Tag Archives: carleton place farmers market

The Spice of Life — Sagar Indian Cusine & Raj’s Indian Kitchen

The Spice of Life — Sagar Indian Cusine & Raj’s Indian Kitchen


Appetizer at Sagar Indian Cuisine– 156 Bridge Street, Carleton Place

Steve and I might not be experts on fine dining, but what we are good at, having lived in the Oakland, California area, is analyzing Breakfast and Indian Food. Every few weeks we used to hit Vik’s Chaat in Berkeley that is known for amazing Indian Cuisine and you have to be patient in the long line ups. It’s serious business getting in to enjoy their food. But, it’s worth it!



Raj’s Indian Kitchen- Carleton Place Farmer’s Market- Saturdays


We love the fabulous food and Mango Lassi’s at Raj’s Indian Cuisine at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market, but this year I have been so sick I have not been able to get over there. But, this family of cooks under the leadership of Mama knows their Indian Cuisine and it’s so worth making an effort to get there on Saturdays. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

So, tonight Steve and I took a walk on the wild side and went for dinner at Sagar’s Indian Cuisine at 156 Bridge street, in Carleton Place. Steve is pretty honest about his food and he was very impressed with what we ate. I had to agree that it  was as fresh as they come.



Mango Lassi at Sagar Indian Cuisine– 156 Bridge Street, Carleton Place


If you are looking for luxurious decor– this is not your restaurant– but I don’t go to a restaurant for decor– I go to eat. I loved the fact that the food is absolutely authentic and healthy (not submerged in loads and loads of oil like other places). The samosas were the real deal and huge and they were delicious paired with the Mango Lassi.



Samosa and they give you a small side of Channa Masala- Sagar Indian Cuisine– 156 Bridge Street, Carleton Place


I had Aloo Gobi and fresh Naan and Steve had Mateer Paneer which he found a bit too “tomatoey” for his tastes– but, still delicious with his side of Raita. After smelling his Garlic Naan from the other side of the table– I would definitely trade my plain for garlic next time. Not that there was anything wrong with the plain.



Sagar Indian Cuisine– 156 Bridge Street, Carleton Place


Sagar’s has a menu full of intriguing entrees, spot on for authenticity, and the service was very attentive. As for value, entrees are about $12, but in my opinion well worth it, as we left full and very satisfied and have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.



Aloo Gobi  Sagar Indian Cuisine– 156 Bridge Street, Carleton Place


What makes Linda happy?

The food in both spots is delicious, and I can say we finally have Indian food in Carleton Place– both at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, and at Sagar on Bridge Street full time. But, what made me smile from ear to ear was that they were very busy and had a lot of folks coming in for take out. I love seeing life on Bridge Street– Just LOVE it..

So don’t forget both places have take out and Sagar has a lunch combo.

What more can you ask for?

Pardon me while I run around the block a few times now….


Sagar’s Indian Cuisine156 Bridge Street, Carleton Place

Raj’s Indian Kitchen- Carleton Place Farmer’s Market- Saturdays



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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?


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Why I Resigned the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market





I know I said no more community posts but after the many emails I have received asking me why I resigned from the Carleton Place Farmers Market– this is my bulk answer. This should not be considered a rant- this should be considered a desperate plea. I have kind of put a fork in it now.


Some of you might have heard by now that I have decided not to do the marketing for the Carleton Place Farmers Market again this year. It was a very hard decision, and personally heartbreaking, but it came down to the inner anger and frustration I felt which began to cause me great stress.


There are some that feel that I am a thorn in the side of Carleton Place, when in all reality they don’t realize the amount of love and devotion that I have. The way I do things are sometimes considered troublesome and unorthodox, but if I have to stand on my head and scream until the cows come home I was willing to do it to get folks to support our town.


The Carleton Place Farmer’s Market has slowly evolved into a popular community hub and last year more and more people from outside our community were bringing their families to the market square.


What did I learn from last year?


We have a great team at our market with producers and artisans that are willing to go above and beyond. Everyone got along and worked hand in hand together for the sake of that market –even faced head on with last year’s drought. We might not have everything you want, but we try very hard to give you the best.


There is nothing I would not do for those folks trust me. In all honesty you have no idea what you have at that market “under the exterior skin”. But year after year we have lost management due to the frustrations that everyone feels.


The town of Carleton Place and their local marketing teams don’t really put enough effort into supporting the market– when in essence they should be all over it “like a cheap shirt” as they say. A Canadian survey from a variety of Canadian farmers markets- indoor and out around the country  proved that 60% of farmer’s market shoppers also visited nearby stores on the same day– and only on days that they visit the market. Another survey noted that  participating farmers also patronized at least one other nearby store on their way to and from the market. Various studies in Ontario noted that a dollar spent at a local farmer’s market has a larger effect on local economy than one spent at a local grocery chain store, and that dollar even circulated longer.


