Island News

Fall/Winter Newsletter

Despite all the rain that came down earlier in the summer, we still managed to have a fantastic season. Some of you were lucky enough to see the pod of killer whales that came into the harbour and others enjoyed watching the deer beachcomb.

As always, it was great to meet so many new people and to catch-up with the long time friends.

TripAdvisor Winner

As we announced in our Spring newsletter, we ran a contest for anyone who wrote up a review for Taku on TripAdvisor. Congratulations to Heather Johnston, you have won $100 towards your next stay. Thank you to everyone who gave readers an honest opinion on what they can expect when they come to Taku. Just because the contest is over, doesn’t mean that it’s too late to write a review. We would love it if you could take a few minutes to go onto TripAdvisor and write your opinion on your past stay at Taku.

Gourmet Culinary Courses

This summer we launched ourselves into a new direction. Cooking and using all of the delicious food around us has always been an important part of Taku from group meals at the Stone house, making apple pies to picking berries. On August 8th Chefs Maynard and Benedict came all the way from their own Walnut Grove cookery in France to put on an amazing three day course. Eight guests learned everything from basic knife skills, seasoning, filleting a chicken and a whole salmon to making beautiful desserts.
It was such and incredible time, Chef Benedict came back and put on another course on November 18th. This time six people flew from Vancouver in time for a gourmet Welcome Dinner Friday night and then Saturday was a full day of cooking covering a lot of culinary skills from the three day course but it was condensed. On Sunday morning they got to try their hand at desserts and then completed a Taku Challenge. All the students had to take the ingredients provided and create their own dish. They managed to learn some lasting skills and created a delicious lunch.
3rd Night Free
Winter is creeping up on us quickly. We’ve already had snow on the ground that lasted for days. Experiencing Taku in the winter should not be missed. You can take advantage of our 3rd night free special that is on until December 20th and we are sure to announce a new special in the new year.

Every year there are those who aren’t able to get the dates they want. Be sure to take some time over the holidays to start organizing your next trip to Taku with your family and friends.

Sincerely,

Fei, Milt, Lynden, Liz, Sue, Rhonda,
and the rest of the Taku Crew

Summer Fun – free activities for the young, and young at heart

With kids out of school, and summer fully underway, you may be feeling the rigors of summer life!

Don’t get me wrong – we aren’t complaining. Who doesn’t enjoy regular BBQ’s under the late-day sun or long slow walks to the local ice-cream parlour. For that matter, who doesn’t enjoy riding their bike to the local farmers market or playing soccer in the field without getting soaked from winter rain ! Summer allows us to really enjoy ourselves and the local beauty of Canada’s West Coast.

But ever get that feeling you are running out of ideas ? Are the kids starting to ask “what are we doing today ?” or worse yet, “I’m bored!”. We’ll have no fear, we’ve highlighted 3 of our favourite summer activities at Taku to help you enjoy the most of your summer fun.

Kick the Can or Flashlight Tag:

Kick the Can is a game combining both elements of hide-and-seek and capture the flag, this game for the whole family is perfect at home or away. In short, someone is “it”, and tries to catch everyone else. When caught, those players sit to the side until a “free” player kicks the can and “frees” everyone. “It” wins when he/she catches everyone, or until you decide to switch (which is a bit easier!!). Though you “could” play inside, we recommend an outdoor location with lots of hiding spots! Read more here.

Flashlight tag is another game, similar to regular tag. This game however is played at night with whoever’s “it” tagging people with the light instead of actually touching them. Read more here.

Berry Picking and Jam making:

All those berries you buy are often found in nature for free – in fact we have some up here at Taku just starting to show! Not sure what needs explaining here, but in case you do, here we go: look, pick, eat (or pack)! With an abundance of blackberries, huckleberries, raspberries, and strawberries, if you don’t find them yourself, our staff will gladly help point you in the right direction!

But what to do with all those berries ? How about make something tasty that can be saved for later. With simply a little sugar, you can stew your berries down into lovely jams, spreads, or fruit preserves. Yum Yum.

Beach Combing or Fort Building:

One of my personal favourite things to do can be done right on our shores. Using abandoned drift wood, we’ve repeatedly built fun forts and hide-outs for our young ones to enjoy.Do you think your brood is up to the challenge ?

