Category Archives: Categories

Grapes are growing on the Great Northern Peninsula

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The Vikings came to the Great Northern Peninsula more than 1,000 years ago. The Sagas of Leif Erikson have named this place “Vinland” or “Wineland”. The land has been a phenomenal source of wildberries, but the presence of grapes have been unfounded, until now…

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The greenhouse in Roddickton is illustrating that grapes can be grown on the peninsula. There are many things growing, from an array of flowers, berry bushes, fruits and a variety of vegetables.

Strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce and greens are just some of the locally grown produce available for purchase.  I bought some greens and my mother used them to make a delicious pot of soup with greens.

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You can visit the greenhouse on Monday to Friday and on Sunday. They are located off Route 433, just a couple of kilometres before you enter the residential area of Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm. Place your orders today!

Great things are growing on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

 

Grenfell Heritage Days A Big Success!

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The legacy of Sir Doctor Wilfred Thomason Grenfell continues to be celebrated by the people of the Great Northern Peninsula at the annual Heritage Day in St. Anthony, NL. Hundreds of people typically flock to the Grenfell Memorial Park surrounded by the hospital, mission store, co-operative, former orphanage, handicraft operation and a network of other buildings – all the wonderful things Grenfell created to improve the social and economic well-being of the region more than 100 years ago. This year’s event was held at the Polar Centre as a change in venue.

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The day began with the Teddy Bears Picnic. I enjoy volunteering for this even each year, which typically involves flipping a few burgers for those that wish to have a grilled afternoon snack. I arrive a little early to see the St. Anthony and Area Boys  & Girls Club had set-up a number of games. They were also making balloon animals and I was able to lose an epic balloon sword fight to Logan. It was great fun! Lots of children, accompanied by their parents or guardians enjoyed games, free books, dancing with Strawberry Shortcake, face painting, Teddy Bear check-ups at the clinic and lots of other activities.

As the evening drew on there were tables set up with games of chance, bake sales, craft sales, 50-50 draws, penny sales, auction, food and music.

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The Skipper Hot’s Band treated us to an evening of music, where some took to the floor for a step or two.

Likely the biggest hit of the evening was the polar bear paws, essentially fried dough with a cinnamon batter with sauce and whipped cream. They created quite the line up! I purchased some delicious baked goods and beautifully handmade craft items, including baby blankets, cardigan and hat and booty set.

A lot of organization goes into these events. Many thanks to all the people involved and those who volunteered their time. Those who can – do, those who do more – volunteer! 

Supporting this event is about giving back to the local health auxiliaries, which helps raise money for priority medical equipment at our local hospital.  The Grenfell Legacy is alive and well, more than 100 years since the recognition of the International Grenfell Association (IGA) and 120 years since Grenfell first came to Northern Newfoundland. His presence is still felt today.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Open Studio – A novel concept in Ship Cove, NL

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A visit to Ship Cove, NL on the Great Northern Peninsula was filled with incredible landscapes, rich history and tradition, as well as people who are doing incredibly big things in small communities. Only few dozen people are left in the community, many are seniors which continue their leadership role to press for enhancements and new developments. The residents are well-served by their Local Service District, that continue to maintain a community centre, have established an exhibit, worked with St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI) to develop and maintain a series of community walking trails and other beautification that helps entice tourists to visit the area.

I’ve been to Ship Cove on several visits, but this time there was something novel, something new – and that was the “Open Studio” founded by Deborah Gordon. A small social space consisted of a screen porch presents anyone wanting serenity to come and visit for a cup of tea or coffee with the most amazing view.

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As a seasonal resident, Deborah understands the value of how people in rural Newfoundland and Labrador use space in their everyday lives. I was greatly impressed by her 2015 piece of art, which is a calendar depicting clothes on the line in communities across the province. Before I left, I had to purchase a copy. Since then, I’ve seen them for sale at the Grenfell Heritage Shoppe in St. Anthony.

A warm cup of herbal tea and a gluten-free cookie, surrounded by her magnificent handmade artwork and a perfect frame with every gaze out the window. We chatted quite a bit about living rural, art, travel and building vibrant communities.

I would recommend anyone to make the trek to Ship Cove for all it has to offer, you will not be disappointed by the scenery, hospitality and will have a unique experience at “Open Studio”. Incredible things happen in our tiny communities of the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA
 

 

 

 

Planting Potatoes & Roadside Gardens

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Maintaining a garden of root crops has always been practiced in my family for generations. I remember spending time there with my father and grandparents, tilling the soil, placing seed and typically digging. For some reason I seldom was around for the weeding process. It was my grandmother who did most of that, as she is the ultimate green thumb. Our family still continues to plant potatoes, as well as carrot, turnip, cabbage, beets, onion and lettuce. I’ve been experimenting with other seeds and spices, and hopefully soon will have a greenhouse to help expand what I am able to grow.

What was needed for subsistence years ago, is now unnecessary given easy access to vegetables at grocery stores. However, it is gratifying to know that so many are continuing this generational tradition. As I travel throughout the District, I see many roadside and backyard gardens that were likely started by their parents or grandparents. There is also renewed interest from younger people to grow different vegetables, establish community gardens, use various techniques and use the space they have available to them in the most productive form.

