Summer Art Shows in Merritt BC

Clothing and Body Art Shows Liven Up Gallery

Body Art Shows in Merritt BC

Poster for Body Art Show

Body Embellishments and Wearable Art 

Summer Art Shows in Merritt, BC, at the Nicola Valley Arts Gallery, brought out the creativity of different artists in our community. They were just another great example of how resilient artists are during Covid

Body Art Shows in Merritt

For our Body Art Show in July, our tattoo, airbrush, and henna artists displayed their work with flair and personality. The hair stylists and makeup artists pushed the boundaries even further which just upped the level of fun in the show.

The Talent

During our fun opening reception several guests had hand henna art done by Prianne Dhesa, or temporary body art by Amy Maclaren. Photos of celebrities, famous people, and locals with tattoos and wild hairstyles livened up the gallery as well. And of course we had art by several of our Nicola Valley creatives.

We enjoyed music by guitarist Steve Atlas of the local group Stratosphere. Steve had an impressive and enjoyable two hour playlist and also chatted with the art show guests. (Photo of Steve Atlas below)

Tattoo Artist

Brian Wheeler of Sin on Skin Tattoos Merritt. Photo credit: Jano Howarth

Thanks to local tattoo artists Brian Wheeler of Sin on Skin Tattoo, and Marco Merulla of Mom’s Tattoos. Beautiful, thoughtful, and fun work! I now have tats in progress from both of these tattoo masters…. (Photo of Marco Merulla below)

Art of Clothing, Creativity in Merritt BC

For our Art of Clothing Show that followed, well over a dozen local weavers, clothes designers, embroiderers, upcyclers and artists provided us with a creative display, from trench coats to hats to felted vests. We had lots of OOAK (one of a kind) pieces of clothing as well as art pieces depicting fashion. 

Wearable art for the people of the Nicola Valley and for all the visitors who stopped in to see the show.

Fires in the Valley, Art anyway…

Art of Clothing Show

Art of Clothing Show. Photo credit: Jano Howarth

From the beginning of the summer art shows in Merritt BC, until the end of our Art of Clothing show, the Nicola Valley and surrounding areas were under threat from wild fires, out of control. Artists of our two shows, our workshop instructors and Gallery volunteers were on alert and many were evacuated from their homes for days and weeks.

But we had lots of visitors through the Gallery! Despite the danger of fire and heavy smoke people traveled to the Interior of BC, risking road closures and extended stays.  People enjoyed the distraction of our local creativity and these unique shows. 

Thank you to Artists and Creative Help

Thanks to our Art of Clothing artists! Several created work just for our show. 

Thanks to our student volunteer, artist Olivia Nendick. She helped with our shows, or kids art events, and submitted pieces herself. (Photo of Olivia below)

And special thanks to our stellar summer worker, just graduated and an artist also, Karianne Kroeker. Kari tackled any job given to her, from mundane to creative.

Merritt Art Shows

Karianne Kroeker, Artist and Clothing Upcycler. Photo credit: Jano Howarth

Kari put together photo collages for the Body Art show, submitted pieces she had sewn, painted, and blinged for the Art of Clothing show. She came made up and dressed ever day for our creative space, chatted with guests and visitors, and participated in Kids Art classes. 

What Creativity is Next?

The summer art shows in Merritt BC have come to a close, but there’s no stopping creativity. In hard times or good, creativity flows. We are happy at the NVCAC to inspire and be inspired. What’s the next inspired show?

Watch here for a blog post or read a bit about it and our other art shows this year on my site on creativity, learning, and journaling Meme Dreams

Click to my blog here on Experience Nicola Valley about our move to a new location last fall, and art in Merritt, BC.

Thanks for stopping by! Remember, express yourself!

Jano Howarth

Nicola Valley Arts Centre Gallery Curator

Visit our Nicola Valley Arts website

Facebook Gallery and Gift Shop

Merritt Gallery ShowsArt of Clothing, Cindilla Trent’s felted vestSummer Art Shows MerrittArt of Clothing, Olivia NendickTattoo ArtistBody Art Show, Marco Merulla of Mom’s Tattoos
Body Art Show MerrittBarb Tomkinson, Maureen Lisle at Body Art ShowBody Art  Steve Atlas MusicMusic Steve Atlas, Body Art ShowArt of Clothing Show MerrittRichard Lepinsky Music, Art of Clothing Show
All photos provided and credit goes to Jano Howarth

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Living in Merritt BC

Exploring Near Merritt in the Nicola Valley

Living life in the Shuswap Lake region of British Columbia Canada

Living in Merritt BC  – For the better part of two years Experience Nicola Valley has been providing an amazing amount of information on what Merritt and the Nicola Valley has to offer.  Do you want to know about camping in the area?  We have many stories that will spike your interest in our local camping such as Harmon Lake in the Kane Valley or Paska Lake off of Hwy 97D.

With so much to do when living in Merritt BC I could not possibly cover it all in this article.  However the good news is that you came to a key document that will provide you access to all the great things going on.  After you have read this story you can zip over to Experience Nicola Valley for more information.

For booking information and other information on events, etc visit Experience Merritt.

Other Reasons for Living in Merritt BC

Besides all the great things to do in Merritt and the Nicola Valley you are only a hop, skip and jump away from many great tourist destinations.  For example, the Okanagan is only one hour away or Kamloops is only 45 minutes away. Whereas other destinations such as the Shuswap (2 hours), the Cariboo (3 hours) or Vancouver(3 Hours) are within a comfortable reach.

