In Your Backyard winner announced!

In Your Backyard winner announced!

With the end of summer came the end of our In Your Backyard Summer Giveaway, where one lucky winner took home a $1,400 weekend get-away prize pack! A huge congratulations goes out to Lauren Hayward – we hope that you not only enjoy your prizes, but also got to learn more about Huron County’s many hidden gems!

Looking to learn more about Huron County? It has never been easier, thanks to Ontario’s West Coast – which features everything and anything across the county from family friendly activities, to art galleries, to our many farmers markets! Don’t forget! You can pick up a copy of the Ontario’s West Coast at your local Huron County Library branch!

Without further adieu, we present the answers for our In Your Backyard Summer Giveaway! Don’t forget to check out the last question, to find even more hidden gems! Did you have a favourite? Share it with us at #HuronCountyLibrary or #OntariosWestCoast!

McNaughton Park, Exeter

  • Q: What famous Exeter critter might you find roaming in the park? White Squirrel

Fairy Door Trail, Brussels

  • Q: What was your favourite fairy door along the trail? Your choice!

Heritage Trail, Vanastra

  • Q: What year did the Air Force Base RCAF No. 5 Clinton close? 1971

Huron Historic Gaol, Goderich

  • Q: What is the hashtag found at the bottom of the Gaol selfie station? #HuronHistoricGaol

Lions Harbour Park, Goderich

  • Q: What category of tornado struck Goderich? F3

Light Tunnel, Clinton

  • Q: What was the message at the end of the tunnel? A sun and three waves!

Naftel’s Creek, Central Huron

  • Q: What is the trail surface a combination of? Boardwalk and natural surface

St. Joseph Heritage Park, St. Joseph

  • Q: Who was the founder of St. Joseph? Narcisse M Canton

Reading Garden, Bayfield

  • Q: What permanent board game can you play in the Reading Garden? Chess/Checkers

Gairbraid, Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township

  • Q: Dr. William ‘Tiger’ Dunlop was an army surgeon during what war? War of 1812

Alice Munro Literary Garden, Wingham

  • Q: What book is the statue of the young girl in the garden reading? Fairytales

Blyth Festival Art Gallery, Blyth

150th Celebration Garden, Gorrie

  • Q: What is one native plant found in this garden? Crab apple, Sphaeralcea, milkweed and more!

Stevenson Tract, Brussels

  • Q: How many trees were planted on the Stevenson Tract from 1952 to 1966? 140,000

Your pick! Share your favourite spot from anywhere in Huron County

Fall Craft Swap

Fall Craft Swap

Calling all crafters – young and young at heart! Love crafting and love seeing others enjoy what you make? Join the Fall Craft Swap where you will be partnered with another age-appropriate crafter in Huron
County (child or adult)!

Make your partner a custom craft, while they do the same for you! All crafting types welcome – knitting, crocheting, sewing, candle making, pottery, scrapbooking, needlefelting, etc. The sky is the limit!


We ask that you craft TWO small items or ONE medium sized item.

  • Medium = A scarf, a wallet, a set of notecards (4), a reusable shopping bag
  • Small = A piece of jewelry, a bookmark, a washcloth, a facemask, a small candle

Please note that a library staff person will be in touch with you Sept. 13-18 to assign your partner. You will have from Sept. 19-Oct. 19 to craft. Please drop your completed craft off to your local Huron County Library branch between Oct. 20-25 (or earlier). You will receive the craft from your partner between Nov. 1-5. A library staff person will send email reminders along the way. Please ensure that crafts do not exceed the size of a standard tote box (28” x 17” x 15″).

*Should a partner not complete a craft, an alternate partner will be arranged. Should multiple partners not complete a craft, individuals may be paired with one another. Pre-completed crafts will be used in reassignments (no need to make an entirely new craft!).

Important dates:

Registration: Aug. 22-Sept. 12
Partner Assigned: Sept. 13-18
Crafting: Sept.19-Oct. 19
Craft Due: Oct. 20-25

Register online:

Spice Club – Basil

Spice Club – Basil

Minestrone was popularized in Italy among the poorest farmers, who scraped together hearty beans and vegetables to create this simple soup. In addition to its comforting warmth, one of the biggest benefits of this soup is that it can be altered according to personal preference and to varying seasonal vegetables. 

Basil is native to tropical regions from Central Africa to Southeast Asia – though it is used in cuisines worldwide. It is often added last when cooking, as too long cooking can destroy its flavor. Fresh basil can be kept for a short time in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water.

Show off what you made this month by sharing photos on the Huron County Library Spice Club Facebook events page or by emailing them to Photos emailed will be publicly shared by staff to the Facebook page on your behalf.

FUN FACT: Basil is an herb in the mint family! 



  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 200 grams crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green beans
  • 1/2 cup pasta, preferably elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 400 g cooked kidney beans
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish


1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and sauté garlic, celery, and onion for about 5 minutes.

2. Add chopped carrot and crushed tomatoes to pot. Season with oregano and basil. Pour in vegetable broth and water and bring mixture to a boil. Cover pot and cook soup for 10 minutes.

