50% Local food club

Meeting Nova Scotia Food Producers Halfway – Est. September 2014

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Nova Scotians have an appetite for local

Wrapping up the 2nd annual 50% Local Food Club

October 7, 2015 – Halifax, N.S. – The 50% Local Food Club, a made-in-Nova Scotia initiative aiming to increase the purchasing and consumption of locally produced food, asked eaters of all ages to source 50% of their diet from local producers for the month of September. The initiative sought to raise awareness, action and appetite for locally produced food through community engagement.

From cooking classes and community canning to Open Farm Day and food truck Fridays, kitchen parties to film screenings, potlucks to community gardening, September has been a busy – and delicious – month in Nova Scotia. Across the province, close to 3,000 individuals registered once again this September. Families, businesses, community organizations and institutions did not shy away from the challenge.

North Brewing Company, located in Halifax, was among those participating businesses. “Local food matters to us because it supports our local economy. As a small business we know how critical it is for people to see the value in small scale, artisan and high quality products. Our customers believe in what we do and we believe in what so many other Nova Scotia producers are doing. No one can deny that local food just tastes better and is better for you” says Peter Burbridge, of North Brewing Co.

Among those community leaders who participated for the second year running were Deputy Premier Diana Whalen, Minister of Agriculture Keith Colwell, and Halifax MP Megan Leslie. Many municipal leaders stepped up to the plate as well this year; in fact, the staff and elected officials of the District of Lunenburg, Municipality of Argyle, County of Victoria, District of Shelburne and of District of Guysborough all took part.

“But let’s not stop now” says Keltie Butler, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia and one of the initiative’s organizers. As we head into the harvest season, she invites Nova Scotians to discover their local farmers’ market and all it has to offer. “The 50% Local Food Club is about much more than September. It is about building an appetite, a habit and a commitment to local for the health of our province, our communities and ourselves.”

Butler was pleased to report that this made-in-Nova Scotia initiative has made it to PEI where the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market is hosting a 50% Local Food Club challenge for the month of October.

Visit nslocalfoodclub.wordpress.com to learn more about this made-in-NS initiative and mark your calendar for the 3rd annual 50% Local Food Club, coming September 2016.


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Join Us For a Live Twitter Chat!

Each September, Open Farm Day invites the public to visit more than 40 local farms with their family and friends. To help kick off this year’s event, Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture will hold a one-hour twitter chat with some of the participating farms to give you a virtual taste of what to expect this year. Join us on September 19th for an online twitter panel – ask questions, learn more about local food, and get to know two passionate local farmers!

Join us live September 19th from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM by following along with the #OpenFarmDay hashtag. You can also submit a question for our farmers using #OpenFarmDay. We’ll select from your questions for our hour-long chat.

This chat is a lead up to Open Farm Day (September 20th). For more information on the participating farms, locations, and times, visit: http://www.meetyourfarmer.ca/openfarmday/

Date of Twitter Chat: September 19th

Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Farmers: Blue Barn Farm + TBD

Hashtag: #OpenFarmDay

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A Reward For Your Local Love

Select NS logoThank-you for stepping up to the plate and becoming a 50% Local Food Club member! We know you will continue to look for local well after September 30th. To show appreciation for your continued commitment to local, Select Nova Scotia will provide a coupon for a 20 BONUS AIR MILES reward for you to use when you purchase $15 in Nova Scotia Local products* at Sobeys, Foodland or CO-OP Nova Scotia store locations. You can expect your coupon in your inbox the first week of October.

Coupon Terms & Conditions:

*must be spent in a single transaction that includes $15 of NS local product purchases.

Limit of one (1) Bonus voucher per AIR MILES Collector Account.  Coupon must be presented to the cashier at time of purchase. No cash value. When submitting for redemption, this voucher becomes property of Sobeys Capital Inc. Bonus offer valid at all Sobeys, Foodland or participating CO-OP stores in Nova Scotia. Coupon valid until Oct 31, 2015.

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Hungry for a challenge? Get ready for the 2015 edition of the 50% Local Food Club!

