September 29th and 30th, Topsy Farms offers a FREE EVENT FOR THE PUBLIC on Amherst Island. Watch and learn the ancient technique of dry stone walling, during a two-day festival of demonstrations, walling and stone-carving workshops; interactive displays; kids’ workshops, stories and colouring books. Topsy also offers walking trails, pet lambs, and nature to enjoy. Ferry leaves once an hour on the HALF hour – cost, $9 per car.
The theme of the Festival is “Farm to Table/Stone to Wall”. People may register on Dry Stone Canada’s festival site as a student, or are invited at no cost to come to Topsy and to experience and enjoy. Kids will learn the technique using lighter materials, as in the photo below. Dry Stone Canada came to Amherst Island a few years ago for its annual festival, and left a wonderful legacy opposite the school.
The first morning, Paul Carl an Indigenous community member from Katarokwi (now Kingston) will speak of the significance the grandfather and grandmother stones used to build our wall. We acknowledge we are merely the most recent caretakers of our land.
There will be two workshops during the festival (walling & stone carving) at the beginner/intermediate level. International & local invited guests will give talks & presentations open to the public. Our community booths, children’s area & learning program will explore the connections between rural traditional dry stone walling & local agriculture practices. A self-guided tour booklet of Amherst Island’s historic Irish settler drystone walls will also be available.