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With a trad/bluegrass performance on video
Notable craftspeople in Newfoundland and Labrador
MUN scientist creates alternative plastic
Boats aren't just for boys
If you want to make Kombucha, a fermented sweet tea, you will first need to make the stuff used to make kombucha - a gelatinous mass known as scoby. It takes a bit of work and time, but itâs really not all that difficult. If you already have a scoby, you can skip straight to making kombucha. We have a tasty recipe on our sister site, everydayrecipes.ca. To make the scoby, we suggest following this guide from food website thekitchn.com. If you donât like the look of that one, liveeatlearn.com also has a thorough tutorial on all things kombucha and scoby.
Digging Into The RootsExploring the similarities between Newfoundland traditional music and bluegrass musicThe crops are failing, the food is scarce and thereâs no work to be had. This was the state of affairs in early 18th-century Ireland, when hundreds of thousands of Irish people migrated to North America, destined for Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, New York and Boston.They brought many things with them, and 300 years later, we donât have much of it left. Except for the songs. The melodies of the ballads and dance tunes of yore still float through the air, connecting far-flung people to a common history.What began as the ballads and fiddle tunes of Ireland and England in the early 1700s evolved as people brought them to the New World, eventually becoming the folk songs of Newfoundland, New England and the Appalachians, the birthplace of bluegrass music. As it turns out, the old-time country music and its offspring, bluegrass, have a fair bit in common with traditional Irish-Newfoundland music. Dave Rowe grew up in both Irish and bluegrass music worlds. His motherâs side of the family are the OâBrien clan, the namesake family of OâBrienâs Music in St. Johnâs, a store - and family - that, since 1939, has been an important part of the Irish-Newfoundland folk music scene. His father is Ted Rowe, a founding member of Crooked Stovepipe, the longest running bluegrass band in Newfoundland. âSo I grew up around bluegrass music,â says Dave, âand I grew up around Irish and Newfoundland music.â These days, Dave owns OâBrienâs Music and plays mandolin in Crooked Stovepipe. âThereâs definitely a connection with the song tradition, the ballad tradition that came over to Newfoundland as well as the New England areaâ¦ and also a lot of the settlers who ended up in the Appalachian Mountains, they would all have come from a very similar tradition of balladry,â says Dave. Itâs not the similarities between the places or people that connect the musical styles of these regions, but rather their shared source location, says Dave. The roots of this music all reach back to Ireland and England, with influences from other regions blending in as well. Tracing the Tunes Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys gave the bluegrass genre both its name and its defining sound of fast-paced, driving rhythms played on acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and fiddle. Growing up on a farm in Kentucky, then later pursuing a music career, Bill Monroe was immersed in the songs of the Appalachian region. Many of those songs had roots in the British Isles, as did the people. In 1932, Oxford University Press published English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians by British musician, teacher and folk song collector Cecil Sharp. Itâs a book of songs he collected during trips in 1917 and 1918 to the Appalachians. He found the people of the remote mountain regions to be very similar to his English country folk of yore, and they were still singing the folk songs brought to the area a few generations ago. Cecilâs excursion to America followed a period of song collecting in England, during which he catalogued hundreds of English folk songs. His trip to Appalachia was guided by thinking there may be more songs to be found amongst English settlers around the world. And following this train of thought, he had every intention of travelling to Newfoundland to collect songs, but died before he could make the trip. We know this thanks to Cecilâs assistant, Maud Karpeles, who accompanied him on his Appala-chian trips and continued to gather songs after Cecilâs death. She would make the trip to Newfoundland herself in 1929 and 1930, later publishing the songs in her book, Fifteen Folk Songs From Newfoundland. In the introduction she writes: âCecil Sharpâs discoveries in the Appalachian Mountains led him to believe, quite rightly, that folk-songs of English origin were to be found in other parts of the American continent.â One song, in particular, suggests that the song tradition of Newfoundland and Kentucky is more similar than different. âThe Cruel Motherâ appears in both the Appalachian and Newfoundland songbooks, with a shared refrain but otherwise different lyrics and melodies, providing a documented link between the musical cultures of Appalachia and Newfoundland. In the introduction to his Appalachian songbook, Cecil writes of hearing - but not documenting - many fiddle jigs and tunes that were either similar to or the same as fiddle tunes from his homeland. Dave Roweâs experience as a young child, listening to his parents and their friends play and listen to Irish Newfoundland and bluegrass music, is in some ways similar to the experiences of Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles. âI didnât know the difference between a bluegrass fiddle tune and an Irish fiddle tune at the time,â says Dave. âIt was all just music. And it was all very similar. âThe newer ones [fiddle tunes] that are in bluegrass music that Bill Monroe himself wrote since the â40s are still similar to fiddle tunes that youâll hear played at Erinâs Pub on Friday nights that are three, four, five hundred years old, that are just old Irish dance songs,â says Dave. âAnd you can still hear that commonality."
