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Dennis Flynn shares a spooky story just in time for Halloween.
This family-owned hydroponic farm on Fogo Island is combating food insecurity by growing luscious leafy greens all year round.
Readers helped us compile a delicious list of jams and jellies made from Newfoundland and Labrador berries.
It’s amazing, and alarming, how much garbage litters the bottoms of our “pristine” ponds.
Just in time for Halloween, Dennis Flynn shares a spooky story from his neck of the woods. Parade of PhantomsMarcellian (Marcel) Dawson, was born in Bay Roberts, NL, where his parents ran a farm. His father, John M. Dawson, was known locally as âFarmer Jack.â In the mid-1920s, on a dark road at around midnight, Farmer Jack witnessed a ghostly sight. âWhen he was a teenager, he was courting this young woman up in Otterbury, near Clarkeâs Beach, and he had the fashion of walking up to visit her and her family. During the daylight heâd take the long scenic route from his home near the bottom of Bay Roberts, across the Klondyke Bridge, over Coleyâs Point, across the Long Beach, up through Bareneed and down into Otterbury,â Marcel begins. âAfter supper with her family and maybe a game of cards or a few stories, he would leave by himself to walk home in the pitch black - no streetlights, no cars and no pedestrians after dark. It was a lonely, rough and treacherous path in places at night in the winter with ice and snow, so he would always go back a shortcut [along what would eventually become the new main road]. He would take Vinegar Hill, go up through North River, past the Roman Catholic cemetery near the Birch Hills, and finally back down to his home in Bay Roberts. This took quite a few miles off the journey.âThis particular clear night, a beautiful full moon was shining on a blanket of white snow. He was delayed leaving, so it was midnight when he stopped atop of the big hill in Otterbury to admire the view. Suddenly, he could see this strange procession of people with lanterns coming, walking two-by-two in a long line following a bizarre carriage way off in the distance.âFrom the look of the crowd and how slow they moved, they had been trudging along for a very long time. Jack watched in amazement as they paraded in silence on down through Clarkeâs Beach, coming nearer all the while. Curiosity finally got the better of him and he rushed down the hill and stood close by a tree a little ways off the road. He started to hear the hooves of the horse crunching on the snow, the metal runners of the sleigh scraping over the ice, and the horseâs bells on the tack beating out a rhythmic dirge. Other than that, not a sound. No human voice spoke a single word as the procession inched closer all the time. Marcel continues, âWhen they got abreast of him, sure Father almost passed out with the fright. The horse was pulling some type of a hearse upon a sled with a coffin right atop her! All the people behind were dressed in black and moving like bone-weary corpses themselves. He could see them perfectly, but they never saw or acknowledged him and he was too scared to speak to them out of fear they might take him and make him join their group in a forced march forever! âNow all that area was well-known for stories of the fairies and ghosts in those days. Father figured for sure it was a parade of phantoms, old lost souls doomed to carry one of their own around from graveyard to graveyard with no rest for all eternity. He often said there was no way he was taking a chance on getting caught up with that bunch of spooks, so he hid down in the snow by the tree until the last ones passed and were long gone beyond the old cemetery.âSo who were the souls caught up in this parade of phantoms?Marcel says with a sly grin, âWell, some folks say what Father saw might have been a body of a man originally from near Port de Grave. They figure he had been killed in an accident up along on the mainland, and his remains were shipped to Whitbourne by train where his people went to get him. They had walked all that way inland and walked back out again the same day. They had finally reached Otterbury when father encountered them near the hill at midnight.âWhile that might have been the case, Marcel says his father checked local papers and asked around for years after, but never found any proof of a body being returned home from away and buried in that area around that time.âThose poor old ghosts may be still be trapped in procession hauling that strange coffin up around Otterbury on clear, full-moon winter nights yet,â says Marcel, adding, âBeing brave is all well and good, like Jack always believed, but I tell you mister-man, I wonât be up there at midnight looking for them. They can keep on marching until the cows come home with my blessing.â
