• James Armstrong

Vanier students explore socio-economic history in Hudson


“Le Champion,” the largest known example of Black Walnut tree, provided temporary protection from the rain for local MP Peter Schiefke and Vanier College teachers and students on a field trip.

The History Garden of Hudson became a hive of activity Tuesday, August 16, as a group of students from Vanier College met for lunch and investigated the wide variety of plant life in the garden. They were participants in a daylong field trip to the Hudson area with their professor, heritage architect Mehdi Ghafouri.

“The course they are taking is called ‘Understanding Human Settlements’ where they try to understand how human settlements originated, are founded, and evolve over time,” said Ghafouri. “They also look at the social, political, cultural, economic, and religious factors that have played a role in the foundation and evolution of that settlement and the cultural landscape,” he added.


Federal Member of Parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Peter Schiefke was welcomed to the Hudson History Garden by Elaine Steinberg Tuesday, August 16, as part of a visit by Vanier College students studying ‘Human Settlements’ on the garden’s grounds.

Friends of The History Garden, Lorraine D’Artois and Elaine Steinberg, invited Ghafouri and his students to Hudson. Their study trip began in Como, the east end, with stops at Saint Mary’s Anglican Church, The Willow Inn, Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and on to Hudson Heights in the west. For Steinberg and D’Artois, the Vanier students’ project is the launch of ongoing research in the culture and heritage of food using the History Garden as a resource.

“We have to do a group project on the different parts of Hudson,” said student Taminah Barecht Bik. “We have to research who arrived first and what they did,” added Maryam Nemati. The inter-session credit course runs eight hours a day for 10 days and is part of the Humanities Department program explained Ghafouri.

The History Garden’s kitchen garden, or sustenance bed, developed by The Hudson Food Collective drew the attention of Michelange Chouinard. “There’s garlic and beans,” he said pointing to an abundant crop of runner beans. The Hudson Food Collective is headed up by Robyn Rees who is pursuing a Masters Degree at Concordia University.

Steinberg pointed out to the students that gardens and gardening styles tend to reflect the culture and heritage of their region.

“This is the garden square. The design is similar to a patchwork quilt,” she noted adding that it provides a unique public space that has the look and feel of a private garden from a previous era.