The North Shuswap

This summer we spent our vacation in Magna Bay.  This area is on the north side of the lake at the west end.  We were very lucky and scored the best value in all of the Shuswap. We were able to rent a cabin for a very reasonable price.

Magna Bay Cabin - Living in Merritt BC Canada

Magna Bay Cottage- Photo credit: Magna Bay Vacations

Like wise, the inside of the cabin was very comfortable as well.

Cottage Living Room at Magna Bay Vacations

Cottage Living Room- Photo credit: Magna Bay Vacations

The place was very clean and the kitchen was reasonably equipped.  However it was not the ritz.  Some upgrades to the wall paper and some of the painted areas would help.  However these minor imperfections did not stop us from enjoying our stay.

Things to Do in the Shuswap

We were visiting the Shuswap during the height of the forest fire season and encountered a great deal of smoke.  However, this did not deter us as we made the best of the various breaks in the smoke and did the following things:

The Beach

The beach was just across the street which made it  just a short walk of about 200 meters.  Therefore we were able to  enjoy the warm lake with swimming and using our floaties.

Ross Creek Community Park

Ross Creek Community Park – Photo credit: Magna Bay Vacations

Hiking

There are many places to hike in the North Shuswap.  Of the many choices we did three spots.  The first one was at Tsutswecw Provincial Park.  This park is home to the viewing for the famous Adams River Salmon Run.

Tsutswecw Provincial Park

Tsutswecw Provincial Park – Photo credit Tom Reynolds

Adams River

Adams River – Photo credit Tom Reynolds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our second choice was Scotch Creek Provincial Park where we walked the lake shore trail.  The Beach at this park is a real treat.

Scotch Creek Provincial Park

Scotch Creek Provincial Park – Photo credit Tom Reynolds

Golfing

The North Shuswap is home to the Talking Rock Golf Course.  The course is actually on the shores of Little Shuswap Lake at the Quaaout Lodge.

The setting is truly spectacular and the course provides a nice challenge.

Golf at Talking Rock

Golf at Talking Rock. Photo credit – Tom Reynolds

Besides a regular golf course we took in the Mini Golf at Scotch Creek.  While we had fun the course was in need of some serous repair.

Mini Golf at Scotch Creek

Mini Golf at Scotch Creek – Photo credit – Tom Reynolds

Quality Cabin Time

We actually spent most of our eating at the cabin.  Each of the five adults took a turn cooking a meal.  Therefore if you did the cooking you didn’t have to clean up.  This way the work load was spread out.  It made for great meals that were not burdensome on one person.

However, we did go out twice.  The first time to the Hub Pub in Scotch Creek.  We were entertained by the Dueling Keyboards while eating delicious unique pub food.

The second time we actually didn’t go out for dinner but ordered pizza from Roosters Pizzeria in Anglemont BC.  We expected the shop to be on the main road but it actually was high up the hillside in a residential subdivision.  The drive was well worth it as the pizza was delicious and it went well with watching the BC Lion’s game.

Good Things Come to an End

Despite the smoke we had a great time and were sorry to be leaving.  On the other hand we are thankful for living in Merritt BC Canada because we have quick access to many fun locations.

Living in Merritt BC

Exploring Near Merritt

Shuswap Lake BC

The blogs are part of a comprehensive marketing program sponsored by Tourism Nicola Valley.  The program was developed by Eh! Canada Travel . 

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Camping  Treats for All Seasons

Smores is delicious snack for any time of the year in British Columbia 

Easy Smores Dip –  Summer treats when in Canada brings on so many amazing experiences. A huge part of summer in British Columbia is R&R, and a big part of that relaxing could be sitting around a campfire enjoying smores. Our beautiful  province is blanketed in lush mountains and heavily forested areas, and not many things comes close to the joys of sitting around a campfire, enjoying family and friends under the stars, snacking on smores.  It just might be the unofficial food of camping for kids. 

Easy Smore Dip - Campfire treat

Snacking Board Pretty – Betty Crocker Easy

Easy Smores Dip Helps With Fire Safety

However, smores is not just a campfire treat, no…  you can have smores anywhere and anytime. And if you live anywhere where campfire bans are usually in effect, and for good reason, there are alternatives. This summer was one to remember for so many people who were displaced during evacuations. For this reason we even had the children’s Great Grampa stay with us during the Logan Lake fires. 

Graham Wafer, Marshmallow, Chocolate

Smores Deconstructed

Crackling Fires And Warm Summer Nights 

So how do you enjoy this tasty seasonal delight? Pop it in the over of course! As a result you can now enjoy it for all 12 months of the year. Easy Smore dip satisfies that deep craving crackling fires and warm summer nights. Smores are decidedly  a flavor of a Canadian summer that can make a place for so many happy memories. It’s so easy and a great dip to have kids help in the kitchen with. With a little supervision kids can easily make this easy smores dip quickly and safety of home. This dip goes from prep to table in 20 mins or less.

Still Sticky, But With The Comforts Of Home

Smores Can Be Quite Sticky If You Aren’t Prepared

Easy smores dip is almost a cheater meal. First off if  you are new to the world of smores let me give you an idea of what these are to you. Smores are a gooey fire roasted marshmallow and chocolate square smooshed together between a cookie or graham wafer cracker. The method is usually quite simple. But can be a very exciting food item to make, especially if you have any child under the age of 4 around the campfire awaiting a delightfully sticky snack. To make this treat in theory so simple yet super tricky.

