Monthly Archives: April 2011

RADIO CONCHE 105.9 FM!!!!!

  Community Radio is coming to Conche May 9 – 10. Make sure to tune in to 105.9 FM.

 The French Shore Cultural Centre will be hosting this awesome event and they are asking everyone who has a connection to   Conche to call into the centre on those two days.
 
Email:frenchshoreshs@nf.aibn.com
Office:French Shore Interpretation Centre
 
Community radio stations broadcast content that is popular and relevant to a local audience with specific interests, which is often overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters as they really focus on mainstream and urban-oriented activities. They tend to rely on advertising funds, whereas community radio is non-profit, run typically from a group of volunteers.
 
Community radio stations are driven by the communities they serve. It is an enabler for those members to tell their own diverse stories, to share experiences, and be creators. Rural Newfoundland & Labrador has talent and we will continue to be players in the ever-changing world we live as we adapt to varying forms of media. I commend the French Shore Cultural Centre for undertaking this initiative and bringing temporary community radio to the French Shore.
 
As always, Live Rural NL -
Christopher Mitchelmore
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Need help selling your creative craftwork?

Craft Development Workshop Invitation 2011 

Nordic Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with CBDC Nortip, would like to invite you to a Craft Industry Development Workshop showcasing new opportunities in the craft, gifts & apparel industry for the region.

 Craft Industry Development Workshop                                                                                                                               Plum Point Motel, Plum Point, NL                                                                                                                                            10:00am – 4:00pm                                                                                                  Thursday, May 19th, 2011

This all day workshop will begin with a presentation on Pricing and Promoting your Craftwork with provincial craft development consultant Brenda Stratton. Pricing is one of the most important steps in making any business a success and developing great promotional materials is part of adding value to your work. The workshop will also provide insight into funding programs offered by CBDC Nortip around a new social enterprise idea. We will also look at online tools for Craftspeople to sell their craftwork worldwide. The workshop will conclude with discussion on a new Regional Craft Guild to look at training and selling goods as a collective group.

Everyone is Welcome!

Please register by May 10th, 2011.

Space is limited!

Registration is free and lunch is provided!

For more information and/or to register, please contact:

Andre Myers                                                                                                                      Economic Development Officer                                                                                Nordic Economic DevelopmentCorp.                                                                                                                                                (709) 456-2840                                                                amyers@nedc.nf.ca                            

or

 Christopher Mitchelmore                                                                                                     Client Services Officer, CBDC Nortip                                                                          (709) 247-CBDC (2232)                                             christopher.mitchelmore@cbdc.ca

Register – Registration Form – Craft Workshop.2011(1)

Live Rural NL-

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

The Loss of the General Store

 

John Reeves Ltd., a family run enterprise may have closed its post in the Town of Conche many years ago, but there is still a place for the General Store in many of our Rural  communities. These businesses thrive to supply the local consumer with all their essential wares from dry goods, hardware, fresh produce to rubber boots. Without their presence, many goods would be more difficult to obtain.

 

John Reeves Ltd., Conche

My community like many others see the loss of the general store.  There were five small businesses that aimed to fill that  market, pre-1992 cod moratorium. Green Island Cove at that time only boasted  a population of 209 people (according to Stats Canada, 1991 census) today we have only one General Store with a population of 164 people. It currently is all that the community can support.

 
Today the General Store faces many more challenges than just concern for the local competitor. Transportation networks have made local consumer’s more mobile. Currently consumer’s demand lower prices and greater variety which places pressure on the local small business. Additionally, the small business is faced with the added cost of transportation for shipping goods (fuel surcharges), credit card/debit fees, minimum wage of $10.00 per hour, increasing electricity rates and high-levels of taxation. Beyond these factors, the local General Store now competes with on-line retailers, sometimes in an unfair climate – as they do not have access to Broadband Internet. Investment in Tele-communications and Broadband Internet is required to enable communities to advance the current business community and serve the people.
 
I commend those who endeavor to operate a General Store in a rural setting. One of the reasons the General Store has been successful, is their ability to provide a high-level of customer service. They listen to their customers and bring items in upon their request. Another service offered is grocery delivery to local customers. This simple idea is a benefit of shopping local, as you would never get this from a Big Box Store. There are innovative ways to continue to sell in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador.
 
Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
 

Behind every door…there is always a story

A story behind every door in Ireland

The above photo was taken while visiting the streets of Dublin, Ireland in late-November 2010. I could not resist snapping an image of iconic and colourful doors, which are found in both urban and rural settings throughout the country.

Behind every door there is a story to be told – I find this especially through in rural regions. As I have been invited passed the door and into the home of the owner. Usually our conversations would be had at he kitchen table over a cup of Tetley tea, with a view of the water. I enjoy striking up a conversation with the elderly to tell me about the past, the stories that bring smiles to their faces and mine. I am inquisitive, asking about the way of daily living, how they earned a living, how they lived from the land and sea, what they did for entertainment, what it was like to raise a family, how the holidays were spent? I can only try to envision the way it use to be, as I have been raised at a much different time for rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

Most doors of rural Newfoundland & Labrador are no longer painted with vibrant color. Locally, my aunt Glad is the exception with the bright orange doorway. Despite a trend of white washed doors – there are still good stories to be told to those willing to listen.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Why is Rural Newfoundland & Labrador Not a Haven for a Thriving Sheep Industry?

Fields of Sheep, Northern Ireland

After exploring parts of Ireland during a vacation in November 2010, I was astounded by the resemblance to rural Newfoundland & Labrador. However, one key difference was all the lambs and sheep local in fields all throughout the island. This is a missed opportunity for our island that thrives in Ireland and New Zealand.

