Mural on barn

Site partner: KB Media Corp.  

771 Landry Street, Rockland

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Best vantage point: Landry Street. 

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“A mural is not just a mural. It’s a story. It’s our story within a story.”

- Luc Meloche, owner

Popsilos Mural: The Nest by Clandestinos. Theme: Adaptation.

The theme, Adaptation, is very general, but ties us all together through lessons we have learned through adapting to our environment, often in contexts that challenge us. Clandestinos, composed of artists Shalack Attack and Bruno Smoky, met with the Meloche family and exchanged on the theme and on their stories to be inspired to create their artwork. If you were to read the artwork as if it were a book, from left to right, you can see the very first significant symbol: the calf. In the farm’s daily operations, the calf is watched over by the farmers, but in this mural, she is depicted as the one with a watchful eye over the property, over the years. The artists painted a view of the farm in the distance in the calf’s pupil. Her forehead is adorned with a jewel, which symbolizes her spirit, an iconic piece of Shalak’s body of work. The sled is a symbol for the rolling hills behind the farm, where the Meloche family spent many winters (and still do!), sliding in toboggans. They even used to open it up to the community kids and school groups. On the toboggan is a dog that represents their family dog, Charlie, who is always present on the farm. The Mandala is another iconic part of Clandestinos’ body of work. It represents their belief that everything impacts everything, and balance is essential to the proper functioning of everyone and everything. This is also very true to farmers and ties in perfectly with our theme, adaptation, which plays a significant role in maintaining that balance. The central flower is the soy flower, which is a plant that is cultivated on the farm. Next, is the owl, yet another iconic symbol of Clandestinos’ artwork: it embodies wisdom and change, both often acquired or learned through adaptation. Within the owl, one can recognize the technology used on the farm, which has greatly impacted farmers’ way of life, such as the time they can spend with their families.  The red machine is the computerized feeder robot. This was a huge adaptation in the farmers’ way of doing their work and was a change that helped them make their choice to keep running the farm’s activities. The tree is one that is found on the hill tops, behind the farm and the cabin is the sugar shack, also located on top of the hills, where the family gathers, where they boil maple sap to make syrup, where they play ice hockey, where they cross-country ski. In the mural, the cabin sits in a nest made with hay, a plant the Mellohills farm cultivates, and a bird sits in the nest. The bird is a representation of them - the nest that is their home and what is important to their home - their family. 

Resilient and proud dairy farmers

Luc Meloche runs MelloHills Dairy Farm with his father, brother, uncle and cousin. Their multi-generation team works well: each one of them carries his own responsibilities and expertise. There was a time when the decision to pursue the farm’s activities was not clear. It was hard work, but it was also a way of life. And this was too hard to walk away from for the five men. They have seen their lot of challenges, mainly linked to adapting their farming activities to recent technologies. They all worked with their grandfather, who when he started out, worked manually at all chores. There came many waves of new technologies and the Mellohills family-run farm progressed with these waves and are today a truly state-of-the-art dairy farming operation. This meant investment, learning, adapting and growing operations all the while balancing life. And technology has allowed them to stay true to the one thing that keeps them going every day: family.

The Meloche family is a fun bunch of people: at the top of their hills, behind the farm, is their family-fun-haven. Between the sugar shack, the family cabin kept warm with antique wood stoves, a rink in the winter, toboggan sliding and trails in the forest, there are many activities to be enjoyed. Even family members who moved away from the farmstead come back on Sunday afternoons to enjoy what the hills have to offer. In the warmth of the Farm and the family.

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Popsilos offers a unique touristic experience in Canada: a self-guided circuit that has visitors discover seven giant murals on farm silos in the Prescott-Russell countryside, while inviting them to stop at producers’ or artisans’ shops to check out local products.

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C. 613.447.6959

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