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  1. Curing nature deficit disorder

    How many modern kids have heard a loon from a tent?

    Our daughter delighted us recently by announcing that she and her husband were shopping for camping gear, intent on ensuring their two tots experience nature and the outdoors as they develop.

    We have a wee bit of a tribute inside this issue, a salute of sorts (starting on page 38), to a culture and a lifestyle we seem to be steadily losing. An intimate appreciation of our northern woods and waters and the inherent outdoorsy skills that accompany that are fading into obscure history. The accumulated knowledge and experience of quite a few generations are being buried in cemeteries all across the region. It’s a downright shame.

  2. Clever startups are offering hope for rural communities

    We’re calling the initiative “Made Right Here”.

    Local boosting is what we do and from day one we have taken pains on these pages to profile local small businesses, particularly family-owned.

    Because the dire predictions we’ve been hearing for so long about our “demographic time bomb” and moribund rural communities are actually starting to manifest, more recently we’ve begun to showcase examples of innovative small business startups in mostly rural areas.

    We seem to suddenly have a plethora of interesting, smart people determined to make new ideas work in order that they and their families might enjoy our enviable quality of life here.

  3. The annual celebration of spring—finally!

    IT’S A BIT OF a departure for us, we know. We introduced sport fishing to our annual pre-spring boating section last year (to mixed reviews).

    But we are all about Atlantic Canadian culture and there is a huge rite of spring hereabouts when folks drag all manner of boats out of sheds and backyards and head out for a few fish (and perchance a few fiddleheads) for a feed and to just, well, hell, celebrate the fact that it’s spring. That’s cultural, surely.

    Four decades ago it was an accepted statistic that one in four Canadians went fishing at least once a year. A wonderful pastime—fresh air, exercise, exposure to nature, relaxation, friends, family (“grandpa and the kid” and all that).

    Then there was a decline. It seemed to be related to our increasing urbanization and folks just getting, well, too busy for the important things in life.

  4. The unacceptable impunity of the litterpigs

    WE’VE RENDERED drunk driving morally repugnant. We’ve made cigarette smoking socially unacceptable.
    It’s clearly time to set our sights on littering, which, for now at least, appears to be worsening rapidly. A feature piece inside reveals the astounding and disheartening reality that littering locally has increased more than 20 per cent in the past five years. Packaging is identified as the major culprit, especially fast food.

  5. Life goes on

    OUR MANTRA, articulated in the very first issue, is that we celebrate what we have, as opposed to bemoaning the offensive “have not” label inflicted upon us by others elsewhere who are deluded into equating happiness with the acquisition of “stuff.”

    International study after study concludes that a high quality of life, and therefore the personal happiness and fulfillment every human being seeks, is not related to personal wealth, but community. Americans, for instance, with the world’s largest economy, are notoriously unhappy people.

    Veteran New Brunswick writer, journalism professor and friend, Philip Lee focuses in on this very topic in this issue with an intriguing essay about our quality of life—“found in a deep understanding of community.”

    With a cheeky subtext, “Life is hell in a have-not province,” it chronicles small things we all take for granted that, accumulatively, sustain the inordinately high quality of life we here enjoy.

  6. With the passage of time nothing stays quite the same

    WE WERE OBLIGED, in late March, to eulogize our Food Editor Emeritus, and dear friend, Marie Nightingale. It was a thoroughly painful assignment. Marie (reluctantly) retired when she was 80 and died at her home in Halifax, age 85.

    Knowing that traditional wholesome cooking and baking would form an important element of our editorial content and, of course, knowing Marie’s work and reputation, she was the first writer we approached in our pre-launch planning for this publication. She was 72 years of age at the time and enthusiastically agreed.

  7. Change is unavoidable: but let’s do it carefully

    THIS MAY MARKS our 14th anniversary of publishing a high quality, paid circulation magazine in a tough industry in a tough market, and sometimes in tough economic conditions.

    We’ve joked that we should have called it “Bumblebee” magazine—because conventional aerodynamics suggest that, on paper at least, bumblebees should not be able to generate enough lift to fly.

    On paper, we should not have been able to generate the necessary critical mass in a market as small as this one to remain off the ground very long either. 

  8. “Atlantic Canadians have a deep attachment to their home communities, notably their rural roots” ~ Pollster Don Mills

    WE HEARD A neat story the other day about friends who had been obliged to move from Atlantic Canada to Ottawa several years ago. In their new home, the kids (teenagers) decided to surprise their busy mother with some cooking. Halfway through the exercise they discovered they needed butter and had none—so they did what they considered normal and went next door and asked if they could borrow half a pound of butter.

    They were treated with suspicion and turned away.

    A small thing on the one hand, but highly significant on the other.

  9. Yet another reason for feeling superior

    IT’S MORE than interesting that old home remedies, steeped in tradition and folklore, are proving their worth. We now know why cod liver oil is beneficial: oily, cold water fish has been scientifically accepted as “brain food” because of the influence of its omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Carrots, with beta-carotene, are, in fact, beneficial to eyesight. But how did people know of these benefits centuries ago?

    There’s a new one that should be of interest to us here—living by the sea is significantly beneficial for your health. Again, as long as 300 years ago people afflicted with various ailments were sent to the seaside to convalesce. 

    A recent British study has revealed a multitude of reasons.

  10. The close relationship between community and social harmony

    WE ENJOYED the privilege last winter of touring South Island, New Zealand. It’s an incredibly beautiful, uncrowded country and we found great similarities with Atlantic Canadian sociology.

    We DID NOT see:

    A single street person or beggar;

    A single example of spiked haircuts, or “goth” outfits complete with chains and mandatory scowls;

    A single display of discourtesy;

    A single example of public drunkenness;

    A single person crossing the street with eyes and attention firmly fixed on a mobile device;

    A single young person using a mobile device whilst ignoring adult company;

    A single example of extreme speed on the highway;

    A single egg yolk that was not orange, from a free-range chicken.

    A single big box store