This family-owned hydroponic farm on Fogo Island is combating food insecurity by growing luscious leafy greens all year round.By Nicola Ryan Did you know that Newfoundland and Labrador imports 90 per cent of the produce we eat? While weâre fortunate to be able to enjoy peaches from Ontario, oranges from Florida and bananas from Costa Rica most of the time, our dependency on imported produce means weâre just one snowmaggedon or ferry strike away from empty supermarket shelves.Our climate and rocky soil makes it tough to grow nutritious food, and the vast distances food must travel between small communities means higher prices and diminished quality. Increasing our food security, which exists when all people have access to adequate amounts of nutritious food, requires some ingenuity. The Budden family on Fogo Island has developed a pretty unique way of making delicious fresh produce available year-round. Dwight Budden and his father Hayward Budden have created Living Water Farm - an indoor, controlled-environment hydroponic farm in Stag Harbour. Dwight laughs as he recounts how he got into growing fresh produce.âI had one of these little things, itâs called a Miracle Grow Aqua Garden. Itâs just a little countertop thing. I kind of picked it apart, figured out how it worked, and before long I had a bunch of my own little homemade versions in my office.âWhen he moved with his family back to Fogo Island to work at the Fogo Island Inn in early 2019, Dwight recognized the need for local, fresh produce in the community, and the idea behind that little countertop contraption started to grow in his imagination. âBefore long we found a building and we rented it, and then we bought it, and weâve been working on expanding the operation,â he says. Hydroponics is a fascinating way of growing crops without soil. Water in a controlled environment goes to work providing nutrients directly to the roots of plants, and they grow quickly and heartily.âWe use coconut fibre to start the seeds,â Dwight explains. âWhen they get a root down and their first true leaves, generally speaking, then we gently uproot them and put them into a little net cup - itâs just a little basket. Then that sits in a hole in the top of the pipe and thereâs water flowing through the pipe. We use whatâs called a nutrient film technique - basically, the waterâs flowing through the pipe and recirculates all day. We monitor the water quality and the nutrient concentration, and everything the plants need we can control for.âInside their fully enclosed building, Dwight and Hayward can control for the right amount of light, the ideal temperature and humidity, the absence of pests, and every other variable they can think of to have a most successful crop. âWe try to give the plants the best day of the year, all year,â says Dwight. Their efforts pay off, and you can hear the enthusiasm in Dwightâs voice and he describes the variety of plants theyâre able to produce. âWe grow turnip greens and rutabaga greens. We grow a couple of varieties of lettuce, like Romaine and leaf lettuce. We grow basil, cilantro, thyme and parsley. We grow beet greens and sorrel and kale.âThere are lots of other things they could grow, but Dwight says that greens and salad mixes are what theyâre concentrating on now. So far, supplying the inn, local restaurants, grocery stores and farmers markets keeps them flat-out busy.âWeâve had a lot of very positive reviews. Itâs very humbling,â he says. âPeople come to me and say, âIâm going to get the best greens I can get, Iâm going to get them from you, fresh all year round,â and that means a lot. We really appreciate that people have made Living Water produce a significant part of their meal planning and their diets.âDwight credits the provincial and federal Canadian Agricultural Partnership and Fogoâs Shorefast Foundation for their tremendous support providing expertise, financial backing and encouragement to develop hydroponics in the province. And Living Water has big dreams coming down the pipe, so to speak.âWeâve got big plans!â Dwight says, âI fully imagine that weâll be a multi-site operation at some point. I always got my eyes on some of the older buildings that are sitting around here on Fogo. Iâm like, âWouldnât that be a wonderful place to grow some strawberries?â Or âWouldnât that be a nice building to put all our herbs in? Wouldnât that be great?â That kind of thing.âWe want to do the best we can to significantly improve the quality of the food thatâs accessible here, and bring some employment to this area,â Dwight says. âBut right now weâre focusing on doing our best to bring fresh food to our neighbours and friends around us.â
With jams and jellies made from Newfoundland and Labrador berries, you can really put out a spread! Thank you to the readers who helped us compile this delicious list.Dogberry JellyBy Yuvadee Feltham4 cups dogberries4 cups water4 cups sugar1 pouch liquid pectinBoil dogberries covered with 4 cups water until berries are soft. Mash berries while cooking. When berries are soft, remove from heat and cool mixture. Strain the berry mixture through a couple of layers of cheesecloth. Boil berry juice with sugar and liquid pectin. Boil until syrupy. To test for doneness, place a drop of the jelly on a chilled plate from the freezer. It should turn to a gel in a few minutes. Pour into sterilized jars and apply lids.
