Some size….SABRI Mussels are just divine!

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St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI), is a social enterprise formed in 1997 to benefit the residents from Big Brook to Goose Cove East. Their impact has been tremendous, with $15.9M+ invested in infrastructure, hundreds of jobs created and significant community and economic spin-off for the region.

One of their initiatives is a mussel farm that began in 2002 and expanded to three commercial sites in 2004. They employ three seasonal workers and a student at their farm and primary processing plant at St. Lunaire-Griquet & Gunner’s Cove.

Fresh mussels are available for purchase from June to September at Hedderson’s Store, St. Lunaire-Griquet; Burden’s General Store, St. Lunaire-Griquet; Grenfell Memorial Co-op, St. Anthony; Foodland, St. Anthony. These mussels also find their way on menus at many local restaurants. There is further opportunity to tell the story of our locally grown, locally sourced seafood on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

The mussels are excellent quality and it’s evident from a purchase yesterday that they maintain an exceptional meat yield. I encourage you to buy your mussels locally at any of the above locations, 10 lbs are just $15.00. I enjoyed a bag last night and they were some size!

The night prior, the Noddy Bay-Straitsview-Hay Cove-L’anse aux Meadows-Quirpon (NSHLQ) Come Home Year Opening Ceremonies hosted a mussel boil, which served up SABRI mussels.

This economic initiative has also led to Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet to establish an Annual Mussel Festival, which is coming up on August 6-9th. Join us for an amazing opening ceremonies at 8 PM, serving up SABRI’s own mussels.

The economic impact of what a mussel farm does to create and support regional employment, business and special events is quite significant. I only hope more of these types of initiatives can lead to more success for local residents, local business, local municipalities and those who visit our region. Let’s keep buying local, it has so many positive impacts in our communities.

If you have any questions or comments concerning our Mussel Farms please contact SABRI’s Alicia Shears at ashears@nf.aibn.com or call the SABRI office at 454-3484.

Enjoy a fine feed of locally grown and locally sourced mussels when you visit the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

BREAKING: Caplin Rolling in Green Island Cove, NL Today! #caplinroll2015

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It’s not every day the caplin come to shore in my home town of Green Island Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula. It created a lot of buzz, with residents as far as Anchor Point, some 25 KM to the south making the drive to get a feed of fresh caplin. It was awesome to see my Aunt and Uncle there, who are visiting from Edmonton, Alberta. They were saying the last time they saw the caplin rolling, their kids were home and just as excited as those on the beach today!

As I watched my younger cousin rushing to fill his bucket. I remember being a young boy with my father on the beach as the caplin rolled about two decades ago. I worked hard with the dip net to fill a couple of five gallon buckets, rushing just like the boys on the beach today. My great great aunt Lavinia was on the beach too, in her mid-seventies at the time, dad said to me lets help Aunt Lavinia fill her bucket. She always remembered that day and so have I, we talked about it often when I visited. She had a sharp memory, right to her final days – she lived to be 98.

The caplin rolling are good signs! We continue to hear reports of an abundance of cod! #caplinroll2015!

It’s exciting times to be living on the Great Northern Peninsula. Now for a feed of caplin :)

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Art, Craft & Culture Thrives on the Great Northern Peninsula

A craft fair in St. Anthony yesterday, hosted by the St. Anthony Come Home Year Committee attracted artisans and craft producers from all across the Great Northern Peninsula. More than two dozen tables were filled with such a diverse array of product, it reinvigorated my belief that we could have a thriving craft industry, artisan studios like the Quidi Vidi Plantation of St. John’s or those on Fogo Island.

The Grenfell Heritage Shoppe at the Grenfell Historic Properties is the perfect anchor, with 8,000 visitors annually, they would be the ideal location to purchase from these local craftspeople and artists. Their Brown Cottage at the corner of their parking lot can be converted into a multitude of artist studios, just like mentioned above to provide space and an outlet for these craftspeople to grow, produce and share knowledge with each other.

