Blog Archives

Fresh vegetables, herbs, teas, creams and a Blast for the Past!

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A green thumb and a little creativity leads to promotion of healthy eating and use of all natural products, as well as a unique community economic development initiative with a trip down memory lane in Roddickton.

Good green things are growing in the forms of peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and other legumes. Only the freshest herbs and teas are produced at Elsie’s greenhouse. I love her chocolate raspberry tea in the evening, as well as spearmint, peppermint and fresh garlic. Her creative labels illustrate the great market sense with product titles as “Oh My Joints” to help ease arthritic pain, “Oh My Bum”  baby creams or “Good-bye Bugs” which is an effective solution to keep the bugs at bay. She is registered in home-based food preparation with Service NL. A hobby and lifestyle has led to sharing recipes, ideas and advice on her Facebook page “Natural Beauty & Healthy Living”. Community is strengthened when people put their talents to use and share them with others. Small business has always been and always will be the driver of the local economy. We have lots of room for small-scale farming, greenhouses, secondary processing and the ability to establish a network of community supported micro-entrepreneurs. 1891273_10152194187642667_416760573_n

After enjoying some natural berry infused water, I began taking a walk down the Blast from the Past Memory Trail.

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Along the trail there are many traditional articles that depict how past residents grew up, such as the old wood stove, handmade chimney sweet, cooking pots, water buckets, scrubbing board, beds, mummers and more. Certainly much work went into this walking trail, with items brightly coloured to add to the visual appeal. Elsie’s pride for flowers are present in every exhibit.

This is a very unique open air museum and public display of art worthy of a visit. Rural Newfoundland & Labrador is full of ideas, creative minds and opportunity! I encourage you to drop by and experience the Blast from the Past yourself, but also think about what you can do to add something new to your community.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA 
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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 Economic Development Forum – October 3rd

The future of our communities will depend on actions we as citizens take to shape them. We have seen recent developments that have been citizen driven such as the Little Folk’s Daycare, a non-profit daycare operated by a volunteer board in Flower’s Cove serving the 26 communities of the Straits. Similarly the Ivy Durley Place is expanding to meet the aging needs of our citizens primarily from Castor River to Eddies Cove East. Successful Come Home Year Celebrations were held in Savage Cove, Roddickton and Conche this summer. Cook’s Harbour-Wild Bight-North Boat Harbour raised $100,000 to build a Let Them Be Kids Playground and St. Anthony Lions are working with Habitat for Humanity to enable four families to be homeowners. We have much to be proud of when we are community building.

I’d encourage anyone to attend the following Community Economic Development Forum:

CED

Let’s Keep Building – Together!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Rural Regions Face Even Greater Challenges

Newfoundland & Labrador has kilometers and kilometers of beautiful landscapes and coastlines. It boasts three national parks, two world UNESCO sites, first re-discovered by the Vikings (more than 1,000 years ago) and over 5,000 years of inhabitation. We are proud Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, known for our hospitality! An earlier post notes some interesting facts and firsts from our province and people.

The rural economy has an abundance of natural resources including, fish, forests and farms, which all support the urban economy. The success of rural regions and urban economies are interlinked. Infrastructure and services are put in place through local revenues. However, most rural economies are feeling the crunch as revenues decline and cost of services increase. It is no wonder our municipal leaders scratch their heads when it comes to planning for future development. What services will have to be cut to ensure that essential services can be maintained. We see all too often this challenge as we enter small towns and noticed their paved roads are less than acceptable. One will almost get swallowed up in the Town of Flower’s Cove as they drive to the only Bank for service.

However, the reality is – there are less local dollars flowing back into the local economy. The budgets are shrinking and costs are escalating. There are fewer babies in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. Kids are moving away after high school and not choosing to live in rural areas. The baby boomers are getting grey and there is an aging workforce. This presents an evident labour shortage. How can we keep doing more with less? Where is the sustainability? Property taxes can not be increased to meet adherent demands.

No town or community is immune.  Even Minnesota, with more than 800 cities are feeling the crunch as noted in the Youtube video below. With less money we will see parks and trails not mowed and other services cut back, longer wait times for medical and emergency services.

According to this video, the solution is community co-operation:

Everyone participating is the fix – no matter what political strip you are. The right mix of dollars and common sense. So off the fence, we need your talents to find balance. Time to share and be aware and care about unity in our communities. Minnesota is our home, we can’t postpone. We must proceed to think and choose services we need and how to pay.

Individually our communities face these challenges, but together we can gain sustainability. We must work together with our neighbouring communities and regions to plan for a stronger more vibrant tomorrow.

Live Rural NLCCM

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