At the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, there is a bust of a Newfoundland Royal Naval Reservist. It was sculpted by Christen Corbet and unveiled during the annual Battle of the Atlantic Gala in April 2016. InSeptember of that year, a second unveiling ceremony of Able Seaman Leander Greenâs bust was held in Sunnyside, NL. He is the hometown hero whose visage is memorialized in these sculptures. How this came to be is an interesting story.Leander Green was serving aboard HMS Hilary when a request came in to help a sinking Norwegian freighter, SS Maryetta, on January 1, 1915. The ship was taking on water after being torpedoed by a German U-boat. The crew was preparing to abandon the vessel.When HMS Hilary arrived on the scene, it gave chase to the U-boat, then returned to the Maryetta. The naval captain asked for a volunteer to jump into the frigid waters and swim to the crippled boat carrying a lifeline. Two sailors volunteered and both perished in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. The captain requested a third volunteer. Able Seaman Leander Green, when recounting the events of that night to his family in later years, would say, âI looked over the side and thought, âWhat the hell am I doing out here?ââHe stood on the railing and peered down into the cold Atlantic on that dark night. Then he plunged into the frigid waters with the end of a lifeline around his waist and swam towards the distressed vessel. He secured the rope and Norwegian lives were saved. Royal Naval logs for HMS Hilary confirm the loss of two sailors and the rescue of six individuals. AS Green was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Medal from King George V, becoming the first decorated Newfoundlander of the First World War.Greenâs children describe their father as a kind, mild and humble man. His own words in a letter written to his sister, Rachael Jane, seem to reflect this. âI had a good trip this time. The King gave me a medal...âWhen the war ended, Green returned to St. Jones Without, NL, on November 27, 1919. He and his new wife, Blanche, had 11 children together, whom Green supported as a fisherman. When St. Jones Without was abandoned in 1952, the Greens moved to nearby Sunnyside. He continued fishing and, along with his son Bertram, sailed a schooner up to the Southern Shore in the late â40s.Green purchased a car in the late â50s, although he did not have a driverâs licence. His sons would drive him wherever he needed or wanted to go. His son, Pearce, was driving on August 26, 1966, when Green was invited as a WWI veteran to attend the official opening of the Come By Chance oil refinery. Tragically, his vehicle was involved in an accident on the TCH just before the turnoff to the refinery road. Greenâs son Pearce, and two grandchildren, died. Our hero, Able Seaman Leander Green, also succumbed to his injuries. Sculpting a HeroChristen Corbet is the sculptor-in-residence for the Royal Canadian Navy. He was hired to document visually, using the art of sculpture, notable members of the Royal Can-adian Navy and Reserves. To his credit, Corbet had already sculpted Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace before he started his work with the Royal Canadian Navy.When Corbet was asked to design a bust of a sailor that would represent all the men from the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve, he was given several files of sailors. In his opinion, Greenâs actions that night were the most heroic and unselfish act by an individual sailor to happen during the Great War and would do well to honour the heroism of all Newfoundland and Labrador sailors. Able Seaman Leander Greenâs portrait bust, of which only two editions were made to date, will form part of a collection titled âHonouring Our Great Sailors,â which is presently on display at the Maritime Command Museum in Halifax, NS.The edition of the bust that was unveiled at Sunnyside is now on permanent display in the conference room at the town hall.-by Lester Green
Folklorist Dale Jarvis introduces us to local ceramic artists and the interesting history of pottery in Newfoundland and Labrador.Growing up in Bonavista, ceramic artist Wendy Shirran was always interested in the arts, but she knew little about clay and pottery. After graduating from Memorial University, where she studied English and theatre, Wendy ventured about as far from Newfoundland and Labrador as one can - all the way to Japan. It was there that her interest in clay was sparked.âI had a student there who, every day after her pottery class in Naruto, which is a famous place for pottery, used to bring her pottery to my class for our one-on-one session,â Wendy remembers. âShe was learning English, and we would have English conversations around her pots. At that point, I said, thatâs it, when I go back to Newfoundland, I have to get my hands in some clay.