My Aunt Marion told stories. Like that one about the long and hungry month of March. Winter was six months where nothing grows, she'd say. By March you're staring hunger in the face.
A few potatoes, a bit of salt fish. That might be it. Then, soon as spring came around, you'd immediately have to start saving again, for winter.
Hungry Month of March is the story of the hunters, the fishers, farmers and foragers who supply the new cuisine from the woods and the seashore, the meadows and the barrens. This flowering of haute cuisine in a remote and harsh environment is, at its most elevated, a rediscovery of who we are, and have always been. Our cultural identity springs from the heart of a hungry winter, when feeding ourselves and our families took all our time, ingenuity, and tenacity.
Produced with the participation of the Newfoundland & Labrador Film Development Corporation
"That Hungry Month of March. That's a thing of the past right. But when I was growing up and winter came, your vegetables would get down. You'd have to kind of spare it along, no ferry, nothing coming to Fogo after the freeze up came. You'd have to spare it along then, where you'd eat four potatoes, you'd only eat two because you had to save two for another day."
Alf was born in Joe Batt's Arm ("I was born here and this is where I'm gonna die"). He'd come out of school in the summer and get aboard the boat with his father. In 1967 when he was 18 he started working on a new longliner fishing cod and turbot. He still fishes shrimp and crab every summer and he and his wife and family live just where they've always been.