Tatamgouche Notebook, by Ellen Millard
Lots of hockey, support for minor players in Tatamagouche
The Stirling Room in Tatamagouche made the perfect den for the Gentle Dragons when they came on the evening of Feb. 4, and Richard Frotten proved to be the perfect host.
Karen Best was the chairperson and the Gentle Dragons included Ave Signh and Anne Anderson. It was a wonderful evening of getting to know the local farmers and the others who had just come to share their views on farming in general. Best also presented a slide show at the end of the evening.
Joe and Lorenda Ebbett, who own Meadow Brook Farm, a retail outlet, have been farming for many years (Joe since 1949). They spoke of their need to grow more of their own feed. Joe is trying to renew older fields to grow more grain. Machinery is a huge expense and joining or forming a co-op to share machinery was considered by many to be a possible answer. A successful example can be found in Cape Breton, which aims to replace their machinery every 10 years and have built a winter storage building for the machinery.
LeRoy Millard of Millard Farms spoke of his hope to get funds to shore up his land because his pasture and crop lands are on Tatamagouche Bay and the high tides and water surges are washing away the fields.
Cammie Hambolt from Waldgrave Farm has a vegetable farm and spoke of her need to have better drainage so she can plant earlier in the season in both the greenhouses and outside gardens. She would also like to expand her green houses.
Leonard, a representative from the Budda Centre, hopes to serve all organic and local foods to guests if he can find it.
Bill Wood of Wood and Hart Farms grows lambs and says he markets his products at Halifax markets.
Wayne Edgar of Earltown operates a small farm and blueberry fields, and sells his goods at the Tatamagouche Farmer’s Market. He says there’s a need for small farm infrastructure.
Silvanne Castillo of Fox Harbor plans to produce seeds to sell to seed companies, while Angela plans to build a root cellar in order to have her own vegetables during the winter.
Several other people spoke of their farming experiences and careers.
At the close of the evening, a presentation on the aims of the organization CEDIF was provided, explaining how shares in the non-profit organization are for sale to the general public and the funds are used to provide loans at low interest rates to those in the food industries. In return, shareholders receive interest on the invested funds.
The Gentle Dragons have done seven sessions in different parts of the province to promote the program to both the general public and those in the farming and food producing industry. In closing, the panel expressed its hope to be builders of bridges to work together in support of organic and local food producers, as well as those who own restaurants, hotels, cafes and bed and breakfast operations.
There has been lots of action on the ice with several tournaments at the North Shore Recreation Center to earn funds for minor hockey.
Last week two teams, the Tatamagouche Volunteer Fire Department and Ocean Lanes Bowling Alley, squared off in a fun game on the weekend. The Ocean Lanes Bowling Alley team was the winner. Tickets were sold on a 50/50 draw and on various other gifts, so a good amount for the Tatamagouche Minor Hockey Association was earned.
This weekend the Annual Memorial Ray Thompson Tournament was held as a three-day event. Teams taking part included Curtis’ Cruisers, Hathway Ford, Joles Mattatall, Keble County, Not Pro Gas, Ocean Lanes Bowling Alley, River Johners, RJ Boys, SML and Travel Blazers.
Ellen Millard is a historian, author and longtime resident of Sand Point, near Tatamagouche. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.