But these are all things I have documented over and over again for the past two years, and yet it keeps getting ignored. Instead of joining forces to promote the downtown I had a tough time getting my ads for the CPFM up on a local community Facebook page late in the 2016 season.  Excuses of my writing derogatory posts and then posting them on their Facebook page were 100% wrong.  Yes, I write some “not so nice” posts sometimes and I may be damn crazy — but I am not stupid. Something–anything– has to be done to get people’s heads out of the sand.


The CPFM could be an answer to drawing people to our downtown. Did you know when we had our 25th birthday celebration in July, I calculated a list of those who participated in our celebration draws– Over 25% were from outside of Carleton Place.



New Year’s Day was my nail in the coffin so to speak– What should have been a packed upper arena hall for the beginning celebrations of Canada’s 150th never *materialized. Later, there was attendance upstairs but mostly from Kanata. Where was your local Carleton Place support? Where was the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market support after Labour Day and the tourists and cottagers had long gone– exceptional attendance dwindled for the first time in 2016.


But no matter how many hours I put in each day doing my own thing to try and promote the town it falls on deaf ears. Last week when I realized how hundreds of thousands had read my posts in 2016 –yet town support, or even a slight wave of the hand of acknowledgement was still not even close I became discouraged.


Faced with having to deal with shenanigans all over again my stress level rose and I knew my health could no longer deal with it. It  just wasn’t worth me having another stroke over the town of Carleton Place.  Not because of the farmers– or the people– but for the reason that I feel no one “gets it” sometimes at the higher levels.


A local resident said I sound angry when I complain about Carleton Place and he is right. I am angry that generic ideas from years gone by are still used- I am angry that social media is not used more and especially more uniquely — I am angry seeing an event poster used time and time again– when after the second time viewed “they have seen it” and you have lost the public.


I am the first to admit I don’t have all the answers, heck maybe I am dead wrong. But, this is a new world folks– a world where you have 5 seconds to get someone’s attention. Posters in a  grocery store and hopes that people will just show up don’t cut it anymore. Your community has lots of choices to choose from now. Please take care of your local gem at the market square. It could be one of the salvations for the town of Carleton Place if marketed correctly.

Civic pride–our place, our community. Please support your town

*Sean Redmond– you were my hero on New Year’s Day. Of course I had a giggle over your outfit– but that is the way you do it. Rock on!!





Did You Know The Carleton Place Farmers Market Could Have an Impact on our Downtown?




Our Farmer’s Market is slowly evolving into a community hub. Each Saturday I see more and more people meeting friends and bringing their families to the market square. It is not only one of the best ways to support and buy local– it is also giving you, as a customer, an opportunity to hang out and talk to our local farmers and artisans. It takes years to gain status- but I am positive that this year we have built an even stronger foundation and increased our visibility to making our market known county wide. I can truly say it is an honour to work with this group– all with the same goal– to make the Carleton Place Farmers Market a local landmark.


A Canadian survey of over 800 customers from a variety of Canadian farmers markets- indoor and out around the country  proved that 60% of farmer’s market shoppers also visited nearby stores on the same day– and only on days that they visit the market. Another survey noted that  participating farmers also patronized at least one other nearby store on their way to and from the market.


Various studies in Ontario noted that a dollar spent at a local farmer’s market has a larger effect on local economy than one spent at a local grocery chain store, and that dollar even circulated longer.

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Evidence from Farmers Market Ontario even enforces the findings suggesting that visitors to farmers’ markets fully intend to interact with the commercial area that contains the market, in a variety of ways. For example, Cummings et al., found that 50 percent of farmers’ market customers in Ontario would “…make additional shopping stops during their outing to the market”.




Did you know when we had our 25th birthday celebration in July, I calculated a list of those who participated in our celebration draws. Over 25% were from outside of Carleton Place–imagine if marketed correctly and even 10% shopped on our Main Street afterwards. Cross-promotion does not cost much and it gives results. We need to stop kicking dreams around for our downtown and get down to what really works.


Did you know this about the Carleton Place Farmers Market?

1.Did you know the oldest and youngest farmers sell side by side at our market? ( Limekiln and Terramor farms)


2.Did you know you can buy meat with your fresh produce? ( McGahey Farms and Natural Lamb- Keith and Deb Salisbury)


3.Have you met the folks at Indian Creek Orchard whose farm is a polyculture community micro farm? Have you ever met our seasonal vendors like Beckwith Berries (who was in the film Metal Tornado) or watched Diamondbrook Farm polishing their apples–they even sell untreated popcorn along with their apples.


