Food Country is a weekly web series featuring Chef Michael Smith and the flavours, people and stories of Prince Edward Island.
One week Food Country follows Michael as he explores the island, searching for fresh ingredients. The next week Food Country visits Michael’s home kitchen as he cooks and creates simple healthy food.
New episodes every Tuesday.
Episode 3 > Family Farm
Throughout North America agriculture has changed dramatically in the last 50 years as farming has become more corporate. One of the casualties has been the classic family farm but on Prince Edward Island that tradition remains. We have over 300 potato farms each averaging 250 acres or so Times have changed but our devotion to farming has not.
Prince Edward Island is heaven if you’re a potato farmer. Our beautiful farmland enjoys warm summers with lots of rain and cold winters. Our rich red, sandy soil is loaded with vital nutrients. As an island we’re isolated from main land diseases while we all get to enjoy the fresh sea air. We’re the million-acre farm and it shows in the quality of our spuds.
In North Lake Robert and Elora Rose and their sons Boyd and Miles are potato farmers. Their farm has been in the family for six generations and the seventh is already working the land. “Growing up on the farm” is woven into everything they do.
Robert remembers his mom pitch-forking hay by hand while as a boy he helped raise cows, pigs, sheep, chickens and a variety of crops on the rich red soil. Today the farm is devoted to potatoes but his sons have inherited his devotion to the land. As Robert says “it’s a good life and I thank god for it.”
Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, Goldrush, Shepody, Kennebec, Superior, Norvalley, Norland, Yukon Gold and Chieftan are just a few of the varities grown on the Island. Many of these varieties are found on the Rose farm. While many growers focus on large uniform potatoes for the French fry processing market they choose to focus on the fresh market. Whether you bake, boil, fry, steam or mash the Roses grow their best for you!