Category Archives: Food

Farm Love

I am a city mouse/country mouse. I don’t think I will ever be one or the other. I was fortunate enough to grow up with a farm life and an urban life. I feel deeply connected to the busy, moving, social world of the city and the earthy, open, quiet space of the farm and forest. These two places offer me nourishment in different ways and help me to gain perspective on the other.

I have been hearing more and more about farm centered events in the city. Musicians for Farmers, Love your Farmer, dinners hosted by farmers, and connecting producers and consumers more directly… I am so excited about this wave and look forward to learning more. I will keep you all up to date on the latest trends in Farm Love arena.

This week there will be a rally at the Turning Circle next to the Seaport Market. Saturday Feb. 26th at 11am. Come and show your support for farmers, food, and the protection of our precious farmland. See you there!


Festive Food at Fid

Well I have to say I was mighty impressed last night when I went to Fid with my family for my mothers birthday dinner. It is such a pleasure and relief to see local food on a menu. I could imagine the booths at the farmers market, the faces of the producers and the land where the veggies were grown. How sweet to feel the richness of Nova Scotia pulled together in such a well crafted menu and beautiful space. We enjoyed our food and wine and each other’s company with immense relaxation and humor. I realized that much of our conversation revolved around “Local” topics….the food, the market, the economy and business. As we talked we tried to articulate what it is that we love about this place and the stuff of this place. My mother always promotes local,organic and seasonal but there is something else that we value- something difficult to describe because it is magical, elusive and full of heart. I feel further challenged to find this quality in the food I eat and serve to my family. I am happy to report that Fid lived up to all of these criteria and beyond. A dinner to remember and repeat for sure. http://fidresto.ca


Local Geography by Gabrielle Donnelly

“Local” is clearly not just geographical. Even at the Halifax Farmers’ market – the cathedral of all things local – I’ve watched in puzzlement when avocados make a produce experience.  This obvious vegetable outsider has led me to question the more subtle components of my local loot: what about the flour used in the pastries I indulge in regularly? Exactly how local is local? And how, as consumers of these delights, do we decide?

 

Since “local” is currently swimming in the pool of its own popularity, it is only natural for an individual like myself (who, like most of us I gather, identifies as skeptical of mainstream anything), to unpack its meaning and investigate some of its trailing assumptions.

 

Michael H. Shuman offers the kind of holistic definition of “local” that I’ve been looking for. In his book, Going Local, he states that to choose local “means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at a decent rate and service primarily local consumers.”

 

Shuman rightly points out that local engenders a meaning much larger than a geographical location.  The word is also moored to a set of ethics. In this way, shopping local means caring about whether the ingredients are sourced closed to home and if they’re sustainably procured.  It means knowing that the people involved are treated fairly and that the wealth generated is circulating back into the communities in which we live.

 

And then there’s the reality that we clearly can’t track down the ethical composition of each and every product to buy.  There isn’t enough time in the day to be that thorough.  Instead, we have to rely on a general sense of trust that what we’re taking home aligns with our values. So what to do? How do we develop this kind of trust?

It comes down to relationships.

 

This kind of trust is not easily built within the corridors of packaged produce at big box grocery stores – even if they are making the effort to source local strawberries (I will begrudgingly concede that it’s a good first step).

 

But we can sift through this conundrum in the connections we build with our local artisans/producers/service providers. Through direct relationships with them, we have the opportunity to listen and learn about the achievements and obstacles they encounter, and as we contribute to their livelihoods we can offer our own words of encouragement, appreciation and suggestions.  In this way, we are actively creating the community that supports a holistic notion of “localism”.

 

So back to that avocado – the instigator of this post.

 

Next time I see one at the market I’m going to buy one.  During the moment of exchange, I’m going to learn about the origin of this fleshy green fruit and the life of individual selling it to me.  Perhaps she is making a profit from reselling produce at the very Superstore I frequent to feed her family? Perhaps he is starting a fledging greenhouse that employs Nova Scotians and is powered by renewable energy?  Through these kinds of moments over time we can begin to collectively create what it means to be truly committed to local, both as individuals and as communities. Now that’s a vegetable I can buy!

 

 


Rootbrew, Gingerbrew and always some IPA.

A visit to Propeller on Gottingen street today was just what I needed. I was stocking up for the season, root and ginger to go with the rum and pale ale for the beer lovers. The shop itself is delightful with its brewery smells. I love filling up my growlers for $9 and pouring them out for friends to share back home. If you have a growler lover in your family you should def buy them a wetsuit for their bottle. So cool. I guess more for the summer months but always a great way to keep your beer cool looking, and cool tasting. We are so lucky to have good local brews in this city… Let them know you love them next time you stop by!