 

Easy smores dip ingredients and tips and tricks.

Directions

Lightly grease whatever sized pan of your choice. I used my tiny cast iron for a more camp like theme.

Coarse chop roughly 3 cups of chocolate. We ended used a giant frozen Toblerone we had saved since Christmas. 
Then you can lay the marshmallows on top. Enough to cover the pan.

Ingredients for Smores

Easy Smores Dip Baking Instructions

Oven temp – 400
Place in oven for 5-7 mins. Watching the marshmallows closely
While that’s baking assembly is a breeze for this easy smores dip. Simply place graham crackers on a board or tray. In addition you can dip and dunk cookies, pretzels, or fresh fruit. Be cautious if you are dipping straight from the pan. It holds the heat and can burn. Parental supervision is a great idea.

 

In Conclusion 

I would personally like to thank everyone involved in our summer and the fire efforts made here in our beloved province. Thank you to everyone doing your part and helping us all grow in being fire smart. Our hearts go out to those that have lost so much and to those brave men and women working tirelessly to help keep us all safe. Additionally making small tweaks as we practice fire safety  doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy experiences. Easy smores dip certainly makes #nocampfirenoproblem! Exploring the great outdoors and making plans is easy when you follow the Experience Nicola Valley Crew! As always if you recreate this recipe give us a tag. The family and I would love to see your creations and connect.

Willing Taste Testers

Easy Smores Dip – Camping Treats in BC Canada

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Summer Outdoor Activities in Merritt BC

Summer Adventures and Activities in The Nicola Valley

Outdoor summer activities in Merritt BC , offers a wide range of sunshine fun.  200 lakes, mountain biking trails and more makes the Nicola Valley a great choice for your next destination spot in the summer. Merritt’s  slogan says it all “A Lake A Day For As Long As You Stay”.  And we have rivers too! I guarantee when it comes to experiencing summer outdoor activities in the Nicola Valley,  it will make you wish you planned for more time so to go kayaking, boating, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and viewing wildlife.   

“I don’t need therapy, I just need my boat.” Unknown

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

Gone Fishing! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Summer Activities Merritt BC

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

Swimming fun! Picture courtesy Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

Nature’s poolside, were you can find me. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Summer Activities in Merritt BC Includes Lundbom Lake 

Lundbom Lake is truly one of my favorite Summer Activities in Merritt BC. A beautiful lake which is located only 10 minutes from downtown Merritt BC. Moreover  Lundbom Lake  is a great location for camping, fishing and horseback riding. While the surrounding area also provides excellent mountain biking and ATV/dirt bike riding. Along with having sunny and shady sites. Open from Apr 26, 2019 – Oct 14, 2019. Outdoor  

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

Julie Pollard “Is that the big one?” Photo Tania Stewart.

 

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

Enjoying the dock. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Nicola Valley.

View of Lundbom Lake. Photo TS.

 

“I camp here until the end of October most years.” Unknown Tourist.

 

Kayaking on Lundbom. Photo by ehCanadaTravel.com.

EhCanadatravel

Fall camping Eh! Photo courtesy ehCanadaTravel.com

 

“Lundbom Lake is very quiet and peaceful. Little noise pollution during all 3 of our visits. That is all we have to base it on. So it works for us.” Eh Canada Travel Website

Outdoor Summer & Fall Activities in the Nicola Valley BC. Canada.

Lake Trout. Photo Greg Girard.

Outdoor Summer & Fall Activities in the Nicola Valley BC. Canada.

Lundbom Lake Fall night. Photo by Greg Girard.

“THE FISHING ROCKS! Had to get that one out.” Greg Girard.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC

Horse back riding has to be one of the best summer  activities everyone can enjoy. A great opportunity to take in all of Mother Nature’s beauty. Trail riding is truly a Summer & Fall activity everyone can enjoy together in Merritt B.C. Offering a few choices, the Nicola Valley provides a day of adventure with nature in a saddle.  

Horse Camping at Lundbom Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

A-P Guest Ranch. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Fall Fly Fishing in the Nicola Valley

Fly Fishing being a popular sport, Merritt BC has it made with 200 lakes.  There is no wonder to why Corbett Lake Lodge is an anglers dream during the fall months. For all your supplies that you may need, surely drop by Ponderosa Sports located downtown Merritt.  

Summer Activities Merritt BC

Dragon Flies. Photo TS.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley’s Lakes

Fishing for bait. Picture by Tania Stewart.

 

Best Fishing Lakes Near Merritt

It should be noted that the Nicola Valley boast’s some of the best fishing in the World! There are over 200+ lakes in the region. Many are prime lake fishing destinations, including Garcia Lake, Marquart Lake, Hamilton Lake, Edna Lake, Mathew Lake, Morgan Lake, Roth Lake, Gwen Lake, Lundbom Lake and Lily Lake. Located just outside of Merritt, Marquart Lake is a small, clear lake which offers good rainbow trout fishing, camping and other outdoor activities nearby. 

Were to Start Planning Your Summer Activities

One place to start is our travel website Experience Merritt. Once you have your bearings than check out some of the fishing experiences on this blog site. Last, but not least, ask a local or visit Ponderosa Sport’s downtown Merritt.

