Hello and Welcome to another Blog Post from A Stones Throw RV Campground!
Since we last spoke we’ve had freezing cold and warm chinooks, blowing snow and running water. Mother Nature likes to test us as best as she can sometimes, I like to think it just helps us to better appreciate the beautiful days. Rain or shine there is work to be done and we sure have been busy this new year. January flew by, February was a blur and here we are in March. Two sayings come to mind, “Nothing good comes easy” and “No rest for the weary”.
The end of January was the first Calgary RV Expo since we launched our business at the 2020 RV Expo months before Covid struck. The show was incredible meeting vendors and new campers alike. A lot of people have heard of A Stones Throw RV Campground which is neat, and others were very excited to discover us! Nearly 400 balloons got handed out too little ones at the RV Expo which meant nearly 400 cute little smiles, best part of the job for sure.
One month later we were in the same location for the Calgary Home+Garden Show and another four days of meeting new people and lots of balloons! There was an incredible array of vendors present and everyone seemed to have a really good time. We had people in our booth all day throughout the four days, lots of great questions from future guests. It was nice to hear how many people liked our vision, what we strive to create, where we come from and what has already been completed. Hard to believe this will be our fifth year of development, so much has been done and so much yet to do.
February brought us indoors and with the wood in hand we decided to make some Horseshoe Pits. Yes we could have framed some sand with a 4×4 and called it a day, but that would be too easy. With much research and consideration we made two sets of incredible Horseshoe Pits! Safety is always in the back of our minds, we wanted to ensure guests that there is slim chance a rouge horseshoe may bounce out of our pits. To ensure your hands are safely free old horseshoes from the farm got repurposed into drink holders, what else do ya do with horseshoes??
One other thing that comes to mind regarding horseshoes is luck. As the story goes, if you hang a horseshoe on the wall it will catch luck but only if it’s facing the right way up! When moving the earth for the campground we discovered a lot of old farming relics including horseshoes. One horseshoe that I found struck a cord. I felt it still had some work to do. Found near the construction of our Store/Office it quickly became apparent where this horseshoe would be put to use.
When I ask my girls where we should hang this horseshoe the Store/Office my youngest suggested near the front door. That way if someone needs some luck they can have some, and if they have some extra they can leave some behind. With insight like that who am I to argue? The decision was made and inside the wall beside our front door one will find a very old horseshoe.
Construction of the Store/Office has kept us pretty busy the last while, floors were ground and sealed, drywall, mud, paint, trim and baseboards have all been done and we could not be more excited for what comes next, filling the shelves! The goal for our business is “Commerce for the Community”, we think we can offer a big impact on a lot of rural families. We hope to offer local and rural entrepreneurial goods and wares. More information to come!
I will admit that upon opening our first year last year that making a “Community Garden” was not the highest of priorities for me, we were focusing on opening a business and there was so much to do! We checked several items off our list and then the time came, either we make this garden or the season will have passed and we can worry about it next year. We ask our guests what they thought and they wanted a garden! So guess what? We started making a garden!
Dozens of loads of top soil were dumped onto a plot just over 100′ x 100’ square, a good size to start with! With the help of two neighbours we managed to break the soil, remove rocks and create a very well rototilled base for a Community Garden. With baler twine we laid out some pathways and plots became 15’ x 15’ in size. In total 7 plots were taken last year and more than double the interest in garden plots this year!
The grand plan is to facilitate raised beds, a garden shed, maybe a greenhouse… I’d like to see hedges of berries and fruit trees for everyone to enjoy. Though it will be years down the road, it is exciting to have something to build upon. We were inspired by Milo locals Ian and Barb Godkin, who gave us dozens of pumpkins for our guests’ Thanksgiving Long Weekend here at A Stones Throw RV Campground last year. This year we plan on planting a large pumpkin patch in the unused area of the Community Garden, it will help to keep down the weeds and may even provide some pumpkins for our guests near the end of the season.
If you look at any natural water body in Southern Alberta you will find an abundance of nature, and pretty good chance if you go for a swim you will not see your toes as the water is fairly murky. Upon doing research on what we can do for our reservoir we got onto the radar of Koenders Water Solutions. They are best known for clarifying storm water ponds in urban centres, aeration systems and septic treatment. We have agreed to become a “Case Study” for Koenders Water Solutions, with over 10 acres of water we are certainly no storm water pond. As this water was my backyard as a kid growing up I can’t imagine how neat it will be to see crystal clear water.
The aeration is working well and the natural enzyme is in hand, we introduce the first phase of Nature’s Pond Conditioner this spring! It is a major investment and one that we feel is necessary. Much like the campground development, the scope of the project is huge. To help us fund this initiative we are now distributors of Nature’s Pond Conditioner, Aeration Systems, Fountains, and Septic Treatment. If you are interested in what we are doing or if this is something your pond could benefit from give us a call!
We are lucky having such a large body of water onsite (Ueland Reservoir), plus being only minutes away from Lake McGregor we tend to see our fair share of birds. The birds flying North in the Spring that discover us quite often stay and call us home. My theory is that our water is sheltered down in the coulee hills in comparison to Lake McGregor. With aeration, fish, minnows and other diverse ranges of life in the water feathered friends have food, shelter, and a beautiful place to make a nest.
Last year several “Birders” visited the campground and in less than an hour over 36 species of birds were discovered around the water, and this number does not include the variety of ducks or owls present! Swans arrive early but do not stay for long, shortly after the Canadian Geese and Pelicans come back.
The website we use is currently under a major upgrade however WhatBird.com is fantastic, we’re really pleased with their search functions and insightful content. Please find below a list of what we enjoy watching at A Stones Throw RV Campground. I’ll admit we have not have a lot of time to spend watching birds, we’re very naive as to the variety of ducks and who knows what else? If you’re a birder, maybe you like to take photos of birds? A Stones Throw RV Campground might be a place for you!
The Lee Valley Early Spring Garden Guide came out featuring Birding, lots of very nice things to consider. Another great store in Calgary which we just love is The Wild Bird Store @thewildbirdstoreyyc with an incredible selection for any birding enthusiast. Be sure to visit their website at www.wildbirdstore.ca and sign up for their newsletter, it’s a great read every month!
Well that is all for now folks, stay warm, be kind, and we look forward to chatting with you again! Thanks for visiting A Stones Throw RV Campground Blog 🙂