We have exceptional opportunity to expand farming on the Great Northern Peninsula, in both small and large-scale. We are also lacking a coordinated effort to establish a farmers or local market in many communities. There is opportunity to establish a weekly marketplace where locally grown produce, jams, preserves, crafts and handmade wares are for sale. Coffee and teas and other booths could be set-up, with picnic tables and even some local music.

There are some spaces in the District, where a local marketplace could thrive. Let’s move this idea forward.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

 

 

 

Community Kitchen Party Thrives on Tradition – Green Island Cove, NL

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Our rural communities will thrive with active participation of residents. We saw significant success on July 11, 2014 with the first ever promoted community kitchen party to be hosted at Green Island Cove wharf. The event ended up being held at the neighbouring fishers’ gear shed and drew throughout the evening upwards of 200 people from under eight to nearly eighty years of age. It was truly a gathering to celebrate community, tradition and enjoy each other’s company at one of the busiest times of year.

Music brings people together and we are blessed to have local people willing to share their talents. Guitars, accordions, ugly sticks, brooms, spoons and kajoons paired with a vocals of Clara and Loomis made for an incredible night where tradition thrived. I’ve always heard my grandparents talk about the old-fashioned time and this is likely the closest I’ll get to experiencing those community celebrations of food, song and dance. With fishing nets as the backdrop, songbooks distributed, the waltz, two-step and jigs began to play and the old wooden floor of the gear shed got some action.

There was a little magic in the room that evening as we all embraced our small fishing community way of living, as those who came before us would always take time throughout summer to have a time. Even the little kids were eager to learn the dance moves. A tumble or two would not deter them.

A group of men and women also treated us to a good old-fashioned square dance. This dance was once commonplace and now only a handful know all the moves. When these dancers took the floor, all eyes were on them. A couple of brave souls joined in with the group and learned the steps as they went. I believe everyone else wish they knew the moves, so they too could take to the floor.

It has become quite clear that the success of our rural communities is about how we interact with the space we have in our everyday lives. I think ensuring that a gear shed or a wharf can also be the gathering place as they were pre-moratorium of 1992 is vital to maintaining and sustaining our outport communities.

I must commend the leadership of Dr. Kathleen Blanchard, President and Founder of Intervale. This organization produces programs and services in the fields of conservation, heritage interpretation, and sustainable development. Her interest in sustainable fisheries and community economic development was the driving force to documenting and organizing with fishers Loomis and Brenda such a tremendous event, which can be shared with others.

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The success of the evening has already sparked talks to host another, possibly make this an annual event like the Conche and Goose Cove Garden Parties. The evening also stimulated discussion of hosting another Come Home Year in 2016 – one for Green Island Cove and Pine’s Cove. The dates have been set, so mark your calendars – August 15-21st, 2016 because home is where you will want to be. Please join us!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Expanded Childcare on the Peninsula Helping Retain & Attract Youth

Accessible and affordable childcare is key to building a stronger community. Rural regions of the province also need these services for recruitment and retention of professionals and workers. In The Straits-White Bay North, the people have been getting it right for 20 years, as the Riddles & Rhymes Daycare in St. Anthony celebrated two decades of operations at the local College of the North Atlantic campus.

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Riddles and Rhymes Daycare offers childcare services for the general public and for College of the North Atlantic students. This is an ideal environment, especially for a parent wanting to pursuing further post-secondary, as they can drop their kids off at the daycare and check on them during break time.

This is a non-profit corporation established by a concerned group of working parents that worked hard fundraising and gained the attention of Government to ensure access to childcare was available to those of the St. Anthony Basin Area (Cook’s Harbour to Goose Cove and all places in between). At the celebration event in May, we heard the centre had some difficult years in the beginnings, but they were able to prevail and are a very successful model for other communities to follow. A timeline of events throughout the years clearly illustrate the impact this service has had on our children, employees, employers, students and the region as a whole. Affordable and accessible childcare helps build stronger communities.

In June 2013, a second daycare, “Little Folks” opened in the regional administrative centre of Flower’s Cove primarily serving a region of Castor River to Eddies Cove East

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The Little Folks Daycare is an initiative that shows how all things are possible when people, organizations and Government come together to fill a need and find rural solutions. This resounding group of parents, concerned citizens, Town of Flower’s Cove, Regional Economic Development Board and other partners never gave up – their work is to be commended.

I am especially proud to see a building re-purposed to provide a much larger contribution to the regional community. This former clubhouse was built with public funds to serve the softball field, which seldom saw the use to justify maintaining such a wonderful structure. We have many more buildings in our communities, either public buildings, former business, church owned property that could become a multi-use to expand the dynamic and help diversify our economy on the Great Northern Peninsula. It just takes a strong will from a small group of individuals to have a big impact.

Investing in this initiative with the support of Government also helps with recruitment and retention of workers for business, organizations and government. These are the type of investments in which we are proud, as they provide a safe, caring and structured environment that fosters strong education and advances social skills, giving our children an early start. 

