[TB-NEWS 143] Transition Brockville’s next Green Drinks event

Newsletter 143, May 20, 2019

Newsletter comments and suggestions are welcome at info@transitionbrockville.com

Meet an organic distiller and an organic creamery owner at Transition Brockville’s next Green Drinks event

Transition Brockville’s Green Drinks series this month features an outing to an area craft distiller to learn how he and a neighbouring dairy farmer work cooperatively to make sustainably-produced organic spirits, cheese and yogurt.

Our second Green Drinks event takes place Sunday, May 26, 1:30 p.m., at the King’s Lock Craft Distillery, 5 Newport Drive, Johnstown, just east of Prescott, on County Road 2.

The afternoon begins with socializing and sampling of the various spirits made at the distillery. Also available will be $5 cocktails and samples of cheeses made at the Upper Canada Creamery.

Rob Heuvel, owner of the distillery, and Josh Biemond,, co-owner of Upper Canada Creamery and NewCare Farm, Iroquois, will give presentations about how they cooperate, with Biemond producing organic grains for the distillery and Heuvel returning spent materials to the dairy farm for producing organic milk, yogurt and cheese.

Following their presentations, Heuvel will give a tour of the distillery. For more information about these two businesses, visit www.klcraftdistillery.ca and www.uppercanadacreamery.com.

Green Drinks are informal events where people share their interest in resilient living and learn about a topic relevant to living green. Our first Green Drinks was held at the Isaac Brock Pub in Brockville and featured discussion of the federal carbon fee and rebate, as well as practical “life hacks” for resilient living.

This event is open to the public; however, as space is limited and our hosts need to plan for food, interested people are asked to contact info@transitionbrockville.com to reserve a seat by Friday, May 24.


Living a “Zero Waste” Lifestyle, June 23, 2 p.m., Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell St. Michelle Dunford, who gave a lively talk at the North Grenville Sustainability Fair in Kemptville on April 14, will explain how using the 5 R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot) has enabled her family to achieve a ‘Zero Waste’ lifestyle. A good educational opportunity for your whole family!

A Look at All-Electric, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Cars, July 28, 2 pm, Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell St. Frank Ahern, owner of a Hyundai Ionic plug-in hybrid, will discuss the merits of each car type, followed by a look at actual cars in the parking lot across from the library. The cars’ owners will be on hand to answer questions.

Culture Day in Brockville, Sat., Sept. 28, 10 am – 3 pm, King St. West. Transition Brockville will have a booth and will be signing people up for its next workshop (beeswax wraps and homemade laundry soap).


Transition Brockville’s Booth at BDHS Plant Sale, May 18, took in nearly $400 to be used to support TB events and projects. Ashley Stewart, Rob Wright and Chris and Bob Stesky set up and manned the booth. Plants were donated by Hugh Campbell’s sister, Karen Carriere, of Transition Cornwall; by Annette Kaldeway of Mallorytown, and by the Steskys. There were unusual dahlias, herbs such as chamomile, comfrey, chives and tarragon, and veggie seedlings, as well as a special rose fertilizer. Thanks to all who participated, and thanks to Brockville and District Horticultural Society for including TB in their event


Following a short video on the history of plastic (see the link below), Michael Wiggin introduced Dave Bohn, general manager of BBL Energy, who described the business being set up in Johnstown to divert non-recyclable waste plastic from landfills and instead convert it, through pyrolysis, into light diesel fuel, natural gas and carbon ash.

Bohn told an audience of 60 people at the Brockville Public Library, that BBL Energy hopes to complete the approvals process so that in nine months they can “push the button” on the machinery and begin processing shredded plastics into fuel. He fielded a lot of questions about emissions, saying the conversion process would be a very low generator of emissions.

The plant would take plastics from a wide area, not just locally, expecting 25 tons of plastic a day. However, the Johnstown operation would serve mainly as a showpiece for the machinery. The company owners, Brett and Brad Lawson, aim to sell the equipment all over North America and the world, once people realize what it can do and how this pyrolysis system can keep waste plastic from landfills, waterways and oceans. The system is working already in India and some European countries.

When asked why big companies in Canada are not trying to do what BBL Energy is doing, he replied there is not enough incentive to do this here yet.

Those interested in learning more about pyrolysis can check out the following links, including this report recommended by Bohn:


Repair Café The steering committee is looking into the feasibility of running a trial repair café (see https://repaircafe.org/en/about/). We will keep you updated on progress. If you would be willing to serve as a volunteer repair person for something you’re very good at (electronics, appliances, sewing, knitting, furniture repair, book binding – whatever), we’d like to hear from you. Write to info@transitionbrockville.com.


Restoring Ecological Function -- Virginia Glover attended the Kingston Green Group’s event April 25 on soil restoration and provides links for some organizations that were among the exhibitors:

  • Citizens for Public Justice have a mailing campaign to the PM asking for policy change to reduce emissions: cpj.ca/for-the-earth.

  • The National Farmers Union is mustering resistance to a corporate seed industry lobby to have the GOC introduce new regulations under Canada's Plant Breeders Rights Act which would force farmers who plant newer varieties to pay a royalty every year even when planting farm-saved seeds. Find more information at https://www.nfu.ca/campaigns/save-our-seed/

Cornwall’s Annual Incredible Edible Plant Festival On Saturday, May 25, grab your gardening gloves and head down to Cornwall’s Lamoureux Park, 10:30 am – 2:00 pm for the 7th Annual Incredible Edible Plant Festival. Hosted by Transition Cornwall + Food Action Group in partnership with Edible Cities Project, this year’s festival will offer some exciting additions to the famous edible plant give-away. More details at https://transitioncornwall.com/.

REAL at Paddlefest, Sat. June 1, Lower Reach Park, Smiths Falls – REAL (Rideau Environmental Action League) will be at the Rideau Roundtables’ Paddlefest, at Lower Reach Park. They will have a display on alternatives to single use plastics, and they’ve booked the “smoothie bike.” Put your ingredients in a blender container on the stationary bike and pedal to blend your healthy smoothie. For more information, visit https://www.realaction.ca.

SustainablyEco is a program of Sustainable Kingston that connects people who care with businesses that are making a measurable difference in sustainability. See https://www.sustainablekingston.com for more details.

Transition Brockville Steering Committee meeting, Wed., June 12, 7-9 pm, at the Royal Brock Retirement Living, 100 Stewart Blvd., Brockville. Anyone interested in becoming more involved with Transition initiatives is warmly invited to attend this meeting. Call 613-345-4020 for more information.

Join our Facebook group for news on sustainable living.

Members of Transition Brockville’s Facebook group are invited to join our steering committee in posting items to the TB Facebook page. If you are on Facebook but haven’t joined the group, have a look at our page, and consider joining and then posting relevant items you come across.

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