More Than Just a Greenhouse

It’s a sunny afternoon in mid-May when I decided to visit Prevost Perennials in South Junction, MB. I’m greeted by the songs of birds, creeping vines, exotic fruits and potted flowers spilling out of every corner.

John and Margie Prevost started the greenhouse 24 years ago as a hobby – an excuse to do some creative landscaping.

“We wanted to start a business where people would come and be instantly happy,” Prevost says. “So we started thinking about it, and came
up with the idea to do some gardening, landscaping of the property, and it would be a place where people could come in spring and everything would be green and colourful.”
On their three-acre property, Prevost’s support 20 different kinds of grapes, countless trees and shrubs. Their greenhouse is full of potted flowers and vegetable plants for sale. Hummingbirds make themselves at home in the greenhouse, landing on the full grown tree over which the greenhouse was built. It’s a haven for life and creativity.

“Our business is more of an extension of our own personal gardening experience,” Prevost says. “My wife is the heart of the business …she’s the one – as soon as customers come, they’re drawn right to her and they start telling stories. She’ll often take them on a tour of the yard to see certain plants.”

Outside, Prevost shows me some of the many trees growing on their property. Apples, plumbs and cherries, not to mention the maples and black walnut tree towering over their little pond. Then he shows me the vineyards and all the young grape plants he’s started in pots. You don’t usually see vineyards in this part of Canada, so I was intrigued. Then we looked at the smaller plants they tend for fun – I even got to try a fiddlehead!

“We are always trying new things,” Prevost says. “Slowly we’re trying to plant in our yard an area that we hope to be a nice fall display area. So we’ve got a number of red maples, and this year we’re putting some red oaks into there. Those are not plants that are native to this area, but slowly breeders are getting plants that are more hardy to these zones … Before we sell them to customers, we want to know that they can survive the winter.”

For example, Prevost has a couple of banana plants that are braving the Manitoba spring in the greenhouse, and a fig tree basking in the light of their living room window. They also have unique fruits like hascap berries and yellow raspberries. I get the feeling the Prevosts are living out a dream, not just running a business.

“We’re just in the business for having fun …We just love sharing those experiences with the public,” shares Prevost. “I really value small businesses in our region and our community. You don’t recognize how much a small business does as a service until they’re gone …I think the life blood of the community is the small business, and as much as we can to
support each other.”

My time at Prevost Perennials made me want to start gardening, and that’s really saying something! It’s incredible what can all be done in Manitoba’s  climate.

You can check out Prevost Perennials on Facebook, or drive out for a visit. They’re only open in May, so the window is closing fast.

Thanks John and Margie for giving me a wonderful tour of their place!

(Also be sure to find the mini documentary posted to our Facebook page!)

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Welcome Our New Marketing Plan!

To kick off the summer, Sunrise Corner held a launch for our new marketing plan Friday, April 26.

Those who came out to Zhoda for our public event were treated to a recap of videos from past seasons, hotdogs and refreshments, a fun outdoor scavenger hunt and a summary of the new marketing strategies Sunrise Corner hopes to implement in the coming years.

Sunrise Corner’s goal is to promote the nature, culture and events here in the RMs of Piney and Stuartburn. Through the funding from Partner for Growth and the marketing firm Changemakers, we have researched and polled to come up with strategies to grow and develop our reach.

Read more

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Volunteer Tourism?

This summer has been exciting, not just because of all the great events we attended, but because we got to meet some of the great people behind these events!

The thing that lots of event organizers and helpers had to say about volunteerism: It’s fun, but there just isn’t enough of us.

Read more

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What’s Up in Sprague? Basketball and Old Cars

Sprague Fest – a gathering of community and friends in the beautifully treed river town.

It started off with a pancake breakfast served by the volunteer firefighters. Then local businesses paraded through town with their floats. If you stuck around for the rest of the day, you could watch basketball tournaments and participate in the ‘ugly Hawaiian shirt’ contest!

Just last weekend, the Sprague Show & Shine took place, raising money for the Sprague cemetery with live entertainment, free food and vintage vehicles from all over Manitoba and Minnesota.

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Outsmart Wildfires

Fires have been burning dangerously close to farm lands and residents in the RMs of Stuartburn and Piney for the past three

days.

Wildfires take an enormous amount of resources to monitor and control, not to mention the strain they put on communities.

There is a complete burn ban in effect in both the RMs of Piney and Stuartburn, and travel restrictions in the RM of Piney. This means that there should be absolutely no open fires, and vehicles should stay off the backroads.

It’s important to do your part in protecting lands and residents from the threat of
fire. Manitoba Wildfire Information suggests these tips for preventing wildfires:

  1. Avoid setting fires on days of low humidity, gusting winds and high temperatures.
  2. Pay attention to burn bans and fire ratings, and know the laws related to burn permits!
  3. Keep fire pits and burn barrels away from homes, trees and dry bushes. ONLY burn in designated areas! (Note: as of April 30, 2018 there is a COMPLETE BURN BAN)
  4. Keep constant supervision over your fire and make sure it is fully extinguished.
  5. Don’t throw cigarettes out of your car windows!
  6. Be a smart ATV or dirt bike rider – their exhaust systems can ignite fires.
  7. Check all farm and lawn equipment to ensure spark arrestors are working properly.
  8. Make sure chimneys and fireplaces meet regulations and building codes.
  9. NEVER set off fireworks without a permit.
  10. Report wildfires immediately!

Emergency Measures Organization says that residents in areas of high risk should be ready for an evacuation of at least 72 hours. If you are a resident, here’s how you can prepare to evacuate:

  • Know your all of your family members’ unique needs (medical or otherwise).
  • Be ready to evacuate any pets.
  • Make plans and have necessities ready to take with you.

For more information you can visit the RM offices in Vita or Vassar

You can also visit visit: www.manitoba.ca/wildfire/

For updates, watch @rmofstuartburn and @rmofpiney on Facebook.

 

Sources:

RM of Piney Newsletter, May 2018

“Fire Prevention Tips”, www.manitoba.ca/wildfire/;

“72 Hours of Preparedness”, Emergency Measures Organization

www.winnipeg.ctvnews.ca 

 

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Ready to Promote?

Sunrise Corner now has two, portable, roadside signs for local advertising.

Local organizations in the RMs of Stuartburn and Piney will be able to utilize the new signs to promote themselves and advertise events. This is part of an effort to gain more community involvement and outside interest in local events.

Advertising on the sign will promote awareness from drivers passing through the area, and will lead to publicity and interest of local events and fundraisers.

More information on how to get space on a sign is coming soon. Keep an eye out!

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