A cedar bark hat made by a member of the Semiahmoo First Nation is among the artifacts curator Kate Petrusa chose for a new White Rock Museum exhibition.

A cedar bark hat made by a member of the Semiahmoo First Nation is among the artifacts curator Kate Petrusa chose for a new White Rock Museum exhibition.

White Rock Museum explores history of local food

Soil and Sea features displays and interactive activities

It’s a small space, but the White Rock Museum is still managing to transport visitors to where our food comes from – with the help of sound recordings.

The fact a train disrupts one of the farm-sound recordings only makes it more authentic for a White Rock audience.

“The place where this was recorded was supposed to be capturing birds, but it also was near a train,” curator Kate Petrusa told Peace Arch News Tuesday. “I figured it worked out, with the train being so close here.”

The Marine Drive museum’s latest exhibition, Soil and Sea: A Story of Local Food, explores the history of food production on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. It documents the history of contemporary farms in South Surrey and the market garden community in White Rock. It also features stories of traditional food gathering and fishing of Semiahmoo First Nation, and explores the history of commercial oyster, crab and salmon fishing in local waters.

“A lot of people are interested in local food,” said Petrusa. “This honours people who make their living growing, creating, catching the food that we all eat.”

Among the stories featured in the exhibition is one of a South Surrey farm, whose original 1940s barns still stand, but are used for a much different farming operation. What began as a flax processing plant became a cattle feedlot with over 1,500 cows. The operation lasted 40 years before changes in the supply chain made local cattle farming too challenging.

Now the farm produces compost.

Stories of the sea include an explanation of an old fishing technique called reef net fishing. Developed by the Straits Salish people at a time when stocks were more plentiful, the technique employs a large net hung between two canoes. The net is raised when it’s full of fish.

“Reef net fishing is a very unique kind of fishing to this area,” said Petrusa. “It’s like a giant scoop – you’d just scoop and you’d have thousands of fish.”

The technique is illustrated by a three-dimensional model created by Don Welsh.

The exhibition is bolstered by photographs from personal collections never displayed before, and also includes two showcases – one with artifacts related to fishing, the other with items from local farming history.

Among the items on display: an original Crescent Oyster Company storage tin, used to ship Mud Bay oysters; and a cow’s tooth from the museum’s collection.

Interactive activities are also part of Soil and Sea. Children can try planting felt veggies, complete a matching game or plant a seed in a pot to take home.

Soil and Sea runs until Oct. 10 at the museum, 14970 Marine Dr. Admission is by donation. The museum is open every day from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with exhibition tours available through the summer on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

It remains to be seen how tourism dollars announced this week will help in White Rock. (Sterling Cunningham file photo)
White Rock officials question if tourism relief will come soon enough

For business, budget ‘feels more like a placeholder,’ says chamber head

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
South Surrey, White Rock MLAs call Tuesday’s provincial budget ‘disappointing’

MLAs Stephanie Cadieux and Trevor Halford say residents are getting less for more

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

(File photo)
Three young girls followed while walking home from school, Surrey police say

RCMP say suspect took off after girls went into nearby store for help

Black smoke rises above Highway 17 in Surrey on Thursday. (Fraser Valley Road Report Facebook)
Fire sends thick black smoke above Surrey industrial area

Firefighters say blaze burning just off of Tannery Road and Highway 17 in Surrey

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read