Antigonish Farmers’ Market Online Shopping

Antigonish farmers market AFM online shopping country parent 3

by Stephanie Cooper

AFM Online is the Antigonish Farmers’ Market weekly online ordering service.  The goal of this new local initiative is to support the growth of farmers and artisans by connecting them to customers seeking locally produced products.  The convenient and simple shopping experience makes it possible for producers to meet the growing demand for local, sustainable food and products in Antigonish County and surrounding areas.

The AFM Online Market believes that when life gets a little busy, customers should still have the convenience of shopping fresh and local.  The weekly online ordering system is open from 7:00pm Wednesday night to 7:00pm Monday night.  Simply select your products and pick-up your order the following Wednesday between 4:00pm and 7:00pm at the Antigonish Farmers’ Market.  It’s quick, convenient, and simple.

Did you know?

– All orders are custom, not mystery boxes. You get exactly what you ordered.

– The website has a “Meet Your Producer” page so that customers can get to know their producers better.

– AFM online is a perfect option for busy families, students, visitors and anyone who might not been keen on market crowds.

– We are currently gearing up for a Thanksgiving Giveaway! So check out the AFM online website:, follow us on Instagram @afmonline and on Facebook: Antigonish Farmers’ Market Association.

Sign up with AFM online to support local farmers and artisans and Localize It!

Easy Weekend Egg Muffins

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I love the versatility of eggs. There are numerous ways to prepare them and anything goes! From adding them raw in protein shakes, to a variety of cooked possibilities, they are the ultimate food that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner and as snacks.



But, taking the time in the morning to prepare egg recipes that the whole family will enjoy can be challenging. So in an effort to simplify the morning chaos, I like making these egg muffins to accommodate everyone’s egg preferences.

Here’s how you can make them too.



♦ 6 eggs

♦ 1/2 cup frozen hashbrowns (cubed)

♦ 1/2 cup chopped green pepper

♦ 1/2 cup chopped ham

♦ Grated cheddar cheese

♦ Salt & pepper to taste


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Pre-heat oven to 325°F.

Spray bottom of tin muffin tray with cooking spray.

Add 4-5 hash browns in the bottom of each muffin cup.

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Crack one egg in each muffin cup or whisk eggs in a bowl and distribute the egg mixture evenly in the muffin cups.

maritime pride eggs


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Add chopped green pepper and ham on top.

Top with cheese.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from muffin tray while still warm.


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Whether your family members like their eggs runny or hard, plain or packed with vegetables, you can make large quantities of individualized egg muffins and keep everyone happy.


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You can also make extras to keep as leftovers. They can be easily microwaved on hectic weekday mornings for a quick healthy breakfast.


Maritime Pride Egg Muffins pinterest

Rediscovering Acadian Cuisine at Chez DesLauriers

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Chez DesLauriers restaurant opens its doors every summer to serve authentic Acadian lunches.


The charming tearoom, originally a heritage home built in the 1800s, is located near Pomquet beach at the top of a hill overlooking St. George’s Bay.


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The establishment is run by the Pomquet development society volunteers who gather every Friday to prepare traditional Acadian meals.

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Mary Ann, Jean and Joan preparing fish cakes


The menu features various Acadian favorite dishes including fish cakes, pâté and fricot, to name a few. And most of the meals are gluten-free!

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Melt-in-your-mouth traditional Acadian fish cakes


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Chicken, turkey and pork pâté (meat pie) with cranberry sauce


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Fricôt, an Acadian staple, is chicken stew with potatoes and dumplings


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Delicious seafood chowder


Every meal includes coffee or tea and a dessert too!

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Ginger cake with lemon sauce


chez deslauriers country parent strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake made with fresh local strawberries


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Caramel pudding topped with fresh whipped cream


Chez DesLauriers also hosts lobster roll dinners in the Fall.

Click here for the complete menu. If you’re pressed for time, you can always purchase your meal on site and take it to go, within minutes.

However, I highly recommend sticking around and experiencing more than just the food, as there are other fun things to do:


♦ Discover the hiking trails

There are many beautiful coastal and inland hiking trails to enjoy – the views are breathtaking!


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♦ Visit the Interpretive Centre

The local Interpretive Center offers captivating cultural and historical pieces.

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A hand-held turnip seeder


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♦ Check out le petit marché

The petit marché, small market, has merchandise and souvenirs for purchase.

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♦ Home-made treats

Before heading out, buy a few home-made baked goods from Mrs. Patsy Doiron of Nanny’s Country Cooking

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So be sure to drop in Chez DesLauriers this summer!

This is the perfect place to be on a hot sunny day. Delectable food, relaxing atmosphere and wonderful hosts.

