No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

On Saturday, October 16 we capped off a well-attended Open House with a Volunteer Appreciation Harvest Dinner, in recognition of the important contribution volunteers make to the Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre throughout the year.

“Volunteers are really important to us,” says Katherine Willow. “They help to create community. They add diversity. They make us who we are. Volunteers give of their time because they care about the centre and for this I am truly grateful.”

Kim Trott (former Healing House Host) prepared an exceptionally yummy meal of potato leek soup, ratatouille, herbed quinoa, and apple crisp (see recipes and pics below!). Katherine added a box of homemade truffles from the Carp Farmers’ Market.

The early evening celebration began with a relaxing meditation and included lots of fun conversation, laughter, marvelling over child’s play, the meal and a refreshing after dinner walk in the woods.

Throughout the year, volunteers donate their time to help in the garden, and they work to ready the property for the change in seasons. They add their expertise on committees and to various projects. Many help at the Open Houses, especially the Annual Open House.  Volunteers offer their encouragement, time and physical brawn to come up with ideas and solutions that will help us move forward.

I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.
~William Shakespeare

Apple Oatmeal Crisp

Serves 8 (you will need to double this recipe)


  • 3/4 cup sucanat
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 cups apples – peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/3 cup sucanat
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) Lightly grease an 8 inch square pan.

In a large bowl, combine ¾ cup sucanat, oats, flour and butter. Mix until crumbly. Spread the apples over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle evenly with 1/3 cup sucanat and cinnamon. If the apples seem dry or mealy add a couple of tablespoons of water. Top with the crumb mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cream of Potato, Leek and Cauliflower Soup

Serves 10  (we only want a cup for each person, not a bowl)

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups finely chopped leeks
  • 7 cups diced potatoes
  • 5 cups finely chopped cauliflower
  • 8 cups water or stock
  • 2 cups  milk of your choice
  • 3 tsp Herbes de Province
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp black pepper

In a large saucepan sauté leeks, potatoes, and cauliflower in olive oil until leeks are slightly soft. Add the liquids and spices. Simmer gently, covered for about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaf. The soup may be blended after cooking. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.

Herbed Quinoa Pilaf Recipe

Makes 12 servings


  • 4 cups quinoa (about 18 ounces)
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups almonds, lightly toasted
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil

Place quinoa in large strainer. Rinse under cold running water until
water is clear. Transfer quinoa to large saucepan; add 4 1/2 cups water and
salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until water is
absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer quinoa to large bowl;
fluff with fork. Stir in oil and lemon juice. Cool to room temperature. Mix in
almonds and red onion. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 6 hours
ahead. Cover and chill.) Mix in basil.


A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason feel free to stir your own ideas into this dish. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don’t like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!

Yield: 12


  • 6 tablespoons of oil
  • 4 onions, quartered and then sliced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 15 tomatoes, chopped (more or less depending on the size)
  • 3 medium sized eggplants, chopped
  • 2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper


Heat a medium saucepan over high heat. Add oil and then onions. Sauté until golden and add garlic. Continue to sauté and then add tomatoes, eggplant, green peppers, oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and let simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Taste, and adjust seasonings.