Trench Digging…Day 2 – Making serious progress!

Day2

Day2 Day2a Day2b Day2c

Celebrate Our Aboriginal Heritage – June 21st noon to 4:00 pm – Salmon BBQ

Kwikwetlem First Nation

Kwikwetlem First Nation

Join us Saturday June 21st from noon till 4:00 pm for a wonderful celebration of our Aboriginal Heritage. Kwikwetlem First Nation and the Port Moody Heritage Society are proud to partner for this special event. It is with great respect that we take this National Aboriginal Day to celebrate our First Nation Heritage. We will share a Salmon BBQ and activities that educate and share our History. The event is free and the Salmon BBQ dinner is $11.00 per plate.

Activities include: Salmon ‘run’ game, craft activities and various entertainment through out the day.

Field Trip Orientation

Teachers are invited to the Port Moody Station Museum to learn more about how our education programs can enhance your Social Studies or Art curriculum. Visit the Museum between Sept. 29th and Oct. 1st from 3:00-5:00pm for free tea, coffee and cookies and a personal orientation to the Museum and its programs.

Thank you,
Rebecca

Rebecca Clarke
Programs & Events Coordinator
t 604-939-1648
f 604-939-1647

Port Moody Station Museum Education Programs – Building a Community in Pioneer Times (grades 2-4)

Our education programs are designed to be interactive hands-on experiences for youth and adults.

Youth programs for school classes and community youth groups.

Adult tours for ESL schools and adult community groups.

To book your program now – click here.

Industry and Community is a Half Day program that you can book for your school class or community youth group. A special day has been set aside for home school families on April 1st for this program.

Building a Community in Pioneer Times (grades 2-4)

What does it take to start a community? Participate in an art activity, recreating the budding town of Port Moody in 1907. Examine objects from turn-of-the-century facilities such as the pharmacy, the school, and the general store. Explore the Museum displays in a guided scavenger hunt.

*Art activity available as a do-it-yourself kit.

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Program for home school families offered Friday, June 12th, 2009 from 10:00-11:30am

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Teacher Resources

Pre-Visit Activity

Post-Visit Resource

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Click here for booking information.

Port Moody Station Museum Education Programs – Industry and Community (grades 4-6)

Our education programs are designed to be interactive hands-on experiences for youth and adults.

Youth programs for school classes and community youth groups.

Adult tours for ESL schools and adult community groups.

To book your program now – click here.

Industry and Community is a Half Day program that you can book for your school class or community youth group. A special day has been set aside for home school families on April 1st for this program.

Industry and Community (grades 4-6)

How does industry impact a community? Learn about the railroad, lumber mills, fur trade and others as you play our industry bingo. Listen to the stories of industry workers of the past, handle objects and examine historical photos and documents. Program adjusted to meet curriculum objectives for each grade level.

Objects and materials from this program are available as an in class kit. The kit may be checked out for a period of 3 weeks for $20.

(available year round)

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Program for home school families offered Friday, May 1st, 2009 from 10:00-11:30am

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Teacher Resources

Industry Backgrounds Link on Program Web Site

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Click here for booking information.

Educator Appreciation Night

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Open House 3:30pm-6:00pm

The Port Moody Station Museum invites all educators to a night of appreciation. School teachers, ESL teachers, pre school teachers, home schooling parents and educators from all fields are welcome. Guests can learn about our new education programs for all ages and explore our new displays. Programs are designed to provide a fun outing for students as well as compliment the Social Studies and Art curriculum objectives for Kindergarten to Grade 10 and provide community heritage appreciation for adult ESL students.

Complimentary Refreshments and Prize Draws.

For more information please contact Rebecca Clarke – Programs Coordinator

604.939.1648 or pmmuseum@telus.net

Port Moody Station Museum Education Programs – Riding the Rails (ages 4-10)

Our education programs are designed to be interactive hands-on experiences for youth and adults.

Youth programs for school classes and community youth groups.

Adult tours for ESL schools and adult community groups.

To book your program now – click here.

Riding the Rails is a Half Day program that you can book for your school class or community youth group. A special day has been set aside for home school families on March 6th for this program.

Riding the Rails (ages 4-10)

Experience the exciting world of trains in this interactive hands-on program. Re-enact a 1920s train trip across Canada in our authentic railway car, the Venosta. Learn to send a telegraph and signal a train in an historical CPR station with real railway artifacts.
(available year round)

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Program for home school families offered Friday, March 6th, 2009 from 10:00-11:30am

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Teacher Resources
Coming soon!

