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Keeping it local in Lyons Brook


The News LYONS BROOK – You know never what kind of talents your neighbour might be hiding from the world.  

Margaret MacGregor, left, explores some of the crafts done by Florence Walsh, who makes small baskets and had some of her paintings for sale at a Buy Local event in Lyons Brook on Saturday morning, which was organized by the Lyons Brook Women’s Institute. Kevin Adshade – The News

At a Buy Local event held Saturday in a church at Lyons Brook, a steady stream of potential customers walked through the basement area, as a total of 16 vendors, each of them paying $20 per table, sold crafts, paintings and baked goods.

As people passed, June Hill stood knitting behind her table, which was set up with homemade greeting cards and a large collection of doll’s clothing that she had knitted herself.

She called it “wonderful” that such an event offers people a chance to learn about their own community.

“You might find out that a neighbour two doors down does baking, or is an artist.”

A teacher’s assistant at Pictou Elementary School, she said she got the idea to knit clothing for dolls when students at her school would bring in dolls to play with, but some of them had hardly any clothing. At that point, a light bulb went on for Hill, who called knitting merely a hobby, “my night-time entertainment.”

Florence Walsh had homemade baskets, some of her paintings, and trinkets for sale – although a couple of the baskets had “Not for Sale” tags on them – she didn’t mind people looking at them, but they weren’t leaving her table: almost any artist has works that are simply too good to be put up for sale.

The owner of Piper’s Landing offered sirloin steak samples – but refused to divulge his secret ingredients; a woman was offering samples from Uncle Leo’s Brewery (word is, some bars in Halifax can’t keep up with the demand for Uncle Leo’s frosty beverages); and well-known folk musician and singer-songwriter Dave Gunning – who lives just up the road from the church in Lyons Brook – was selling copies of his CDs, but seemed more interested in the idea of artists getting together to offer their wares.

 “It’s a small community, but there’s a lot to offer, “ said Patty Thomas, the president of the Lyons Brook Women’s Institute, the organization that held the event.

“There’s a lot of value in having this for the community, and helping people appreciate what they have here. There are very gifted people in Lyons Brook.”

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