Fast facts

  1. 1. Meat is New Zealand’s second-largest food export and is worth $5.14 billion.
  2. 2.  Approximately 90 percent of sheep and lamb and 80 percent of beef meat producedeach year is exported. New Zealand’s key export markets for meat products are the United States and the European Union.
  3. 3. The main farmed species are sheep (34.2 million), cattle (9.6 million), deer (1.7 million) and goats (0.09 million).
  4. 4. New Zealand has the largest deer farming industry in the world – there are an estimated 4,000 farms with deer in New Zealand. It has around half the global farmed deer population (http://business.newzealand.com/common/files/Meat-industry-in-New-Zealand.pdf)

Sheep have been brought to our island since the 16th and 17th centuries. We have a climate that should enable sheep farms to thrive. However, local demand historically has been low and rural farms are in decline.  There were 341 sheep producers in Newfoundland and Labrador at the end of 1995, this represents a decline of 20% from 1977, according to the records of the Department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods and the Sheep Producers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. Between 1977 and 1995 the sheep population fluctuated between 5,700 and 9,700. Therefore, it can be concluded that the average flock size per farm has been increasing, but the total number of sheep farms has been on a decline [Handbook of Selected Agricultural Statistics, Page 11]. www.nr.gov.nl.ca/nr/agrifoods/marketing/lamb_beef_pork.pdf

Sheep in Rural Northern Ireland

 I was unable to find sheep numbers more recent than 1995, but I would hope they have increased from 10,000. In comparison to New Zealand’s current 35 million sheep, we do not factor in the global marketplace. A visit to the Sheep Producer’s Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (http://www.nfld.net/spanl/had the following message:

Welcome to the home of SPANL’s new Web Site. The SPANL website will begin further development in the upcoming months. The membership apologizes for the delays in finishing the site. We are a non-profit organization attempting to utilize the resources of our membership. Today computers are as common in the household and business as the VCR, practically everyone has access to the Internet. Through the development of this Website it is felt that a larger audience can be reached to showcase the SPANL and its tireless efforts to rebuild an industry that is part of Newfoundland’s history and culture.

Sheep have been a focus of Newfoundland popular culture. One only has to listen to the late Dick Nolan’s song, “Aunt Martha’s Sheep” which describes a sheep being stolen in Carmanville, NL. He was a talented folk musician, born in Corner Brook, NL.

There is a great opportunity for Newfoundland & Labrador to further develop and grow this industry, especially in rural areas.  Escalating meat prices, growing local demand and limited farmers committed to the future of the industry has established an environment for growth in this market. Historically we have been great mariners of the sea – there is room to transfer these skills to ranching and better land-base utilization.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore 

An Opportunity for More Rural Social Space – The Coffee Shop?

Treats at the Coffee Shop, Northern Ireland

Where are the local coffee shops in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador? I am not talking about the Tim Horton‘s that are springing up practically everywhere, including rural areas. There is even a Tim Horton’s in St. Anthony, NL on the peninsula’s tip that has a town of under 3,000 people. Some residents from the Strait of Belle Isle region, where I reside have even driven more than 100 kms to get a “cup of Joe” combined with a high calorie sweet to match. This is the power of branding and the importance of changing to fit with market demands.

It was not too many years ago, that there was a local bakery in Flower’s Cove, NL. It operated for a number of years under the Dot’s Pantry “franchise”, to later be operated as Sweets & Eats. As a youth, I did not appreciate the business as a venue to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee; however, they never really promoted themselves as a coffee shop in the traditional sense.
 
For me, it was really more of the bakery, a place to get a cake for a birthday or other special occasion. One could also get freshly baked bread, pies, squares and other desserts, as well as a limited variety of lunch choices, which included jigs dinner, soups, sandwiches and chili. However, the coffee was limited to just basic brewed. Additionally, there were only two small tables with a couple of chairs.

Espresso and Latte in Paris, France

 
A coffee shop in rural parts of Europe have a variety of good java. One can get a selection of freshly brewed coffee with flavours to choose. There is also mocha, cappuccino, latte and espresso. I certainly love a good espresso! As well, there is an array of teas, herbal, chai teas, decaffeinated teas, coffees and of course hot chocolate. Tim Horton’s has even adapted a number of these products to their menu, but offers them at a low-cost price. This is reflective of quality, as Tim Horton’s  is less generous with whip creams and syrups.  European coffee shops exhibit a nice relaxing and inviting atmosphere, versus the cafeteria or institutional/fast food stylings of Tim Horton’s.
 
There is an opportunity for more  social space in Rural Newfoundland and Labrador, with the decline of the local lounges. The social commons is changing from the local wharves and the kitchen tables, as we have become more integrated into larger regional communities. We need a fitting space for those to mingle and discuss events of the day. We require a space that is senior, seasonal employee, family, youth, tourist, handicap and professional friendly to survive and thrive in a sparsely populated rural setting.
 
Gros Morne National Park has a gem of a coffee shop in Java Jacks! I highly recommend it. Only time will tell if there is room for a coffee shop in the Strait of Belle Isle region and if it can fill the need of creating a social space that is acceptable by those living and passing through our rural region.
 
Live Rural NL -
Christopher Mitchelmore

Coca Cola Much Covers – Profiles Rural Newfoundland’s Travis Sheppard

Rural Newfoundland & Labrador has talent. I stand by this statement, which I had written in July 2010 after attending the Big Droke Idol as part of the annual Big Droke Heritage Festival. There was a diverse range of talent – with some very young vocalists singing to background music, to more veteran singers using the squeezebox and those that needed no music but their own. It was quite the night and array of talent.

