SALE OF TE-EM FARM BITTERSWEET
After 30 years operating TE-EM Farm owner Ted VanderWouden has sold the business. It will open under new management in 2012 as Stonefield Garden Centre. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
BY MELODY FALCONER-POUNDER
After 30 years Ted VanderWouden has potted his last plant. The owner of TE-EM Farm has officially retired with the recent sale of the business.
TE-EM Farm will reopen in April under new ownership and with a new name, Stonefield Garden Centre.
VanderWouden said that a former employee has purchased the business.
“I’ve known him since he was a young man in Cub Scouts,” he recalled. “He worked for us and has tried different aspects of the business.”
It hasn’t been the easiest few months for VanderWouden who lost his wife and business partner, Emma, to a short battle with cancer in September. They were married for 39 years.
“It is tough to leave as I am facing it by myself but I am happy to be going on,” he said. “At 71 I’d still like to do something but don’t want to run the show anymore.”
Ted and Emma VanderWouden, owners of TE-EM Farm celebrated 30 years in the nursery business on July 3, 2011 with a special open house. In 1981 the couple moved from London and took over the business from Jake and Elsie Reder (seated), who attended the open house to congratulate the VanderWoudens. Soon after the celebrating sadness when Elsie died on Aug. 9, followed by Emma on Sept. 8. (Photo submitted)
According to VanderWouden, the sale came together quickly.
“We came close to selling a couple of times before but things fell through.” TE-EM was first listed for sale in 2003.
The couple found themselves still the proud owners of the greenhouses 30 years in and celebrated the milestone on July 3, 2011.
Three decades earlier VanderWouden had a good job in the city but wanted something different. He had grown up on a farm near Rotterdam in Holland and had gone to agriculture school before coming to Canada in 1964.
“I wanted to get out of the city. Farming stays in your blood,” he said.
The couple purchased the farm at 77688 Orchard Line from Jake and Elsie Reder in 1981. The Reders had established five green houses and the VanderWoudens would work to expand the green house space to almost an acre.
“We stayed very good friends with the Reders,” said VanderWouden. “I looked after the more physical aspect of the job and it was a challenge for me. Emma did tasks like the bookkeeping. And we raised four kids on the farm.”
VanderWouden has seen the nursery and garden centre business change. He remarked that there is a lot more competition now than there used to be.
“When we first started we were the first one in the area to have open houses. And if you look at the old pictures you will see over 80 cars parked on either side of the laneway so many people would come out for them,” he said.
Something TE-EM Farm became well known for were Ted’s Tasty Tomatoes, a local summertime staple that will no doubt be sorely missed by regular customers.
“The Reders were selling tomatoes so we decided to carry on. The variety had a very good tasty flavor so we gave it a very good catchy name,” he said.
He explained that the tomato used was a commercial variety but one that isn’t grown much anymore.
With the sale of the farm closing on Nov. 15, VanderWouden was faced with the challenge of moving out of the farmhouse he had lived in for three decades. His children came home to help him with the task, with his daughter Anita coordinating the move.
The business could sometimes prove challenging and Ted VanderWouden embraced that. The Ontario pesticide ban which went into effect on Apr. 22, 2009 has area greenhouse operators exploring alternatives for plant maintenance and health. TEEM Farms used beneficial bugs to combat the insects that may spread disease and kill plants within the greenhouse environment. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
“We hadn’t moved in 30 years, it was really unbelievable what we had kept, there was a lot of stuff to go through,” he said.
For now VanderWouden has rented a cottage near Goderich until the spring. He hopes to find a modest home in the area with a little acreage – just enough space perhaps to do a little recreational gardening.
“The Fair Board (Bayfield Agricultural Society) members don’t want me to move too far away,” he said.
The VanderWoudens were both very active members of the society, Emma filling the demanding role of Secretary-Treasurer.
The BAS membership won’t be the only ones that hope VanderWouden maintains his Bayfield connection. His former customers will too.
“We had some people who came to us from day one and we looked forward to seeing them again each year. It became more a social thing – it was not just a job. These customers became friends.”
The feeling is no doubt mutual.
Province confirms they will match fundraising efforts 2:1
Good news for Goderich residents with regards to their fundraising initiatives since an F3 Tornado struck the town on the afternoon of Aug. 21, 2011.
Chairperson of the Goderich and Area Disaster Relief Committee (GADRC), Duncan Jewell, received confirmation on Jan. 12 that the Province of Ontario will contribute up to $2 for every $1 raised locally to an amount necessary to settle all eligible claims paying up to 90 per cent of the eligible costs.
“I was extremely pleased to receive the confirmation letter from Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing”, said Jewell. The letter from the Minister was in response to a letter sent by the GADRC to the Minister on Nov. 17, 2011.
Jewell said, “The fundraising campaign led by Dr. Tom Jasper, Ken Dunn and Matt Hoy has been extremely successful raising $3.87 million, which, if necessary, generates $11.6 million to pay eligible claims at the 90 per cent rate. Even with many files lacking financial information from insurance and construction companies, I am very confident that the GADRC will have sufficient funds to pay all eligible claims.
“I cannot stress enough that applicants with open files are required to provide all the necessary insurance information and cost estimates in order for the Program Administrators to review their file. It is important that applicants continue to dialogue with their insurance brokers, adjusters, restoration companies and contractors to secure the information needed and provide it to our office.”
According to Jewell, the GADRC has completed a review of 105 of the 373 applications for financial assistance. The committee approved payments to 84 of the applicants and determined that 21 of the files did not meet eligibility requirements of the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP).
“The committee was pleased that it was able to issue some payments before the end of the 2011,” said Jewell.