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Antigonish World Oceans Day 2019 Highlights

So it was quite the event on the weekend, as the Biology Dept. celebrated their 6th annual World Oceans Day event. Here are some of the highlights…

The displays included touch-tanks with different species of live sea anemones.

stfx sea anemone

A sea weed station where algae reproduction was demonstrated.

microscopes plankton

And a marine microorganism station, where microscopic phytoplankton and zooplankton could be viewed.

Among the stations with live critters, there were various species of sea star and sea urchins. Children learned about echinoderms, locomotion, habitat and behaviour.

sea stars grace

Making trilobite and ammonite fossil prints on clay, was one of the many popular stations to visit.

The green crabs station where kids were able to hold the crabs, learn about the invasive species, their anatomy and geographic distribution.

This year we also had a Blubber experiment station where kids learned how arctic animals stay warm.

A plankton race station, where the public participated in making their own plankton then racing it down the water column for a chance to win prizes from the sustainability station (see the winners list below).

The sustainability station which included alternatives to plastic items donated by local businesses was a great addition to the event. The goal was to promote the reduction of plastics use.

Also new, learning how to make nautical and Daisy chain knots.

The dogfish station educated the public about the anatomy, behaviour and location of this fascinating animal.

The Nutrition Dept. volunteers educated the public on sustainable foods and healthy eating habits.

The face painting and henna stations were very popular, as always.

The craft stations were busy throughout the event. This year’s features were salt water raised paintings and Gyotaku fish prints.

The Atlantis photo booth was a pleasant surprise for all DC Aquaman fans.

Atlantis DC Aquaman

And finally various local organizations were present to promote healthy oceans and the important work they do for our community.

nova scoatia salmon association Kris Hunter
Kris Hunter from the NS Salmon Association
Brenna Martel birds studies canada
Brenna Martel from Birds Studies Canada & the piping plover conservation
Dr. Justin Gregg from the Dolphin Communications Project
nicole haverkort Eastern Region Solid Waste Management
Nicole Haverkort from the Eastern Region Solid Waste Management
grace campbell DFO
Grace Campbell from the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans

I would like to thank the following local businesses who donated sustainable items for the plankton race draw:

The Posh Peppermint Home & Gifts

Kent Business Supplies Antigonish

Canadian Tire Antigonish

The Plum Tree Gift Shoppe

Nova Scotia Salmon Association (NSSA)

Nova Scotia Fisherman

And congratulations to the winners of the Plancton Race draw!

You have until Friday 12:00pm to pick up your prize from the Biology dept. at StFX, J. Bruce brown building, main office (open 8:00am-3:30pm). Winners will be posted on the Country Parent Facebook page and contacted by telephone.

Heidi MacGillivray – Canadian Tire Greenlid compost bin starter kit

Cheri van den Heuvel – Canadian Tire reusable straws

Tarampreet Kaur – NSSA ball cap

Ryan Shurman – NSSA ball cap

Clara – NSSA ball cap

Elias van den Heuvel – NSSA ball cap

Simon MacDonald – reusable stainless steel straws from the Posh Peppermint Home & Gifts

Kelly Young – nautical pattern paper straws from the Posh Peppermint Home & Gifts

Damon & Liam (Erica Barker) – reusable food wraps from the Posh Peppermint Home & Gifts

Felix Coady – reusable produce bags from the Posh Peppermint Home & Gifts

Lisa Jackman – NS Fisherman’s lip balm

Jesse – NS Fisherman’s soap

Lindsey Bennet – Swedish dishcloths from the Plum Tree Gift Shoppe

Chloe Christensen – reusable shopping bag from the Plum Tree Gift Shoppe

Devin Garvie – reusable shopping bag from the Plum Tree Gift Shoppe

Austin Smith – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

Nahla MacAdam – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

Anna Mae – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

Heni Sampson – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

Charlie Overmars – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

Molly van den Heuvel – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

Megan Lukeman – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

Rachel Jackman – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

Carson Garvie – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

Bentley – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

Sawyer Coady – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

Jeanette MacMillan – Grill scraper from Kent Building Supplies

A huge Thank You to all the volunteers without whom this annual event would not be possible!

Katelyn MacNeil, Leah Rogers, Maryann Burbidge, Moira Galway, Lori Graham, Russell Wyeth, Jen van den Heuvel, Michelle Hodgson, Jayden Marion, Carmen Ucciferri, Madeline McDonald, Megan Davies, Meaghan MacDonald, Kayleigh Trenholm, Jessica Swinkels, Matthew Freeman, Arkadiy Reunov, Randy Lauff, Ella Maltby, David Garbary, Grace Moffat, Lauren Sobot, Areej Alansari, Chris Marchand, Randy Lauff, Melissa Howse, Megan MacGillivray, Seta Douglas, Shannyn Burke, Angus Ryan, Marley Ryan, James, Bethen and Alyssa.