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Click here for booking information.

New Program Coordinator – from the Station Telegram

New Program Coordinator

Rebecca Clarke is a Florida native who came to Vancouver in 1998 to complete a Masters degree in Educational Studies at UBC. In addition to a background in education research, Rebecca has worked with youth in pre-school and tutoring settings. She began her career as Educational Director at the Oxford Learning Centre, Richmond where she spent four years designing and delivering academic programs for children. She then worked at the Vancouver Museum as Programs Coordinator developing and delivering programs for all ages. She ahs also been a board member of the Westcoast Child Care Resource centre.

Major funding from Heritage Canada and the BC Arts Council along with support from the Port Moody Foundation, Westminster Savings and the City of Port Moody has enabled us to hire Rebecca Clarke as Education Program Coordintor until the summer of 2009. Rebecca will develop policy and pilot programs increasing our services in education.

Excerpt from the “Station Telegram” Winter 2008 Edition.

The “Station Telegram” is the newsletter of the Port Moody Station Museum and is available at the museum or mailed to Port Moody Heritage Society Members.

Harvesting Heritage – Year of the Potato

Year of the Potato
by Tom Galanis – museum volunteer gardener

2008 is the Year of the Potato (the United Nations offically designated 2008 as the International Year of the Potato) and so in consideration of this title, the Port Moody Historical Society grew some potatoes in the CPR heritage garden attached to the facility.

(image to right Pacific Russett Potato – images courtesy Tom Galanis*)

To begin with, we’ll discuss some information about the potato.  The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop vegetable from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family.  Potato is the world’s most widely grown tuber crop, and the fourth largest food crop in terms of fresh produce after rice, wheat, and corn.

(image to left Chieftain Potato – images courtesy Tom Galanis*)

The potato species originated in South America, probably from Chile and Peru – from study of historical records, we know that the Incas grew and ate potatoes.  The potato was introduced to Europe in 1536, (Spanish explorers brought them back from the New World) and subsequently by European mariners to territories and ports throughout the world.  Thousands of varieties persist in the Andes, where over 100 varieties might be found in a single valley, and a dozen or more might be maintained by a single agricultural household. Once established in Europe, the potato soon became an important food staple and field crop. But lack of genetic diversity, due to the fact that very few varieties were initially introduced, left the crop vulnerable to disease. In 1845, a plant disease known as late blight, caused by the fungus-like oocmycete Phytophthora infestans, spread rapidly through the poorer communities of western Ireland, resulting in the crop failures that led to the Great Irish Famine.

(image to right Russian Blue Potato – images courtesy Tom Galanis*)

The potato remains an essential crop in Europe (especially eastern and central Europe), where per capita production is still the highest in the world, but the most rapid expansion of potato over the past few decades has occurred in southern and eastern Asia. China is now the world’s largest potato producing country, and nearly a third of the world’s potatoes are harvested in China and India. More generally, the geographic shift of potato production has been away from wealthier countries toward lower-income areas of the world.

Some production figures show:

Country 1,000 metric
tons grown
China 70,000
Russia 39,000
India 24,000
USA 20,000
Ukraine 19,000
Germany 10,000
Poland 9,000
Belgium 8,000
Netherlands 7,000
France 6,000
Canada 2,500

Interestingly, the USA is the most efficient producer of potatoes – meaning they grow more potatoes on less land than the other nations listed here.  This reflects on the  agricultural techniques used by the various countries.

(image to left Chieftain Potato – images courtesy Tom Galanis*)

There are about five thousand potato varieties world wide. Three thousand of them are found in the Andes alone, mainly in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile and Colombia. They belong to eight or nine species, depending on the taxonomic school. Apart from the five thousand cultivated varieties, there are about 200 wild species and subspecies, many of which can be cross-bred with cultivated varieties, which has been done repeatedly to transfer resistances to certain pests and diseases from the gene pool of wild species to the gene pool of cultivated potato species.  In Canada, there are about 180 varieties of potato that are registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  The CFIA monitors food products for public safety and to ensure plant diseases are not introduced into Canada during import / export of food products.  As such, these varieties are listed with the CFIA and are allowed to be grown and sold/imported/exported to/from Canada.  The CFIA does recognize that there may be garden variety potatoes grown throughout Canada, but these are not allowed to be put into the market system lest they introduce disease into the potato growing system.  It is possible to register a garden variety potato, and once that is done, then commercial sale of these potatoes is allowed.