3. Add elbow macaroni, green beans, and chopped zucchini. Stir to combine and boil until noodles are tender.

4. Finish soup with fresh spinach and cooked beans.

5. Garnish with parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Serve hot, garnished with freshly grated parmesan.

*Recipe from Global Road Warrior™️ by World Trade Press. Access this online database for free with a Huron County Library card to get information about holidays, festivals, culture, travel essentials, and other beneficial travel knowledge.

In Your Backyard – the Hidden Gems of Huron West

In Your Backyard – the Hidden Gems of Huron West

The Huron County Library has been highlighting the hidden gems found across Huron County through our In Your Backyard speaker series and for those who were unable to attend, we will share some of those gems right here on our website! Join us as we travel all directions of the County, this time focusing in on Ontario’s west coast – including Goderich and Bayfield!

FOR THE BEACH BUM: Both Goderich and Bayfield have some of the best beaches around – with both towns sporting three a piece! Both communities are also unique that they both have bluffs, which allow you to catch their gorgeous sunsets not once, but twice! Goderich’s entire beachfront has undergone massive changes over the last few years, including a brand new accessible boardwalk, which runs its entire length. While Bayfield’s Pier Beach is much larger than it has been in recent years, due to lower water levels. 

FOR THE TRAIL TREKKERS: Both Goderich and Bayfield have a number of trails throughout their communities – fan favourites include the Goderich Menesetung Bridge Trail, the Goderich Millennium Trail and the Bayfield River Flats Trail. 

FOR THE INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER: Both communities sport some prime selfie locations. Goderich has the famous butterfly mural (located on the Square), the lighthouse (located on Coburg Street), the Gaol Selfie Station (located at the Huron Historic Gaol), and the sand-surrounded beach trees. Bayfield has its wood carving of Captain Harry (who has stood watch over its downtown for decades). 

FOR THE FOODIE: With Goderich alone being home to 35 different restaurants and Bayfield over a dozen, you will be sure to satisfy any craving you may have – whether it be for Indian, sushi, Italian, all-American, or even refreshing ice cream on a hot day! Best of all, countless restaurants across Ontario’s west coast are home to outdoor patios during the warm weather. 

FOR FANS OF FARMERS MARKETS: Get excited! While both communities have been home to a one-day weekend market, this year both will have TWO days of markets! Goderich will host its farmers market on Saturdays and another market on Sundays, which features artisan and antique vendors. Bayfield hosts its farmers market on Friday evenings and a vendor-based market on Sundays!  

FOR THE ART AFFICIANDO: The two communities are home to over half a dozen art galleries between the two of them – from galleries featuring the works of an independent artist, to other featuring the works of a collective. The newest opened gallery between the two communities is The Gallery House, located on Bayfield’s historic Main Street.  

FOR THOSE WHO LOVE A GREAT COMMUNITY EVENT: Both Goderich and Bayfield are expecting to bring back some of their well-beloved community events this season! Goderich will once again be home to its Children’s Festival, the Celtic Roots Festival, and the West Coast Bluesfest, while Bayfield will be hosting its Rubber Duck Race, the Beer, Wine and Food Festival and a number of musical performances at its Town Hall.


Spice Club – Coriander

Spice Club – Coriander

Have a fridge full of leftovers? Put them to use in Koua Khau, a Laotian fried rice recipe that features this month’s spice, coriander! Coriander has a wide range, growing all the way from Southern Europe, to Northern Africa and Southwestern Asia. While all parts of the plant is edible, the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the most commonly used elements.   

Laotian cuisine is simple, fresh, colourful and has a medium spice level. Rice, as incorporated into this meal, is the most commonly consumed food in Laos and is served with almost every meal. Although Laotian cuisine does have French influences, in most places the food is strongly Asian.

Don’t like the look of this recipe? Get creative! We’d love to see what you come up with instead! Be sure to join us for our Zoom session on Wednesday, June 22 where we discuss what you made with coriander! Show off what you make each month by sharing photos on the Huron County Library Spice Club Facebook events page or by emailing them to Photos emailed will be publicly shared by staff to the Facebook page on your behalf.

FUN FACT: Seventy-five per cent of people find that coriander has a tart lemon/lime taste, while the remaining 25 per cent find that it tastes like dish soap due to a gene that detects some specific aldehydes. 

Koua Khau*


  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
  •  1/2 cup cooked pork or shrimp, chopped 
  •  2 tbsp oil
  •  2 cloves garlic, chopped
  •  2 eggs
  •  1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Scramble eggs in a small bowl.
  2. Add the oil to a large pan. Warm oil over medium heat and sauté garlic.
  3. Add egg mixture to the garlic in the frying pan and cook.
  4. Add rice, meat, soy sauce, fish sauce, tomatoes, coriander, and cayenne pepper to the pan.
  5. Cook until the rice and meat are warm.
  6. Add the cilantro and green onion. Serve.  

*Recipe from Global Road Warrior™️ by World Trade Press. Access this online database for free with a Huron County Library card to get information about holidays, festivals, culture, travel essentials, and other beneficial travel knowledge.