sale, to raise money for Kawartha Land Trust.

We’re selling over 100 dining room chairs we no longer need, tables, old tools, mismatched wrenches, lamps, and just about anything else you can imagine. We have random odds and ends that came from the top shelf of a storage room that have been here longer than I have. There are kitchen implements we bought last year and just never used. There’s a box of St Patrick’s Day decor, and some oddly over-sized cocktail glasses (click here for event information).

Anything we don’t sell will be donated to Habitat For Humanity, or other charitable shops.

Now, as to our big projects for the season:
  • We are long-overdue to rebuild our railing on the second floor. We’re just waiting for the glass to arrive.
  • After a few years of an electronic keycard lock system, we’re ready to move on. That system is being replaced with a keypad lock, which will reduce plastic waste and cut down on guests who have lost their keys needing to find us.
  • We are getting rid of our umbrellas at the pool, and replacing them with a permanent shade structure. Additionally, we may or may not be able to make some changes to the pool fence to open up the view a bit more.
  • We’re replacing our conference tables (currently plywood) with solid maple tops, as well as replacing the bar in 1885 with a solid maple end grain butcher-block.
  • Plus lots more spring cleaning. Keep an eye on our Instagram to stay in the loop on what’s going on!