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

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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!!!

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