Have you ever thought about what it would be like to eat 100% local food? Did you know that the majority of food we consume in Nova Scotia is imported? (some estimates suggest over 90%) Imagine how different the Nova Scotia economy would be if we just ate local.
Recently, I (Duncan) have been inspired by friends at Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (Alicia, Keltie, Natalie and friends) who have successfully rallied over 2,320 Nova Scotian’s to join the 50% Local Food Club. Members of this club have pledged to eat at least 50% local food for the entire month of September 2014! Awesome, right? If you haven’t already, please join the club and share this challenge with your community: nslocalfoodclub.wordpress.com
Why is local food important to us?
We, the HarvestHand community (join our community on Facebook) believe that it is imperative that everyone in the world takes action and becomes involved in strengthening their regional food system. Whether you are involved in food production, distribution, consumption or community, we believe that you can make a difference in making our food system stronger and more values-based (fair, good, clean etc.)
5 Great Ways to Get Involved with Local Food (in Canada):
1. Buy Food Directly from Local Farmers
Join a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) Farm (see our Canadian CSA Directory), buy food from a local farmers market (see Farmers Markets' Canada Market Finder ) and or buy your food from a farm stand. This is the easiest way to get involved and support people growing and distributing food near you!
2. Attend a Local Food Event
Eat yummy food, meet people, and have a great conversation. One of the best ways to find local food events is through your local Slow Food Convivia. There are Slow Food community groups in 150 countries around the world and anyone is welcome to join. Find your local food community at http://www.slowfood.ca
3. Start Growing Food
You can’t get any closer to local food then your backyard. If you don’t have your own garden space, join a community garden, ask your neighbor to use their land, or go work or volunteer on a farm.
4. Work in a Food and or Farm Business
Look for food companies and farms near where you live and see if your skills match their needs. Local Food Work’s job section is a good place to look for local and sustainable jobs in Canada. Another way to get involved is to volunteer your skills through idea incubation, mentoring, and start-up events. In January we hosted our first food and tech start-up event called F5://Food Refresh Food! The idea is simple, bring together big thinkers,designers, software developers, food purveyors, and farmers together for 48 hours to work on software ideas to enhance local food communities. It was inspired by Hack Meat and Hack Food. Check out food.refreshannapolisvalley.org.
We’d be delighted to share what we learned if you want to start your own! Send us a note
5. Become Active in Food Policy
If you find yourself thinking philosophically about food systems, healthy food and food security, take action by getting involved with food policy! On November 13-16th, 2014, Waves of Change: Sustainable Food for All, Food Secure Canada’s 8th Annual Assembly, is being hosted in Halifax in collaboration with FoodARC at Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia Food Security Network and ACORN (which holds its 15th conference in the same location).
Check out the newly updated speakers list for Waves of Change: Sustainable Food For All
Kitchen photo from Community Food Centres Canada
Other great ways to get involved with local food in Nova Scotia include:
We want to hear from you, how are you involved with local food?
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