(in case you missed it)

Two Island cheese makers took home top awards last month at the Canadian Cheese Awards, held in Toronto. ADL took home 1st place for their brand of Dairy Isle cheese in the ‘Best Mild & Medium Cheddar’ and ‘‘Best Old Cheddar’ categories. Cow’s Creamery’s 3 Year Old Cheddar won three times: ‘Best Aged Cheddar’, ‘Best Cow’s Milk’ Cheese, and ‘Best Atlantic Canada Cheese. Cow’s also took home top honours in the Smoked Cheese Category for their Appletree Smoked Cheddar. These awards are a credit to all involved, from the quality milk produced on our farms to the time-honoured recipes of PEI’s cheese-makers.

A big congratulations to PEI’s own, Chef Irwin MacKinnon of Papa Joe’s Restaurant, who was named the National Chef of the Year at the 55th Canadian Culinary Federation Conference on June 14. He had earlier been awarded the Eastern Region Chef of the Year 2018 at the regional CCFCC conference.

Our cold spring and early June frosts have created issues for some farmers, particularly with frost hitting some strawberry and blueberry fields. Farmers are predicting smaller yields this summer and the potential for some farms to have serious losses this year. The frosts hit all of the Maritimes, so fruit crops were damaged across the region.

The Old Dublin Pub and Claddagh Oyster House in Charlottetown changed ownership after 30 years. Liam and Kim Dolan sold the restaurants to local businessmen, Kent MacPhee and Kent Scales. Both restaurants are long-standing hotspots in Charlottetown, with the Old Dub being well-known for its live music, classic pub fare, and fun atmosphere.

A dedicated group of Islanders were recognized for protecting the environment recently. The annual Prince Edward Island Environmental Awards were presented to winners in three categories: individual, organization, and school. The awards are given annually by the Environmental Advisory Council. This year’s winners are: Wayne Gairns from North Wiltshire, Eastern Kings Senior Neighbours Club, and Queen Elizabeth Elementary School, Kensington.

The Eastern Kings Senior Neighbours Club started an organic community garden in 2017 to help raise awareness among children about where their food comes from and to promote the values of organic crops.

Wayne Gairns has shown great dedication to watershed restoration. He has volunteered in the Fisheries and Oceans “Adopt a River” program. He was the driving force behind the creation of the PEI Federation of Fly Fishers to oversee work on the West River. He was a key figure in the initial setup of the semi-natural rearing pond at Mooney’s Pond and he plays an active role in a the Central Queens Wildlife Federation and the Island Nature Trust.

Students of Queen Elizabeth Elementary School were involved in a number of activities that teach environmental stewardship. They raised butterflies to tag and release. They grew plants to learn about plant life cycles and to beautify their school. They raised salmon from eggs and released them in the spring. The school also has a recycling program and makes organic vegetable boxes to promote eating locally and sustainably.

Terry Nabburs of Terry’s Berries food truck fame is moving to a less mobile venue. He is taking over the former Clam Diggers Restaurant in Georgetown and will open The Wheelhouse, featuring local produce and seafood. “We look forward to doing our part to showcase what Georgetown has to offer. Simple, authentic seafood with a breathtaking view,” Nabburs wrote on his Facebook page.

On the flip side, Clam Diggers has moved to a new spot in Cardigan.

The PEI Federation of Agriculture announced that the the PEI government has increased the funding for their Farmers’ Assistance Program. Earlier this year, the PEIFA had announced it needed more funding or fees would have to be charged for the service. The program provides confidential, professional counselling services to farmers and their families. Farming can be a high-stress life and the program is a vital part of helping our farmers cope with a wide range of issues. Some areas covered include grief counselling, trauma and critical incidents counselling (such as farm accidents), elder care, marital and family counselling, and many more. Tragically, there have been two suicides in the farming community this year, and the PEIFA hopes that farmers will reach out for help more readily. The services are available 24/7, are fully confidential (the PEIFA is never informed of who is accessing the program), free to PEIFA members, and can be accessed by calling (902) 626-9787.

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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