Dreaming of a Solstice Dinner

What will we have? Ham, chicken or a roast? Brie and crackers or maybe Solstice Sushi? Today I was inspired by one of my favorite Halifax spots, Local Source Market. I could not make it all the way to the Farmer’s Market today and so I stopped into LSM on my way home. I was very pleased with my finds: smoked bacon, delicata squash, soft goat cheese and some Propeller root beer (to try with the Ironworks Rum!). It felt great in there today, yummy smells, cheerful people picking up their CSA boxes and smiling staff. Local Source is a perfect place to but holiday house gifts, maple syrup is always a great choice or a homemade chutney or relish. Also a good plan? Plan your winter meals around what is grown here in Nova Scotia and what is in season… Very easy with the right inspiration.


Everyone needs a cup of Local Jo

Well if you have ever been to Local Jo you probably know it is my second home. My children crawl on the floor, play with the toys and eat marvelous pizza and lemon poppyseed shortbread cookies. I drink latte’s and always take home some sweet williams sausage or a fresh loaf of bread. There is nothing this place can’t do! Warm, child friendly, local gift ideas, yummy food, great coffee and they even have cheesecake and Dee Dee’s Ice Cream. I think every hood should have its own version of Local Jo. A meeting place where you can find a good lunch and the local staples you need to make dinner. They also provide a space for your events… I guess I will see you there.


Good Morning Local Looters

Today is Sunday December 5th 2010 and I have some treats for you! Of course the Halifax Crafter’s Market is on again today from 11-6… that is where I am headed first. Yesterday was great, lots of people, energy and a very cheerful bunch of very talented makers. I feel fortunate to be included in such a delicious show of creativity, skill and downright art. The sun is shining this morning and I am anxious to get out there and do my part in ridding the need for ziploc bags! Come by to buy, look and have a treat and sweet chat.

Later tonight at Foxy Moon there will be a product launch and art exhibit. I am super excited about my new dry shampoo. It gives me lotsa lift and smells great. Next I will try the organic hair paste. How cool that we can find hair product made right here. Go check it out and support handmade hair.  Next someone has to make toothpaste!

So I have a full day ahead and I am ready. See you soon!

(To the left:Wanderlust has beautiful hats, cards and mug hugs!)


Wine and cheese please…

If I can have wine and cheese I am a happy person… well happier anyhow. I went out on Tuesday eve to the new wine bar in town, Obladee, with a friend, where we ate lovely stinky cheese from out west and a great glass of wine from afar. I think that’s what inspired me to search for some local options at the market yesterday. The results were more than satisfactory. Tonight during a sweet skype date with my mom, I tasted the chilled Avon Blanc from Sainte Famille Winery ($11.75 a bottle) and some of That Dutchman’s Original Smeerkaas spreadable cheese ($6.50 a jar). I will definitely be serving this combo at my Solstice gatherings. Yum. But here is the serious question of the day… where are the local crackers? Bread I know, but who will make the crackers?


Wednesday is the new Saturday

I went to market today with my little tiger and Auntie Sandra. I decided that I should check out what was available there before heading to the superstore. It was a gorgeous day for a stroll and the wind turbines looked magnificent against the clear sky. The market was pleasantly quiet and spacious. A few good humored conversations here and there but mostly lots of space. Ahhhh…..

I was able to buy some veggies, meat, cheese and a bottle of wine before heading over to talk to my friend Steve in his new digs. This is when the magic happened…. He wove a story of the the new farmers market egg-o-reno, complete with farm fresh eggs, gouda and market greens. Then he told me of his intention to make the market cafe in to a babe and mom friendly space! My heart is yours Steve and so are my Wednesday’s from now on. Come join me in a grocery shop and a latte in my new fave spot!


Who needs spirits from away?

I started my Saturday morning market shop with a shot of rum yesterday. Rum that was made here in Nova Scotia. Ironworks Distillery is a first for the Province offering rum, vodka and fruit liqueurs made right in the town of Lunenburg. To me this  is a fantastic gift to take to your Solstice party, family gathering or just to have around when people stop by for a visit. I’m thinking rum with Garrison rootbeer at my house… Wanna stop by?

Ironworks offers a 750ml of rum for $37.95. You can find them at the Seaport Farmers Market or at their home in Lunenburg. spirits@ironworksdistillery.com or 902.640.2424