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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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Will I need my new Snowshoes for Winter 2011?

Snowshoe

Newfoundland Snowshoes

 
2010 was acclaimed a year to build on experiences in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador. It is critical to reflect on past traditions and activities we participated as children to ensure continuation of our culture. 
 
When I was a child, snowshoeing was a popular activity. I would always need them when I went with dad in the woods on his old Bravo (Yamaha snowmobile) to check rabbit slips (snares). We would venture off the trail, so the snowshoes laced into our sealskin boots prevented us from sinking to our knees through deep snow. They certainly came in handy and were developed by our ancestors out of necessity.
 
My father, born in 1961 used them during the winter season. In fact, he had the talent and skill to make them, taking much pride in each tug of twine used to lace the frame. He made many pairs, always donating one at the local winter carnival as part of a fundraising event. I have a pair he made for me before his passing, which I will always treasure. Unfortunately, I wasn’t old enough to learn at the time how to make them. It is a skill, I will try to learn from others.
 
Since I have reached adulthood, my feet have grown and I have needed a larger pair. I was surprised when a Secret Santa present delivered a pair made by a local retired teacher during Christmas 2010. I hope maybe he will teach me, so I can pass this skill on to others.
 
I will not forget community winter carnivals held at the local Lion’s Club, where I would participate in the snowshoe race. It was always a quick sprint to the finish. A mad dash with many people racing. We also had a unique “Newfie Snowshoe” Race, which included teams of three or four people standing on two pieces of 2″X4″ with string to loop each of your feet, extending to your hands for steering. You would be pitted against many other teams. It would be important to move as a unit or your would stumble quickly. The first team to cross the line is the winner. Talk about innovative! Newfoundlanders & Labradorian’s always think of ways to entertain and have fun. If anyone has photos of this activity, please post a comment and I would love to post them.
 
It is January10, 2011 on the Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland with the temperature remaining above freezing point (+0) and no snow to be found. Like many other’s who enjoy the powdery white stuff  and of course winter activities, which include ski-dooing, ski-ing, ice-fishing, snowshoeing, skating and rabbit catching, we will just have to wait and hope that winter will arrive soon.
 
The video below from www.youtube.com entitled, Snowshoe to the Sinkhole at Gros Morne Newfoundland (posted by kdgdan) shows people snowshoeing in our beautiful National Park.
 
 
It was not so many years ago that we would have snow eight or ten feet high on our properties. As a child I was always digging an intricate network or snow tunnels, slides and caves/houses. It was one of the biggest highlights! I remember many attempts to make an igloo. All I can say, “it is much harder than it looks”. I think they should make an instruction manual.
 
The amount of snow dumped on us each winter certainly required a good set of snowshoes. I would choose a locally handcrafted pair over mass marketed modern engineered versions any day.
 
Live Rural NL -Christopher Mitchelmore
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