 

Kennedy Lake Hike

Kennedy Lake Hike. Photo Credit: Tania Stewart

Mountain Biking Outdoor Activities Merritt BC

Outdoor adventure mountain biking on the many trails surrounding the Nicola Valley provide endless days of exploring the backcountry.  No crowds. Lots of trails. Mouth-dropping scenery. Therefore to enjoy the trails in our backcountry all you need is a water bottle, the right gear and your ride. Nature and the adrenaline rush provides the rest. In reality the Nicola Valley provides the beautiful backcountry scenery, the wildlife sightings, the remote wilderness lakes and forested rolling hills. A nature enthusiasts dream space. Questions? You can drop a line with Merritt Mountain Biking Association

Mountain Biking Fun

Mountain Biking Fun. Photo by Jordan Pinto.

Mountain Biking - Merritt BC

Scenic trails. Photo by Jordan Pinto.

Moreover Hiking/Backpacking 

Truly enjoying the fall weather while hiking in the Nicola Valley is a must. Making sure to have your compass, water, picnic basket and a camera to capture your adventure. With the City of Merritt being located in a valley surrounded by mountains makes this an ideal destination place for avid backpackers and hikers. Generally having on the average sunny warm fall days makes it a pleasant day of hiking and adventure for the whole family. Reminder to always tell someone were you will be hiking if alone.

merritt bc camping

Harmon Lake. Photo courtesy of Experience Nicola Valley Blogger Tom Reynolds.

Scenic nature. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Summarizing Outdoor Activities in The Nicola Valley

Outdoor Activities in Merritt BC truly will have you smiling and knowing that you just had the best summer.  While Merritt can boast over 200 lakes with desert-like weather truly makes this your next vacation spot. “ A Lake A Day as Long as You Stay” has been it’s local slogan for decades. Equally making this your next destination place for activities such as kayaking, boating, mountain biking, hiking, paragliding or just lazily strolling lake trails.  Truly making this your next destination vacation spot!

Summer Fun in The Nicola Valley

Come and Experience the Adventure

 

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Desert Hills Ranch

What better way to get your summer bucket list started off right than spending a day with an awesome summer adventure. 

Spending a day at Desert Hills Ranch with family.

A day at Desert Hills Ranch. Seriously hands down this is a hidden gem located in heart of  Ashcroft B.C.  A beautiful slow paced community that has so much charm to offer with old school western desert vibes. Ashcroft has a museum, well stocked grocery store, lovely tourist worthy location for community information. Lastly…  you could also bring your swim suits and check out our community pool to cool off.

desert hills ranch ashcroft bc canada

Goats at Desert Hills Ranch. Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

mexican store ashcroft bc canada

Delish! Mexican Delights! Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

History in Ashcroft BC

Of course my oldest son Logan, age 13, says his favorite thing to see is all of the tractors. He loves to see the historical and ancient farming machines. Secondly if you fancy yourself an avid gardener or aspire to be. The options for making that dream a reality is beyond belief. Think Garden of Eden meets tacos and you have a pretty good idea of what its like on the ranch.

Going Mexican Food in Ashcroft

Speaking of tacos… if you crave Mexican food and fare. This is the place to be for all sorts of chips, beans, hot sauces and salsas. I love stocking up on all the essentials for the best taco Tuesday meal items. In conclusion you do not want to forget to mark on your calendar for salsa weekend if you are keen to make your own.

plants gardening ashcroft bc

Plants!  Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

ashcroft bc family fun

Family fun in Ashcroft BC. Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

Fun Times at Desert Hills Ranch

A day at Desert Hills Ranch is fun for everybody! They have lots to see and do. Children,  I think,  have an especially great time here. As a Mom I appreciate the measures that the ranch takes to allow people to view the animals but also how clean they keep it. Along with the areas  to clean and sanitize hands often, and easy access to use the rest rooms. The barn is such a fun treat to explore every time and it is fun to see all the animal friends inside! Of course feeding the goats is so much fun! 

Fruits and more 

My daughter Amelia age 11 says her favorite thing to enjoy is the food. She loves to buy different fruits each week to try with the family and she loves the ice-cream. I feel zero regret buying ice-cream here for my family of 10! The price is right when it comes time for a cool treat. What a fun and affordable way to make the day that much more memorable! 

 

cows farming ranch ashcroft bc

Calf in Ashcroft

An Educational Opportunity 

Machines, where our food comes from, biology and botany are just a few subjects you will encounter on the ranch. As a homeschooling mama this place has educational field trip written all over it. And that is another perfect reason to come check out the ranch. This hasn’t been my first time blogging about my favorite ranch. You can read that post HERE . There is so much to see and do here, it really is a very enriching experience. My son Zach who is 6 absolutely loves that he got to see his favorite animal when he visited the barn. A baby cow was such a adorable treat for him to see so close.

kyle schell ashcroft canada plants

Lots Of Selection To Keep Any Green Thumb Happy

Flowers in Ashcroft BC Canada

This has to be one of my favorite parts of coming to the ranch. I love the huge selection of flowers, shrubs and trees they always have here. It makes adding curb appeal easy with the huge selection that they always have! I love that I can even dabble at pretending I am a homesteader with there great assortment of garden items. Cue the Little House On The Prairie theme song. I am so excited to try making a few different jams this season and give some canning  a try. We love getting our tomatoes and strawberries here. And filling up our garden rows with lots of other goodies as well. Corn, peppers, cauliflower to name a few! 

ashcroft flowers plants

Impeccable Selection Of Many Garden Items

Covid Pregnancy

Delicious Produce Awaits At The Ranch

In Conclusion 

A day at Desert Hills Ranch is never a day wasted. This place is really such a hidden gem. Surrounded by desert mountains. It has beautiful weeping willows to offer shade as you stroll around. They are always so kind and courteous. It truly offers an exceptional summer experience in the heart of British Columbia.

