Showing posts with label agriculture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label agriculture. Show all posts

Friday, May 24, 2024

Sheep to Sock Sunday and SPANL!

What would Sheep to Sock be without one of our main stars, sheep! SPANL, or the Sheep Producers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, will be attending Sheep to Sock Sunday with some sheep waiting to be sheared. #SheepToSock

The Sheep Producers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SPANL) represents the interests of NL sheep producers - big and small. They achieve this by supporting and promoting the growth and profitability of sheep production, by identifying and addressing producer needs, by strengthening partnerships with governmental and agriculture agencies, by raising public awareness of the sheep industry and increasing the market demand for sheep products, and by removing barriers to expansion and growth. 

More information on SPANL is available here:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

New Perlican's Goat Tea and Other Animal Tales

Did you grow up milking goats? Do you remember hauling wood by goat instead of horse? Do you have memories of keeping gardens or raising animals? Do you have old photos or items associated with the agricultural history of New Perlican? The Heritage Foundation NL, in partnership with Heritage New Perlican, wants to know!

We’ll be hosting the Goat Tea and Other Animals Tales in the Veteran’s Memorial Community Centre, Main Road, New Perlican on Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 7:00pm.

“We are looking for anyone connected to New Perlican with stories about goats or other farm animals, growing vegetables, or building root cellars,” says Heritage Foundation folklorist Dale Jarvis. “If you have memories or photographs of agriculture in New Perlican, we would love to hear from you.”

This innovative project is part of the Foundation’s Oral History Roadshow and will highlight the importance of oral history as well as traditional knowledge about animal husbandry, self-sufficiency, food security, and agricultural practices in the community. It will also connect the past to the present and showcase interviews with the current generation of goat-owners, and will demonstrate how goats are used in New Perlican’s older cemeteries today as lawn mowers to cut down overgrowth.

Come for a cup of tea, and bring photos, goat yokes or other agricultural objects to show off. There will be a digization station to scan or photograph items, so you can take your originals home with you. The information gathered will be used alongside oral history interviews and archival research to create a booklet about the goats of New Perlican.

Check out the Facebook event here!

For more information please contact Terra Barrett with the Heritage Foundation toll free at 1-888-739-1892 ext. 5 or email

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Living Heritage Podcast Ep072 Perfectly Perennial with Dan Rubin

Since arriving in Newfoundland fifteen years ago, Dan Rubin has been deeply involved in local history and heritage, as the founding chair of the Pouch Cove Heritage Society. He was lead author and editor of the book Pouch Cove: Our Home by the Sea which received the Manning award for community history in 2016. But Dan is also a groundbreaking gardener and seedsman. He is here today to talk about how he is helping preserve and extend local traditions of food production in his community and across our province while working as the manager of Perfectly Perennial Herbs and Seeds.

We discuss the seed company, extending the gardening season, biannual plants, walking onions, food security, root cellar technology, north-adapted plants, and the importance of workshops and passing on agricultural traditions!

Listen on the Digital Archive:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Living Heritage Podcast Ep007 Food Knowledge and Skills with Sarah Ferber

Sarah Ferber is the Education Manager at Food Security Network NL. Their mission is to actively promote comprehensive, community-based solutions to ensure access to adequate and healthy food for all people in the province. Sarah works closely with community groups across NL to gather, share and preserve food skills and knowledge. In this podcast, folklorist Dale Jarvis talks with Sarah about the "All Around the Table" film series, creating food celebrations with seniors, traditional knowledge, food skills workshops, and advancing farm-to-school and school gardening initiatives.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tuesday's Folklore Photo - A Trinity Potato Garden

Happy Tuesday! For this week's Folklore Photo, a lovely view of a potato garden in flower in Trinity, Trinity Bay.

I have been assisting the Agricultural History Society of NL with some of their files, soon to be uploaded to the Digital Archives Initiative, under the "Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe" section of the ICH Inventory. This is one of the photos in their collection that will be included.

The photo was undated and unnamed, but that is the Hiscock House there in the background, now a provincial historic site.  I love the wood stacked up behind the garden, as well.  The photo was used in a panel prepared by the Agricultural History Society circa 2008, but the photo might be older. If you recognize it, email me at or leave a comment below!

- Dale Jarvis

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Living Heritage Podcast Ep002 Kevin Aucoin, Agricultural History Society.

