Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts

Friday, June 9, 2017

#FoodwaysFriday - How do you fence your garden?

Beach and gardens in Oliver's Cove, Tilting.
Photo by Gerald Pocius, 1989.
When we discuss foodways of Newfoundland and Labrador the first food that often comes to mind is the codfish. Cod has played a major role in everything from the province’s economy to its culture. It is featured in many traditional dishes however it is not the only food tradition in the province. Seafood and fish, caribou, seal, sea birds, berries, root vegetables, and imported products such as molasses and tin milk all play a part in the province’s food traditions. In celebration of the diverse foods harvested, grown, cooked, and eaten in Newfoundland and Labrador we will be doing a #FoodwaysFriday feature on the ICH Blog.

This week we are featuring a series of photos taken by Dr. Gerald Pocius in Oliver’s Cove, Tilting in 1989. The photos are of the gardens and picket fences found in the now abandoned community. Oliver’s Cove was once inhabited by William and James Hurley and their families but no houses exist there today, instead, you will find fenced gardens, root cellars, and a hay house (Mellin, Robert. 2008. Tilting.).

Looking over these photos of these fenced-in potato and cabbage gardens reminded me of this great video titled Wrigglin’ fence done by the MUN extension service in 1977. In the short film the Paddy Brothers of Port Kirwan build a traditional wrigglin' or riddle fence around their garden.

If you want to learn more about fence styles in Newfoundland and Labrador check out this document from the Heritage Foundation which features paling, longer, picket, wriggle/riddle, and wattle fences. Or if you want to see the full photo collection from Dr. Pocius on Memorial's Digital Archives click here!

Let us know how you fence your garden!

Share your stories and knowledge of food with the hashtag #FoodwaysFriday.
Cabbage growing in Oliver's Cove, Tilting.
Photo by Gerald Pocius, 1989.
~Terra Barrett

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:

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, May 13, 2014

Tuesday's Folklore Photo - Waterfront Gardening

I've heard that because of our cold start to Spring, locals gardeners are feeling a bit anxious to get started. Surely things will soon warm up and people will be able to get their seedlings in the ground....right? Hopefully this photo will provide a little bit of inspiration, and remind us that the wait will be worthwhile.

Taken in Conche on the Northern Peninsula in Spring 2010, a family works together to dig potato trenches, getting the ground ready for planting. This waterfront garden plot is one that this family has been using for decades. Its location near the ocean ensures that it gets optimal exposure to sunlight, is easily accessed by boat, and can easily access kelp, which is an effective soil fertilizer.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: Pumpkins!

[799. Family] Boys Holding Pumpkin
circa 1920-1950
Courtesy of: United Church Archives - H.M. Dawe Photograph Collection

To celebrate the first day of October I focused on pumpkins for this Tuesday's folklore photo. At first I wanted to share an archival image of Newfoundlanders celebrating Halloween, but it seems these are few and far between. When I searched "pumpkins" on Memorial University's Digital Archive and came across these cute little guys, I couldn't resist sharing. These boys are absolutely beside themselves with excitement over this pumpkin!

Interestingly, it was once tradition in Newfoundland to carve turnips for Halloween rather than pumpkins. This is said to be a carry over from Celtic tradition. Pumpkins carved as jack-o-lanterns would not have been part of traditional Halloween festivals in Celtic Europe, since pumpkins are New World plants, but large turnips were hollowed out, carved with faces and placed in windows to ward off evil spirits.

If you happen to be growing your own pumpkins, you may find this advice from Ross Traverse helpful. This was originally published in Decks Awash, 1987.

Courtesy of:  Decks Awash, Vol. 16, no.01 (Jan-Feb 1897)

If you have an archival images of Newfoundlander's celebrating Halloween, please email Nicole at We'd love to share them on the blog at the end of the month! :)