Therefore, if you are looking for more great all year around ideas for what to do in BCs interior. Please follow the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers. And keep your eyes on the Blog for some more great Summer Bucket List ideas! Thanks for reading! Have a great summer and stay safe. 

CONTACT INFO

Desert Hills Ranch

250 Elm Street, Ashcroft, BC

250.453.9876

deserthillsfarmmarket@gmail.com

www.deserthillsranch.com

 

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Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Baking Recipes in the Nicola Valley

Everyone needs an easy fruit crisp recipe that they can go to again and again.

Baking recipe in the Nicola Valley : This easy strawberry rhubarb crisp is one I have used for years now. Fruit crisps are a great way to add a dessert to any meal that’s so rustic and tasty its sure to leave any tummy happy. We used what was on hand our garden rhubarb and paired it with some extra strawberries. Creating a stunning, sweet and tart after dinner treat.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. Photo Credit by Jennifer Schell

Fun Facts About Rhubarb 

Some fun facts about rhubarb. If the idea of eating it makes you wrinkle your nose these might be a way to entice you to eat more of it in the future. Rhubarb is a anti-inflammatory that can help build your bone strength.  It can improve your liver health and is packed with fiber, calcium, vitamin C and potassium. A quick caution however you want to make sure you never consume the leaf of the plant just the stalk. The leaves are very poisonous, wash your hands after you handle. A great way to remove your rhubarb is to twist it with your hands. Never cut it. As that can confuse the plant and it will stop producing stalks for you to enjoy. 

nicola valley strawberry rhubarb crisp

Rhubarb is part of this baking recipe in the Nicola Valley. Photo credit: planet_fox

Baking Recipe in the Nicola Valley : Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp 

The crisp comes together in about 20 minutes or so.  In my experience it has easy kitchen staples of flour, sugar and butter this egg free dish is easy like I said to mix up in a flash. Finally assemble your ingredients and lets get baking.

Ingredients

6 Cups of chopped and washed Rhubarb

2 Cups of chopped Strawberries

Two tsp of Flour 

2 tsp of Brown Sugar 

1 tsp of Cinnamon ( optional) 

In a separate bowl assemble.

3/4 Cups of Flour

1 1/2 tsp of Baking Powder

1/8 tsp Salt

1/3 Cups of Butter

1 Cup of Brown Sugar

1 Cup of Quick Cooking Oats

Directions

Firstly combine fruit, flour and sugar ( and optional cinnamon ) in a greased 9X13 baking dish. Secondly in your second bowl combine your flour, baking powder, salt, cut in your butter until its nice and crumbly. Thirdly stir in your brown sugar and quick oats. Lastly sprinkle over your fruit. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

In addition

This easy strawberry rhubarb crisp is easy to swap out with so many other filling options. Of course the most popular would be apple crisp, then we have berry crisp. Nectarines or even a peach crisp. You could mix and match kind of like what we did mixing the strawberries with rhubarb. Peach and blueberry.  Try a combo of apples, pecans and caramel drizzle. The ideas and options are endless with this treat once you have a fail safe crisp topping you can trust and know it will never fail. 

crispy rhubarb pie nicola valley

Strawberry rhubarb crisp. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp Topping Suggestions

I am so curious to know if you would prefer to eat this dessert of easy strawberry rhubarb crisp as is or are you a fan of toppings? Of course I would certainly eat it plain. But I love the extra too sometimes. Not only milk but other toppings I would include could be ice cream, or heavy cream. A caramel drizzle or chopped nuts such as pecans, walnuts or maybe even peanuts. The possibilities are really endless. 

In Conclusion 

If you make this easy strawberry rhubarb crisp be sure to tag us on social media.

You can find us to tag using https://www.facebook.com/experiencenicolavalley/ here on Facebook and https://www.instagram.com/experiencenicolavalley/ here on Instagram.

The Experience Nicola Valley Team is real people, sharing real experiences, we tell stories about our home town.  It is our mission to inspire, educate and share with you our adventures and experiences. And we would love to see yours also. So start with this baking recipe in the Nicola Valley. 

Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

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BUILDING A TERRACED GARDEN

TIPS FOR THE RESTORATION OF A GARDEN

PART 2 0F 2

 

In Part 1 of Building a Terraced Garden I had to leave you hanging as we ran out of blocks for our wall and couldn’t complete the project.  We had Home Hardware  scouring their network to see if they could find some.  With no luck there we checked Home Depot, Lowes and Rona where we struck out in all cases. As a last resort we also looked on Market Place, Craig’s list and Kijiji.

Where for art thou bricks?

We were extremely upset because we had only a partial wall and no way of completing it.  However, providence was on our side.  One day my wife, Shirley, was out in the front yard when a friend of hers came by with her new neighbour.  When Shirley mentioned our brick problem the new neighbour said her husband was taking down a brick wall and maybe we could use them.  It turns out they were exactly the same as the ones we were using and therefore we could get started again.

Resuming Building a Terraced Garden

First Rows

First Rows Photo Tom Reynolds

We got this far in Part 1 of Building a Terraced Garden.  You will remember that we dug our trench, while making sure it was level, and finally added the gravel base.  After that we then placed our first two rows of blocks and are ready for the next step.