In today's edition of the Living Heritage Podcast, folklorist Dale Jarvis talks with Kevin Aucoin of the Agricultural History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Kevin Aucoin was born and raised on a small mixed farm in the Codroy Valley, on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland. He was introduced to the 4-H program as a teenager, which lead Kevin to an interest and training in the agricultural field. Kevin attended the Agricultural Colleges in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario. He worked for some 35 years in the agricultural industry, becoming involved in farm and agricultural history in the mid 1980s. Kevin discusses his family background in farming, the formation of the Agricultural History Society, changes in technology, hay barracks and root cellars, agriculture in Labrador, and the Century Farms program.


The Living Heritage Podcast is about people who are engaged in the heritage and culture sector, from museum professionals and archivists, to tradition bearers and craftspeople - all those who keep history alive at the community level. The show is a partnership between HeritageNL and CHMR Radio. Past episodes are hosted on Libsyn, and you can subscribe via iTunes, or Stitcher. Theme music is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: Something fishy this way comes

Plowing under caplin for fertilizer [VA 110-32.2] 1930
International Grenfell Association photograph collection
Fred Coleman Sears photographs
Photo: Courtesy of The Rooms Provincial Archives.
Although it is not quite caplin time – the weather we have been having for the majority of June could be considered caplin weather. The RDF (rain, drizzle and fog) which prevails during Newfoundland’s “spring” and early summer is also known to coincide with the appearance of caplin which roll across our shores late June or early July.
Caplin used on field as fertilizer [VA 14-105] 1939
Newfoundland Tourist Development Board photograph collection
Gustav Anderson photograph album
Photo: Courtesy of The Rooms Provincial Archives.
In honour of the lovely caplin weather and the hope that summer is just around the corner I took this opportunity to select some caplin related pictures for today’s folklore photo.
Caplin used as fertilizer in garden [VA 14-106] 1939
Newfoundland Tourist Development Board photograph collection
Gustav Anderson photograph album
Photo: Courtesy of The Rooms Provincial Archives.
These pictures from The Rooms Provincial Archives show one of the many uses for caplin – as an all natural fertilizer!
Home Gardening, Decks Awash [vol 11, no.1, February 1982]
Photo: courtesy of MUN's Digital Archives Initiative 
In my search for garden fertilizers I also came across this lovely article from the Decks Awash newsletter proclaiming all the benefits of seaweed and fish offal as a natural soil conditioner and compost.
Gathering kelp on Back of Beach [Kenneth Nash]
Jackie Nash personal photo collection
Photo: courtesy of MUN's Digital Archives Initiative 
What do you use for fertilizer and compost in the garden? Any tips on what could help a garden grow on this rock?
The benefits of kelp and caplin seen in a potato garden [William Snelgrove]
Terra Barrett personal photo collection
Photo: courtesy of Digest [vol 3, issue 1, summer 2014]
For more information on the local food system check out these videos done by Root Cellars Rock showcasing seniors’ food knowledge.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Science You Eat - A Newfoundland root cellar in Ottawa!

If you've followed the ICH blog for any length of time, you'll know that we love root cellars! A few years ago, we partnered on a root cellar research project with the Agricultural History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, and that information has been added to a root cellar collection on Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative, over 500 photos, interviews and floor plans, much of it collected by folklorist Crystal Braye and cultural geographer Julie Pomeroy.

Now, some of that info has made its way to Ottawa, where a new exhibit is nearing completion, which will include a life-sized replica of a Newfoundland root cellar.

Suzanne Beauvais is a curator with the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, and one of the people who has been researching and building the model root cellar. She writes,
Have you ever wondered why storing cucumbers in vinegar keeps them edible for longer? Or whether canned food lasts forever? Our ancestors preserved food using several different methods but did not know that scientific principles underlie food preservation. The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, located on the grounds of the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, is opening a new exhibition — Food Preservation: The Science You Eat — that answers these questions and much more. The exhibition explores traditional and modern preservation methods, both at home and in industry, and explains the scientific principles behind food preservation using artifacts, videos, interactives, and audio recordings of people sharing their memories. A particularly interesting feature is a replica 1890s root cellar, such as those found in Elliston, Newfoundland and Labrador, where visitors will experience the cold, damp, and dark of this food storage structure common to homes of the time. This replica has been made according to the historical information provided through the generous collaboration of the Agricultural History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.
So, if you are in the Ottawa area this summer, check out the Elliston root cellar. The exhibit opens officially on May 13th.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Exploring Our Roots: A Heritage Inventory of Newfoundland’s Root Cellars

In 2011, the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL) hosted the agricultural-themed folklife festival, Seeds to Supper, to celebrate farming and gardening traditions in the province. To complement these celebrations, an architectural inventory of over 150 root cellars was conducted and has been added to Memorial University’s Digital Archives Initiative (DAI).