I must commend all parents, volunteers and organizations that saw this need and encourage everyone to do what they can to support both Riddles & Rhymes and Little Folks Daycare, as they are two key entities for sustaining and growing our region.

This may also be an initiative for the residents of the Northern Peninsula East to consider working to establish a non-profit daycare in the regional centre of Roddickton-Bide Arm.

If you are considering starting a business or moving to the Great Northern Peninsula for employment or education there is exceptional childcare services available if you are thinking of starting or continuing to raise your family. You too, can enjoy everything this great place has to offer.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

 

Golden Sunsets – Green Island Cove, NL

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The golden sun is setting over the Strait of Belle Isle and will disappear beyond the hills of the Big Land – Labrador. This was a magnificent view I experience from my backyard. A truly joy of rural living when you are at water’s edge.

This has been a summer where we’ve experienced the freshest seafood, either at one of our fine local restaurants or at home. Lobsters have been boiling in the shed and eaten outside. Food definitely tastes better when it’s prepared and eaten outside for some reason.

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The wonderful surroundings, the fresh air, green space, blue skies, sunshine and tranquility certainly provide the perfect atmosphere. The backyard fire pit and entertaining area is still a work in progress, but even the flames of a store purchased pit can provide just what you need for gatherings of friends and family to share song, stories and enjoy the warmth of the fire when the sun goes down.

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It’s always important in our busy lives that we stop to smell the roses and realize the value of rural living.

The Great Northern Peninsula offers backyards that have golden sunsets and everything you need to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.

Live Rural NL -
 
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Tickle Inn is Tranquility at Cape Onion, NL – Population, 2

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Taking a left turn from the community of Ship Cove, there is a newly minted sign marking the iconic community of Cape Onion, NL. Before I even got over the hill, I had to pull over, stop and take a photo. It truly is a panoramic place that represents what is quintessentially outport Newfoundland & Labrador.

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I pulled up to Jim & Sophie’s house. They are the only permanent settlers in Cape Onion. Like many Newfoundlanders on a nice day, Jim was busy in his shed preparing to install a new window. As my attention veered off as I looked out his shed window, he began to tell me about the “Tickle Inn” and his long family history of it being in passed on through four generations. He explained how the original home was the longer roof structure and when the son took over he built the addition which is closest to Jim’s shed and when the next generation took over a further addition of a larger kitchen was built to the back. I decided to visit and tour this 9-acre property.

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The Adams Family Homestead is a designated heritage structure and is circa 1890, which means the old-family home has been providing hospitality for the owners for nearly 125 years. Quite the milestone! The Bed & Breakfast opened in 1991, after extensive restoration. Without the interest and vision from David & Barbara Adams, paired with the cooperation and work of relatives Jim and Sophie, this crown jewel of the Great Northern Peninsula may have gone the way of some many older family homesteads – just cease to exist. This home is likely the oldest surviving house on the French Shore.

There is value in what is old and preserving the past. The Tickle Inn, illustrates the cultural and economic value our heritage and vernacular architecture can have in creating and sustaining long-term employment, creating unique visitor experiences and also complimenting other small businesses in the region.

People certainly would come just to have this view from the living room window. Exquisite isn’t it?

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Before entering, there is an old bell mounted on the wall next to the door. A sign explains the history of building and the porch is a mini-museum of old artifacts from herring barrels, water jugs, ringer washing machines, barrel guns to pit saws. Actually this continues throughout the house. Upon entering the dining room, there is an old stove, a crank telephone, an old wooden radio on the wall and many other items of interest. The living room has furniture from decades ago, an organ and large Bible prominently placed. Nan’s pantry was filled with some wares people can purchase, with the staircase being a special piece that took you all the way to the Crow’s nest at the third-level. There are four lovely rooms available for let from June until the end of September each year.

Barbara and Sophie provided me with lots of great details. It is no wonder guests keep coming back year after year to this magical place. They also encouraged me to explore the walking trails near the property that lead to the beach.

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This is the perfect place for ultimate rest and relaxation. Tranquility at its finest in this quiet cove of Cape Onion. These pictures speak to the natural beauty of this place.

The Tickle Inn, as their slogan states “offers much more than accommodation, it is a vacation experience!” Their website www.tickleinn.net/ clearly outlines their incredible property, history and offering. It reveals the importance of promoting other local businesses, such as Gaia Art Gallery, Wildberry Economuseum, Burnt Cape, Norstead Viking Village & Port of Trade, Grenfell Historic Properties and L’Anse aux Meadows UNESCO Site.

This property has won me over! I look forward to spending a night or two at the Tickle Inn. It truly is one of our many wonderful experiences you can have on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA 
 

Sustaining a Community takes Commitment – Raleigh, NL

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Raleigh is home to the awe-inspiring Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve, boasting over 300 plant species with 30 being rare. The Burnt Cape cinquefoil is found exclusively on the Northern Peninsula, as it is the only place in the world where this species grows. The Provincial Government of Newfoundland & Labrador has failed to live up to its obligations when it eliminated all interpretation at this Reserve. It has also neglected to install appropriate signage, develop educational material such as guidebooks and panels to preserve, educate, maintain road infrastructure and make available our natural areas to interested parties. These short-sighted decisions by Government impact and harm our rural communities. Where is Government’s commitment?