Our garden will have a sprinkler system so we have to be sure that we have a system that will move excess water away so that the walls don’t get undermined.  The first step is to lay the drain fabric up the side of the wall and with enough fabric on the other side so that you can wrap it back over the pipe after you have added the drain rock.

Drainage

Pipe with drainage rock photo Tom Reynolds

The walls go up in building a terraced garden

Once the drainage is dealt with, the next step is to continue with adding the next rows of blocks.  The tricky part of our construction was the number of corners we had.  To handle this you need a cement cutting saw for doing the rough cuts (a Quick Cut Saw).  Also another  for doing the finer details.  You can rent the quick cut saw.  Fortunately our contractor, Ted, had the other saw.

Quick Cut Saw

Quick Cut Saw photo Tom Reynolds

The Blocks are finished

Shirley and I carried almost two hundred blocks for this phase which brought the restoring of the terraced garden to an end. The next task was to fill the terraces with great top soil.  We got ours from High Mountain Ventures.

Finished Wall

Finished Wall photo Tom Reynolds

The Final Phase of Building a Terraced Garden

In order to finish our project we had to take the plants from the ICU and replant them in our restored garden.  Once this was done we could place our inground sprinkler system so all the plants would receive  a drink.

Finished Project

Finished Project photo Tom Reynolds

Just as humans who come out of the hospital’s ICU don’t look great, neither did our plants.  H0wever with the nutritious soil and watering we expect the garden to show well soon.

What did we learn about building a terraced garden

Planning is important.  We had a vision but did not think it through because we only started with about 150 blocks and if we planned properly and recognize that going from 5 tiers to 2 would require higher walls and therefore more bricks we may have been able to avoid our dilemma of running out of blocks.

We didn’t notice until the project was complete that we would have to move one of the sprinklers because the new walls were too high and blocked the water stream.

Our project turned out well because we used a great contractor, Ted Cederland, for the important parts of the job.

 

BUILDING A TERRACED GARDEN

TIPS FOR THE RESTORATION OF A GARDEN

 

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Art During Covid in Merritt BC

Creativity Persists, even in the middle of a pandemic

Our art show in February 2021 was full of light, beauty and humour

 

Art during Covid in Merritt BC helped lots of people pass the time during our lockdown and careful year.

Artists and artisans expressed how creativity, theirs and others, made the restrictions bearable. Some came regularly to our Arts Centre, with Gallery shows, a well stocked gift shop, and even our Program Space where we held very respectful events. 

We also provided the public with art classes online, as well as continuing our regular meetings via Zoom.

Special Community Art Show, Art During Covid

Art of Covid

Nancy Ellingsen art, Kim Leclair poster

In February we held a special community show, called The Art During Covid, Creativity Persists. We invited people in our Nicola Valley to submit art they had created during 2020 and early 2021. 

We were excited to see how the show came together, from paintings to pottery. And we were surprised at how positive the show was, overall. Despite the challenging times we were experiencing, and how difficult it was for people to endure, the show was full of light, colour, beauty and humour.

Overcoming sadness and separation with creativity

Art During Covid

Lin Butler Buchanan’s Covid 2020, Open Wounds

Of course there were expressions of trouble and sadness. The year was spent battling separations of family, the disappearance of social gatherings, and job losses. It was difficult for people not to succumb to feelings of loss and separation. 

At the Arts Centre we faced a difficult move, changing locations, and had to juggle all the participation, cleaning, and renos required. We missed several of our key contributing members who couldn’t risk even a bit of contact. 

Mission to stay connected

Art During Covid

Sharon Antoine, leather and beadwork

However, the NVCAC’s overriding mission during this difficult time was to help the community feel welcome, and keep up contact, even with restrictions. We stuck to the protocols so most people felt safe to come in to our Arts Centre and see our Gallery shows, browse in our gift shop, and sign up for an online art class.

The February Art During Covid Show had close to 20 participants. We were not able to hold a reception, but a steady steam of people came during the five week show. We made sure we posted lots of photos online, so extra-careful people could see the submissions.

One of our submissions was a large chalkboard, for people to write about what creativity they were up to during Covid. However, artist and NVCAC president, Mischelle Pierce’s own story, that she wrote to encourage others, was such an inspiration we just chose to leave it as one of the artworks.

Art of Covid

Art During Covid stories

The art show elicited story after story from people in the community, telling how they were keeping up their creative processes with the long hours at home.

They found they had time to do art

Art During Covid

Online classes and respectful in person art sessions

A common theme was how, with the stay at home orders in early spring 2020 that persisted for many, they found they had time to do art they hadn’t done for years. And some began arts and crafts that they had always wanted to do and had never tried.

Even local musicians, who were really missing our live music events like Open Mic, submitted songs they had written or worked on during the year. We played them on our YouTube channel at  the Gallery during the art show. 

Mandala Art

Kathleen Kinasewic Soul Circle Mandalas

An online art class that went over really well was Mandala Art with Kathleen Kinasewich, of Soul Circle Mandalas. Kathleen led a small group for a couple of hours, doing the healing and meditative process of mandala art work.

I am thankful myself, as the Gallery Curator, for the suggestion to do this theme for our regular February Community show. In the past we have presented an Art of Sound Show, an Art for Children, Children in Art Show, and other fun and interesting themes…. 