âUpon her return, Wendy took her first class at the Devon House Clay Studio in St. Johnâs under the tutelage of Laura Sheppard. The rest, as they say, is history. Wendyâs journey away and back again to find her love of clay seems fitting given the back story of ceramics in the province, which is linked to travel and the exchange of ideas. The early indigenous peoples of this place left behind very little in the way of pottery. Only a handful of potsherds have been documented from archaeological sites, the majority from western Newfoundland and Labrador. Whether these ceramics represent a local tradition at the start of its evolution, or the movement of people and ideas from other areas of eastern Canada, is not yet fully understood. Itâs possible that some of the earliest pottery was the result of far-ranging indigenous trade routes that predated the arrival of Europeans.When settlers did come, European pottery came with them: North Devon pipkins and cooking pots; Bellarmine jugs from Germany; Portuguese Merida-ware and Basque roofing tiles. Clay as an industrydidnât start until about 1832, when a man named John Clement of Smithâs Sound shovelled out the local clay and shaped it into bricks. By 1898, Trinity Bay brickmakers were churning out 60,000 bricks a year, selling them at seven dollars per thousand. Livyers continued importing the pottery goods they needed, everything from dinner plates to chamber pots. Today, you can find locally made pottery at festivals and craft stores all across the province, but itâs a fairly recent evolution of the craft.From Germany with loveWe owe part of that evolution to another traveller, the late Margo Meyer, who in the 1950s moved to Corner Brook from Germany and started teaching the art of pottery-making. One of her first students was potter and ceramic artist Isabella St. John. Isabella now produces porcelain, stoneware and raku pottery in her Blue Moon Pottery studio overlooking the Narrows in the St. Johnâs Battery. Back in 1971, Isabella heard about a pottery course being offered in Corner Brook. It was a one-year course developed by Margo to give students the experience and skills needed to start their own pottery studios. âWe started with hand-building, as is usually the case, forming small pots and gradually larger pots from coils, from slabs, developing our own designs,â says Isabella. âAfter some months of hand-building techniques, we started on the potterâs wheel, which we were all very eager to do. It was very demanding, and very rewarding. You could see your progress day-by-day. We went through that whole program and finished learning to fire the kilns and apply the glazes, every aspect, and had a final exhibition at the Arts and Culture Centre in Corner Brook.âInspired by Margoâs teaching, a love of pottery-making spread around the province. Isabella and friends applied to the Canada Council for funding to develop a pottery studio and craft store in Pasadena. The shop continued for decades, while Isabella herself moved on to Colinet, St. Maryâs Bay, and worked in a studio there.One day another potter, Peter Thomas, who was working at Memorial University, came to visit. He said, âI was just walking in the Battery and I saw a handwritten sign in the window of this house. You should go check that out.â Isabella did and bought the house, and when the Memorial University clay studio shut down in the 1980s, she opened Blue Moon Pottery in that same house, a business she runs to this day.The Craft Council takes formIsabella and other passionate craftspeople also set up what is known today as the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Craft Council purchased the historic Devon House building on Duckworth Street in St. Johnâs. âI remember walking through the empty space with Sophie [Margoâs daughter] when we did acquire ownership of the building, and trying to plot it out. âOkay, where will we put this? Where should the kiln go?â and we did a layout for the studio, and so on,â Isabella says. âAnd that was it, the beginning of the Clay Studio.âYears later, it was that Clay Studio where a young Wendy Shirran took her first clay course. Another journey followed: Wendy moved to Halifax to attend the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, graduating with a B.Ed Art Specialist degree in 2003. She then moved back to St. Johnâs in 2011, and began working as the Clay Studio coordinator and running her own business, Wendy Shirran Ceramic Art. Over the past quarter-century, the Clay Studio has been instrumental in building a strong community of cer-amic artists, with a focus on commu-nity outreach, collaborative projects, internships and work placements. âWhen you walk into a community studio, thereâs conversation,â Wendy describes. âIt varies from shop talk about ceramics, to something going on in someoneâs own personal life. Weâre celebrating this, or weâre celebrating that, or weâre helping somebody with this difficult time. Itâs constantly organic, and itâs community-building - a diverse community of all ages and backgrounds.âThis summer the Clay Studio is moving house, and setting up a new workshop on Water Street in St. Johnâs, where visitors can see artists at work, take part in one of their many workshops, or learn more about the annual outdoor pottery firing on Middle Cove Beach. Ceramics in the province continues on its own path, moving from its earliest functional, production pottery styles and branching out into more sculptural and experimental artistic work. âThereâs a million possibilities,â says Wendy. âYou can never stop learning from it. I think thatâs my love with clay. As well, itâs done all over the world: I can travel anywhere on this planet, and slip into this community wherever I go, and in any city people are working with the same love of this material. Itâs incredible. Iâll do it until the day I die.