One of the last tables I visited was Lott and Christina’s Driftwood Creations. I was just taken away by each unique piece of art. Christina was very passionate about her creations, telling me that the wood was collected on family outings combing the beach, some of it close to where I live. The story and connection added to the beauty of the one of a kind art. I also loved the professional tagging and a focus on Made in Newfoundland, highlighting St. Anthony on the map. These are the types of things that certainly add value to the buyer. I’m quite proud of this piece, “Some Day on Clothes” and will proudly hang it for many to gaze at something quintessentially “Rural Newfoundland & Labrador”.

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Driftwood Creations has their own Facebook Page offering unique Handcrafted Home Decor made from driftwood found on beaches of Newfoundland. They also make pine furniture made with a rustic country style. They can be reached at 454-3402.

Loving Stuff is handcrafted by Heber and Loretta Hussy of St. Anthony. I was fortunate enough to purchase her product before at the 2012 St. Anthony Come Home Year craft fair. There I got myself the last four remaining mummers, this year I manage to get several more to add to my collection and some on my Christmas list may be also receive one as well!

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After 5 years of co-founding and organizing the Mummer’s Walk in the Straits on the Great Northern Peninsula, people know I love mummers and the concept of what mummering or jannying as we use to call it means to those who grew up in outport or rural Newfoundland and Labrador. I love how Loretta and Heber capture them in such a traditional way! Her product is also tagged professionally and has a story explaining what mummering is all about. I could not resist purchasing the pair of child’s hide slippers. Lot’s of my friends seem to be having babies these days! You can reach Loving Stuff at 454-3513.

Shirley and Doug Mills are quite the team in their craft production, which was exhibited at yesterday’s fair when those who wanted ornaments with their names on them, Shirley called on Doug to handle that task. The array of product Shirley makes is phenomenal, which seal skin has taken a focus.

She makes guitar straps, strap purses, coin purses, boot cuffs, slippers, mittens, earrings, bracelets and now mummers and Christmas ornaments, which I think are totally brilliant.

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Her jewelry and some of these items can be found at the Grenfell Heritage Shoppe, St. Anthony. I can’t wait to hang these incredibly ornaments on my Christmas tree :).

There are so many artisans and craft production on display, from handmade quilts, Minion slippers, Bruce Pilgrim’s Prints, framed Art, Frank Walter’s magnets & prints, Colleen Loder’s iceberg art and ugly sticks, carvings, Carol Roberts’ hand painted rocks, felting and ornaments, original paintings, face painting, knitting items, baked beans, homemade pies and so much more.

It is evident art, craft and culture thrives on the Great Northern Peninsula! I encourage you to support out local artists and craft producers. I want to thank the St. Anthony Come Home Year committee for organizing and providing a venue for these local craft producers and artists an outlet to sell their product and services. We need more space and opportunities throughout the year. Let’s keep making big things happen in small communities!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Summer Squash & Other Healthy Foods Growing in Roddickton!

Roddickton-Bide Arm is a region of the Great Northern Peninsula where hay is baled, and sheep would go to pasture. There is a tremendous opportunity to grow more agricultural products and ranch animals.

There are a number of individuals that are hobbyists farmers, planting root crops for subsistence, while others are growing on much larger scale. I enjoy purchasing fresh herbs, spices, teas and other organically grown items from Elsie and taking a walk on her trail of memories (See past article at: http://liveruralnl.com/2014/09/21/fresh-vegetables-herbs-teas-creams-and-a-blast-for-the-past/).

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Recently, I dropped by the large greenhouse of Calvin’s on Route 433 outside the Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm. Last year they experimented with growing grapes. This year, many new items are growing including yellow summer squash, depicted below:

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I was impressed by the range of product from cauliflower, zucchini, green onion, tomato, squash, greens, carrots, flowers and many more root crops and berries.