Itâs amazing, and alarming, how much garbage litters the bottoms of our âpristineâ ponds. Next time you head into the great outdoors, do what this man does: take out the trash.By Tina McDonaldOne day, as I was casually scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, a post caught my attention. It mentioned a pond I used to frequent during the summer months. During the first half of my 20s, I had spent many hours rowing around this pond in my rubber dinghy, and I had never thought about how much garbage was hidden below the surface. As it turns out, there was quite a bit.The Facebook post was by a man whoâd spent the day cleaning trash off the bottom of the pond. The amount of garbage he brought to the surface sure surprised me, but it probably didnât surprise him.Eugene (Lou) Hynes uses his spare time during the summer months to clean up ponds around the Avalon Peninsula and beyond. During spring and fall when the ponds are too cold for swimming, he cleans up the edges of ponds, as well as beaches and the TâRailway. Such cleanups are something he started doing as a kid growing up in Twillingate, NL, picking up any trash he saw on hiking trails or beaches. He enjoyed many outdoor adventures and developed a great appreciation for nature. Eugeneâs idea for Avalon Pond Cleanups came to him in 2017. While swimming in Topsail with his stepchildren he noticed bottles, cans, golf balls, plastics etc. on the bottom of the pond. He donned his snorkelling gear and picked it all up, and brought it to shore to dispose of or recycle. A couple of days later he took the kids to Rotary Sunshine Park in St. Johnâs, and once again noticed the same type of trash in and around the pond. Once again, he picked it all up and disposed of it. Later the same evening, he started thinking about the garbage littering the ponds and what he could do about it. He has two kayaks and thought he could use one as a barge to place garbage in and tow it back to the shore, and that is what he started doing. He soon set up a Facebook Group called Avalon Pond Cleanups, where he showcases the trash he retrieves - about 80 per cent of which is recyclable or reusable - and gives shoutouts to the friends and family who join him.To date, Eugene has done more than 80 pond cleanups by snorkelling and free diving, as well as more than 100 cleanups of beaches and trails, including the TâRailway. When I asked him how much garbage he has picked up so far, his response was âtonnes.â And Eugene was literal about that. He has actually cleaned more than a tonne of garbage from the bottom of our ponds, shoreline, trails and beaches, and he has the photos to prove it. Eugene leads a busy life with a full-time job, a wife, three children, two stepchildren and three grandchildren. He and his family enjoy outdoor adventures together and, being environmentally aware, they always pack out more than they pack in. Eugene would love it if everyone did the same. He volunteers his time and resources to clean up the environment for everyone to enjoy, and the only thing he requests in return is that we leave nothing but our footprints behind in the great outdoors. To quote Eugene, âWater is life. And without clean, healthy water our ecosystem is pretty much at a standstill. One person can make a difference.â
By Curt BuddenThe day started off prosperous with blue skies and sun. On the 11th day of September in 2001. There were school classes, day shifts and children at play. Nobody was ready for what would happen that day. The great state of New York would soon change forever. The whole world watched it unfold and they all cried together. The World Trade Centers fell from harsh evil attacks. New Yorkâs finest responded with no time to relax. The events shook our souls and chilled the blood in our veins. For the people now lost forever in those buildings and planes. But along with those who had died, there was another great fear. Regarding the still active aircraft which were up in the air. They had to leave airspace quickly, no matter the route they had planned. And thatâs when a small town changed forever, known as Gander, Newfoundland; for it had an old airport that was built years ago. Many people had passed through and planes would come and then go. But on September 11, and with sparse information, this quaint little airport became a hub destination. Plane after plane Ganderâs airport did bring. The taxiway got so crowded, planes nearly touched wing to wing. The adrenaline was spiking and all emotions had swirled, for there were aircraft and faces from all over the world. Even though stress was quite heavy, hearts were light as a feather. Because all the people of Gander had to now come together. One fact of Newfoundlandâs history, or any story or tale, itâs that when tragedy strikes Newfoundland will prevail. Once the planes had all landed there was much work to do. With passengers grounded for hours and stuck there like glue. There were many passengers frightened and full of aggression. Nobody told them what happened or answered one single question. When folks finally deplaned they could now stretch and stand. Then they learned of this place which was called âNewfoundland.