ââIn Our Hands,â Wendyâs most recent gallery show, featured handmade porcelain vessels inspired in part by her great-uncle Wilson Haywardâs stories about the fairies of Bonavista.The best journeys are the ones that bring us home again.NL Pottery TourKingâs Point Pottery27 Bayside Drive, Kingâs PointKingspointpottery.comMultiple award-winning artists Linda Yates and David Hayashida have transformed a 1960s gas station into one of NLâs best known craft and art galleries. They have been creating a line of blue and white functional pottery with their signature âWhales and Wavesâ designs since 1992. Keep your eyes open for Wallie Hayashida-Yates, the studioâs friendly greeter cat. Plank Lane Pottery196 Water Street, CarbonearPlanklanepottery.comCharlene Sudbrink graduated from the College of the North Atlanticâs pottery program in 1992 and has been creating ever since, makingher Wave Over Wave mugs, run-ning pop-up workshops and pottery classes for beginners, while also offering studio space for experienced students and potters.Wild Cove Pottery102 Main Street, Port UnionWildcovepottery.caCeramic artist Michael Flaherty is always up to something interesting: digging clay, collecting glaze materials, creating installation pieces, or building wood-burning or solar-powered kilns. Drop by his studio in the Port Union Registered Heritage District to see his handmade stoneware pottery and one-of-a-kind sculptures. Northeastern Folk ArtNortheasternfolkart.comThis studio is a marriage of the east and west coasts, both in the figurative and literal sense. When they began making pottery and giftware, Mike Gillan and Erin McArthur brought together different ideas and designs. Mike, a chef who has had a lifelong passion for carving and polishing stones, found ceramics to be a natural move. Erin gladly left the corporate world once the dream of an encore career making art became possible. Their work is available at fine shops and galleries aroundNewfoundland including The Rooms Gift Shop, 9 Bonaventure Avenue,St. Johnâs (www.TheRooms.ca); and at The Artisan Market, 96 Main Street, Twillingate (Twillingateandbeyond.com/artisan-market.html).Blue Moon Pottery17 Outer Battery Road, St. JohnâsBluemoonpottery.weebly.comNo jaunt through the twisting lanes of The Battery is complete without stopping in at Isabella St. Johnâs cheerful yellow studio. Twice chair of the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, Isabella was also one of the founders of both the Christmas Craft Fair and the Councilâs Clay Studio. Look, as well, for work by her niece, Erin Callahan St. John, owner of Saucy Pots Pottery (www.saucypots.me).Pottery Firing on Middle Cove BeachThis all-day, all-ages, free event happens every year towards the end of summer. Students and volunteers make upwards of 300 pots, and first fire them at a low temperature in an electric kiln. On the morning of the firing, a pit is dug into the beach and lined with wood, sawdust and other flammables. The pottery is wrapped in seaweed or newspapers, sprayed with iron oxide and copper carbonate, and stacked in the hole. Then, more wood is piled on top, perhaps some salt is thrown on, and the whole pile is lit ablaze. The fire burns for three to five hours, and when it dies down to embers the finished pottery is revealed. The random combination of minerals, salts and high heat results in unpredictable patterns on the pieces, which are sold right there on the beach as a fundraiser supporting the Clay Studioâs programming. Get your pottery while itâs hot!Visit the Clay Studio website to find out dates and more information.www.craftcouncil.nl.ca/clay-studio
In a pair of blue-gloved hands rests a dark, shiny, almost translucent piece of red plastic.Itâs the end result of more than a year of work on the part of Courtney Laprise, a masterâs student in chemistry at Memorial University. While this is plastic, it wasnât made from petroleum and you wonât find anything made with it in stores yet. Using oil extracted from fish heads and intestines (ordinarily disposed of as waste), Courtney was able to create a plastic that could be the future of eco-friendly plastics.âIn Newfoundland the aquaculture industry has a lot of waste that they produce, so they kinda have this need to get rid of this waste and use it for something,â Courtney explains. âAnd my supervisors were talking to people in the aquaculture industry, and I wanted to come up with a project to use it.â Thereâs already been research into alternative uses for fish waste, including fish leather, skin cream and fertilizer.Moreover, alternative substances have already been used to create plastic and oil-substitutes, including soybean oils and corn. But, Courtney points out, those methods often rely on using food that would normally have been consumed. âThatâs the big problem with the ones that are based off of crops: you require large land space in order to grow the crops and that space could be used for food production instead, so itâs not good for the environment,â she says.Instead, her research relies on fish waste, and for Courtney itâs an important distinction because sheâs using parts that were never going to be eaten from fish that had already been caught. âItâs from a waste material and weâre not killing fish,â she says, âbecause thatâs been the big problem so far.âNewfoundland and Labrador is probably the ideal place for researching fish waste recycling. As fishing is still an important industry here, thereâs plenty of fish waste to go around, so the material doesnât have to be shipped far to get to the lab.