This show felt very meaningful

Art During Covid

Nona Tickner’s Wash Your Hands

This show felt very meaningful, to acknowledge and honour the way people rise to a difficult situation. Often our difficult times are experienced just in our own circle. But the Covid Pandemic brought us an experience that was felt, and still is, all over the world. And through our Art of Covid show we were able to gather some of the expressions of people in our Nicola Valley, and share them. 

The stories from this Pandemic continue. We hope that creativity and art expressions continue to help people get through this difficult time.

Art expresses our true feelings

Darkness, loss, and sadness to inspiration and light.  Art expresses our true feelings. Thanks to all who shared their creativity during this show with us. 

Express yourself!

And to see what else is happening in our Nicola Valley art community, visit my post Nicola Valley Creativity in Action.

Thanks! Jano Howarth

NVCAC Arts Gallery Curator

Visit us at nicolavalleyarts.com

Facebook Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

Facebook Nicola Valley Arts Council

Art of Covid

Cindy Trent’s Corvids

Art of Covid

Kim Vizi Carmen’s Collaboration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

BUILDING A TERRACED GARDEN

TIPS FOR RESTORATION OF A GARDEN

PART 1 OF 2 PARTS

 

Building a terraced garden is actually a tricky project if you don’t do it right.  You could end up with all your bricks at the bottom of the garden  In order to avoid this problem you can follow along and see how I did it.

The materials you will need for this project are:

  1.  Crush gravel used for the base of the blocks
  2. Drain rock for carrying water away
  3. “Big O” pipe to distribute water
  4. Drain fabric to prevent silt from entering “Big O” pipe
  5. Top soil to fill your new levels

Experience invaluable 

Like I said in my blog on “Gardening in Merritt”

I do not profess to be an expert in this field.  The blog is featured on the Experience Nicola Valley website where it is operated by Tourism Nicola Valley.  The product was developed by Eh!Canada Travel to provide revolutionary marketing for communities and businesses.

Bring in a professional

Therefore due to the complexity of the project I have hired a very experienced contractor who knows the ins and outs of building brick walls.  In fact, he is one who prefers to over build and therefore you will be able to build even higher walls.  Just remember if your plan is for a wall over 4 feet, you will need to get a permit from the City and the wall would have to have an engineer’s approval.

merritt contractor

Our Contractor’s vehicle

ted cederland

Our Contractor-Ted Cederland

Let the Fun Begin in Building a Terraced Garden

This project had its beginnings in Facebook’s Market Place where my wife spotted a deal on bricks.  The deal was so smoking hot that it was worth our while to make two trips to Kamloops to bring them home. However, it was too late in the year to start so we waited until this Spring.

We came up with our ideas, had our contractor in place and were ready to begin.  Our starting point was the original wood terrace garden.  The logs have been in place for at least 25 Years and when you step on them they disintegrate.

Wood Terrace Garden

Wood Terrace Garden

Demolition Day for Building a Terraced Garden

The first thing we had to do was remove all the rotten logs and remove the plants that would be in the way of the new wall.  In retrospect, we should have removed all the plants because we were going from 4 levels to two levels and thus some of the plants would be too low and would have to be moved later.  Anyway we ended up with our plant ICU.

Plant ICU

Plant ICU

Setting the stage for the first row in Building your Terraced Garden

The first row of any wall is the most important because if you don’t get this right your entire wall will be compromised.  So for this row you will need the following tools:

  1.  A Flat Head Shovel
  2. A Regular Shovel
  3.  A Tamper
  4. A Level
  5. A Rubber Mallet
  6. A Wheel Barrow
  7. Concrete Saw 

Your first trench has to be deep enough to allow for your gravel base and your first layer of bricks,  Keep in mind that this layer has to be level or all your other rows will be out of whack.  For example, if your first row is off by one inch by the time you get to the fourth row the error will be very noticeable.

You use the flat head shovel to dig your trench.  Not only do you want to make sure the trench is deep enough, you need to have enough width to receive the brick.  In other words, we had 8″  bricks so our trench was 12″.

The First Trench

The First Trench

Subsequent Rows in Building a Terraced Garden

Once the first trench is in you need to use the tamper to pound the bottom of the trench so it is nice and firm so that you will avoid shifting later on.  Once this is done you add about 2″ of crushed rock to the bottom of the trench, which you need to tamp the rock and make sure the trench is still level.

You are now ready for the exciting part of the project, the laying of the blocks for your first row.  Lay your first blocks in place and use the rubber mallet to tap it in place so that the block is nice and firm.  Check that it is level and then place the next one.  Tap it in place with the mallet and make sure it abuts tightly with the first block and that it is level.

First Row

First Row

Sorry.  You will Have to Waite To Finish Building a Terraced Garden

At the beginning of this blog I mentioned the great deal we got on the blocks from Kamloops.  What we didn’t think about was what would happen if we did not have enough.  With out checking we assumed that we could run down to the Home Hardware Store and pick up our shortfall.  However, what we didn’t think about was that a product made in 1970 may not be available in 2021?

As a result you will have to stay tuned as I will hopefully have a resolution to this problem in the next couple of weeks and we will be able to show you the results.

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Merritt Planet Hair & Spa Re-Opening Covid 19 Style

Planet Hair & Spa’s Grand Re-Opening

Were You Go To Get Your Locks On!

Up-date on Planet Hair and Spa in celebration of their 25th Anniversary. 