â Volunteers scrambled and struggled as they sprinted and hurled. They had to draw arrows towards Newfoundland on a map of the world. For these new guests were so anxious the events came in a blur. They had to look at the map to see where they were. And to be sure it was blatant, and to make sure it was clear, they wrote three words by the arrows which read âYou Are Here.â There were great language barriers in both writing and speech. But all folks still received help as far as Gander could reach. Although the terror was strong, the Gander spirit was stronger. All passengers were frantic, but not for much longer. All who helped had to struggle, but their intentions were sound. Passengers all had to learn that they were now on safe ground. No matter how much sleep they had missed, no matter how long they had stood, the people of Gander helped everyone in any way that they could. They prepared countless meals, and they reeled out miles of cables. They opened the doors to their homes, and they pulled out the chairs from their tables. Every counter had food, and every floor had a cot. Every kettle had water, and every burner a pot. The workload pushed their efforts far beyond any ridge. Folks even transformed the townâs ice rink into a large walk-in fridge. They would turn a frown to smile, or at least get exhausted from trying. There was always someone to talk to. There was always a shoulder for crying. They hooked up phones to call loved ones, and they provided clean clothes. They made strangers their friends, for long gone were the foes. They threw birthday parties for children, and took out tours for a glance. They provided music and singing, to share laughter and dance. The whole town was united to do all that they could. They took the focus off evil and shined light on the good. How many tears did they shed? How many words came out stuttered? How much coffee did they perk? How much toast had they buttered? How much bedding had they laid out? How much tea did they steep? How many handshakes and hugs came when emotions ran deep? In every nook there were gatherings, and every cranny was a perch. They used the school and the Legion, and even the church. Every resource was helpful with stealth employed as they used it. Local businesses gave what they could and nobody abused it. There was no time to argue or to be a debater. If something was needed, they would immediately cater. Countless tasks took place with a wide range of criteria. Carried out by Ganderâs fine people and those in the Lewisporte area. Many hearts may have sunk and many spirits did bend. But to those who had showed up as a stranger would soon leave as a friend.The volunteers would stay busy well into the night. There was always somebody to comfort and tell âYouâll be alright.â If there was unbearable stress, or if the horizon showed trouble? The townâs efforts would amplify and their output would double. The townâs motivation was far tougher than granite, to help thousands of people from all over the planet. They used countless methods and they used countless ways. And when it was all said and done, their story lasted five days. Their help came without contracts. Their help came without price. The help came from good people who were humble and nice. The whole town stuck together, with not one person alone. They literally took their community and turned it into a home. This tragic event may have happened on that day in September. And itâs one the people of Gander will surely remember. But not because of the terrorists or those buildings that fell, but because of the people they nurtured and their story theyâd tell. They would always honour the fallen and monuments would be laid. Theyâd also remember the strangers they helped, and the new friends they had made.So many stories were born, with countless memories to keep. And those who helped were so tired, they were too exhausted to sleep. For life can change rather quickly, and on the turn of a dime. But good must always take precedent, as well as endure every time. Thousands of strangers had landed with the unknown to expect. Each one was shown hospitality, grace and respect. And if there was one thing they had learned besides the great gift of living, itâs that Newfoundlanders are heartfelt, good natured and giving. They brought about positivity and removed all the glooms. With their bodies so tired, they were running on fumes. When it came time to leave, a part of them wanted to stay. And many relationships prosper up to this very day. Gander had helped many people no matter where they did roam. But the day finally came when all the strangers went home. It was sad when they left, and no one could deny it. The Town of Gander seemed different, as well as eerily quiet. You could hear a pin drop in the distance. You could hear every last hush. There was no more hustle and bustle, and long gone was the rush. It was then that they realized the hearts they did touch. The act of helping out strangers had just meant so much. Between all of the tears shed and all of the work-driven sweat. Itâs an event that the whole town will never forget. One point which was proven, and came right from the start, was that Ganderâs a small town but it has a big heart. The townâs hospitality had come in great fashion. It was fuelled by emotions, empathy and strong passion. Because regardless of terror they still came out victorious. These strangers showed up as grounded, but they departed as glorious.