âAquaculture is just increasing in Newfoundland, itâs becoming a pretty large industry, and one of the problems as they increase their production is theyâre gonna see more and more waste being produced. So, in theory, you could have your plant right next door to where the fish is being processed, take the waste, extract the oil and then from your oil you can make your materials right there,â she says.Getting Lab ResultsThis research, part of Courtneyâs master program, took plenty of trial and error to create a successful piece of plastic. In fact, she was finally able to synthesize it just this past January. âSo it took me a full year and a couple months to get it, but now I have everything optimized,â she says.âIt was extremely exciting because ... when you go into your degree you hope you get some good resultsâ¦ So when I came back after Christmas I was starting to get a little sad, you know, maybe this wonât work; nothingâs worked so far. And then I tried it one more time and it worked!And it was a nice, plasticy material. I was ecstatic and so happy I ran down the hallway screaming,â Courtney laughs, remembering that first moment of success.The exact process is still a closely guarded secret and she canât disclose how she created the plastic. What she can say is that itâs basically from fish oil derived from waste materials.âSo itâs like the waste left after the processing of the fish. So weâre taking the oil from thatâ¦ And then I take that oil and I process it through a few steps, and then in the final step I cure it with a plant-based curing agent to make the final material,âshe says.With Courtneyâs graduation right around the corner, sheâs busy finishing up her masterâs this summer. She hopes that even after sheâs left the lab, her research will be continued by new people.âRight now, weâre looking at finding industry partners to help us do some of the research because we donât have a lot of the instrumentation thatâs required to characterize my material. And then, because Iâm leaving, we need another graduate student to come in and pick up the project from where I left off. And hopefully that happens and someone can keep working on it.âThere are also more research avenues to pursue for future scientists. This plastic is supposed to be a green material, so it should be able to biodegrade on its own, not just sit in landfills for a century after itâs been thrown away. Courtney explains, âSo weâre doing a bunch of experiments to figure out how it would degrade and if it would degrade.âShe adds, âThereâs still a lot of research left to be done with it, but it is very promising.âAs for Courtney, sheâs not going too far; this fall sheâll start on an education degree in order to become a high school chemistry teacher.
Once more likely to stay ashore and handle the processing, the women of todayâs fishery are just as inclined to ride the high seas with the men.The Newfoundland and Labrador fishery is typically tagged as a manâs business, but the truth is that women have always been an integral part of the âfish racket.â Often with children in tow, women immersed themselves in making fish as part of the shore crew. They headed, gutted, salted and laboriously spread fish on flakes for months on end. Further, a good many outport women joined the migratory fishery on the Labrador each season as servants. In more modern times, many women have worked lifetimes inside fish plants, spending careers on the production lines. And the times continue to change for women in the local fishery, as they increasingly take to the boats as harvesters.Tammy ElliottTry catching up with Tammy Elliott, a commercial fish harvester from Gambo. On any given morning, she might be heading to Victoria to pick up lobster bait or mending gear. Another day, sheâs âgone at the crabâ or cutting logs to build lobster pots - whatever it takes to keep in the game of fishing.The 39-year-old fishes out of Happy Adventure with her husband, Jason, 42, and another male crewmate on the Brandon and Victor Adventure. The young couple decided that Tammy going on the water would afford flex time to be with their son, Brandon, who has special needs. Fishing for close to five years now, Tammy is working towards her Fishing Masters Fourth Class, with the hopes of buying her own licence. With her crewmates, she catches lobster (as part of DFOâs Lobster Tagging program), crab and sometimes cod. âCan I do what a man does? Not quite! But I will try,â she says with a laugh. She also admits, âItâs hard work and I ache at the end of the day, but itâs rewarding.âOver two years ago, the Elliotts lost their four-year-old boat just minutes from the wharf at Happy Adventure. All five crewmembers were safe, but it brought back memories - 10 years previously, Jasonâs dad had died suddenly aboard a boat. Plus, as Tammy describes, âMy husbandâs dream sunk right in front of our eyes. It was a big blow as everything went topsy-turvy for a while.â With a renewed fishing spirit, the couple was soon back on the water. Yet, Tammy has serious concerns about the inshore fishery, including that âthe fish harvester is a dying breed.â Nonetheless, she is optimistic. âIâd love to be able to do more to keep our livelihood alive and show women are alive and visible in todayâs fishery. It gives you pride to do what our ancestors did for hundreds of yearsâ¦âTammy is keen to see more women fish. âI like the idea of promoting women in boats. I really donât think thereâs enough recognition,â she says, âand it gives you a warm feeling when women and the fishery are being recognized.âRecently Tammy shared a beautiful sunrise photo on social media, and captioned it, âJust another day at the office! Now, how many people can watch the sunrise at their work?