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Additionally, rural communities are facing pressures from out-migration, aging population and changes to the dynamics of the economy that sustained them since their beginning all across the globe. Sustaining our small towns takes commitment and I see that in entrepreneurs Marina and Ted Hedderson  of Raleigh, NL.

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Yesterday, I was amazed by the creativity, commitment and desire to see the Town of Raleigh with a population of less than 200 survive and thrive. The current owners have been running Marina’s Mini-Mart & Gas Bar since 2001. They saw an opportunity to get into the accommodations business to compliment the neighbouring Pistolet Bay – Provincial Park, which is typically at capacity for tents and RVs throughout the season.

I was given a tour of the cottages, which include 4 two-bedroom, 3 one-bedrooms and a newly added vacation home that has the most incredible ocean view. The vacation home is very spacious and family focused with two queen and a twin bed, laundry facilities, BBQ and a view you won’t want to leave. The two bedroom cottages are very immaculate, offering two queen beds, laundry and wooden finished interior. The three one-bedroom cottages have leather furniture and laundromat access, but the best feature is that they sit with a breath-taking ocean view from a large deck to sit and enjoy your morning coffee or evening beverage. There is an entertainment area for evening fires right at water’s edge. There 4-star accommodations are priced at an incredible value, ranging from $109-169.

The Burnt Cape Cafe is a must if you are in the area. It truly understands the importance of experiential tourism. The Cafe takes lobster to a whole new level of fresh. The patrons, if they choose can go to the local wharf and select their own lobster and get their photos taken before and after. An incredible experience!

After stepping into the cafe, my attention was immediately drawn to the back which includes a comfortable seating area, big screen television playing traditional Newfoundland music and I thought was a great place to sit and relax. They also know the value of WiFi, which is provided for free.

The original six hockey jerseys are proudly displayed as in the off-season this area becomes on Monday nights, open to the dart league.  There is a wide-selection of crafts, souvenirs and other products. I purchased a Mummer’s shot glass, as I love the jannies.

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The Newfoundland tartan on the tables is a nice touch to compliment a menu that caters to those who love high-quality seafood dishes. I was treated to some phenomenal chowder, it comes highly recommended to start. It comes with generous portions of salmon and cod, great creamy flavour that is amplified with a touch of cheese melting as you eat. As a main, I’ve had pan-seared scallops and shrimp in garlic butter that would melt in your mouth with Parmesan mashed potatoes that kept you wanting more. To top the meal off, the deep-fried ice-cream was superb. The rich coating ensured the ice-cream was cold and in tact while I slowly enjoyed this treat drizzled with bakeapples. If you have not eaten at the Burnt Cape cafe you are truly missing out.

Small business and innovation is the key to dynamic growth, especially in small communities. Ted and Marina have a vision for their Town, their home. The business currently offers everything you need at your fingertips. However, they have more big ideas on how to  add accommodations, entertainment and experiential offers that appeal to locals and visitors. They are a partner with the annual Iceberg Festival, believe in strong promotion and understand the value of packaging and providing their customers with the highest in services and unique experiences.

Sustaining a community takes commitment and these two truly have what it takes to build a stronger community. I would encourage you to drop by and support this locally owned and independent business that is doing incredibly big things in a small town.

Visit their website at: www.burntcape.com

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

The Fire Still Burns – Conche, NL

The fire still burns in the small town of Conche, Newfoundland on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula East. This community has embraced its storied past, which includes early visits from the French through the migratory fishery in the 17 and 18 hundreds to their shores. On a recent visit, the French Shore Interpretation Centre had their French oven lit, in preparation for a tour group to their Centre.

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The census may list the population of Conche at 181 people, but there is much more support than that for the survival of this small Town. The people of this community are hardworking, resourceful and full of hospitality.

An active fish plant, Conche Seafoods Ltd., employs dozens of people from across the Great Northern Peninsula and parts of Western Newfoundland. This fishing Town is bucking the trend and seeing increased activity and additional employment, not less. A recent tender was called by DFO for wharf expansion and improvements in the range of up to $1 million. All signs of a strong economy. Each year hundreds of commercial trucks travel over a 17.6 KM gravel road. It is long overdue the provincial Government live up to its commitment and pave Route 434.

The community is supported by a strong local business community and amenities for residents and visitors to engage.

