In case you missed it

Looking for a summer job in the culinary world? Now’s the time to start looking—many restaurants and food businesses need to fill positions for the busy summer season. Keep an eye on social media and job sites, there’s lots to chose from.

Nominations are now being accepted for Food and Farm Care PEI’s ‘Food & Farming Champion’ Award. It is presented to individuals, organizations, or businesses who have taken the initiative to engage with consumers in a conversation about food and farming in PEI. Nominees are individuals who are passionate about food and agriculture and are proud of our industry–they use their skills to share their stories and provide consumers with accurate information about agriculture and food production. The deadline for nominations is March 22, 2019. The selection committee will choose a winner from the nominations and the award recipient will be honored at the 2019 Farm & Food Care PEI Workshop to be held in April. For nomination forms visit: farmfoodcarepei.org/about-us/champion-award

Congratulations to Deep Roots Distillery for their Gold and Best In Class wins for their absinthe at the second annual Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition held in Vancouver in early February. The competition is held by Artisan Distillers Canada. Deep Roots’ absinthe is handcrafted in small batches at their location in Warren Grove. As well, their Island Tide cane sugar spirit received a silver award in the White Spirit category. Another Island business, Matos Winery & Distillery, also picked up a silver award for their Anisette in the White Spirit category and a bronze in that category for their Bagaco spirits. Matos also was awarded a gold medal in the liqueur category for Anisette.

Chef Irwin MacKinnon, from Papa Joe’s, represented Atlantic Canada in the Canada’s Great Kitchen Party competition held in Kelowna, BC in early February. He was joined by a team that included chef Andrew Smith of Top of the Park along with Diem Bui. The competition was stiff and well-balanced and chef Yannick LaSalle of Les Fougères in Chelsea, Quebec, ended up in the top spot at the end of the weekend.

In restaurant news, Cook’s Corner Convenience in Miscouche celebrated a grand opening of their newly expanded facility—a restaurant/cafe has been added along with a second kitchen. Michael Perry of Uncle Mike’s Grill in Summerside is planning to expand the Uncle Mike’s group of restaurants by moving into the former Route 145 Bar and Grill spot in Bloomfield.

Oliver Sauve and Josh Lindsay, inventors of the Forktula, appeared on Dragons’ Den on January 31 and got a $25,000 verbal deal from one of the dragons. However, after the due diligence process, the deal was off the table as it wasn’t the best fit for them or for dragon Michele Romanow. Regardless, the pair are happy with the publicity of their product and sales have increased dramatically for the fork accessory post-airing.

Katherine Burnett of Lady Baker’s Teas has received her certification as a tea sommelier through the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada. Baker has been selling her teas online and at the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market for over 10 years and offers approximately 40 varieties.

The Tourism Association of Prince Edward Island is attempting to address the shortage of trained cooks on the Island by offering a free training course which will train participants in basic kitchen skills and offer on-the-job training. Partnering with Skills PEI and Holland College, the course began on February 19 and will run for 14 weeks. The 16 spots were filled quickly for the program.

Congratulations to Hopyard who were awarded the 2018 Retailer of the Year Award by Downtown Charlottetown Inc. The bar and restaurant is well known for its menus created by chef Jane Crawford which change every two weeks and its revolving selection of craft beers. In 2018, the business also expanded to Nova Scotia, opening Hopyard Halifax.

Nominations are being accepted until March 31, 2019 for the PEI Women’s Institute’s ‘Women in Agriculture Recognition Award’. Presented bi-annually to recognize an Island woman making a major contribution to the PEI agriculture industry within the last five years, nominations may be made by any branch of the PEIWI and are open to all women on the Island.

Congratulations to Somerset Farms who received the 2019 Gilbert R Clements Award for Excellence in Environmental Farm Planning during the PEI Federation of Agriculture’s annual meeting in late January. The award is given annually to a farm that is economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible. Darren and Brenda Peters started the first-generation farm in 1994. “We’re pretty honoured to be picked,” Darren said. “A lot of farms on PEI could have gotten the award so we are honoured.”

