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Summer Squash & Other Healthy Foods Growing in Roddickton!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Live Rural NL –

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

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 

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

 

 

 

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