Reg 🙂

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A Glimpse of the World Oceans Day Event 2019

World Oceans Day Antigonish 2019

This year will mark our 6th annual World Oceans Day event! The StFX Biology dept. will be hosting the event in the J. Bruce Brown building on Saturday, June 8, from 11:00am-1:00pm.

Here’s a quick glimpse of the upcoming event:

Many critters! A variety of live local and tropical sea urchins, sea stars, crabs, sea cucumbers, sea anemones, blue lobster, and much more.

feather duster
horseshoe crab
blue lobster

A seaweed station, showcasing a variety of local seaweed species and seaweed-based products used daily.

A station showcasing local sustainable alternatives to plastic items.

A fossil station with DIY trilobites and ammonites prints to take home.

Make-your-own nautical knots station led by Jeremie and Tim Bellemore from the St-Andrews 4-H Great Outdoors group.

A craft station, face painting station and henna tattoos station.

And something special for Aquaman fans! 😉

Aquaman trident king Atlan

Returning guests will include:

♦  StFX Aquatic Resources Dept.  

♦  StFX Human Nutrition Dept.

♦  Bird Studies Canada

♦  Department of Fisheries and Oceans

♦  Nova Scotia Salmon Association

♦  Eastern Region Solid Waste Management

Click HERE to view last year’s displays.

We look forward to see you all on June 8!

Reg. 🙂


DIY Cactus Planter Decor

Game of thorns cactus pun planter GOT Game of thrones

Since it’s too cold outside to start planting, I’m focusing this week on indoor plants – my latest fascination: cacti. They are super easy to maintain, even for a non-green thumb person like myself.
There are so many varieties of succulents in stores right now and each seem to have their own personality. So why not put a twist on it?

All you will need are white planters and sharpies!
Simply draw a face or write a cactus pun on the planter. And if you make a mistake… no worries, just wipe it clean with a baby wipe or rubbing alcohol and start over.

cactus face planter

Keep it simple or get even more creative by adding accessories or tassel hair.

To take it a step further, instead of writing on the pots, you can print sayings or puns on an overhead projector transparency film, then glue it on to the planter. I came up with this pun after the popular series Game of Thrones.

game of thorns cactus pun
GOT planter with overhead

Feel free to print out the writing and use it on your own planter. First, right click on the image to save it, then print it and cut it to size to fit your planter.

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Spring & Summer Activities 2019

Antigonish Spring Summer activities 2019

Looking for Spring and Summer activities for children? Take a look at the following updated list containing activities available in our area.

  • 3D Archery Shoot For more information call 735-3800 or 386-2325
  • Antigonish Celtics Soccer Club For more information click here
  • Antigonish County Recreation-Aquatics Programs. For more information click here
  • Antigonish Girl Guides For more information click here
  • Antigonish Minor Baseball Association For more information click here
  • Antigonish Minor Football Association For more information contact
  • Antigonish Minor Softball Association For more information click here
  • Antigonish Rowing Club For more information call 863-5701,
  • Antigonish Track Club – Track & Field Clinics For more information click here or contact
  • Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre Camps For more information click here
  • Highland Touch Football (ages 16+) For more information call 870-5572
  • Horseback Riding Lessons For more information click here
  • Junior Tennis For more information call 867-5596,
  • PC Cooking School Classes for kids and teens For more information click here.
  • Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library (PARL)
    Offers activities for children in English and in French. Regular Programs & Summer programs
    Check out the MakerSpace too! For more information click here
  • X-Chem Outreach Science Odyssey Workshop  Click here for details & take a look at the Summer 2019 schedule available here.
  • Wee Lads and Lassies Track & Field Program (ages 5-12) For more information click here or call 867-5596

And some upcoming local events:    

  • Antigonish Mayfest 2019
Mayfest Antigonish 2019
  • World Oceans Day Antigonish 2019 

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Check out the Summer Camps and Year-round Sports & Activities for even more activities (e.g. swimming, music, etc.)

Creamy Rice Pudding

rice pudding


Having warm rice pudding on a cool almost-spring day is very comforting. With Easter in mind, a few tiny chocolate egg decorations can turn this old classic into a delightful festive treat.





♦ 1 cup rice

♦ 2 cups water

♦ 2 cups milk

♦ 1/3 cup sugar

♦ 1 tsp vanilla

♦ Small chocolate eggs


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Combine rice and water in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat until rice is cooked.

Add milk, sugar and vanilla.

Simmer on low heat until the mixture thickens and looks creamy, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Serve warm or let cool and top with tiny chocolate Easter eggs.




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Creamy Rice Pudding pin

Raising Ducks as Pets

raising ducks country parent


It all started a few years ago when my son decided to take on a waterfowl project for 4-H. We were familiar with raising chickens, but we didn’t have any experience with raising ducks.