â She reveals to Downhome that when sheâs on the water, âthe rest of the world doesnât matter. It makes all troubles fall awayâ¦ I can see why my husband loves to fish. Itâs not just a jobâ¦â Jasmine PaulDuring the summer break from her university studies, Jasmine Paul is fishing out of Arnoldâs Cove with her parents, Kathy and Andre, who own a fishing enterprise. The 31-year-old admits itâs her âfirst season going at it,â but she envisions that someday she will take over the business when her parents retire.As a young girl, Jasmine was often out in the boat with her mom and dad, hauling nets or jigging, so it was a natural fit to accept her parentsâ offer to join the boat this year. Now armed with her apprentice licence, Jasmine finds the work rewarding. She recently tweeted a photo with her mom in their green fishing gear, proudly exclaiming, âMe and my momma! Two tough gals who love the open water, salt air and good, hard work.âChallenging a male-dominated stereotype runs in Jasmineâs genes. Her mother, Kathy, has been fishing since the 1990s. She describes how, as a woman and a mother, her work affected her: âI remember years ago, when my girls were small, I would feel guilty about leaving them with their grandparents. I guess it is no different than any other profession.âWorking alongside her daughter in the boat as they fished for crab this past season was an âawesomeâ experience, says Kathy. âShe did an amazing job... She went above and beyond what was asked of her. Having her by my side makes me very proud. Jasmine can do anything she puts her mind to.âKathy admits that she would not have been able to go fishing if it werenât for her mother and mother-in-law (and sometimes her father), who took care of her children and home while she was at sea.Jasmine credits a supportive network of people, including fishermen on Twitter and her own parents (and her nans) for her foray into the fishing field. âAnyone can take on this work - you just got to have the patience, work hard, and have a supportive network and mentors.âShe adds, âI think a lot of women want to go fishing, but why arenât they in boats? There are a lot of barriersâ¦ Is it child care? Whatever it is, we need to advocate harder for removing those barriers.â Fish harvesting is not Jasmineâs only foray into non-traditional trades for women. This past winter she joined a boat-building course at Memorial University, offered by Jerome Canning of the Wooden Boat Museum. Being social media savvy, she even penned a blog about it (buildinganfldpunt.home.blog). Jasmine is also working towards a folklore degree and runs a textile business. She is on her way to becoming a Jill-of-all-trades. Joanne StirlingFinding love on land led to Joanne Stirlingâs new career on the water. Her sales career took an unexpected turn when she met her partner, Bernard. The Portugal Cove-St. Philipâs resident moved to Baine Harbour on the Burin Peninsula and joined him on his fishing boat.She admits to loving her new job catching and selling crab, especially the âpeace and quietâ of the simple life, she says. âIt is rewarding to see happy customers with fresh seafood and, at the same time, promote our culture, work outdoors and stay fit.â And sheâs able to continue her painting on the side.A seafood lover, Joanne considers herself lucky to now have it at her fingertips. This harvester hopes to use her industrial sales background to set up international contracts to sell top-grade and never-frozen Newfoundland fish. The couple plans to soon start a cod ranch at an aquaculture site in Placentia Bay. Joanne says her life has changed for the better with her new career as a fish harvester ï¿½" âall because I fell in love with a fisherman!âFemales and Fishing for SuccessOne group empowering young women to join commercial fisheries is Fishing for Success, a non-profit in Petty Harbour formed in 2014.Board member and Fishing for Success founder, Kimberly Orren, weighs in on women in boats. âNo one is addressing the huge issue of career development in the fishery and its gender imbalance,â she says. âWe need targeted outreach programs, policies and funding to engage girls and women, like they do with tech.â To help address this concern, Kimberlyâs organization nurtures a popular âGirls Who Fishâ program, which bonds youth, women and new Canadians with the ocean and the fishery. It also encourages females of all ages to reach for outdoor independence.Kimberly, who possesses her Fishing Masters Fourth Class, remindsus that only two per cent of the provinceâs population fish and only 23 per cent of them are women. She says more needs to be done to address barriers, including getting enough sea time and appropriate gender gear.âHow is our story going to continue? We have to make fishing more accessible and inclusive as possible,â she says, ultimately suggesting âit will take vision, strategy and policies of the decision-makers ï¿½" including fishery unions, PFHCB [Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board], MI [Marine Institute], government departments and the Womenâs Policy Office ï¿½" to ensure women get into this male-dominated space.âShe adds, âIt is vital that womenâs voices are heard and that their concerns are validated. Diversity in leadership in any level of governance [political, corporate etc.] creates more dynamic solutions and sustainable systems. Women must be at the table.â- By Kim Ploughman