(image to right Caribe Potato – images courtesy Tom Galanis*)

Nutritionally, potatoes are best known for their carbohydrate content (approximately 26 grams in a medium potato). The predominant form of this carbohydrate is starch. A small but significant portion of this starch is resistant to digestion by enzymes in the stomach and small intestine, and so reaches the large intestine essentially intact. This resistant starch is considered to have similar physiological effects and health benefits as fiber.  Cooking and then cooling potatoes significantly increases resistant starch. For example, cooked potato starch contains about 7% resistant starch, which increases to about 13% upon cooling. Potatoes contain a number of important vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, potassium,  vitamin B6 and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. Moreover, the fiber conten
t of a potato with skin equals that of many whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals. Potatoes also contain an assortment of phytochemicals, such as carotenoids and polyphenols.

(image to left Green Mountain Potato – images courtesy Tom Galanis*)

An interesting situation has developed in recent years with potato varieties.  The North American diet has grown to include a fair amount of potatoes grown for either french fry production or potato chip production.  It turns out that some potatoes that are great for eating in traditional methods – boiling or baking – are not so good for producing the best french fries or potato chips.  Snack manufacturers want a chip or fry which is “golden” in colour when fried in oil.  If a potato is high in starch, then when fried it turns a deep brown colour.  Since this is considered unacceptable for snack appearance, it has meant that the major food companies have paid farmers to grow more and more potatoes that bear the desirable ratio of solids and starches for snack production rather than for direct market consumption.   

In 2008, the PMHS decided to try 18 different varieties of potatoes.  They were broken up into Early Season Potatoes, Medium Season Potatoes, and Late Season Potatoes.  This refers to their time of maturation; normally an early potato is available as early as July, while the late potato is usually ready in September.  Please note that in most cases, we tried to grow anywhere from 4 plants up to 20 plants of each variety.  The number of plants we grew is indicated in brackets after the potato variety name.  For each variety, a general description of the potato is given, plus a small summary of our experience in growing that potato. 

Early Season Potatoes:

Carlton (4) – Medium yielding variety; wide adaptability as first early tablestock. Tubers size early to very early across the Canadian Prairies; vines maturity is midseason to late; smooth conformation if harvested early but if left to plant maturity, tubers frequently become oversized and rough with growth cracks or hollow heart. Weak to medium storability; low to medium specific gravity.  Oval shape, creamy white flesh, buff skin.  This potato is good for boiling – it is not a good keeper and sadly our specimens have deteriorated somewhat.   

Caribe  (4) –  Caribe is a high yielding oblong potato. Excellent storage qualities and great for boiling. High yielding variety; attractive appearance; widely adapted; easily topkilled; grades well with few culls; stores well. High total solids.  Utilization: good for boiling, fair for baking, and excellent for chipping.  This potato is most interesting – the skin colour is violet but the flesh is white.  It grew well in our garden. 

Pacific Russett  (9) – has a russet skin with white flesh, very shallow eyes. Good yield uniform size. Great boiled or baked. Rated very high in Ontario industry trials for yield and uniformity.  High yielding variety of attractive appearance; good resistance to internal and external defects; medium specific gravity.  Utilization: mealy texture; low after cooking discolouration and low boiling sloughing; excellent for boiling, baking and frying.  The Pacific Russett was a disappointment to grow.  It did develop good sized tubers, but they tended to rot quickly and it is not a good keeper in storage.  

Satina  (23) – Satina is a new variety developed in response to organic potato growers request for a scab resistant variety potato. Satina is an early, very high yielding fresh market potato variety with high numbers of short oval tubers per plant. The tubers have a smooth yellow skin and yellow flesh color. Satina has long storage capabilities and when cooked or peeled has a high resistance to discoloration.  It was a major disappointment in that nearly 50% of the seed potatoes just did not grow.  However, those that did grow gave an excellent yield, with a nice uniform size potato. 

Medium Season Potatoes:

Agria  (8) –  Light yellow skin, dark yellow flesh, shallow eyes. High yielding variety, large tubers. Excellent baker good boiled or fried. Very high yield variety. Large to very large tubers, attractive appearance, only slightly susceptible to internal bruising. Fairly high dry matter content. Long dormancy.  Utilization: relatively firm to floury flesh; free from discolouration after cooking; excellent for baking, good for boiling and frying.  Apparently, can take a lot of sour cream when baked and still be quite dry to eat.    Was very successful in our garden. 

