Friday, September 07, 2007

St Anthony and Newfoundland

An email from Tony, who I met when I was in St Anthony, Newfoundland, Canada, prompted me to write this rather belated post on St Anthony and Newfoundland.

Water bomberTony had sent me this picture of a retired water bomber which has recently arrived in St Anthony, seen just down the road from his house.

Also note the cruise ship lurking in the background there.

Newfoundland is a unique place, the half hour timezone difference to the rest of the eastern seaboard gives a clue here, and one which I certainly look forward to visiting again. Maybe next visit I'll also be able to make it to Labrador as well.

The one thing that really stood out for me was the concept of the crown lands there. It seems that the local residents are entitled to arbitrarily put in vegetable gardens along the side of the road, in what is crown land, so as to grow their own vegetables. Potatoes being the most common.

Apparently the soil is best along the side of the road, as it accumulates there. The gardens are denoted by rough fences, which are constructed to keep the moose out as they graze on the vegetation gowning on that same rich roadside soil. Moose are a real hazard for drivers at night in this part of the world.

The gardens are interspersed with log piles as apparently locals can also cut wood for their personal needs from the surrounding countryside that is crown land.

I was also told how, for a small application fee, residents can be granted space to build themselves a log cabin in the woods.

Except for the harsh, cold, winters where even the sea freezes over, this sounds almost idyllic.

There is, of course, much more to St Anthony and Newfoundland. For example, I always find myself thinking of the early explorers and the like when visiting such remote places. Wilfred Grenfell is just one of these characters who is famous in those parts.

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