Museums and Heritage Facilities include:

  • Casey House Artist Retreat, the French Shore Interpretation Centre
  • A traditional harbour lighthouse
  • Remains of a World War II Boston BZ277 plane crash
  • The Casey Store, a Registered Heritage Structure – one of the oldest fisheries buildings remaining on the French Shore, and Martinique Bay, the site of a 1707 confrontation between English warships and the trapped French fleet – a designated Site of Historic Significance
  • Chaloupe Exhibit
  • Crouse Beach – a half-buried flat pebble beach that was the site of a vast French codfish drying operation in the 19th century. The beach offers a view of picturesque wharves in Southwest Crouse
  • Boat tours can be arranged upon request

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Recreation Facilities:

  • Conche Ball Field
  • Conche Playground
  • RV and Camp site
  • Beach Volleyball area
  • Array of walking trails

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Religious Institutions:
  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Parish Hall
Schools:
  • Sacred Heart All Grade
  • Northern Peninsula Family Resource Centre

Business:

  • Bits-n-Pieces Cafe
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Convenience Store
  • Lounge
  • Fish plant

Municipal:

  • Town Hall
  • Volunteer Fire Department

The community also has unique vernacular architecture you basically wont see in other communities on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. Traditional stick homes are still fashionable here and  full of colour!

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Artists and artisans can thrive in Conche. They have talented painters, authors, storytellers, dancers and folk signers that will gladly put on a performance. Summer is when Conche truly comes to life. In 2013, Conche celebrated a successful Come Home Year bringing hundreds of residents home. The committed volunteers truly make amazing things happen in small communities. The Annual Garden party is certainly a wonderful experience for anyone wanting an authentic rural experience.

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Only a few kilometres away in Roddickton-Bide Arm is a 24/7 health centre, banking, Government services and a suite of retail, manufacturing and other small businesses. Partnerships have also been established with the Mayflower Inn & Adventures to provide zodiac tours and cross-promote regional tourism.

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Conche benefits from strong organization (especially from their Town Council past and present), an ability to embrace their past and ability provide the services any small community would want and ensure their local businesses are supported. This is the only way in which our small communities will survive and thrive. It must be through local innovation and a strong will to give back to your friends and neighbours to ensure the services we want and expect can be provided. Small business is certainly a means to rural communities growing.

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Conche is one of those towns that has incredible potential to be further developed. More than 2,000 tourists go out of their way to trek down this gravel road on the Great Northern Peninsula East to visit this picturesque town. It has worked hard to establish itself as a destination. Conche is on the map for so many reasons.  The establishment of the French Shore Interpretation Centre has truly helped accelerate this growth.

A 222-foot tapestry on Jacobian linen depicts the history of the French Shore. It is proudly on display, designed by J.C. Roy and made by the women of Conche. This summer there centre spent close to a year developing 9 new exhibits that remember the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. This now has the potential to travel the province or other parts of the world as a touring exhibit to further promote the community of Conche. These initiatives are building blocks to growing a rural community.

 

Conche is truly a destination on the Great Northern Peninsula that must be visited an experienced by residents and visitors alike. There is potential for new business endeavors in town and more development. Their success can be replicated! Let’s keep working together to build stronger communities.

Rural success is occurring! The fire still burns…

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Labour of Love – Old-Fashioned Motor Boat Built in Noddy Bay!

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Resident Wes Eddison of Noddy Bay proudly shows me his old-fashioned motor boat, which he has made by his own design and primarily by hand.  The boat is a result of many weeks of hard labour – a labour of love.

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Wes is eager to take his old-fashioned motor boat on the water. He was waiting on the shaft to make the appropriate connection to the old-fashion make-and-break motor and the handmade rudder.

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The boat is certainly not Wes’ first, but at 73 years of age he claims it will be his final creation. A project that started in February is now nearing completion and Wes looks forward to taking everyone out for a ride across the Bay.

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It takes great talent and skill to craft such a boat. I am always impressed by what our local residents are capable of doing. We must do more to ensure that boat building as a past time and as a way of life does not die in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. We need more people to take up this great trade.

Wes Eddison is a prime example of a local resident that exudes what it means to live rural. I hope others will follow his direction and see a renewal in boat building, especially those that model the trap-skiff.

Happy travels Wes!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Dinner at the Daily Catch

The Daily Catch Restaurant in St. Lunaire-Griquet is located on the top of the hill with a wonderful view. I love dining at this place  because it offers such a great atmosphere.

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It’s a trendy little spot that specializes in seafood dishes. They always have local mussels, crab, lobster and selection of other seafood, paired with delicious salads and rice. They offer unique berry drinks, iceberg beer and cross promotion of local attractions. It is great to see a small business supportive of places like Norstead Viking Village and Port of Trade. The owner also understands the value of WiFi, as an early adopter of offering customers free access to wireless Internet.

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If you like the traditional deep-fried fish n’ chips, they have that too. Usually they serve with homemade fries, which goes down really well with malt vinegar.

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I highly recommend the deep-fried ice-cream served with bakeapples.

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I was also impressed with the delivery of a jug of ice water, which had a big piece of iceberg ice. These little extras go a long way in adding to the experiences on has when dining at The Daily Catch.

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The Daily Catch is certainly delivering on all levels, an all-round incredible product by having great atmosphere, great food and great service. It is one of several fantastic restaurants en route to L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Site. I highly recommend dropping by and stay for a while.

Live Rural NL -
 
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Kitchen Party tonight at Green Island Cove Wharf

Tonight there will be a unique experience at my hometown community, which has a population of 187 residents. Let’s hope the wharf will be fill with spectators as our very own multi-talented Loomis Way and a band of musicians perform traditional music, hosting what is likely the first Kitchen Party at the Green Island Cove wharf.