Last September, the 50% Local Food Club called on Nova Scotians to rethink their relationship with food. Eaters of all ages stepped up to the plate in support of local agriculture – more than 3,000 Nova Scotians committed to sourcing 50% of their diet from local producers!

Here are a few words from 2014 participants:

“I have a heightened awareness of what local really is”

“[…] A great opportunity for kids to learn about where food comes from and why that is important”

“I have a more conscious focus now on how I shop”

“I became more dedicated to local and organic than ever before”

“I want my son to know that food comes from people with families who live near us”

“It was a good way to challenge our family to think about where our food comes from”

“Hopefully I will be buying more than 50% of my groceries locally by next year. Great initiative!”

We are gearing up for the September 2015 edition of the 50% Local Food Club! Wondering what’s in store? You can expect new and improved resources with plenty of recipes, an online food journal as well as an updated directory of where to eat and buy local. You can also expect – and plan to take part in – many more on-the-ground events. We hope you are as excited as we are! By committing to eat 50% locally, Nova Scotians will put money into the pockets of our local producers and enjoy the delicious bounty of food grown in our province – everyone eats and everyone wins!

We will let you know when registration is open (we are expecting mid-August). In the meantime, share your appetite for local, a seasonal recipe you plan to try, a local food activity or event you intend to take part in or simply a veggie you’ve been waiting all year for!

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Lesa Doucette: 50% Local Food Club Member

Lesa Doucette
Program Leader, L’Arche Cape Breton

LesaWhy did you decide to take part in the 50% Local Food Club? I think it’s important to support local farmers, and I also want to eat less chemicals.

What food/meal are you most looking forward to during the month of September? Fish and home fries!

What do you expect to be most challenging about eating a 50% local diet? Going to restaurants in Port Hawkesbury is difficult. Apart from The Haven, nobody offers local foods.

Can you tell us a bit about how L’Arche is involved? L’Arche is a big source of my local veggies. They have a few gardens and an amazing greenhouse that got built last year after touring the Eyking Farms for advice and ideas — and the Eyking family was very helpful in fundraising as well. The greenhouse opened in October and now we’re eating everything from kale to red hot peppers. Our anniversary party on October 4th will showcase our garden and our commitment to supporting the local food movement, and we will be inviting local vendors to join us.

Local is: Knowing my farmer!

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“We need to support our local producers and our local economy in creating a sustainable food chain here in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia.” Pam Eyking Joins the 50% Local Food Club

Pam Eyking
Member of the Legislative Assembly for Victoria-The Lakes
Email eykingpz@gov.ns.ca

Why did you decide to take part in the 50% Local Food Club?

I knew I wanted to be a part of this movement as soon as I heard about it. I think it’s really important that we never lose sight of the importance that local food production has on our economy and on our health. We need to support our local producers and our local economy in creating a sustainable food chain here in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia. Being a producer for 20 years, I understand the challenges that come along with the industry and I have a real appreciation of how important it is to support our sustainable local food. We need to be able to produce enough food locally to support our population and not rely on outside sources. I think when we choose local, we make a more informed choice about how our foods are being grown. That being said, I know that the wide variety of local food we have in Cape Breton is just plain delicious and nutritious, so I jumped right on board!

What food/meal are you most looking forward to during the month of September?

Choosing a favorite food for me is impossible! I love choosing from a variety of foods every day. Choosing local means you get to have the ultimate amount of nutrients from the foods that you eat since the transport time is so reduced. I love seeing seasonal local product that is being harvested at different times of the year – so my favorite food is fresh!

What do you expect to be most challenging about eating a 50% local diet?

In my family, when we are home, we often have at least 50% local on our plates on a regular basis. We have a garden and a greenhouse at our home and also raise organic turkeys. We support our local fishers and producers by buying local whenever we can. However, the real challenge for me is the travelling I do for my job. When I’m travelling, I don’t always have control over what I’m eating, or what is available to me. I’m going to take this on as a personal challenge to ask questions about what I’m eating and help spread the word across the province about choosing local.