Ecology Action Centre

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Adventures in Local Food Blog

Adventures in Local Food Blog

Posted on: Wed, Apr 11, 2018, 4:53pm

Last month we wrapped up our first Community Food Leader Certificate Program, with thirty participating organizations from across NS in Cape Breton, Cumberland and Halifax! This program is for community-based organizations and businesses who want to start or grow lasting and meaningful food initiatives in their region. Check out our short video to learn more:

This year, participating organizations ranged from food banks, family resource centres, and public libraries, to farms and other local businesses like local food markets. Each month we gathered for a one day training session to learn about approaches and topics related to community food, including: how to run community food skills workshops, how to measure success using creative (and fun!) evaluation approaches, and how to engage our communities for social change. The regional Community Food Leader Coordinators met with participants in...

Posted on: Tue, Apr 03, 2018, 4:08pm

Well we did it! Our last Community Food Leader training involved receiving 27 types of beans and a certificate for completing this leadership course. We are now armed and ready for action!

Throughout Cumberland County, six individuals came together to discuss a very important topic: Food.  With food comes a variety of conversation themes such as, where does your food come from?, How is fresh food being distributed among families that need it most?, and How does food policy affect a community?  All these questions were the basis of what our training was about with Ecology Action Center’s first Community Food Leader (CFL) Certificate Program.  We were the guinea pigs, and the results, a success!

Above:  Cumberland Community Food Leaders   Left to right:  Mandy, Su, Alex, Nicole, Tina, Karen, Megan

Hi, my name is Nicole and I am one of those 6 community food leaders who took a stand to figure out more about these questions. How and why did I get involved...

Posted on: Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 9:20pm

Fresh caught local mackerel destined for fish cakes at the Periwinkle Cafe (photo taken by  Caitlyn Purcell of Salty Rose’s and the Periwinkle Cafe)

If you call it “Up North” the locals know you’re not from here. “Up North is Nunavut!” laughs Yvette Rogers. “You know why they call it Down North? Because that’s the way the water flows. So when you head north, the water takes you down”. In a place where a bulk of the food has come from the sea, it seems to make perfect sense. The region called, “North of Smokey”, includes everything between Smokey Mountain and North Mountain.

And who are the locals? Besides those that have lived down north for generations, there is the wave of back-to-the-landers that brought with them a passion for homesteading. You see the remnants of this movement today, but there is a new wave of young folk trying...

Posted on: Wed, Feb 21, 2018, 6:49pm

Written by Kailea Pedley, Off-Grid Farmer at Patchwood Farm, Piper’s Glen, Cape Breton

It’s February and I’m thinking about that question for food-lovers in northern climes: how do we continue to eat healthy, local food through the winter months?

I’ve enjoyed reading the posts on this blog related to root cellars and smart freezer management (the dry-erase marker on the freezer technique has me particularly excited!). If you’d like to check out some of these posts, here are a few favourites:

My Little Root Cellar

Hunkering Down for the Winter


Posted on: Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 3:01pm

For the past several months, I have been evaluating the Cost-share Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Local Food Box programs in Cumberland County and Cape Breton for the Our Food Project.  As a community gardener and someone who comes from a long generation of famers, it has been an incredible experience to witness directly how subsidized CSA programs impact rural communities and families.

Both Cumberland County and Cape Breton, NS, are among of the most food insecure areas in the province and in Canada, which is why alternative and innovative approaches are needed to substitute and/or compliment mainstream charitable food sources such as food banks.  The Cost-share CSA Local Food Box programs aim to improve access to affordable, healthy, local produce for low-income individuals and families, by sharing the cost of weekly food boxes with the community through fundraising and sponsorships.   Cost-share CSA programs not only serve to increase access to fresh local food,...

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