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Join us tonight to celebrate the Spirit of Newfoundland & Labrador Inshore Fishery & Fishing Communities. Details are below:

KitchenParty

 

The inshore plays a vital role in our rural communities. It has been our reason for existence. There is no secret the return of the mighty cod is nearing. Now is the time for policymakers to  involve the inshore fishers in this process so we are ready to deal with cod quota increases, when they occur.

Rural Newfoundlanders & Labradorians believe in their community and sustainably harvest the resources that are available to them. We have exceptional cultural assets as well that stem from the activities in which we live in our daily lives. Tonight’s Kitchen Party will be a prime example as we celebrate our small fishing communities through song and dance in the surroundings of friends.

Come out tonight if you can, for a truly authentic rural experience on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Grandois to host Come Home Year in 2015

The census lists the population of Grandois (St. Julien’s, used interchangeably) at 50, but there are far fewer reside there today. I visited this picturesque community a few weeks ago and took in a service at St. St. William’s Church which overlooks the harbour.

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St. William’s Church houses a wooden folk altar built by Jack Fitzgerald in the early 1900s. The intricate details was carved by a pocketknife. It is a wonderful piece of history and depicts the talents of the people in the region.

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The community is steeped in French history and has beautiful walking trails that lead you to old French fishing sites, such as French Point. There are tent platforms, barbecue pits and picnic tables along some of the trails. Visitors can also experience St. Julien’s Island, Fischot Islands and Harbour de Vieux, which were re-settled communities. A boat tour can be arranged in summer, which may include up close views of icebergs and whales.

Additionally, the community Grandois (St. Julien’s) sits on an abandoned copper mine that has been re-discovered in recent years with high concentrations of deposits. The population would drastically increase for this and surrounding communities with the development of a commercial mine. There are lots of untapped mining exploration on the Great Northern Peninsula, waiting to be unearthed.

 

I would encourage people to experience the beauty of this tiny community, which requires nearly 30 km travel over a gravel road (Route 438 Croque road) off Route 432 near Town of Main Brook. Grandois will host Come Home Year from July 17-20th, 2015 and it surely will be a wonderful celebration of community and place. Population may increase or surpass historic highs.  I look forward to it!

Big things happen in small communities.

Live Rural NL -
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

Have you been to the Hut?

The Hut is en route to L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Site on Route 436 in the tiny community of Noddy Bay. This local craft shop offers a wide selection of Norse and Newfoundlandia – from pins, jewelry, jams, an assortment of clothing, handmade quilts and knitted mittens and stockings like grandma use to make.

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The Hut is the only stand alone seasonal craft shop in the region and is supported by an influx of tourist visiting L’Anse aux Meadows Viking Settlement, Norstead Viking Village & Port of Trade, Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve and various other walking trails and local businesses in the area.

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I chatted with the owner and some customers about the region and checked out the wares. I purchased a Christmas ornament carved from moose bone and made by local Viking re-in-actor Mike Sexton of Goose Cove. We have so much talent and I like to support local artists.

The Hut has some pretty remarkable Norse style jewelry too! It is worth dropping by if you would like to take a Norse memory or something from Newfoundland & Labrador as a souvenir home with you from your visit.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

6th Annual Iceberg Festival A Resounding Success

The 6th Annual Iceberg Festival was held from June 6th-15th from Port au Choix to L’Anse aux Meadows to Conche to St. Anthony and many points in between. This is truly a regional festival that celebrates the beauty of the iceberg.

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The official opening brought out a crowd, including the Knudsen’s Newfoundland dogs “Neives” and “Sebastian”, Vikings, Painters, Ice Sculptors, Cooks and Performers.

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The opening offering something for everyone, from the exclusive “Iceberg” donut (found only at St. Anthony Tim Hortons location), to St. Anthony Seafoods crab. Calvin, Adam and Brandon performed traditional Newfoundland songs, including Calvin Blake’s iceberg song he wrote for the festival. They even had visitors from Kentucky play the “ugly stick”. Many children got their faces painted and also took a quick lesson in iceberg rock painting from George Bussey.

The highlight of the evening was Randy Cull’s ice sculpture, which the ice was collected by St. Carol’ own Richard’s family, stars of the TV show “The Iceberg Hunters”. The image is depicted below with Iceberg Festival Chairperson, Lavinia Crisby.

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The Iceberg Festival brought the Wonderbolt Circus for three events, which saw more than 1,000 in attend. Additionally, there was boat tours, ATV iceberg hunting, wine tasting, Iceberg Hunter premiere night, Iceberg Jubilee, Newfoundland Night, Kitchen Parties with Mummers, Iceberg glass art marking, Dark Tickle tours, zodiac tours, French tours, scavenger hunts, kids games and much more.