Planet Hair has persevered by adapting and growing during these troubling times. All the while keeping their fundamental values, “Customers are #1”.  Planet Hair and Spa has re-positioned itself with a fresh new look.  While most people don’t consider the impact our clothes have on our environment, Kathy has truly thought of this. She understands, that more people are becoming aware of Textile Waste and its damage to our environment. Re-cycling with some re-thinking is what Kathy Castro is bringing to her spa! Additionally, as you are getting a great hair style, you can update your wardrobe with Vintageretro  clothes. 

Planet Hair and Spa serving the Nicola Valley, BC

Take your time, impressive selection. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Planet Hair and Spa Merritt BC.

Beautiful prom gowns! Photo Tania Stewart.

Planet Hair and Spa serving the Nicola Valley.

These “Boots” are made for walking.

 

Vintage clothing offers a chance to explore personal style. Tania Stewart.

 

Planet Hair and Spa serving the Nicola Valley, BC

My personal fav! You need to see this beautiful dress!

Accessories are a must!

 

Vintageretro fashion is still going strong in terms of clothing, footwear, and accessories. 

According to the Canadian Lock-down Orders

Due to Covid 19 Kathy Castro owner and operator of Planet Hair & Spa located in Merritt British Columbia had to close her doors . As a result many loyal clients have to suffer through a time of “nasty bedhead hair”.  Due to circumstances out of Kathy’s control, little options were available, but to try and turn a negative into a positive. Hence the re-vamp, re-decorate,  and re-paint of her salon. Having known Kathy for many years, one thing is for sure when talking about Kathy Castro, she rarely lets bad news take her down. 

 

Merrittplanethair

Kathy Castro in the Trenches!

It is important to note that Planet Hair and Spa is truly an Experience Nicola Valley venture and has always been my personal favourite place to get my “do” done.  However, what really makes my haircut experience so special is the opportunity to connect and socialize. Incidentally, I was also blessed to have Kathy as my first guest on the “Nicola Valley Talk Show“.  

WATCH NICOLA VALLEY TALK SHOW INTERVIEW

Merritt Planet Hair & Spa Re-Opening Covid 19 Style

Not only was I very fortunate to have Kathy as my first guest on the “Nicola Valley Talk Show”, I was able to see first hand the work and time that was put into re-decorating her business.  I applaud Kathy and her husband Paul for taking on this massive undertaking. Despite having to close its doors, with little warning, Planet Hair and Spa has re-positioned itself with a fresh and new look for opening day.  

Nicolavalleyplanethair

Our stations are ready for you!

Additionally re-vamping Planet Hair & Spa beauty products display 

When speaking about beauty products Kathy has traveled the world and has done her research. In all honesty, I can say that with all of Kathy’s years of experience she is able to seek out the best beauty products. The fact that Planet Hair stands by their products is just another way they stand behind their service. Kathy understands that hair care is important hence the large selection of products her shop has on display. However, Kathy does ask that all clients do not touch the products because of the COVID 19 safety protocols and, instead, ask to see them. Look, inquire but do not touch.  

Not only does Planet Hair and Spa provide haircuts, colours, and streaks. They also provide some of the best “products” to keep your hair healthy”, Tania Stewart.

To illustrate the vast range of products available 

The products available are many. Too many to list here. But, since summer is coming, they do have some suntan lotion made from hemp that is gaining some good reviews. Then there is the line of AG hair products on her shelves which will take care of your hair. Some of the brand names lining the shelves include “Designer Skin”, “Fiesta”, “Rusk“, “Reuzel” and “Nioxin“.  Whenever you are wanting to tame or inspire your curls then take a look at “DevaCurl“.  Planet Hair & Spa has many of things a person would want for hair and skin care. 

merrittplanethair

Nails are important!

bcplanethair&spa

Comfort is important.

Planet Hair & Spa product wall. “Teetree” is available.

Additionally Planet Hair & Spa offers a wide range of styling items

Equally important are the styling items available like straighteners. For you newbies those are the hot curling devises we use to keep our hair style going. In fact Planet Hair & Spa is a one stop shopping place to purchase everything your hair desires. Not to mention that a coupon or beauty product would make for a great gift!

 

planethairnicolavalley

Taking your appointments serious.

When re-opening social distancing is key 

Kathy has made sure your health is number one when visiting her shop in the Nicola Valley. She has her staff well trained and equipped with all the protective equipment including masks, and head visors. Social distancing will also be respected in her shop with only 3 hair stations operating at one time, which is every second chair in operation.

The separation of the chairs will provide safe social distancing. Truly making sure all clients are safe Kathy has all work stations social distanced as well as in client’s waiting room space. Moreover making your experience stress-free, relaxing while providing assurance for every one’s safety. While giving her clients the needed care and beauty treatment they have been waiting for. 

It is always a Great Experience!

planet hair and spa

Kathy Castro – Planet Hair & Spa

Everyone I talk to about Planet Hair & Spa tell me that Kathy has a way of making you feel like you are their favorite client. Whether it is your first time in her chair or your five-hundredth time having your hair done Kathy makes you feel comfortable and welcomed. What makes this hair salon and spa stand out is truly how gracious Kathy and her team are for having you as a client. 

Without a doubt Kathy is one of the most determined business minds I have been fortunate to know. A fashionista, trend setter, entrepreneur and let us not forget an amazing hair stylist.

 

CONTACT US:

Planet Hair & Spa

2040 Granite Ave,
Merritt, BC V1K 1P3

(250) 378-5558

WEBSITE

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