Grow it Off! The Best Kept Secret in Carleton Place


July 1, 2015.

Happy Canada Day Linda.
Attached is a picture of Neighbour Tomato Community Gardens
Next to St. Gregory’s School on Townline, one if the best kept secrets in town. It’s another food security initiative with some of the beds dedicated to the Lanark County Food Bank. Thought you might find this an interesting story for your blog (which I have discovered and enjoy). Have a good day
Ray Elgersma

Each time I talk to Ray, I get the feeling i have seen him somewhere else. But where?


I know Ray and  Dave McGahey are the White Oak Farm Boys from the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market. They are not to be confused with the Oak Ridge Boys because as far as i know, those lads don’t grow anything we might want to eat.

But where had I seen him before? I put my thinking cap on and then remembered. He was in one of my blogs in March. I guess I didn’t recognize him without his hat.


What did I say about him?

This is our local hot tomatoe!  His name is Ray Elgersma and is all about local produce. He helps out with the Neighbour Hood Tomato Community Gardens at St. Gregory’s Next Door. Talk to him about the Great Veggie Grow-Off! Who will grow the most fresh produce this year for the Lanark County Food Bank?  Carleton Place or Mississippi Mills?

photo (4)

garden photo by Ray Elgersma

Have you ever wondered how our communities could donate a ton of healthy vegetables to the Lanark County Food Bank?

In the Spring of 2014 the community gardens in Mississippi Mills and Carleton Place challenged Beckwith, Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills to a ‘friendly competition’ between the 3 towns, growing produce in some of the community garden beds, and encouraging people in each community to donate excess produce from their personal gardens. On October 16th,  2015 on World Food Day, they had our final weigh in and over 2800 lbs. of fresh local food had been donated to the Food Bank.

This is just wonderful!


A tip of the hat to everyone involved! Go say HI to Ray at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market and see if they need anything to keep growing good things to feed those in need. Better yet, say THANK YOU!

Related Reading

A Request from the Beckwitch for Her School Garden Initiative

Read all about The Beckwitch here

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

2 responses »

  1. Ray & Dave also supply Ballygiblins with local fresh goods all summer. Saturday afternoons you can find them backed up to the kitchen door unloading everything that is in season for us to play with.
    Thanks to the both of them for all their hard work!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s