by Nicola RyanPhotos courtesy Helen Milley Discovering Newfoundland To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Newfoundland Pony Society (NPS) has launched an ambitious fundraising project to create a Heritage Park for endangered Newfoundland ponies. This new seasonal park will provide grazing pasture, breeding space and a visitorsâ area to highlight the cultural significance of this special animal. Loss of habitat is a major threat to the survival of the Newfoundland pony, so the NPS is thrilled to have secured a 50-year lease on 25 hectares of land near Hopeall in Trinity Bay. Ponies owned by local folks will be able to run and graze freely in the summer and fall before returning home to their stables for the winter. The park is the largest initiative the NPS has undertaken in its history as a charitable organization, and work to fence the area and install a water source is already underway.Greg Malone, award-winning actor, environmentalist and animal-lover, has come on board as honorary chair of the fundraising campaign. Heâs passionate about protecting the critically endangered breed, and his affection for the ponies and their special place in provincial culture and heritage shines through. âItâs a unique breed in all the world,â he says. âThey evolved here over 400 years into a perfect horse for the Newfoundland and Labrador climate. Theyâre sturdy and affectionate, and theyâre just lovely animals to be around.âPonies and horses helped shape settlements and ways of life on the island portion of the province. The ancestors of the Newfoundland pony arrived with early settlers from Britain in the 1600s. These were primarily Exmoor, Dartmoor, Welsh and Connemara ponies. As Greg explains, through isolation and intermingling for hundreds of years, these ponies eventually evolved into a distinct landrace breed uniquely adapted to Newfoundland. Their distinctive physical traits that are the direct result of living in our climate. Hooded eyes and low-set tails protect them from the driving rain and snow; tough hooves and close-set front legs make them agile and sure-footed on rocky terrain; and their ears are small and extra furry to help prevent frostbite. In the past, this sweet-tempered, hard-working animal played an important role in the survival of rural Newfoundland. They ploughed fields and mowed meadows. They hauled wood for heating homes and kelp from the beaches to fertilize the gardens. Their natural intelligence, friendliness and willingness to work made them dependable companions for many, many years. Greg recalls the beauty of wild ponies running freely on the hills, and the sweet familiarity of seeing them in gardens and meadows. âI remember I used to go to Carbonear a lot. I would see these kids on their ponies riding down Water Street - all these girls with their hair flying and smiles on their faces. What a sight! I loved that, and I wish I could see it again.âHe adds, âIn the old days, of course, animals were free to roam.â However, in the 1970s, new municipal by-laws meant that the ponies could no longer wander and fences had to be built to keep them in. This was a major loss of natural habitat. Fences also led to increased costs associated with keeping ponies, and economic times in the late 1970s and â80s were hard. Thousands of ponies ended up being sold to meat processing plants across Canada and Europe. From an estimated plentiful population of over 12,000, the number of Newfoundland ponies dropped to about 100. âItâs a tragic story, what happened to the Newfoundland pony,â says Greg. There are now about 500 Newfoundland ponies throughout Canada and the US, thanks largely to the efforts of the Newfoundland Pony Society. These folks know that having a natural habitat where the ponies can graze, run and breed freely is essential to their health and survival as a species today.âReally, all they need is a little bit of pasture, a little bit of land to graze on,â says Greg warmly. âIâm sure the people of Newfoundland will be more than happy to give them that.