Whatever you do, just make sure you get out and have fun. The warm long days will be gone before you know it !!

Farmer’s Market on Quadra Island … and beyond !

There is no question that the popularity of local and sustainably grown and harvested food is here to stay. Long the bastion of a small but passionate minority, it’s now very clear that everyone is taking notice.

Consider the Agriculture Canada publication (Economic Impact Study, 2009 – http://goo.gl/BAjdE ) highlighting that farmers’ markets were responsible for roughly a $3.09 Billion impact in the Canadian Economy. No kidding: the reach and popularity of small farmers’ markets just like ours is big. And more importantly, it’s growing.

But growth and big dollars aside, why do we really care ? Ask any small child why they want to go to the market, and you’re sure to hear something along the lines of “I want to eat all the yummy food”! In fact, with many markets increasingly showcasing cooking classes, clowns, hands-on “farming”, and other children appropriate activities, farmers’ markets are a great way to spend an inexpensive day out with your children ! Oh, and to their point, there is generally “yummy food” abound!

Which brings me to why parents and adults care. Some will argue its all about quality and seasonality of the produce and meats. Others will swear that helping the small independent farmer is paramount. Others still will say that the price reflects the real value of the food (which as an aside, is generally cheaper than any big box or large chain vendor). Whatever the reason (and they are all valid), the market experience needs to be tried, and supported.

With the above in mind, we encourage you to visit your local farmer’s market. On Quadra Island, our farmers’ market runs every Saturday until the end of September from 10am until 2pm. With fresh fruits, berries, produce, fish, baked goods and more, it is an incredible opportunity to taste the very best of Quadra Island. Details can be found at http://goo.gl/PLmMG .

As a side, we will be sourcing much of the Taku Resort & Marina Cookery Class ingredients from some of these same farmers … it’s that good (though to be fully transparent, we have access to others that don’t or can’t serve the market on a weekly basis. Shhhh … its our secret!)

We hope to see you at the Quadra Island market over the summer, or at least hear your stories while visiting us !

Be good, eat right !

Yum …..

Springing into Spring & Summer !!

If you’ve been bearish in the last little while – hibernating over the winter in hopes of avoiding snow, sleet, and rain – now may be the right time to wipe those sleepy eyes, take a big ol’ stretch, and start planning for the warmer months ahead.

And though easy enough to plan for the summer (think kayaking around the Breton Islands, fishing off Sonora, hiking around Morte Lake, and relaxing by a fire under the stars), April and May offers an opportunity to get a head start on the fun!

And when thinking about what to do, consider the following:

April is the last month before September to pick your own clams and mussels, according to the old saying that shellfish are best in months containing an “r”. And nothing goes better with fresh seafood than chocolate – or maybe that’s just me. But with Easter (April 24 weekend) also in April, why not!

May is jam packed with special days (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May):
. May Day (UK)
. Cinquo De Mayo (Mexico)
. Mothers Day
. Victoria Day (Canada)
. Memorial Day (USA)

So regardless of what you have on your calendar, we hope you are as excited about the coming months as we are. Hope to see you soon!

Irv Davies – Mustang Survival Founder

Throughout the years we have always taken marine safety very seriously and depend on Mustang Survival products to keep our families and guests safe. On January 11th 2010, just one day after his 97th birthday, Irv Davies founder of Mustang Survival passed away peacefully in West Vancouver with his family by his side.

With great thanks to Mustang Survival, we have been kept safe during storms and warm while we waited hours for a fish to bite. They have brought people back to the dock safely after a kayak capsized in the harbour and provided us with safe fun times learning how to swim. There were also times of entertainment as we watched Milt try to dislodge a rope from the prop and suddenly the vest inflated as he reached into the water. Well at least we know it works and unfortunately it may not be the last time that will happen to him.

Thank you Irv for having the entrepreneurial spirit to come to Canada and create the first floater coat.

To read about Irv’s legacy go to http://mustangsurvival.com and click on his photo.

Our thoughts are with the Davies family.

Playing Mustang Survival

Shayna Davies and I cruising in the Whaler to see the seals at the Bretons and playing coast guard. (1996ish?)