Just moments ago, my friend messages me on Facebook with the following message:

http://covers.muchmusic.com/index.php/profile/view/3551/5
Watch my Much Music video by following the above link. Copy the link to your facebook page so all your friends can watch too…..
 
This truly is a great way to self-market. Have your friends be Champions for you and promote the product or service you are selling. Any small business person or self-employed individual could learn something from this artist that has talent.
 
In 2005, I was able to first meet Travis Sheppard. He already had a Demo CD produced. I purchased a copy and was greatly impressed. The lyrics of his songs, that were self-written, were very powerful. You could tell that they were fueled by emotion. Travis is entrepreneurial and played several gigs throughout the summer locally. He has been pursuing a post-secondary education at Memorial University and has been performing and can be found signing a number of covers at www.youtube.com.

Make sure you rate the video and share on the social networks.

If you have talent, join the competition. Release Your Inner Superstar!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore

Escalating Gas Prices Continue to Leave Local Consumers Poorer, especially in Rural Regions

The Newfoundland & Labrador Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, released the maximum Petroleum Prices on April 14, 2011. For my region, self-service gasoline reached $1.40 per litre and full-service gasoline is $1.43 per litre.

http://n225h099.pub.nf.ca/orders/ppo/fuel/Fuel_110414.pdf

Rural Newfoundland & Labrador has few options when it comes to the usage of gasoline, as there a limited public transportation options.

The fishing industry  is the mainstay of the rural economy on the Great Northern Peninsula. 2011 started with a positive outlook, which included significant increases to the price of crab and shrimp. However, the Federal Government announced a significant reduction to the shrimp quota.  This is an unacceptable cut that will add stress to our local rural economy. Additionally, a number of fisherpeople will continue to feel the pinch, despite rising prices for raw material product, they are also seeing significant increases for fuel. This pinch is also felt by those in working in forestry, tourism and basically all other industries. Just announced this week, Aeroplan was increasing the number of reward points required to fly certain distances. The article noted that increases in the price of fuel was a factor in their decision-making.

Local workers and commuters pay more to get to work, which will affect take home pay. Escalating gasoline prices will increase inflation, and we will in turn see higher prices on virtually all products. More has to be done to provide relief to consumers. Earlier this week, CBC News reported, “Power price hike expected”. There is currently an application put forth to the Public Utilities Board to approve a rate increase of 7% that will be passed directly on to the consumer ( http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2011/04/15/hydro-power-hike-pub-415.html). We already had an increase in electricity rates and there is no end in sight, especially with a major capital cost of developing the Lower Churchill. I would only guess that electricity rates will continue to rise to assist with that development on a frequent basis. These gradual increases will be a burden to rural regions and continue to hinder our growth and development. The Energy Corporation of the Province should continue to develop smaller local projects to displace the reliance on oil, this may include harnessing wind energy, tidal energy and bio-energy, as they pursue Muskrat Falls. We appear to have lost momentum on diversifying our ability to become a renewable energy powerhouse and have opted to place all of our eggs in one hydro-electric basket.

 We continue to rely heavily on oil and pay a significant amount in taxes for a Nation and a Province that has an abundance in supply. Why are we not meeting our local needs first and selling the  excess in the global marketplace? I took the photo to the left, while at a gas station in Northern Ireland in November 2010. The price of fuel was 1.198 Great British pounds (~$1.93 per litre). This is quite high; however, like many other European countries they are not an oil-producing nation. When I visited Egypt (an oil rich nation) in 2007, my driver filled up the car at a rate of 0.75 piaster/lt, which at the time was approximately 16 cents per litre Canadian. Where is the balance?

The Provincial NDP Leader, Lorraine Michael held a recent news conference demanding the removal of the Harmonized Sales Tax on Home Heating. I agree with her stand, as it seems unfair to have to pay a tax on an essential such as warmth for your home. Live Rural Newfoundland & Labrador will be signing the petition and if you support this cause, sign the NDP Petition to Remove the HST from Home Heat by clicking here.

We are simply paying too much for gasoline and home heating fuels. As consumer’s we must reduce our reliance on these fuels and opt for alternative energy sources. Many ruralites burn wood to heat their homes and offset their energy costs. Others will begin to convert to wood pellets. Many users of oil will have no choice but to convert to other energy options, as the price is $1.10 per litre locally. When it comes to driving our vehicles in rural areas we will have to find solutions to getting to destinations, whether it is carpooling, ride sharing, telecommuting, downsizing vehicles or trying to establish more public transit options. Through this period of change and transition, we must continue to lobby government to reinvest in local community projects to enhance and diversify the local economies of the Great Northern Peninsula, as well as all regions of Rural Newfoundland & Labrador. During a period of government prosperity, greater attention in needed to spur development in economically depressed regions. Ignoring the issue will only result in greater hardships in the future.

Together there are solutions to provide a brighter future for our rural economy.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Volunteers – Stars in Our Community

 “Those who can, do. Those who do more, volunteer”

Volunteers built Rural Communities and continue to deliver many of the services and programs today. We would not have our Lion’s Clubs, Faith-based committees, Libraries, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, Fire Departments, Town Councils, Heritage Committees, Recreation Committees, Historical Societies, Foundations, Social Enterprises and many others. Volunteers add to our rural community success!

April 10-16, 2011 was Volunteer Week in Newfoundland & Labrador. Although a week can not account for the endless hours that are unselfishly given by Newfoundlanders & Labradorians throughout the year, it is a means to recognize those who make a contribution to improve their communities and to promote the importance of volunteering to those interested in becoming more involved. Volunteers are to be commended for the work they do.