âThe campaign for the creation of the Newfoundland Pony Heritage Park kicked off last year with a fundraising goal of $250,000 over two phases. Phase 1, the development of pasture, is in the works now. More than $50,000 has been raised to date and many volunteers have been hard at work fencing the land, rehabilitating the pasture and creating accessibility to the new park. Phase 2, set for next summer, imagines the development of a visitor centre and outdoor storyboards. The NPS hopes to welcome children and school groups to see and enjoy the ponies in their natural habitat, and maybe even have them display traditional activities in a demonstration area. In the future, the park could serve as a destination for tourists and ponies could be promoted in the provinceâs marketing campaigns. âI think itâs something we could work with - all those wonderful ads for tourists, those super-saturated colour ads we see. A few ponies in those ads would increase their value many percentages,â Greg laughs. Greg feels fortunate to be able to lend his voice to the NPS and the special animals that have done so much for our province. âTo have our own little pony here in Newfoundland, I think itâs just a great benefit and a great treat. Iâd like to see ponies roaming wild in the hills. Iâd like to see them in the parks - in Terra Nova and Gros Morne. Itâd be nice, wouldnât it? But I think the first part is to get them their own pasture. Letâs get the numbers back up to a respectable level where theyâre not so critically endangered.âTo find out more about the Newfoundland Pony Heritage Park, go to NewfoundlandPony.com. There, you can learn about volunteering, donating, or getting involved in protecting and celebrating our remarkable ponies.
By Todd Goodyear ("Todd's Table")When the weather starts cooling down in the evenings, as it often does in Newfoundland and Labrador in September, comfort food recipes seem to emerge once again. One of my personal favorite meals is beef stew. There are so many recipes out there for beef stew, and after cooking many of them I have settled on this variation as a true winner, in my opinion. (To be honest, I am not a fan of parsnip and the idea of adding bottled pickled onions to stew was a bit weird, but trust me, it really adds great flavour.)Growing up, the only stews we ate were made with either beef or moose meat and, regardless, it was just called âstew.â Nowadays we make chicken, pork, lamb or no meat stews, incorporating all sorts of flavours and ingredients. In our house these days, we are being conscious of the almighty carb intake and we limit the amount of bread we eat. Feel free to continue with the stew tradition of having bread or rolls with yours. I stick with just the stew, but I do miss the bread.Stick to Your Ribs Beef StewYield 4-6 servings2 lbs stewing beef2 tbsp oil (olive, vegetable or avocado)3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped3 stalks of celery, chopped1 small turnip, peeled and chopped into cubes2 parsnip, peeled and chopped2 large onions, peeled and chopped1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes2 cups red wine3-4 cups beef broth3-4 bay leaves3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary1 jar of pickled baby white onions (drained)Salt and pepper to taste3-4 small potatoes (optional)A good rule of thumb for cooking a meal like this is to use a large thick-bottomed pot. Preheat that pot over medium high heat. While waiting, pat dry the beef with paper towels and cut it into cubes. Season the meat with salt and pepper.Add the oil to the pot and add the meat in just a single layer. Do not overcrowd the pot. Brown the meat on all sides, remove and repeat until youâve browned all the meat. Add more oil with every batch of meat.This method takes a little more time and patience, but doing it this way will pay off in the end. Browning the meat properly will give you the great flavour needed for an awesome stew that your family and friends will enjoy.Once all the meat is browned and set aside, discard any leftover oil in the pot, but keep the brown bits and what may be stuck on to the bottom of the pot. This is where the hearty beef flavour will come from.Add the wine and half the beef broth. As that heats up, scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to deglaze and gather up all the brown-bits goodness.Add half the vegetables (if you are using potato, wait until later to add them), browned beef, tomatoes (with juice), bay leaves and rosemary. Bring the pot to a simmer.Cook until the vegetables are almost tender, then add the jar of pickled onions and remaining vegetables (including all the potato). The first lot of vegetables will dissolve into the stew and help to make it thick, while the second lot will maintain their shape and make the stew look very delicious with their vibrant colours.Simmer until beef and vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.I am delighted to hear from readers who are trying the recipes that I write about. Keep the feedback coming and remember, cook with confidence. If I can do it, you can, too.