The research was conducted by Crystal Braye, hired through MUN’s Division of Co-operative Education, in collaboration with Julie Pomeroy of the Agricultural History Society (AHS),

Crystal has recently completed a report on her root cellar work with HFNL, and we are pleased to release it as the third in our Occasional Paper on Intangible Cultural Heritage series. If you have an interest in root cellars, folk architecture, or traditional knowledge, give it a read!

Download Occasional Paper 003 as a pdf

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Root Cellars Rock The Rooms

Coffee and Culture: Root Cellars
March 14, 2:30pm
The Rooms Theatre

How do you keep vegetables fresh without electricity? In a root cellar of course! From use in years past to modern day, root cellars have become iconic in Newfoundland and Labrador. Folklorist Crystal Braye and Sarah Ferber from Root Cellars Rock will be at The Rooms to tell you all about them. Presented in collaboration with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.


Root cellar photos courtesy of Crystal Braye.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hay Barrack photo from Cape Anguille, Newfoundland.

In my ongoing quest to document the seemingly now-vanished tradition of hay barracks in Newfoundland, I've come across another photograph.

This one comes courtesy of John Pratt, who took this colour slide in the early 1990s around Cape Anguille, on Newfoundland's west coast. It shows the pyramidal wood roof laid on the ground, and the four support poles caught mid-twist.  Left empty and unattended, these structures quickly toppled over.

Hay barracks were once a typical technology for the storage of hay in certain regions of the province, in particular the Codroy Valley area and in the Goulds/Killbride region. If you have a memory of a structure like this, or know of a photograph, please email me at or call me toll free at 1-888-739-1892 ext 2.

Friday, August 19, 2011

What is a Hay Barrack, you ask? A Newfoundland-wide photo hunt

I'm hoping that someone out there in Newfoundland has a photo (or memories) of a hay barrack. I'm working on a little article on hay barracks for a future newsletter, and would love a good illustration.

Here is what the Dictionary of Newfoundland English says:

barrack n Cp DAE hay barrack (1807-). Structure consisting of four posts and a movable roof, designed to protect hay from rain and snow (P 245-56). M 71-39 A barrack is composed of a square base of criss-crossed poles, to keep the hay from the ground, and at each corner a large upright pole. In each pole there are holes through which a large bolt can be passed. Resting on four large bolts, one in each pole, is a four-faced cone-shaped roof. These barracks are usually boarded in for about four feet from the ground. 1974 MANNION 176 ~ A roof sliding on four posts, under which hay is kept.

I'm hoping that someone might have seen one in a photo, perhaps not really knowing what it might have been. If you've seen one, let me know at

Thanks to Philip Hiscock for pointing me towards this excellent photo of one in the Ukraine. The illustration above is of both a five and four pole barrack, the four pole barrack showing boarding similar to the description in the Dictionary. Illustration taken from the Dutch Barn Preservation Society website, which writes:  Five-pole hay barrack (left), published in van Berkhey, 1810 (Vol. IX). The Dutch wagon size suggests this barrack is about 24' wide and 33' high. Note the winding jack set in position to raise the roof using a long pole. Its form is similar to that of a cheese press. Its relative size, however, appears exaggerated for clarity. Four-pole barrack at right, also from van Berkhey.

See also:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Seeds To Supper Festival Midpoint

The Seeds To Supper Festival is in full stride right now. We've just hosted two successful events, our Food Folklore and Tourism workshop in Cupids on Monday, and our Evening With Century Farmers last night at Lester Farms Inc on Pearltown Road in St. John's (picture above with, left to right, Michelle and Jim Lester, and Leonard and Lena Ruby and family).

We've still got lots to come! This Wednesday and Thursday, we're partnering with the Eastern Edge Gallery for their Art Garden Workshop running 11am-2pm at 72 Harbourside Drive, St. John's. As part of their Art Marathon Festival, workshop participants will create a Moveable Art Garden, which will be part of FEASt's Third Annual Open Garden Day on Sunday, August 21.

Head on down to Eastern Edge to help create the art garden, or download the map for Sunday's Open Garden Day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Century Farms, Newfoundland ponies, a building floats to a new home, and more

In this edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update for Newfoundland and Labrador: the Seeds to Supper Festival gets underway with a workshop on culinary tourism, featuring Canada's Top Chef participant Todd Perrin; we celebrate our agricultural history with an evening of stories of farming past, present and future; a local woman keeps the tradition of Newfoundland ponies alive; news on the Culture, Place and Identity at the Heart of Regional Development conference coming this fall; a historic merchant's shop is hauled (and floated) to a new home; and, our root cellar roundup.

Download the pdf