Follow the Readers We recently reached out to our Facebook audience and asked them to name their favourite places to visit in Newfoundland and Labrador, or the must-see spots in their hometown there. We had hundreds of responses (thank you!) and they all made us want to head out of the office right away to go summer road tripping. Weâve left out the obvious locations (Trinity, Fogo Island, Twillingate) that are always getting media attention and decided to focus on some of the less publicized destinations. When itâs time for you to get your motor running, here are some places worth driving to when you head out on the highway. BurgeoChris Durnford photoThe first stop on our road trip is Burgeo, at the end of Route 480. Once youâve grabbed a bite to eat in the small town, head another couple of kilometres down the road to Sandbanks Provincial Park, where youâll be treated to uncrowded white sand beaches rivaling those âdown south.â Of course, the water is still bone chillingly cold. Instead of swimming, consider going for a walk - there are several trails through the park for exploring and nature watching. RameaEric Bartlett photoAfter Burgeo, hop on the ferry to Ramea. Being a bit more than out of the way makes it worth the effort to get to. Ramea is on a small island off the south coast of Newfoundland, accessible only by a ferry that leaves at various times from Burgeo, depending on the day of the week. And some days it isnât scheduled to run at all. The town of Ramea has less than 500 people, so if youâre looking for a remote rural experience, this is it. Plus, this archipelago is a sea kayakerâs dream. Codroy ValleyDave Dominie photoA few of our Facebook commenters said Codroy Valley is a must-see spot. Bird watchers and nature photographers will want to check out the Codroy Valley Estuary for a chance to see one of several varieties of ducks or some of the nearly 2,000 Canada Geese that seasonally stop in the area. If youâre lucky, you may even spot a Eurasian Wigeon. The Codroy Valley Provincial Park, at the mouth of the Grand Codroy River, has a beach for you to enjoy a lazy summer day. Just up the road, in Robinsons, you'll find Pirate's Haven, which offers ATV tours and organizes all sorts of fun excursions and special events.Cow HeadJan Boone photoCow Head, in - or more accurately, surrounded by - Gros Morne National Park, hosts a lobster festival from June 30 to July 2, where you can be sure to get your fill of lobsters. If seafood isnât your thing, you can check out the sandy beaches, play a round at the 18-hole Gros Morne Golf Course nearby, or head down the road a bit to explore massive sea arches. Cow Head is also home to the renowned summertime Gros Morne Theatre Festival.ConchePeople have been visiting Conche, on the Northern Peninsula, since the 1500s to fish for cod. First it was the French, then in the 1700s the English got wind of the good fishing and started visiting as well. Fights broke out, ships were sunk, and now those wrecks in Martinique Bay are recognized as historically significant sites by the provincial government. If diving to shipwrecks isnât your thing, hop aboard a boat tour to look for whales and icebergs. Or admire the 217-foot, locally embroidered tapestry showcasing the regionâs rich his-tory at the French Shore Interpretation Centre.Heartâs ContentLorraine Winsor photoThe very first transatlantic telegraph cable was laid in 1858, from Valentia Island in Ireland to Heartâs Content. The connection only lasted a few weeks, but a replacement cable laid in 1866 lasted much longer. Today, the telegraph station serves as a museum of the regionâs telecommunications history, and several of the houses built for management and staff of the telegraph operations have been restored and are now guest homes. BotwoodJanette Lambert photoLarge murals on the sides of buildings - commissioned street art - is the sort of thing you expect to see in large cities but is somewhat uncommon in small towns. In Botwood, however, theyâve made murals their thing. The Botwood Mural Arts Society (they have a Facebook page) is responsible for the large-scale artworks, many of which depict the regionâs history. But Botwoodâs true claim to fame is found in the Botwood Flying Boat Museum, where you can learn how this small town was at the forefront of early aviation, and for a short while was the North American launching point for planes crossing the Atlantic. Coxâs CoveNorman Purchase photoWhen visiting the west coast of the island, be sure to stop at Coxâs Cove, where youâll be treated to lovely views of the Bay of Islands. There are several tour outfitters in the Coxâs Cove area offering boat tours, deep sea fishing and bird watching. At Four Seasons Tours, you can go fishing in a wooden dory. The Bay of Islands fishermen have been modifying the traditional Grand Banks dory for years, to the point that it has evolved into its own form, the Bay of Islands dory. Rose BlancheStone buildings are somewhat rare in Newfoundland, despite the islandâs nickname of The Rock. And stone lighthouses are rarer still. Rose Blanche just so happens to have a stone lighthouse, and in the evening light itâs a beautiful sight. Built in 1871-1873, it was operational into the 1940s. It was fully restored in 1999, furnished with antiques and reproductions of period furniture, and is open to the public during the non-winter months. This story has been edited. A previous version incorrectly identified Pirate's Haven as being in Codroy Valley. It is actually in Robinsons.