I encourage you to plan your holidays on the Great Northern Peninsula around the “Iceberg Festival”, it happens every year in early June and does not disappoint. Visit http://theicebergfestival.ca/. A big thank you to all the businesses and organizations that got involved to make this regional festival truly a success. Special recognition must go to the volunteer committee members for taking on a big task, that delivered dynamic results for a stronger Great Northern Peninsula. We have so much to offer those who want to experience the beauty of this place.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North 

 

 

Glacier Glass – An Incredible New Business

The Town of Englee located at the very end of Route 433 has faced challenging economic times since the closure of their fish plant and transfer of processing licensing in the early 2000′s. For the past decade, the Town has seen a decline in business, including their boat building operation and much out-migration from the community. The plant closure reflected the lost of more than a hundred direct jobs and impacted many more families. It is difficult for this historic fishing town which had one of first fresh fish processing plants in the province and industries focused on the fishery to transition and diversify their own economy.

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Englee is a beautiful Town and the fishery will always remain the most important thing. It is the reason for the existence of the community. Today fishing operations still continue, while the Town Council and Clerk work diligently to find new opportunities to enhance their region.

The fishery will be forever present, especially in their newly formed social enterprise an incredible brainchild of a true community developer depicted in Glacier Glass. Congratulations Doris!

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The image above is in the shape of a salted or dried cod-fish and has the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula created with a focus on the Northern Peninsula East, which comprises communities of Main Brook, Croque, Grandois-St. Julien’s, Conche, Roddickton-Bide Arm and Englee. Images of icebergs, whales, moose, lumber camps and nature are key features of the region.

Local people are making incredible products, that include whale tail necklaces, coasters with Newfoundland images, vases, candle holders, trays and so much more. This is all custom and handmade, created by local people.

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This is how we re-build our rural communities by creating unique products and new employment a few jobs at a time!

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The business has much promise from their unique birch forest depicted above or their unique iceberg designs below:

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Englee is known to attract the big berg or two. Here is one I took while walking one of their scenic trails.

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I would encourage you to visit their studio at the Englee Municipal Building or their Facebook Page by searching “Glacier Glass”. They can also make custom products for you to sell at your business. Supporting their business, supports local jobs in rural Newfoundland & Labrador and creates new opportunities for everyone!

There is so much potential from this project, it is worth celebrating – it has created a business. Englee has community-minded people who believe in the  future of their Town and these people are doing everything to turn the corner and ensure this Town of over 600 continues to be around for a very long time.

There are positive things happening on the Great Northern Peninsula and more great things will happen, because the people are passionate about this place. Experience the Great Northern Peninsula and add Glacier Glass to your places to visit and spend lots of money, because the product will be your memory of this great place for a lifetime.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

20 Years of Gourmet Meals Served at the Norseman Restaurant, L’anse aux Meadows

L’Anse aux Meadows with a population of 37 residents is a quaint fishing village that has been placed on the map for being the first part of North America to be authenticated as site of first contact for the Europeans, when the Vikings landed more than 1,000 years ago.

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Each year tens of thousands of tourists flock to this community and they are not disappointed by the historical context of the viking discovery provided by both the World UNESCO Heritage Site L’Anse aux Meadows and the social enterprise, Norstead – A Viking Village and Port of Trade. Last year St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI) partnered with Norstead and the Leif Erikson Foundation to have placed a statue of Leif to commemorate his discovery, there are only four in the world of this type and this will be the last.

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Additionally, the community is proudly the home to a gourmet restaurant and art gallery and has been for some 20 years! The only of its kind on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

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The Norseman Restaurant and Gaia Art Gallery (http://www.valhalla-lodge.com/restaurant.htm) is a local treasure. It has been a thriving success due to the entrepreneurial owners desire to provide the best visitor experience possible. Their quality food during lunch and dinner meals have a wonderful presentation. I always enjoy the duck or lamb dishes served with a nice glass of red wine. They have an extensive wine list. If you enjoy seafood it is locally caught and the lobster, well you will not get fresher than the Norseman. The lobsters are kept in an enclosed crate in the ocean, just feet from the restaurant where you can pick your own with the chef.

There is local music playing on many evenings, by the talented Wade Hillier of St. Lunaire-Griquet. I love it when he belts out the tune, “Aunt Martha’s Sheep”, it has to be one of my favourites. The service is extremely friendly, professional and they ensure all your questions about ingredients are answered. Truly a great front line and kitchen staff.

The restaurant also supports local artists through their artwork all for sale, which is displayed on the walls, the tea dolls in glass cases and the carvings from antlers on the tables.

The view as well is picture perfect as you see icebergs around every corner of L’Anse aux Meadows. I would encourage you to experience the wonders of the Norseman in its 20 years of operation! There is much more to say about this business and other initiatives by owner Gina Nordhoff, which I’ll save for future postings. Enjoy all L’Anse aux Meadows has to offer, come stay for a while.

Live Rural NL -
 
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North 

 

I’m from around the Bay, and I throws rocks!

Noddy Bay, NL is a beautiful community that loops around both sides of the bay, with houses scattered along the coastline. It is just minutes from L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site – The Viking Settlement and always seems to have an abundance of icebergs.