4.Have you ever met John from Path Back Farms?  Now there is a treat– especially when you try our hot out of the oven Itsy Bitsy Hot fresh Bagels with his Red Pepper Jelly.

5.We have Conrad’s Bike on the Go every Saturday. Bring your bike in and Conrad can make it like new again.

6.We have people like Chridomar Gardens and My Hobby Farm that make pickles and jams from their gardens and Grandma Garretts, Missie’s fresh baking and Vegan baking from The Crunchy Cabin.

7.Then there are the artisans that come every week ( Chris and Debbie and Portshell Crafts) or those that come once a month on Artisan’s Day, and we are the first on the block to have Indian Street food (Raj’s Indian Kitchen).


8.Finally, have you ever met ‘the beekeeper’? Dunlop’s Honey is known as Lanark County’s finest. Almonte can have their Hummingbird Chocolate, but the Carleton Place Farmers Market has Dunlop Honey truffles.

Related Reading

Can You Fix Downtown Carleton Place by Rebranding? An Op-Ed

Carleton Place BIA board to enact ‘radical’ changes–Carleton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette

By Tara Gesner


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News


Where Are They Now? Aisha Toor-Read’s Book Shop and Cafe


Last year Read’s Book Store closed on Bridge Street. A part of everyone’s heart went when the little book store that could closed its doors. So where is Aisha now? Did you know  that you can find Aisha’s culinary delights at the McGahey Farm stall at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market every Saturday?

She is enjoying working with Ray, Peter and David of McGahey Farm in preparing soups, dips, jams and pickles from their farm produce. How great is that?

 I asked Ray Elgersma from McGahey Farms to tell me a  little about what she is creating for them. Aisha talks about her upbringing and cultural background having a huge impact on food preparation. Her childhood in Pakistan and her mother’s amazing cooking has given her a passion for her interest in food security and being a whole foods advocate. Aisha has directed or coordinated 3 food security programs (Good Food Box, Good Food for Healthy Babies, Community Food Advisor Program) here in Lanark County prior to her owning and managing Read’s Bookstore and Café here in Carleton Place the past 6 years.

Aisha describes herself as an intuitive cook, (she was a guest chef at the Local Independent Grocer) mentored by her mother who knew how to use seasonings and spices to bring the best from foods she prepares. She has used seasonal and local foods for the past 25 years even before it was trendy.

So Eat local. Eat what’s in season-determine what’s in season right now and dig in. You’ll be rewarded with high quality produce, packed with nutrition, at a lower cost. And your taste buds will definitely thank you for it!

Come visit McGahey Farms this week at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market and see what Aisha has created for them.

Stuck in a Field July 16? Nowhere to Go?




Come to Carleton Place!!


Start your day at the Carleton Place Farmers Market from 8:30 till 12:30. The Carleton Place BIA will be there at 10 am to meet and greet you as well as share cake made by Shannon Michie-McDonald.

Mayor Louis Antonakos and Cathie Hawkins McOrmond will be on hand to cut that delicious cake. Balloons from Fiona Cornell from CP Party--prizes (BIA Bucks), contests and free surprise bags to the first 50 people. Music by local band “fresh off the Bluesfest Train” The Jimmy Tri-Tone Band. Tractor time with a tractor being brought in by Gwen and Dennis from Tatlock Tractors. Free pins from Scott Reid’s office. The Civitan Club will be there serving breakfast: eggs, bacon, pancakes– you name it.

Eat fresh-support your local farmers!!

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The Carleton Place and District Horticultural Society is holding its Summer Flower Show this Saturday, July 16th, in conjunction with the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum’s “Picnic Like It’s 1916” event.

The picnic will take place in the Victoria School Gardens and the flower show will take place, rain or shine, inside the museum. Both events will be open to the public from 1 pm to 4 pm, and a Master Gardener will be on had from 2 pm to 3:30 pm to answer the public’s gardening questions.




It’s Going to be a Heck of a Yard Sale! July 2!



You are Invited–Join Our Yard Sale–Carleton Place Farmers Market–July 2

Yard sale at the Carleton Place Farmers Market– July 2- 8:30-12:30

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Not ONLY are you invited– but the Carleton Place Farmers Market Vendors are going to join in too and sell some of their yard sale items too!

What do you get? 10 x 10 space in the parking lot is $10. ……bring your own table/chair/canopy.

Check in and pay Darrylene from My H0bby Farm day of to obtain where is  set up space.

Please Book Ahead!

Please book ahead- Email- darrylenes123@gmail.com.

Please Note!

