4 Years of Getting Skilled Up at Cape Breton’s UP!Skilling Food Festival

When you walk in the doors of New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation on the morning of Up!Skilling, it is like showing up at a conference…but all your friends are there and the experts are the farmers and foodies up the road. The atmosphere is casual and celebratory. Up!Skilling is about community: bringing people together through a shared passion for food, and through shared learning. … Continue reading 4 Years of Getting Skilled Up at Cape Breton’s UP!Skilling Food Festival

The BEEA Honey with Heart Project

We invited Simone Spears, Halifax Community Food Leader Participant, to share with us a bit about the BEEA Honey with Heart project.  Simone supports this project through her work at Family SOS in Halifax. —– Imagine growing up in a place that is affected by a high unemployment rate, single parent-led families, low education attainment, and residents who live below the poverty line and is also … Continue reading The BEEA Honey with Heart Project

How to Extend Your Garden Season With Cold Frames

Up here in Cape Breton, spring is just a tease. Cold frames are an excellent backyard strategy for gaining a few weeks on food production, either in the spring or late fall. Last fall, this handy tip sheet was compiled to support a cold frame building workshop hosted by Leonard Vassalo at Blue Heron Farm in Gardiner Mines. We built three cold frames, which were donated … Continue reading How to Extend Your Garden Season With Cold Frames

Summer in Cumberland County: All the Gossip

Despite having a challenging growing season this year here in Cumberland County, our local farms and community gardens are doing really well. With above normal temperatures and a drought to boot, some farmers were very worried about their wells running dry, but I have not heard of that actually happening thankfully. While farmers and gardeners had their hands full with irrigating, on the plus side, … Continue reading Summer in Cumberland County: All the Gossip

A Living Library in Margaree

The Coady & Tompkins Memorial Library sneaks up on you as your eyes are pulled in all directions by the stunning vistas of the Margarees: rolling mountains, pastoral valleys, rushing rivers, and winding roads. There is a reason why those who can make a go of it here on Cape Breton Island are fiercely proud to call this place home. As families new and old … Continue reading A Living Library in Margaree

The Kids are Alright! Youth Engagement in Cumberland County

The EAC Our Food Project – Cumberland, has been working with local youth over the past two years on a variety of gardening and food skills training projects. In partnership with Schools Plus NS (https://schoolsplus.ednet.ns.ca/), students from the Amherst Regional District High School (ARDHS) and E.B. Chandler School, have participated in a number of work bees at the Amherst Community Garden. The proximity of these … Continue reading The Kids are Alright! Youth Engagement in Cumberland County

Local Farm Contributes Food and Fun-Filled Learning

I recently had the pleasure of leading a food skills workshop with some lovely women at Autumn House in Amherst, NS (http://autumnhouse.ca/). We got together to cook a lunch from scratch and while it may not sound too eventful, it was more than just spending a couple of hours together in the kitchen. It was a relaxing and intimate opportunity to make new connections and … Continue reading Local Farm Contributes Food and Fun-Filled Learning

Better Foodskills Workshops: Tips from the Trade

If you asked me “What is the best way to bring a group of relatives strangers together and have them work as a team, share experiences, learn and have fun?”, my answer would be obvious, ” Organize a Foodskills Workshop!” Granted, this is what I do for a living and am terribly biased.  But I’ve heard it said that food is a great Connector; regardless of age, … Continue reading Better Foodskills Workshops: Tips from the Trade

Container Gardening: how to have a garden without setting down roots

Want to garden but don’t have a space? Tools? Permanent location… I have gained some container gardening knowledge by being a bit of a nomad, bringing my potted herbs, strawberries, rhubarb and other perennials with me as I moved around. Although I learned a lot through trial and error, there was still much to learn! This summer we have started a demonstration garden beside the … Continue reading Container Gardening: how to have a garden without setting down roots

Local Youth Learn About Seed Saving

I had the pleasure of attending a youth engagement event in Amherst recently, which was organized by the Community Sector Council of NS (http://csc-ns.ca/). The CSC partnered with the Heartwood Centre for Community Youth Development (http://heartwood.ns.ca/ ) to host this event. I was invited to do a gardening workshop, which isn’t always easy this time of the year. Luckily, I had a pile of dried … Continue reading Local Youth Learn About Seed Saving