Societies have always benefitted from having libraries. More than just row upon row of novels, dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographies, textbooks and the like, libraries level our playing fields. Regardless of station, income or education, all have equal access to higher learning, entertainment and even escape inside their local library.In recent years, the word library has found use in other ways that create accessibility in our communities. Beyond books and films, libraries now provide free access to tools, music, food and even people. Here are some of the more unconventional libraries you may find near you (and if not, maybe youâll help start one!).Little Free LibraryPretty cabinets of gently loved books are popping up in neighbourhoods everywhere. They might be a purchased kit from the Little Free Library organization, or something lovingly refinished and repurposed. These are created by true book lovers who place them in a public space, often their own curbside, where theyâll be seen and used, where anyone can borrow a book or leave one for someone else. There are more than 100,000 locations registered with Little Free Libraries in the world today.LittleFreeLibrary.orgAirport LibrarySeveral European airports have dedicated space to a small library where travellers can check out a book to read while waiting for their flight; some require you to leave the book behind, others let you take it with you and return it when you return. And some accept drop-offs or trade-ins from passengers, similar to Little Free Libraries. In keeping with the times, some airports offer free e-book downloads to travellersâ iPads and e-readers. In 2018, Halifax Stanfield International Airport partnered with Halifax Public Libraries, allowing Nova Scotia passengers to use their library card to check out books from a kiosk in the airport. Learn more at BooksNowBoarding.ca.Tool LibraryBeing a handy person can save you lots of money as a homeowner, but building up the necessary toolkit can be expensive. Thatâs where knowing someone who can loan you a tool can be the perfect fix to your problem. The St. Johnâs Tool Library in St. Johnâs, NL, is a non-profit with an inventory of tools to loan out and volunteers with expertise in using them. They even offer DIY workshops where, for a modest fee, you can hone your handy skills.StJohnsToolLibrary.caBaby Clothes LibraryLaunched near the end of 2020, deep in pandemic times, the Baby Clothes Library non-profit group helps support families and lengthen the lifespan of baby products. Babies grow so fast that most of their clothes are hardly worn. Itâs expensive to keep a baby in new clothes, materials that are too valuable to just toss out. So the Baby Clothes Library packages gently used baby clothes, including outerwear and shoes, according to size and gender (and also gender neutral). For a very small membership fee ($10 per year), folks can borrow a bundle of clothes and return them when their baby outgrows them. The Baby Clothes Library operates out of the St. Johnâs Tool Library space and on Facebook.Facebook.com/SJBabyClothesLibrary/Musical Instrument LibraryArmed with a Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries (NLPL) card, you can loan out a musical instrument. The Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library operates out of the A.C. Hunter Library in St. Johnâs, which joins a growing list of Canadian libraries adding musical instruments to their offerings thanks to generous donations. There are more than a dozen instruments in the collection, from an accordion to bongo drums, a ukele, a violin and several guitars, including one donated by local musician Alan Doyle.NLPL.ca/programs/musiclibrary/about.htmlHuman LibraryÂ®Users of the Human LibraryÂ® can have a conversation with a real person whoâs offered themselves as an âopen book.â Founded in Denmark in 2000, the Human LibraryÂ® means to give users a chance to learn about and from volunteers who represent sectors of society that may be underrepresented, commonly misunderstood or often stereotyped. These libraries have spread to six continents to become a global movement that celebrates diversity. In 2019, the now-defunct Refugee Immigration and Advisory Council hosted a Human LibraryÂ® event in St. Johnâs, NL, with five volunteer âtitlesâ to check out. They were all newcomers to the province willing to share their varying backgrounds and experiences, and included a Thai restauranteur and a Mexican filmmaker.HumanLibrary.orgCommunity Seed LibraryCreated to preserve heirloom, rare and culturally significant plants, community seed libraries loan out seed packets to members. Those members have to agree to sow the seed and grow the plants to maturity, and then harvest a portion of those seeds to return to the library. Itâs a way of keeping the libraryâs stock of significant seeds fresh and viable.Seeds.ca/sw8/web/diversity/community-seed-libraries