CBDC Nortip has been working with its Regional Partners to deliver Volunteer Appreciation Nights on the Great Northern Peninsula. This all started in 2005 at one location and has since grown to 5 regional locations (St. Anthony, Roddickton-Bide Arm, Plum Point, Hawke’s Bay and Cow Head). In 2010, approximately 300 volunteers participated in these activities.

The link below is a PowerPoint presentation thanks people for Volunteering and outlines a number of organizations in which people volunteer:

7th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Night final

I will continue to volunteer at a Local, Provincial and National-level to enhance the quality of life in and around our communities, share knowledge with others to also improve their communities. I invite you to explore Volunteer Opportunities that exist at the local, provincial, national or international arena. There are so many ways you can become involved and “Be a Star in Our Community”.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to Volunteer.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore

Applications for Community Development Grant Program Available Now

The Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation is accepting applications for Community Development Grant Program. This is a great opportunity for non-profit, municipalities, local service districts, recreation committees and others to expand activity in their rural region, as it is only available to Towns and Communities with a population of less than 6,000 people. More information can be found at: http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2011/tcr/0415n07.htm

Tourism, Culture and Recreation
April 15, 2011

Applications for Community Development Grant Program Available Now

Applications for the Community Recreation Development Grant Program 2011-12 are now available online. The program assists communities and recreation committees throughout the province to provide recreation programming and services to residents.

“This program provides all residents across the province with the opportunity to become more physically active and to participate in local recreation programs and services offered in their communities,” said the Honourable Terry French, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. “Applications have been sent in the mail to more than 300 municipalities and recreation committees that have previously received financial support through this grant program. I encourage those who haven’t received an application to go online, or to contact the department, to learn more about the program and its benefits.”

Community recreation development grants are available to communities with a population of 6,000 or less. Applications are considered based on their alignment with the priorities outlined in the province’s recreation and sport strategy, Active, Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador (2007). These priorities include providing increased access to programming for all residents; making the best use of community facilities; building community capacities, and promoting the inclusion of traditionally under-represented groups, especially women and girls, seniors, Aboriginal people, and those with disabilities.

For program guidelines and applications, please visit: www.tcr.gov.nl.ca/tcr/sports/community_recreation_development_grants.html or contact David Doyle, recreation and sport consultant, Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation at 709-729-5281, daviddoyle@gov.nl.ca.

The deadline to submit applications is April 28, 2011.

Budget 2010: The Right Investments – For Our Children and Our Future provided about $7 million through the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation to support recreation and sport initiatives. This included over $1.3 million in new funding. Since the launch of the Provincial Government’s recreation and sport strategy more than $70 million has been committed to recreational and sport infrastructure, programming, and athlete development throughout the province.

- 30 -

Media contact:

Diana Quinton
Director of Communications
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
709-729-0928, 631-8155
DianaQuinton@gov.nl.ca

2011 04 15                                                                                12:05 p.m.

Community Control of Resources Leads to Greater Success in Rural Newfoundland

Mr. Sam Elliott, Executive Director of St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI) spoke to an audience of more than 100 at the National Conference Rural Revitalization From Our Forests, sharing their local community engagement success story. It was evident that when communities collaborate and come together, they can achieve greater success.

Mr. Elliott informed the audience that in 1997, when the Federal Government released its new management plan, there was an allocation of 3,000 tonnes for the 16 communities (17 at the time) on the northern part of the Great Northern Peninsula. They included the communities from Big Brook (now re-settled) to Goose Cove that had lobbied for a share of the increased quotas. Having this resource in the hands of the communities, enabled SABRI to make local decisions that would provide the greatest benefit to residents of the area.

The management Board is made up of 15 volunteers with 5 fisherpersons, 4 fish plant employees, 4 Community representatives and 2 representatives from local development committees. The Broad representation from various regions and interests may present for some tough decisions. However, the group realizes that they have to make good decisions that will have local impacts.

They put our a combination of short and long-term proposals, one of which was a plant facility for shrimp and other species in St. Anthony. According to their website, the Board chose 4 companies who proposed to offload their shrimp in St. Anthony and to hire local fishermen to fish the shrimp for 1997. In return SABRI would receive a royalty on a per tonne basis. This provided revenue until a production facility and agreement could be reached.

The Board reached a decision to establish a partnership to create St. Anthony Seafoods Limited and access the former FPI plant. It is evident that many negotiations had to take place with the owners and other interest groups to put up some investment. SABRI was able to retain 25% ownership, with 25% owned by two Icelandic Companies and 50% for Clearwater. The addition of these other shareholders, had reduced the risks of SABRI.

Mr. Elliott, noted in the beginning $10,000 was given to each community to assist with projects and enhancements. However, one of the larger problems in some of these rural communities was lack of organization (Town Council or Local Development Committees). This meant some communities were spending their $10,000 to do a project without trying to use that to leverage other funds. Sometimes the project would only be partially completed before funds would run out. Mr. Elliott pointed out that this $160,000 could potentially be $1.6 Million in infrastructure investments to the region. However, achieving this goal with many more interest groups and satisfying their needs would undoubtably be a challenge. SABRI had consultations with the communities and found that common to all groups, they were interested in having a trail system. This would be the direction SABRI would take to enhance what was currently in place.

Mr. Elliott should a series of photographs of before and after their organization had taken a lead. This included changing from wooded board walks to natural rock trails, to the completion of many gazebos. His images showed the trails were well-marked with good signage, some having storyboards.