Somerset Farms includes 200 acres of potatoes, 60 acres of carrots, and other crops on a five-year rotation. The farm has installed thousands of feet of soil conservation features including 3,300 feet of farmable berms, 12,000 feet of permanently grassed waterways and 6,000 feet of diversion terraces.

The farm also frequently uses conservation tillage practices as well as progressive integrated pest management techniques. Somerset Farms is also a participant in the Alternative Land Use Program (ALUS) and Darren has been a tireless promoter of the ALUS program and introducing the benefits of sustainable farm management to many fellow producers. He also hosts tours at Somerset Farms for Kinkora Regional High School students in an effort to share sustainable farming practices with the next generation.

Own land? Want to help capture some carbon? Then the PEI government’s Carbon Capture Tree Planting Program might be up your alley. The government is aiming to return approximately 250 hectares of fields and marginal land to forest cover over the next three years. Private landowners who are interested in planting these types of sites can apply to the program.

“Over their lifespan, trees use and store a tremendous amount of carbon and there are many areas across the Island which could be forested to support carbon capture efforts,” Communities, Land and Environment Minister Richard Brown said. “This program will help landowners increase the long-term value of their land while helping mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

Funded through the federal Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, it covers all planting and seedling costs. Participating landowners are also eligible for a one-time Alternate Land Uses Service payment for the planted area as well as additional forest management services offered through the Forest Enhancement Program.

The Carbon Capture Tree Planting Program plants suitable native tree species on marginal and grasses sites, including high priority sites such as highly sloped lands, sites with sensitive (erodible) soils, and watershed areas with low forest cover. Other types of sites may also be considered.

Port Charlottetown was pleased to announce over 786,000 dollars in federal funding to help finish the transformation of Founders’ Hall into an urban food and craft market. “We’ll have a combination of culinary offerings and marketplace offerings, a social place where people can come, Islanders can come and just enjoy,” Mike Cochrane, CEO of Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc said. Vendors are already signed up and the hope is that the renovations will be complete in time for the summer season, with the goal of operating the market year round.

It looks like a buyer for Diversified Metal Engineering (DME) may be found. DME, a manufacturer of brewing equipment for craft beer went into receivership in late November. The receiver has announced that a purchase agreement has been reached with a Dutch company, CIMC Enric Tank and Processing Ltd. According the report, if the deal is approved, CIMC would acquire DME’s properties in Charlottetown as well as the company’s machinery, equipment, inventory and client list. As well, the receiver has noted that CIMC intends to employ the majority of DME’s current employees and will consider rehiring former workers as well.

The courts have already approved the sale of DME’s Abbotsford location, as well as an Island-based subsidiary company, Atlantic Systems Manufacturing (ASM). ASM was acquired by Eastern Fabricators in early February, and former employees were back on the payroll within days. Eastern Fabricators of Georgetown is known for its specialization in, and manufacture of, stainless steel food and seafood processing systems.

Look for the launch of the Food Exchange Food Skills Workshop Series mid-March on their website at foodexchangepei.com. The toolkits in this series are intended to assist individuals and communities across PEI in strengthening knowledge, capacity, and engagement with healthy food skills. The inspiration for the series is the recognition that the ability to rebuild food literacy resides within the members of the community. Funding for this project was made available through the Community Food Security Sub-Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Agreement as delivered by the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

The Atlantic Beef Processing team was busy in Toronto, promoting the plant’s beef at the Restaurants Canada trade show, held in late February. As sponsors of the Top-to-Top reception, Island beef was featured for the attendees, highlighting brisket sliders for restaurant owners across Canada.

Volunteers are needed for Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM) which helps students learn about, connect to and understand agriculture. Agriculture in the Classroom PEI has been working work with our educators to promote and educate our students on the importance of agriculture in our lives, society and economy and CALM is a big part of that promotion each year.

Farmers and agricultural representatives who are interested in celebrating CALM during March with classroom visits are asked to contact Shelley, PEI Agriculture Sector Council, at 902-393-9049 for more details.

About Salty Staff

A diverse group of people, the Salty team works hard each month to bring you great stories about PEI's food and farming community.

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