Friday, August 21, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Monday, July 27, 2009

Grapegrowing in the rainforests, a return of the Skeena Story and the Minister comes a callin', some of the highlights of the July 27 edition of the Daily News.

HEARING IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE-- Front page headline status is given to the joys of grapegrowing in Podunk ad the Daily examines, the successful harvest of grapes of a Prince Rupert family (see story below)

Elsewhere in the Daily News we learn of the rebirth of the Skeena River story, a once popular one person show usually performed at the North Pacific Cannery Museum, the Monday edition examines the efforts of Kayla Sankey to bring the story back to life this summer at the Museum. In addition to the review of the work required to bring that show to life we also learn that the Museum is now under the management of the Museum of Northern British Columbia, perhaps providing the facility with some financial footing and direction for the future.

Summer it seems means visitors galore, including political ones as the BC Minister for Children and Family Development made a stop in Prince Rupert, attending a Northwest Inter-Nation Family and Community Services Society barbecue on Friday. While there she outlined the governments thoughts on the recent controversy over changes in service delivery, suggesting that the BCGEU had commented before all the relevant information was at hand. (see story here)

Sports dedicates the bulk of the page to the Junior Jubille Open held over the weekend, where Erich Pyde claimed the championship title for 2009.

Total pages for the Monday edition (14)

Front page, headline story:

By Moncia Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Monday, July 27, 2009
Page one

Grapes can be a reminder that anything is possible.

Thanks to one Vancouver Island woman's love of all things Italian, a Prince Rupert couple has a great batch of grapes growing in their green house.

From a matchstick sized clip taken from a vine in Campbell River, and then nursed along in their kitchen for two years, Ed and Rosemary McCarter have developed a thriving grape vine of their own.

It was in 2003 that the McCarters' grape growing adventure first began. Ed was away on one of his regular fly fishing trips to Campbell River on Vancouver Island.

He booked into the Haig-Brqwn House in Campbell River. Once the home of the famous writer and conservationist Roderick Haig-Brown and his wife Ami, the place is now a B&B run by the Campbell River Museum.

''I'm a big fan of Haig-Brown," aid Ed.

During a tour of the house, the caretaker showed Ed a glassed in porch at the back of the house that possessed a large grape vine.

"There was a root outside about two inches thick growing into the conservatory," recalled Ed.

"I asked the caretaker if I could take a little cutting."

Over the phone this week this week, the Haig-Brown

House site manager Sandra Chow said the grape was planted specifically to grown into the port in 1944.

“Ann Haig-Brown, Roddy’s wife, loved everything Italian and they made many trips post WWII to Italy. She had - and we still have - many Italian terra-cotta pots full of citrus plants, one with a jasmine, another scented begonia, plus beautiful small rectangular one six by 24 inches, which now hold begonias and impatiens.”

Ann cared for the plants up until her death in 1990.

The grapes are coincidentally the concord variety. Campbell’s Early, although the name has nothing to do with Campbell River.

The variety was developed in the US in the 1880’s and is not commonly grown in the US.
It is very popular in Japan and other Asian countries, making it even more interesting, because Prince Rupert is, after all, one sailing day closer to the orient than many other North American points. Grape experts describe Campbell's Early as an old Northwest standby with a sweeter taste and less of a musky aftertaste than other concords.

"It has lost favour in the Northwest because it colours before it is ripe-and overeager growers ruined the market by picking it too soon," noted an article by the Home Orchard Society.

Back in Prince Rupert, Ed credits Rosemary with the health of their grapes.

"She's the one that takes care of them," he said.

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