SABRI has focused on Community Economic Development, which same highlighted a series of recent projects:

  • Removal and replacement of existing cruise docking facilities at L’Anse aux Meadows, as well as a tour bus turnaround at the site;
  • Development of a walking access to the French Oven site at Quirpon;
  • Development of integrated signage;
  • Trail guide for the SABRI region
  • Construction of three portable kiosks, which can be transported to festivals and activities in the region throughout the season.
  • Construction of three stationary kiosks. These kiosks are located on the Grenfell Properties; at L’Anse aux Meadows; and at Parkers Brook for the Save Our Char Committee.

SABRI has re-invested in local projects, creating local employment. They currently manage a mussel farm,  provide scholarships and donate to local not-profit groups, such as the Grenfell Foundation.

Mr. Elliott had provided a final slide of Did You Know? and I wish I was able to scribe all the positive figures of the many millions invested in infrastructure, the hundreds of jobs created directly and many more indirectly in the region. SABRI is truly a local success story on the Great Northern Peninsula that was given a small allocation of 3,000 tonnes and manage it effectively to provide the greatest benefits to the people of their region. They should be commended for the work they do and the significant impact they have made.

When communities come together and collaborate for the common good of everyone, there is greater success. There is no reason, why communities could not have greater decision-making over other resources, such as the forest. However, much of this success hinges on Government to enable the local economy to develop. We are beginning to see local groups with common interests, working closer together to share finite resources. We only have to look to co-operatives and how they have thrived in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. We need more local co-ops (agriculture, forestry, fishery, crafts, tourism), as well as collaboration from communities, businesses and government.

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

Apple, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Lingonberry Vinaigrette

The Lingonberry in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador is referred to locally as the “Partridgeberry”.

After reviewing From Our Atlantic Woods -Non-Timber Forest Product Directory 2009-2010, a recipe supplied by Pure Labrador seemed like a delicious use of for local berries.

Apple, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Lingonberry Vinaigrette (Serves 4)

Ingredients (Vinaigrette)

Directions -

Mix all together and shake well

Ingredients (Salad)

  • Mixed baby salad greens
  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) crumbled blue cheese

Directions -

  1. Spread a bed of salad greens on 4 plates
  2. Core and quarter the apple
  3. Thinly slice each quarter into 6-8 slices and place on the greens in an attractive fan
  4. Sprinkle 1 tbsp (15 ml) each walnuts and blue cheese over the apple and greens
  5. Drizzle the Lingonberry Vinaigrette over the salads.

 I am looking forward to trying this salad, which will have local wild berries. Be creative with locally grown products and start your own FOOD REVOLUTION!

Newfoundland Firewood Ltd.

Newfoundland Firewood

Any traveller driving the Viking Trail (Route 430) on the Great Northern Peninsula will see many piles of wood at roadside.

 
This wood will eventually end up in stores, garages, basements or other containment areas to be used as a heat source at a local home or cabin. This wood has been cut by the end-user or purchased for a nominal price.
 
When I worked for the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development on a work term with the Getting the Message Out program we promoted local entrepreneurship. One  company, Newfoundland Firewood Ltd., located in Port Blandford, NL comes to mind when I think of our forest products.
 
The company produces bags of birch in small bags that are big enough for the fireplace or to roast marshmallows by a campsite fire. Consumer’s are willing to pay a premium for convenience. I remember last summer, when I tented at Gros Morne National Park. I purchased firewood at the campground, paying $8.00 for a very small bundle of wood. However, I only have a small car and when fully packed with camping gear, there isn’t much room left to carry firewood. Plus, wood can provide for a messy clean-up in the trunk.
 
This convenience factor would especially appeal to urbanites that live in areas allowing backyard fires or travelling to rural regions for incredible outdoor experiences. His products are available at parks and gas stations, which is a good complement to get product in the end consumer‘s hand.
 
However, I have yet to see much firewood on the Great Northern Peninsula sold this way? Is there a market, since there appears to be an abundance of wood in view along the highway? I know many people have backyard fires and there is a growing number of travellers using the highway. Will Newfoundland Firewood Ltd. enter the marketplace or will some other entrepreneur explore the business case of the Great Northern Peninsula and parts of Labrador?
 
Live Rural NL o
Christopher Mitchelmore

Squashberry Jam from Grandmother Pearl

My youthful Grandmother Pearl at 66 years of age is a wonder in the kitchen. She tends to prepare large meals for her extended family on a regular basis. On Sunday, one can suspect that she has a massive pot of salt beef, vegetables, meat and bread pudding cooking for a Sunday dinner.

She ensures to hold onto local tradition of ensuring recipes of wild game, fish and beans are mainstays at her table. There is nothing like a piece of fresh halibut out of her pan during the months of summer.

Her specialty skills come as a baker. She makes all sorts of squares, buns, rolls, cakes and my most loved item – her freshly baked pies with apples or local Newfoundland berries. There is nothing like a cut of bakeapple or partridge-berry pie and a scoop of ice-cream.

Spreading Squashberry Jam on Toast

Last time I was at her house, she gave me a small sample of her squashberry jam. I can not re-call if I have ever tasted such a local treat. I was eager to place this jam on a piece of toast. It is quite delicious. I look forward to berry picking this summer.

If you would like more information or to purchase some Squashberry product, you can visit locally The Dark Tickle Company in beautiful St. Lunaire-Griquet, Great Northern Peninsula at http://www.darktickle.com/squashberryinfo.aspx

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

Higher Gas Prices Creates a Need For Better Public Transit in Rural NL

Reading an article on CBC.ca found here makes the following statement:

CIBC Economics, the economics arm of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, said higher pump prices for all of 2011 would translate into $950 getting sucked out of each Canadian household to feed their cars and trucks.

