Will PEI Give Up Potatoes for Puffballs?

By Jack C. Downey CD   Canadian Culture

PEI has a varied and exciting history. It is, of course, Canada's Birthplace, where the Fathers of Confederation met and agreed to join together to form one country. Among many more claims to fame, PEI is the setting for 'Anne of Green Gables' and was the homeland of the many Cajuns (Arcadians) of Louisiana until they were exiled by the British. Because PEI was geographically separated from the mainland by the Northhumberland Straits until the humongous Confederation Bridge was built 1997 and because its major export is their top of the line potato crop, PEI citizens are affectionately referred to as Spud Islanders... who are no longer Islanders.

Quick Facts

The Island was discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1534.

The Island's first residents were the Mi'kmaq.

They called this beautiful Island Epekwitk, meaning resting on the waves. Europeans later changed the pronunciation of the name to Abegweit.

The French called the land Ile Saint- Jean while to the British the Island was known as St. John's Island.

The Island renamed itself "Prince Edward", in honor of Edward, Duke of Kent (father of Queen Victoria) in 1799.

Province House opened in 1847.

The Charlottetown Conference of September 1, 1864, one of Canada's most historical events was held to discuss a Canadian union.

Canada became a nation in 1867.

PEI joined Confederation in 1873 and is the smallest province in Canada

The red soil of PEI is ideal for growing potatoes and red headed girls. For many reasons, mainly USA Tourist dollars, Golf Courses are springing up where once grew herds of potatoes. This is not a bad thing, as a Golf Course does not deplete the soil. In the unlikely event that golf and tourism die out, "Bring out the plow Lucy I'm diggin' up the back nine holes to plant some taters. Annie needs a new calico dress."
As it looks like tourism is alive and well in PEI, I would like to offer a couple of suggestions to enhance the ability of PEI locals to hook onto those tourist dollars:

Mix cows' manure with potato peelings and compress the resulting slurry into GOLF TEES. These compressed and dried Tees will help fertilize the course at the Tee Off sites. Rain or watering will cause them to break down to nourish the soil. No more unsightly plastic or wood litter to clean up. Further, have your government pass a bill that only these PEI Manure Tees can be used on the Island. Prison labor is perfect for making these tees.

This one will take research and some serious genetic engineering. I'm sure you could do the job with a Federal Grant or two. After all, you built a nine-mile bridge. We all know that the Puffballs are a relative of the mushroom family. With careful engineering, have your Scientists develop a puffball as hard and elastic as a golf ball. In the morning before Tee Off time, hire some kids to gather the puffballs in baskets and bring them to the clubhouse for sale to the tourists (Youth employment). Again, get a bill passed allowing only these genetically engineered puffballs to be used on PEI's golf links. The great part of this scheme is that lost puffballs dry up and emit spores, producing a never-ending crop of balls to flog to the tourists. It will be difficult, but BC has Fishballs, Italy has Meatballs, Alberta has Buffalo chips for chip shots and Ottawa has no balls at all. So it is feasible, the original golf balls were gutta-percha balls! In PEI its "Got-to-Purchase Puffballs" Or 'If you wanta play, you gota pay.'

For those golfers who love good scenery and playing challenging courses with Tees and balls not available any where else than on Spud Island.

The Puffball is in your court!

Prince Edward Island

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