MUSICAL FRIENDS OF HALL
A generous donation was made recently in Zurich to the "Friends of Hay Twp. Hall" (FHTH) by local band, "The Lines Between". Most Monday nights for the last few months, the band has been using the space as a rehearsal hall. According to Heather Klopp, representing FHTH, they love that the community is using the old gem again and made a $500 donation to show their thanks and support. From l-r are: Nick Haberer, guitarist; Lance Bedard, drummer and vocalist; Doug Thiel, of the FHTH; and James Debus, guitarist. (Photo submitted)
Well-known Goderich Optometrist Dr. Dean Nisbett will be the guest speaker at the Bayfield Historical Society Dinner and Annual General Meeting on Jan. 23. Nisbett, an avid and skilled sailor, will tell those who attend about his wonderful adventures sailing the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and beyond.
The event will be held at St. Andrew’s United Church at noon. Tickets are $17 each and can be obtained by calling Pat or Bud Langley at 519 565-2894. Memberships for 2012 may also be obtained though the Langleys for $20.
Dr. Seuss is reportedly on the loose! All preschoolers are invited to help find Dr. Seuss as part of Family Literacy Day at the Bayfield Library on Main Street.
Moms, Dads, grandparents or caregivers can bring their preschoolers to the library on the afternoon of Jan. 26 and help them find the good doctor.
Friends of the Bayfield Library (FOBL) will be on hand from 3-4 p.m. to help the librarian with readings and activities involving Dr Seuss. Children are encouraged to wear something red and bring a red marker or crayon. Cupcakes will be served and there is no need to register.
The FOBL has been created to promote the library as essential to the community’s quality of life. As enthusiastic supporters, FOBL intends to enhance the profile of the Bayfield Library and to advocate for library services and programs. To become a member of the FOBL, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Clair at 519-565-2135.
Extremely cold temperatures and gray skies don’t exactly conjure up images of the Bayfield Antique Show and Sale hosted each August by the congregation of Trinity Anglican Church. However, the event coordinators are hoping to get people thinking about it and maybe even considering volunteering at the event to be held Aug. 10-12 at the Bayfield Community Centre.
The Antique Show and Sale now in its 27th season is a wonderful boon to the village and help from both residents and summer folk is needed to make it a continued success. There are a variety of tasks to choose from when volunteering, helping with set up, serving in the tearoom, security and front door admission sales are but a few examples.
To learn more about this great community event please call Joan Cluff at 519 565-2974 or email her at email@example.com
Vendors that specialize in antiques are also currently being sought for the August show and sale. Anyone with an interest can use the above contact information to find out more.
All those who attend the next most anticipated event at the Bayfield Town Hall will be transported back to the era of the big band when a 1940's style cabaret will be held Feb.11 at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $10. There will be live music and dancing and a cash bar.
For more information and for tickets please call Judy Keightley at 519 565-4515 or Kate Lloyd-Rees at 519 565-4404.
bayfield reads 2012
The very popular Bayfield Reads, held in conjunction with CBC’s Canada Reads, is back for 2012. Those who never miss this event should mark their calendars for Feb. 5 and encourage others to join in the fun. The debate, hosted by The Village Bookshop, will be held at the Bayfield Town Hall starting at 2 p.m. The cost to attend is $5 and tickets can be reserved at the bookshop after Jan. 18.
take time 2012
January and February days often seem longer than they are short so once again the congregations of the village’s four local churches have joined together to offer an interesting series of programs designed to combat the winter blahs.
The fourth year of the “Take Time in 2012” programs will run from now to Feb. 6. They are a perfect opportunity for friends and neighbors to learn and share with one another.
The programs will be held on Mondays from 1:30-3 p.m. Each participating church will host one event.
In the past a registration coffee has been held to get the program going but this year that has been dispensed with. The cost will be $3 per session.
Want to attend but don’t have the transportation needed to get to the location of the presentation? Rides can be provided, just call the coordinator of that session.
Next week, Jan. 23, the Take Time in 2012 programs will take a break to encourage everyone to go to the Bayfield Historical Society Dinner and Annual General Meeting.
On Jan. 30, thoughts will turn to spring rejuvenation when Helen Varkamp of Huron, Hearth and Home, presents the topic, “Spruce Up for Spring” – a new look for your home. This session will be held at St. Andrew’s United Church and Flo Keillor is the contact. For more information she can be reached at 519 565-2640.
The final session will be held on Feb. 6 at Trinity Anglican Church with Kate Lloyd-Rees and Judy Keightley. The duo will share their knowledge on the creation of quick and tasty appetizers. “Small Plates for Sharing” is the topic of this presentation. To learn more contact the session coordinator, Helen Latimer, at 519 565-2792.
Ainslie Willock is the new president of the Bayfield Ratepayers Association (BRA) and she would like to encourage village residents to come and observe the monthly BRA meetings.
“I'll make time on the agenda for visitors to bring up any issues they would like us to comment on,” she said recently.
The BRA meets on the first Saturday of the month at 9 a.m. at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building.
The BRA does not meet in January. So their first meeting of 2012 will be held on Feb. 4.
Reminders of the monthly meetings can be found on the Post Office Notice Board and on the BRA website: http://bra.camp8.org/.
Huron Ridge Acres would like to invite all in the community to participate in their Winter Walking Program - a terrific way to escape those winter “blahs”. On Tuesdays and Fridays during January, February and March the owners open the greenhouse from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for people to come and walk on the ice-free, snow-free sidewalks. Those who take part can enjoy the smell of things growing, and the sunshine on days when it shines, along with some relaxing background music. There is no charge – it is the Steckle’s way of saying thanks to the community for their support of Huron Ridge.