Escalating gas prices appear to be commonplace even in a country such as Canada that is rich with oil. I remember maybe 15 years ago when gasoline was 56.9 cents per litre with full-service on the Great Northern Peninsula in Northern Newfoundland. The price of gasoline has been constantly increasing during this winter, currently at $1.40 per litre self-service. 

I live in a rural area, commuting 50 km each way to work or some 500 km each week. There are limited options for me, but to absorb this additional cost and pay the projected $950 per year. However, the high price at the pumps have a domino effect on all other goods as they need to be transported to the rural area. The small business owner will face increased costs and ultimately have to pass these on to the end-consumer. It will not be much longer that this $950 becomes a much larger cost to my wallet.

The Provincial Government greatly benefits from increases gasoline prices, since consumer’s have limited alternatives when it comes to public transit and continue to pay at the pumps. The Capital City and Corner Brook does have some bus service, but rural regions have limited long-distance busing to connect us to larger centers. Most communities on the Great Northern Peninsula are so geographically distanced that bicycle use would only be feasible for very short distances and only during ideal weather conditions.

Consumer’s pay a $0.10 Federal Gas Tax Levy plus Provincially we pay some of the highest rates in the country with a $0.165 Provincial Gas Tax Levy + a 13% Harmonized Sales Tax. We are constantly being gauged, with little relief. The Provincial Government should reduce their levy or at least re-invest a portion of this money spent at the pump to implementing better local public transit.

When I lived in Europe, during 2007 I did not rent a car once. I often opted to walk or take a bus, tram, underground rail car or train. There were so many low costs alternatives. Even when I lived in Edmonton, Alberta, I always used a combination of walking and bus route to work each day. Canada needs to place greater emphasis on high-speed trains in concentrated urban centres, such as connections between Edmonton and Calgary, as well as Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Rural regions need solutions as well, such as RIDE SHARE - Drivers & passengers sharing rides to work, school and events  – saving money, time, gas, and the environment. The Provincial Government needs to work with smaller Municipalities to create an interface that will help solve continued transportation woes.

 If there are readers out there that would like to consider a RIDE SHARE, I would be happy to commute. Whether to work or longer distance drives.

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

Winter road to Roddickton-Bide Arm

Road to Roddickton-Bide Arm

 
The Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm is nestled on the North Eastern part of the Great Northern Peninsula and is an untapped location for winter tourism. The abundance of snow, trees, wildlife, mountains and sunshine makes for a picturesque day.  
 
One should take the opportunity to visit the Town  – take a walk, snowshoe, ski or snowmobile on some of the trails. If you are hungry, stop by the Lumberjack’s Landing or Mayflower Inn for some local grub. You can even stay at the Mayflower for a night or two.  
 
Roddickton has been coined the Moose Capital of the World. On my last two visits I have seen moose. During my last trip on March 24, 2011, I saw two caribou crossing the road. I slowed down, pulled out my camera – but they had disappeared into the forest.   
 

The view from above

 One simply can not be disappointed by the mountains in the background that are snow-covered. You may opt to take a side trip to the Town of Conche just 28 kms away.
 
It is now April 11, 2011 and there is still an abundance of snow and great snowmobiling on the hills. There is still an opportunity for those who wish to enjoy the scenic beauty of the what the Great Northern Peninsula has to offer this season. If you are not able, mark your calendars for the 2012 season!
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore

Traditional Firewood to Heat our Homes

 
Wheelbarrow and a Fine Tier of Wood
 
Newfoundlander’s & Labradorian‘s have always depended on forests. The trees were used to build temporary residences for the first seasonal planters, which would eventually led to permanent settlement. Domestic firewood remains in high demand, and is the primary heat source for many of our homes or cabins in rural Newfoundland & Labrador.
 
 
 To combat high energy costs, several weeks of the winter season would be dedicated to cutting domestic firewood to provide a source of heat for next winter.
 
I remember helping my father in the forest. We would pack up the sleigh full of cut wood and bring to the hillside near our home. During the summer, it would be my job to pack up the firewood into long rows (tier) with sufficient space to permit air to flow. This created a proper seasoned wood.
 
The process of cutting firewood is very time-consuming and can be costly considering you must pay a government permit, have a ski-doo with sleigh, a chain saw, gas and many human hours of packing and re-packing. A piece of firewood may move 6 or 7 times from when it is first cut to when it reaches the wood stove for burning. 

The Old Wood Pile

 
Electricity only came to my neighbouring communities in the 1960′s, so this was a necessary heat source. Especially since winters were much colder in the past than they are today. Many residents, especially seasonal employees ensured they had enough wood to last through those long winter nights.  I only wish that I possess the skill set that my father did for woodcutting. Today we purchase our firewood locally to support a continued growth of the rural economy. However,  I still enjoy the exercise that comes with packing and re-packing the firewood. When it is part of the routine, it does not seem such a daunting chore. 
 
The comfort one gains from the warmth of firewood and kindling coming through the floor is to much satisfaction. Firewood is a renewable resource and a good source of heat. It came in handy yesterday when the power was out. My home was nice and toasty, even with the temperatures still in the negative degrees.
 
There is more opportunity to be realized from our local forests. I will be attending a Forestry Conference – Rural Revitalization From Our Forests (April 13-15, 2010) and will keep you posted. If you would like to attend visit www.mfnl.com.
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore

Rabbit Soup on Saturday

 

Wild Rabbit Soup

The utilities company noted they would be doing some upgrades to the main power line, leaving local residents from Castor River to Eddies Cove without electricity until 11:00 AM. This delayed my traditional lunch at grandma’s house.
 