So in this post I’m sharing what I’ve learned over the years in case you ever interested in raising ducks of your own, whether it’s for 4-H purposes or simply to have as pets.


The best beginner ducks

In my experience, Pekin ducks and Khaki Campbell ducks are the best beginner ducks. 
Pekin ducks are beautiful large ducks,  avid eaters, and quite the entertainers. They are homebodies, they like staying near the house, feeding all day and love taking naps.

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The male often spends hours socializing with the ‘other’ duck during mating season.

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Khaki Campbells are another suitable breed for beginners. Unlike the Pekins, they are more adventurous and might wonder around your property, especially during mating season. However, they do come back when called, if trained earlier on as ducklings. They are also easy to handle and make wonderful show ducks for 4-H.

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Suitable housing

If you decide to start off with hatchlings in late spring, then you can keep the little ones inside the house for the first couple of week, in a large container lined with wood shavings. Provide them with heat by attaching a red lamp about 20″ above the base and include a small waterer and a feeder containing starter feed. The starter feed contains more nutrients then the regular pellet feed, which they will be consuming a few weeks later. Be sure to keep their container clean and give them fresh water daily.

The ducklings will eventually need to be housed in a larger space. A small shed (or duck coop) with a fenced-in enclosure works best. Be sure to add a fence above the enclosure and preferably under as well, to prevent predators from climbing in, or from digging their way in from underneath. Place wood shavings or hay at the bottom of the shed for added warmth and comfort.
Ducks love water, so if they do not have access to a pond or creek, include a water source in their fenced area, such as a small baby pool (or large shallow container). Keep in mind, that ducks are very messy! So change their water daily in order to keep it clean. Also, as ducklings, they won’t be able to climb in and out of the pool with ease. Adding a wooden ramp and a few rocks inside the pool provides them easy access in and out of the water.

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Get to know your ducks

Ducks are very entertaining and just like any other pet they each have their own personality. So get know them by interacting with them and handling them often. One way to do this is to hand feed them daily, which is the perfect way to develop a trusting relationship.
Side note: avoid leaving food in coop or in the enclosure as this will surely attract rodents and predators.
Our ducks are free range, they forage most of the day in the back yard. However, we do feed them every morning and give them treats whenever possible.

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Practice your duck call

Yes, it sounds silly, but it works (especially if they like to wonder around). To train them, simply quack whenever they are at a distance and have some food on hand to give them when they come back. That way they know that whenever they are called and come back to the house, they will be greeted with some food or treats.

Springtime and mating

If you have ducks and drakes, then chances are they will mate in the springtime. In my experience, Khaki Campbells are great settlers and are very caring towards their young.
Meet ‘Pow’ (yup, the kids named her) our resilient Khaki Campbell! She raised her sibling’s 4 ducklings following an unfortunate racoon attack, then later she had 12 ducklings of her own!

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What happens in the wintertime?

Winter, cold weather, no problem. Ducks are winter hardy and can tolerate being inside or outside even in cold weather. You can use a red heat lamp inside the coop at nighttime if the temperature drops to -15 degrees, or insulate the coop for additional heat retention during harsh winter days.

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Will they fly away?

We never had any of our ducks fly away. They are capable of flying and could fly over a fence of 4 feet or so for example, but they do not fly long distances. Other types of ducks like the smaller call ducks could however fly away, in which case you could keep them in a fenced-in yard or you could clip their wings. However, make sure you have this done by a an experienced duck farmer, do not attempt to do this yourself!
Side note: If you will be using your ducks in 4-H competitions, best to find out what your club’s rules are regarding wing clipping and 4-H Day waterfowl presentations.

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Fun for the whole family

We definitely have enjoyed having ducks in our back yard for the last few years. They do make wonderful and very entertaining pets.
So, if you are thinking of getting ducks as pets, then I hope this post encourages you to take the leap.


                duck pekin 1   

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Easter Bunny Brownies

easter bunny brownies

Looking ahead to Easter, I’m sharing this simple dessert idea your kids will love.
It’s cute and can be used to top off any brownie recipe of your choice.


A basic chocolate brownie cake or regular cake recipe (or click here for one of my recipes).
12 pretzel chips
A tube of white icing (for the bunny face)
Dark chocolate sprinkles (for the whiskers)
Round dark and white chocolate sprinkles (for the eyes and nose)

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Prepare chocolate brownie mixture
Pour cake mixture into a 9″ by 11″ rectangular pan
Place the pretzels on top of the cake mixture an inch a part
Bake the cake as usual
Remove cake from oven and let cool completely
Fill in each pretzel with the icing to form the bunny faces
Add sprinkles for the eyes, whiskers & nose
Cut between each bunny to make individual squares



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