–Yard sale  stuff only  ie. NO plants, baking, crafts  or stuff that the Carleton Place Market sells.

A’Hoy There Travellers! Photo Smiles!!! Thank you for being a Friend!






Please play this video while viewing pics.. It’s worth it. Thank you for being my friend!

We have heart and soul in Carleton Place- Come on down to the Carleton Place Farmers Market tomorrow from 8:30-12:30 and then head on over to shop on Bridge Street.

Shake someones hand and say Hi- Welcome to Carleton Place!

I dare you!

Photos by Linda Seccaspina and through the eyes of Cathie Hawkins McOrmond






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Tomorrow come sample strawberry cake while it lasts

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Come see Strachan Johnston in action- Nick from PuppetsUp! and Steve Stacey.. Come say hi!




Remember this Carleton Place?

We Are Everyday People in Carleton Place


Where is Merle Bowes? The Plight of our Local Farmers





One of our favourite farmers, Merle Bowes from Limekiln Gardens, contacted us and said he would not be attending the Carleton Place Farmers Market this week. Merle has very little in produce to offer because of the current drought situation happening in Eastern Ontario.

Mr. Bowes is worried customers will think he isn’t coming back to the market, so we need to set the record straight. I don’t know if you know this but, Merle is one of the founding farmers of the Carleton Place Farmers Market-that’s 25 years folks that he has been serving up freshness to Lanark County.

Farmers in Eastern Ontario say they’re in “dire need” of rain in the next “week to ten days,” or they risk losing up to forty per cent of their crop. The hot, dry summer has devastated many crops in eastern Ontario, hurting both grain and livestock farmers who rely on grains for their feed. If corn crops fail, it could have a huge ripple effect because corn is also used as fuel and feed for cattle. On Friday, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority declared a “moderately severe” drought, and data from Environment Canada shows the Ottawa International Airport recorded the driest May since 1959.

Hay isn’t growing,  transplanted onions from the farmers greenhouse to the field, have quickly “wilted” and “bent over” because of the lack of moisture in the ground.  Did you know The Rideau Canal system is at full navigation level but, if drought conditions deepen, boaters on all lakes will need to keep an eye open for shoals and rocks as levels continue to drop. Ontario’s minister of agriculture is warning that the dry weather dominating the province will lead to higher food prices in the fall.

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Merle will be back joining the rest of our current farmers at the Carleton Place Farmers Market when crops are yielding– so come support our farmers at the market this Saturday. They go through a lot to give you the opportunity to eat fresh!  Keep checking the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market Facebook page to find out what is happening with Merle and what’s on at the Carleton Place Farmers Market.

Come visit us Saturdays at the Carleton Place Farmers Market from 8:30-12:30- Check it out here!

Broken Bicycles and Love– Go Conrad Go!




You can’t be sad when you ride a bicycle, but if you don’t have one, then where is the happiness of riding a bike and feeling the wind on your left cheek?

If you didn’t know Conrad Solomon who Conrad’s Bike Repair on the Go is at the Carleton Place Farmers Market every Saturday in the parking lot.

Just like the famous race car drivers do — pull your bike in need of repair into Conrad’s Saturday neighbourhood pit. Conrad’s Bike Repair On The Go will  offer you  friendly and efficient service and this guy knows bikes!

I know Conrad doesn’t have a bucket list but he does have a “bikeit” list of making people happy. I personally saw it in motion last Saturday.



Someone donated a small girls bike to him last Saturday at the Carleton Place Farmers Market. What did Conrad do? He immediately fixed it up and approached a small child with her parents eating some of our great food at the community eating table. After a short discussion he found out she did not have a bike so he gave that little girl the “now ready to roll” pink bike.

That’s what we do in Carleton Place as we have heart and soul- after all life is a bike ride!
No time during the week? You can feel confident in bringing in your bike toConrad’s Bike Repair On The Go Saturdays at the Carleton Place Farmers Market. Conrad can be contacted at 613-816-8025 or email conradsbikerepair@gmail.com



Photo through the eyes of Cathie Hawkins McOrmond




Have You Met Mary the Hugging Queen of Carleton Place?




Today Poets on the Loose were “on the loose” at the Carleton Place Farmers Market and they might come again. Thank you Mary Lou van Schaik, Susan Fisher and  Maureen McGahey. They were quite fabulous, you have to admit. But, where I can I find Mary the Hugging Queen of Carleton Place?



I met Mary today for the first time and she told me why she hugs people and she made me smile. Years ago I wrote for a blogging site and was mocked for signing all my comments with a huggggg. Most people that know me in real life know that I am real-life hugger like Mary.

So where is Mary and how do I get in touch with her- or is she just a good will faerie that lives in our imagination?