 Early in the morning, I lit a fire. The heat from locally cut wood, provided much warmth. I did some chores and brought out some light trash. I dropped in to visit my grandmother, who faithfully had the pot on the stove and noted she was cooking “Rabbit Soup”, but it would not be ready until about 1:30 PM. We chatted for a bit  and she had also proudly showed me all her knitting. She certainly keeps quite busy.

Rabbit

The table was prepared, with homemade bread, the salt & pepper shakers, the rabbit had been taken from the pot and soup ready to be poured into each bowl. The rabbit was delicious. My grandmother and I always have a good chat, whether it is about the hockey game, curling, gardening, weather or past times. I had told her I was looking at old photos earlier, some of which included my grandfather, father and of  course my childhood.RabbitMany good memories.
 
I enjoy traditional recipes of rural Newfoundland. My grandmother and I discussed how traditions are dying as far fewer people of the younger generations are cooking with wild game. Modernization and the convenience of pre-packaged food is having an impact on the dishes that have been served on Newfoundland tables for centuries.
 

 

RECIPE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND RABBIT SOUP
 
 1 lb. Salt beef
2 qts of cold water
1 Wild game rabbit (cleaned and cut up)
3 carrots
1 lb turnip
4 med. Potatoes
1 med. Onion
few drips of gravy browning
3 ½ – 4 qts. Cold water
 
Cut salt beef into small pieces. Place in large saucepan and add 2 qts. cold water. Bring to a boil. Place salt beef, rabbit and remaining 3 ½ qts (cook 1 ½ hours). Add vegetables  and browning. Cook 30 minutes.
 
Bon Apetit!
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
 
 

Moose Hunting at Gros Morne & Terra Nova National Park

                                                                                                                          

Moose Antlers in Gros Morne

The Rick Mercer Report  brought National attention to the moose population by tacking a helicopter to track and tag moose at Gros Morne National Park. He coined Gros Morne, as home to the more moose per square kilometer than almost anywhere on Earth.  Newfoundland & Labrador has a growing moose population, which CBC.ca has reported there are more than 150,000 moose in the province, with about 5,000 in Gros Morne National Park alone. This is a large number considering the human population of the island portion of the province is about 480,000 people.

 
 
I support the issue of approximately 500 moose licences in these National Parks. This is a good start, considering the damage and impact they are having on other species, habitats and on human life. Just two weeks ago, when driving through Gros Morne National Park the sign states, so far this year “7 Vehicle Collisions involving Moose”. I have seen this sign reach the mid-thirties as the summer continues. CBC reported in a link below, that one woman had hit three moose in May.
 
The management of the moose population is becoming a growing problem in Newfoundland & Labrador. The Provincial Government is taking some action, as they are grooming greater parts of the highway and issuing 5,000 additional licences, after continued pressure from SOPAC (Save Our People Action Committee) and a class-action lawsuit against the Crown from victims of moose-vehicle collisions. The Federal Government has finally taken action regarding the growing problems at Gros Morne National Park.
 
The Federal Government should work with local outfitters that have the planes and resources to provide them with additional licences. The economic impact on the local economy can be great.
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
 
 
 

Scenic Gros Morne National Park

A view of Norris Point, Gros Morne National Park

There is always a scenic photo to be taken when you visit Gros Morne National Park. These are some from my March 21, 2011 visit. The view of the bay is breathtaking. The little wharves represent the  imporance of fishing to the local economy. Although, the tourism industry has grown immensely attracting more than 180,000 visitors annually, the fishing industry is a mainstay for many families. 

A wharf in Norris Point, Gros Morne National Park

There must be a way to blend both industries where tourists can experience a rural fishing lifestyle and these fishers can also realize financial gain that will make their enterprises more viable. If the resource can be properly managed and regulated, why not allow tourists to experience traditional cod jiggin’?  They could also take their catch to a local restaurant and have it prepared to enjoy as a meal.

Boat in the Bay

We need to develop our industries. However, we must  properly manage the resources and tools that we have available to us in rural regions. One inhibiting factor are the regulations  in place by the Federal Government. It is time for government to work with fishers, businesses and community organizations to implement the change that is needed for rural success.

Fishing Boat

 
There is opportunity for Learning Vacations, Fish Markets and Culinary Experieces that pertain to the inshore fishing industry. Rural regions in Northern Newfoundland can have further growth and success! We just need to be included, our voices matter. We have ideas that can improve the quality of life and experiences of living rural. 
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
 

The Giant’s Causeway…part III

 

Pillers 12 meters high

In mid-November Live Rural NL author, Christopher Mitchelmore spent two weeks on vacation with some time in Ireland exploring Irish roots.  The Giant’s Causeway is a magnificent space to spend the day. I recommend to plan ahead and bring a snack to have a picnic by the sea.          
 

Posing on the trail with the hills and water in the background

 
Posing on the trail with the hills and water in the backgroundthe hillside green and beautiful orange glow, takes me back to a simpler time – a time when nature ruled and development was from human interference was far away.

A lonely walker on the trail at sunset

We stayed almost until sunset, climbing to the top to get a great aerial view of the 37,000 basalt columns.

 

The View from Above

Upon reaching our car, we decided to stop by a coffee shop in a small neighbouring village before driving to Dublin, Ireland to meet Marcel. The Giant’s Causeway has been a big highlight of my last European vacation.