Carola (5) – Carola is a sunny yellow potato from Germany that boasts a smooth, creamy texture and exceptional flavor. It is suitable for baking or frying.  Carola has a lovely, sunny yellow flesh with a nice creamy texture making this potato a smooth  one for frying or in German-style potato salad.  Was successful in our garden.   

Chieftan (4) – Oval to oblong tubers with bright red skin. Shallow eyes with white flesh. Great boiled and for home fries.  High yielding variety, attractive appearance, widely adapted. Undersizing can be a problem if soil moisture becomes limiting. Well suited for washing at maturity. Good storability. Medium specific gravity.  Utilization: good to excellent for boiling, good for chipping at harvest, excellent for french frying; not suitable for processing.  Was very successful in our garden.

Kennebec (20) – High yielding fast growing variety, widely adapted. Requires close planting (15 to 20 cm between plants) and vine killing to avoid producing oversized and rough tubers. Excellent storage quality. Long dormancy period. High total solids.  Utilization: good to excellent for boiling, baking.   This is a high producing potato with yellow skin and white flesh. It shores extremely well and is great boiled or baked.  It is very popular with growers as there is a high yield per acre for this potato, not so popular with snack makers as it te
nds to produce dark coloured chips / fries. 
NOTE: tuber green rapidly when exposed to light. Was very successful in our garden, but sadly still turned green when in storage even though it was dark storage. 

Sangre (4) – Oval to oblong tubers, dark red skin, shallow eyes, with white flesh. Has a very low incidence of internal defects such as hollow heart and is rated as high in Vitamin C. A good storage potato that is suitable for boiling and baking.  High yielding variety. Medium to long dormancy period. Medium specific gravity. Good storability, good retention of red skin color. Adequate warming of seed (at least 7 to 10 days) prior to planting is essential to obtain uniform emergence. Relatively close seed spacing will help optimize yield and tuber size. Slow emergence but grows rapidly. Tuberization occurs early and tubers bulk at a rapid rate early in the season.  Resistant to second growth; rarely exhibits hollow heart, internal discoloration or blackspot. Adapted to irrigated areas of the west. Moderately tolerant to drought. Tubers tend to develop excessive netting under dry soil conditions resulting in a brownish and unattractive appearance.  Utilization: excellent for boiling and baking; ranks high in taste tests; no after cooking discoloration. High level of vitamin C.

This one was a failure in our garden, even though the seed was warmed as mentioned above. 

Yukon Gold (9) – Oval, slightly flattened tubers, yellow, skin light yellow flesh. Tubers can grow quite large and store well. Good for boiling baking and frying.  Medium to high yielding variety of attractive appearance. Large tubers are slightly susceptible to hollow heart. Excellent storability; long dormancy period. High specific gravity.  Utilization: very good for boiling, baking, and french frying; unsuitable for chipping; retains its yellow flesh color when cooked.  Was fairly successful in our garden.  There was some problem with rotting. 

Late Season Potatoes:

All Red (13) – Round tubers that are rated as medium to late maturity. This potato has a good yield with red skinned and distinctive red flesh tubers that maintain their color after cooking. It has an excellent flavor and a moist texture.  This one is considered a “specialty potato”, or perhaps a novelty potato.  It was not a success in our garden, although we did get some potatoes from the plants.  The tubers were small, and rather than being a solid pink colour, the flesh was more white with streaks of pink/red in it.  An excellent choice for potato salad or boiling. 

Banana  (15) –  A late maturing variety with generally, small banana shaped tubers, covered with light yellow skin containing pale yellow flesh. The waxy texture holds the tuber together for fabulous potato for salads. Very high set can be expected. Moderately resistant to common scab.  Yellow fleshed fingerling type potato with a high tuber set of 15 to 20 small tubers per plant. Low yielding variety; medium dormancy period; good storability; medium specific gravity.  Interestingly, this potato has been grown in British Columbia for about 100 years.  It is in demand on the “gourmet” market.  Utilization: semi-mealy texture; very good for boiling, baking and frying; excellent salad potato. Another specialty potato that did not work out very well for us – nearly half the crop succumbed to rot. 

Bellisle (4) – High yielding variety of attractive appearance; performs well under organic production practices; highly resistant to bruising and skinning; good storability; high specific gravity.  Utilization: excellent for boiling and baking; good for french frying; very suitable for small package trade.  Was very successful in our garden.  Is another very dry potato that can “suck” up a lot of sour cream or butter. 