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On a recent visit to Noddy Bay, I saw two women enjoy the remarkable beauty and partake in a traditional activity experienced by anyone who grew up near water, “throwing rocks”, skidding or skipping them. I remember many summer days down in the beach or “landwash” and find some smooth and flat rocks with my friends as we would give them a toss on many afternoons. Every now and then someone will here me say the line, “I’m from around the Bay, and I throws rocks!”

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The Great Northern Peninsula is a playground for these types of experiences and ability to re-live your youthful days. I encourage you to come and explore the beauty of all things rural.

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Not to mention all the icebergs hanging out in every nook and cranny of the tip of the Peninsula. So practice your arm swinging so you too can make a big splash when you see this view.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

Coffee in the Cove Serves Only the Finest and Fairest Brews

Coffee in the Cove, Hay Cove is literally located in the backyard of L’anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Site. This bright orange homestead offers fresh, friendly and fair specialty coffees, teas and authentic homemade treats. It is also home to Radio Quirpon (www.radioquirpon.com).

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure to drop by this brightly coloured and welcoming local business in which I’ve wanted to visit for some time. As I walked up the stairs some customers greeted me. They were in fact distant relatives visiting from Stephenville and Ontario. It was quite an exciting feeling as we exchanged hugs, took photos and also talked about seeing each other again at the Family Reunion planned later in July.

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We are so fortunate to have such a cool and groovy coffee shop with the perfect atmosphere and ambiance to enjoy freshly brewed coffee beans. I had a delicious almond flavoured latte and date square. I hear there cinnamon buns are a must try too!

Proprietor, Cheryl McCarron took time to have a friendly chat with me about how her business got off the ground,  exciting new additions such as the on-line radio station and the nifty Newfoundland sayings that are written all around her establishment. She has big ideas, is optimistic about our small rural communities and the promising future we have if we tap those opportunities.

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The back deck or a table by the window presents the most perfect viewing area for the icebergs, which dominant her backyard. The experience simply can not be matched by any city shop or cafe.

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Coffee in the Cove is to be enjoyed not only by tourists, but the local market too! It was positive to hear so many local residents are dropping by to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and support a local business.

One can sit down with one of the shops books, such as the Treasury of Newfoundland Humour and Wit by J. Burke, listen to the traditional music of Radio Quirpon, get lost in conversation or the tranquility and beauty of the view.

Coffee in the Cove is one of our newest gems. I encourage you to embrace this social space and enjoy their offerings. You simply could not be disappointed. Eagerly looking forward to my next visit.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

Iceberg Donut Created & Sold Exclusively at St. Anthony Tim Hortons

 

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The Iceberg Festival takes place every June on the Great Northern Peninsula. A full schedule can be found at theicebergfestival.ca.

I would like to highlight the creativity of Leonard Tucker, franchisee of Tim Hortons, St. Anthony with the creation of the iceberg donut in conjunction of celebrating the local regional iceberg festival. The donut was launched last year and has been introduced again this season and is becoming a big hit! It is exclusively available to St. Anthony Tim Hortons.

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The Iceberg Festival is growing in numbers, not only because the increased presence of icebergs in 2014, but the participation of more and more local businesses in the region participating, which bolsters our strong community spirit.

If you are in St. Anthony, drop by and get yourself a delicious “iceberg donut”.

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We have a strong innovative business community and lots of opportunity. Let’s recognize innovators, initiatives and encourage more of these activities.

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Enjoy the view of the lovely icebergs while you visit…

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Homemade Bread

The aroma of freshly baked bread has filled our rural homestead following the early French settlers introducing their ovens that made breads from wheat on the Great Northern Peninsula.

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Large families kept women particularly busy in the kitchen. I’ve heard many stories from my grandparents how their mother would mix a bread and prepare many loaves. Freshly baked homemade bread was a fixture growing up. However, it seems to be a traditional that is less practiced with more and more people purchasing breads and rolls from grocery stores.

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My mother made bread recently, her first is a very long time and it was truly delicious. I remember when I was younger she always used a small metal jam dish to make me a little “Tommy” bread, which was essentially I small bun or roll.

We enjoyed the homemade bread with a large serving of homemade baked beans and a scoop of turnip hash. My mouth waters every time I see this picture.

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Keeping tradition alive on the GNP!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Fresh Newfoundland Crab Meat is a Delicacy

 

This is the season for Newfoundland & Labrador crab meat. It is such a delicacy.

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The taste of freshly cooked crab legs leaves you wanting more. I enjoy making a crab meat sandwich, it makes a great lunch. One can also enjoy some lovely crab cakes at the Daily Catch in St. Lunaire-Griquet, en route to L’Anse aux Meadows.

Live Rural NL -
 
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Serving up freshly steamed mussels

As a child, mom and dad would let me take my little bucket and go down to the beach and pick a few mussels close to shore. I remember one time going with my father near the head of Green Island Cove where ice was still in the harbour. I was on the ice pan with the bucket and my father would pass along the mussels he collected in the deep water wearing his long rubber boots and used a rake.

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There is nothing like collecting your own or buying locally grown in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. Be sure to add mussels to your list when you visit the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

 

 

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