Find your highlight here -

Live Rural NL 0 Christopher Mitchelmore 

 

Live Rural NL retaliates against Ellen’s stance of “Stop Seal Hunting in Canada”

Dear Ellen Degeneres -

I am deeply disappointed that you have chosen to become the latest  celebrity to advocate against the Canadian Seal Hunt, joining forces with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). You have joined a growing list of mis-informed celebrity predecessors, including Beatle Paul McCartney and Playmate, Pamela Anderson. We only need to remember then Premier Danny Williams taking on Paul McCartney and Heather Mills-McCartney on Larry King Live. Danny Williams not only illustrated how un-educated Paul and now former wife was on the matter of the seal hunt, he also embarrassed them in terms of knowing their Canadian geography. Mr. Williams invited them to come to Newfoundland & Labrador to see for himself. Paul remarked along the lines that he was already there when really he was in Prince Edward Island, another province.

PETA is an organizations that uses images of baby seals and presents mis-information to create a cash infusion.  Their website states: “PETA is drawing global attention to the annual slaughter of tens of thousands of baby harp seals”.

This statement is false! Myth: The Canadian government allows sealers to harvest white coat seals.

Reality: The harvesting of harp seal pups (white coats) and hooded seal pups (blueblack) is illegal in Canada and has been since 1987. The seals that are harvested are self-reliant, independent animals. (Source: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/seal-phoque/index-eng.htm)

Ellen your website states: Seal hunting is one of the most atrocious and inhumane acts against animals allowed by any government.

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s manages the seal hunt, which is sustainable. One only has to look at the harp seal population growth. In the 1970′s there were less than 2 million seals, now in 2011 there is more than 9 million harp seals. The government allocates an annual harvest quota that is supported by scientific research. The Seal Hunt is HUMANE, STRICTLY REGULATED and ENFORCED. How is harvesting seals any more atrocious and inhumane than the fish that is caught, cows, chicken, pigs, moose and other animals that are killed for human consumption? What about cattle that are ranched and grown strictly for human consumption? They have no chance for anything but ending up as some form of beef, maybe a burger – unlike seals, who are self-reliant, independent and able to fend for themselves.

The seal hunt has been around in Newfoundland and Labrador for centuries. Without the seal meat, oil and skin for clothing many people of the rural communities would be burdened with economic hardships and other woes. The sealskin boot has provided the warmth and protection from the elements of surviving in a difficult winter climate. The seal skin is water-resistant, protecting the feet from getting damp when cutting firewood to heat one’s home. Seal skin provided necessary protection that may have saved human lives.

My father was a fisherman, his father and his father before him. They have all harvested seals to aid them in providing for their families. My father had prepared seal skin to be made into boots. I still proudly wear them, as winters in Northern Newfoundland tend to be very stormy. I walk knee-deep in snow, many days throughout winter to reach my car. I understand the deep-rooted tradition and the necessity of the seal hunt to ensure life in rural regions could continue. How dare you make such uninformed comments that continue to negatively impact the fishers in rural regions.

I ask that you do further research on this matter and re-consider your stance on the seal hunt. I invite you to come to Rural Newfoundland and Labrador to experience for yourself first-hand the seal hunt. You should use your celebrity status to do good instead of blatant abuse.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore

Sandy Beaches at Norris Point, Gros Morne National Park

 
Tropical Paradise on March 21, 2011 at Gros Morne?
I always enjoy treks to Gros Morne National Park, which is one of our Rural Crown Jewels
Footprints

On March 21, 2011, I was pleasantly surprised to walk the shores and find a beautiful sandy beach. The Town was quiet as I met very few people during my stroll on the beach this afternoon. I screamed of being a tourist with my Nikon DSLR camera and the fact that Norris Point is small enough that everyone knows everyone in the community during the off-season.

An amazing view...

The Town of Norris Point may be small in population (pop. 850 in 1996), but during summer, like Prince Edward Island the tourists will out-number residents by a grossly disproportioned amount. Tourists at Gros Morne National Park exceed 180,000 people in season.

Looking onwards, towards the Mountains

There are many reasons to visit Norris Point. One I recommend is to take time to tour the shoreline. You will be surprised by the furry of activity from the  fishers, sea life, birds and sounds of the water gently rolling over the sandy beaches.

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

Giant’s Causeway…Part Two

The three amigos by the basalt pillars

 The Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder formed millions of years ago. The image to the left illustrates the sheer height of some of the pillars.

David, myself and Tobias look quite miniscule in comparison. We pretended to blend in and be part of the causeway.

An up close view of the basalt pillars at the Giant’s Causeway.

 We have been to the edge….and back! The formations combined with the powerful waves presented a very unique feeling of experiencing a natural wonder.

 The crashing waves.

The image to the left shows Tobias “The Navigator”  jumping ahead while I use the opportunity to take some more photos.

I probably took 300+ pictures at the Giant’s Causeway. Certainly enough to make our fourth friend, Marcel jealous for missing it. Sorry Marcel.

I am quite familiar with WORLD UNESCO HERITAGE SITES as I live in between two on the Great Northern Peninsula, that is L’Anse Aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site (the site of the Norse, who re-discovered North American more than 1,000 years ago) and The Tablelands at Gros Morne National Park. This comment reminds me of one Sarah Palin made during her 2008 ticket for vice-present when McCain claimed she was an expert in foreign policy. She backed this statement by noting Canada was next to Alaska and that she practically could see Russia from her window.

On a serious note, the Tableland experience near the Discovery Center, between Woody Point and Trout River, NL provided a similar feeling of awe.  I participated in a guided tour and walked the trail during the summer with my friend Benoit (who I also met while studying at the University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic). Parks Canada has done a fabulous job!

Newfoundland and Ireland have many connections. World UNESCO Heritage Sites are another link.

I’ll post some additional photos of the Causeway.  The farther I walked the more I loved taking it all in, just like Gros Morne National Park.

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

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