Bintje (20) – Pale yellow skin on a long oval tuber with a yellow flesh. Heavy setting, the thick skin makes this a good storage potato. Excellent all purpose potato with fairly dry texture.  High yielding, widely adapted, suffers very little from magnesium deficiency. Tubers keep fairly well (do not sprout early), have low starch content, are not subject to blackening of the flesh or second growth.  Utilization: excellent for boiling, baking, and french frying; good for chipping.  Was a major disappointment in our garden as nearly 70% of the seed potato did not grow.  What did grow gave good yield however. 

French Fingerling (17) – Late maturing oblong tubers with a red skin and light yellow flesh.  It has the waxy texture characteristic of most fingerling varieties. It grows well and sets fairly heavy.  Another specialty potato, and it was a major disappointment in our garden.  Nearly half the crop rotted away before maturity. 

Green Mountain (4) – All round fantastic potato for home gardeners. Perfect for french fries, baking and boiling. High yielding variety; stores well; well suited for washing after two months storage; grows well in light soil.  Utilization: excellent for boiling, baking, and french frying; unacceptable for chipping. 
REMARK: excellent variety very well suited for home gardens.  And this one was a total bust for us, it just didn’t grow, which says something about our home garden growing abilities!

Russet Burbank (4) – Also known as the Netted Gem.  Medium to high yielding variety, attractive appearance, washes well at maturity. Long dormancy period, stores well. Requires a uniform moisture supply and long growing season to produce maximum quality tubers and to prevent knobbiness and second growth. To produce large tubers, plants must be spaced 30 to 45 cm apart. High total solids.  (Netted Gem) Long cylindrical tubers with white flesh, heavy netted russet skin. Very good storage, good all purpose potato.
Utilization: excellent for boiling, baking, chipping, and french frying.
Was quite successful in our garden, grew well, and keeps well. 

Russian Blue (13) – This late maturing, dark blue skin and dark blue flesh variety has round to oblong tubers. A very heavy setting, large plant that should be spaced at 12 inches or more in an effort to get it to maturity by fall. The flavor is remarkably normal for such a distinctively visual variety.  An interesting potato to grow – when digging it up , one must sift carefully through the soil as it difficult to see the tubers – they are so dark they don’t show up in the soil.  This one was a disappointment in the garden as nearly half the crop succumbed to rot.  What did grow gave us excellent sized tubers.

And that is it for potato varieties in the CPR garden at the Port Moody Historical Society Museum.  We hope you enjoyed the display, and of course, understand that as opposed to the grocery store where only 4 or 5 varieties of potato are sold, there are actually many different types of potatoes available to grow and eat.

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* All images courtesy of Tom Galanis

Education Project Underway – from the Station Telegram

Education Project Underway

The Museum is implementing a 10 month project to further develop educational programming. In the past couple of years, Board of Education policies for class field trips have changed creating some challenges for both the teachers and ourselves.

In order to meet these challenges, the project includes the development of an Education Policy to match and deliver our programs to meet course guidelines. This will include developing new educational products including ‘Discovery Boxes’ or ‘Heritage Kits’ to go to the classroom when the class can’t come to the Museum. A complementary idea is ‘Memory Boxes’ to take to community centres or senior care facilities. The results will be the development and implementation of a pilot project of educational programs for both children and adults.

The framework of the project links our substantial heritage resources to the needs of teachers in meeting specific course curriculum requirement thus attracting school classes to tour our facility more than once. The programs will also be directed to adults and families in the line of workshops and seminars with a heritage theme.

The project continues our efforts to build links into the community. Meeting the needs of our community and garnering community support for the Museum is very important. Therefore as always, we look for community and volunteer support, so if you have any ideas or suggestions, or if you would like to be more involved and participate in this creative project, please let us know.

We appreciate generous government funding for the project from Heritage Canada’s Museum Assistance Program and the BC Art Council’s Museum Projects. Additional community support comes from the Port Moody Foundation and Wesminster Savings Credit Union. This will help us hire a project coordinator, who will, over 10 months, develop program resources and position us to deliver the program in the future.

Excerpt from the “Station Telegram” Fall 2008 Edition.

The “Station Telegram” is the newsletter of the Port Moody Station Museum and is available at the museum or mailed to Port Moody Heritage Society Members.