The friendly and knowledgeable staff are more than helpful, taking the care to find exactly what you are looking for to eat a little healthier. The cauliflower was so sweet,likely the best I’ve ever tasted.

Buying local creates jobs, builds a stronger economy. Sourcing your food locally helps with food security, reduces reliance on green house gases and gives you an understand of where your food came from, how it was grown and handled. Basically you can trace it from the source to your plate.

I encourage you to visit local farms, farmer’s markets, greenhouses, community gardens, grow your own and/or share with a friend or neighbour. We have incredible opportunity to grow good nutritious foods on the Great Northern Peninsula. We’ve been doing the basics for centuries.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Quirpon will see population above 70 people for first time in years

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Quirpon was a prominent fishing community on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula that has historic ties dating back to the 16th century migratory fishery. The French connection in the community name become known due to its resemblance to Le Kerpont near St. Malo, France. Locally, it is pronounced in the Anglicized form – “Karpoon”. I have visited Quirpon many times and had conversations over a cup of tea and sweets at Mabel and Bill Bartlett’s home.

Bill, in my view is the local historian. The wealth of knowledge, photographs and interest he has in the history, culture and mystery that surrounds Quirpon and the surrounding island and communities, formerly known as L’anse au Bauld, L’anse au Pidgeon, Fortune, Grassy Cove and Little Quirpon is worth a conversation or two. There are many unanswered questions and a real need for an archaeology dig to answer questions about the French and Inuit battles, the Vikings and the Land of First Contact. Earl Pilgrim wrote a book about this region and the mystery called the Island of Demons.

Bill’s local knowledge, photos, stories and local lore needs to be place on public display, maybe in the form of interpretation panels, murals or as an exhibit in the new Quirpon Community Hall, which recently undertook an impressive restoration project by community will and support. A special thank you to his daughter Marilyn, for never giving up on this cause and ensuring that Quirpon still has a public space for all residents, current and former, as well as visitors to come and enjoy. It was cooperation and support of everyone that helped see this piece of community infrastructure maintained. You are to be commended and I look forward to a time there in just over a week.

Quirpon is part of the Noddy Bay-Straitview-Hay Cove-L’Anse aux Meadows-Quirpon Come Home Year Celebration, which these five small communities see massive population growth for a week of celebration, as those with a connection to the communities come home. The 2011 census gives all five communities a total population of 289, which no doubt has declined in the past four years. It will be exciting to see the shift and influx of traffic, youth and activity in a community of just a few dozen.

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Despite a small population, Quirpon has opportunity.

  • The oldest house in the community was built in 1892 which belonged to William Henry Pynn, is a designated Registered Heritage Structure due to its historic architectural and cultural values.
  • Quirpon has beautiful walking trails
  • A working French Oven and resting area is available to the public.
  • Quirpon Lighthouse Inn, a four star accommodation at a light-keeper’s home built in 1922 where one can also experience kayaking, zodiac, iceberg & whale watching, boat tours and authentic rural Newfoundland and Labrador (http://www.linkumtours.com/wordpress/lighthouse-inns/quirpon-lighthouse-inn/).
  • Quirpon Radio was also founded by Wayne Bartlett & Cheryl McCarron – you can listen 24/7 online at http://www.radioquirpon.com/
  • The Viking RV Park is nestled on the road to Quirpon and just minutes from L’anse aux Meadows
  • Lloyd can be found in his workshop making model ships, motor boats, helicopters, snowmobiles and airplanes, while Bill has his miniature lighthouses and dories on display. Quirpon is a great place to pick up a piece of folk art
  • There is a photograph around every turn.

There is also prime iceberg viewing, a B&B being developed, local woodworkers and artists, the community hall, high speed Internet, vernacular architecture and amazing waterfront properties. I highly recommend adding Quirpon to your adventure on the Great Northern Peninsula and be sure to engage in dialogue with the local residents, you truly will be inspired.

Maybe you too will call this place home –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

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