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Jun 8, 2022

The Rundown

In this episode, I chat with Andrew Barnsley, an executive producer of the Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek. We discuss how and why small-town Canada has found a place in the hearts of audiences around the world. Next up, is a walking tour of the historical kitchen garden of Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Ontario. We learn about how two acres of produce sustained the family of Sir Allan Napier McNab a Premier of the United Canadas in the mid-1800s.

So huge gardens and small towns all in one episode.

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Up Schitt’s Creek

The comedy series Schitt’s Creek is a sitcom phenom. Over its six seasons, the show, set in the fictional small Ontario town of Schitt’s Creek, hard by the bigger smaller town of Elmsdale, attracted a passionate international audience. Its final emotional and heart-felt season hit the streaming service just as COVID hit that audience hard. Andrew Barnsley, an executive producer on the show along with show creators Dan and Eugene Levy, says the epidemic of isolation is of the reasons for the show’s unparalleled success. But, he argues, there’s something about small towns like Schitt’s Creek that resonates with folks looking to reconnect with simple values, family, and the ties that bind. Even when the going gets tough. Here’s our conversation about a huge success and small towns.

A Walk in a Historic Garden

Victoria Bick is head gardener for the historic kitchen garden for the Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Ontario. That means she carries on the work started by William Reid, the gardener there when Sir Allan Napier MacNab was Lord of the castle in the 1800s. Amazing, Bick is still growing the same varieties of flowers, vegetable,s and herbs Reid did. In Reid’s time that two acres of produce sustained the 18 residents of the castle. These days Bick keeps the garden thriving to sustain interest in the gardening heritage of centuries past. Here’s my conversation with Victoria as we strolled the pathways of a castle’s garden.

End Notes

Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. Or you can check out Harrowsmith Magazine on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at

By the way, the music in the podcast? It's by good ol' Canadian singer, composer, and friend of the 'cast, David Archibald. You can find more of his music at his website,