A Garden To SavourMany recipes call for fresh herbs rather than the dried product because of the superior flavour they add to the food. If youâre a home cook, you could greatly benefit from a herb garden.Many herb plants are easy to grow at home and donât take up much space because large quantities are not required. In our climate, herb plants are either annual (live for one year), biannual (live for two years) or perennial (live for many years). Some perennial herbs, like rosemary, are not completely winter hardy, so they have to be taken inside in a container during the winter. Most perennial herbs can be dried or frozen when harvested, to be enjoyed all winter. The big advantage of growing peren-nial herbs is that once they are established they need minimum care. And you neednât spend extra money on new plants as many types can be divided to produce new plants and some can be grown from cuttings.When you start out with new herb plants, make sure you know if they are annual, perennial or biannual. Choose a garden location close to your house, within easy reach when you are cooking. Most perennial herbs require a sunny location to do their best. New soil should be improved with organic matter, lime and a general-purpose fertilizer mixed completely with the soil to a depth of at least one foot.As perennial herbs are going to be growing in the same area for many years, it is best to keep them together in a separate bed so you donât have to be digging around them to set other plants. Some perennial herbs, like mint and thyme, need to be kept contained to prevent crowding out other plants. The bed system also enables you to easily apply mulch and protect them during the winter. Water the plants when the soil is dry; deep watering is essential to produce healthy growth during the summer.An application of a general-purpose fertilizer in the spring is usually sufficient for perennial herbs. Do not fertilize in the fall because this may affect the ability of the plants to overwinter. Chemical sprays should not be used because the plants are being consumed throughout the growing season. On the rare occasion when there is a problem with insects, they can be picked off by hand. Any diseased plants should be removed completely from the growing bed.Here are some of the popular perennial herbs that can be grown in our climate:ChivesThe long slender green leaves of the chive, with its purple flower that appears later in the season, is probably the most recognized and popular perennial herb that has been grown in Newfoundland and Labrador for hundreds of years. This plant in the onion family sends up new leaves each spring just in time to flavour a traditional Newfoundland fish stew. In the old days when onions were in short supply in the spring, chives were a welcome treat to flavour many dishes.Chives can be started from seed, and once they are established can be divided in clumps. They have a small onion-like bulb that enables them to be easily transplanted anytime during the growing season. The leaves die back during the winter, but you can still get fresh chives by potting up a clump to bring inside during the winter. Chives lose their flavour when they are dried, but they can be chopped and frozen in water to keep their flavour.RosemaryThe fragrant rosemary is a tender, perennial, woody shrub that is native to the Mediterranean region. In our climate, rosemary is best grown in a container and overwintered inside as a houseplant. In the summer it can be taken out of the container and planted in the garden for easy watering.Its pine-like needles release a pungent aroma when crushed or cut. It is used to flavour a variety of dishes including breads and biscuits. It is a popular herb for flavouring roasted lamb. Rosemary can also be added to the bath for a refreshing soak. It can be dried for use during the winter. ThymeCulinary thyme grows like a small shrub with tiny aromatic leaves and small spikes of purple flowers. The plant will grow for many years and is easy to propagate from cuttings. It is best to buy plants that are already established. It grows best in a sunny area and can be used as a ground cover by a path. It needs clipping back every spring to encourage new growth.Thyme is used to flavour meat, soups, stews and other dishes. It can be used fresh or dried. Cut the sprigs to dry just before flowering because this is when it has the best flavour. When the leaves are dry, rub them from the stems and store in an airtight container.MintMint grows wild in wet areas in some places in this province. This plant can be invasive, so you need to take steps to contain it in one area. This can be done by planting it in a large bottomless bucket or barrel sunk into the ground. If you have a wet area on the property, mint will make an excellent ground cover as well as provide leaves for culinary use.The fresh leaves make refreshing drinks, like the famous rum-based Cuban mojito. Mint sauce or jelly is always popular with food like lamb or peas. The stalks with the leaves can be hung and dried for winter use. Mint does not lose its flavour when it is dried.OreganoThere is a variety of oregano called âHot and Spicyâ that has a superior flavour and overwinters fairly well if mulched with a coarse material like straw. Oregano keeps its flavour very well when it is dried. It is commonly used with tomato dishes and in Mediterranean-style cooking.Oregano plants can be propagated by division in the spring. New plants can be also started by cuttings or when the stems root where they touch the soil. You need to prune it back several times during the growing season.French TarragonTrue French tarragon is not well known or used in this province, but it is popular with people of French descent. It has sort of a licorice flavour and is used in vinegars, fish dishes, poultry and vegetables. Tarragon chicken is a very popular dish in France.French tarragon cannot be grown from seed, so you have to buy the plants already established or grow them from cuttings of an existing plant. Make sure that it is the true French tarragon because other varieties do not have the same flavour. French tarragon has no flavour if it is dried, so it has to be used fresh. When it is cut fresh it will last for several weeks in the refrigerator wrapped in damp paper towels.