Nourish Nova Scotia was given a pilot run this year in the area where the student would help raise money for their school’s nutrition programs buy selling locally produced vegetables. With a number of small farms in the area, it presented an opportunity for the Halifax-based organization to be innovative when bringing the service to Northern Nova Scotia.
“We new it had to look a little different up here because there are a lot of small-scale farmers that wanted to be involved and that’s where this hub model came from,” Nourish Nova Scotia executive director Margo Riebe-Butt said.
Six farms from the area each grew a crop specifically for the school fundraiser and students sold advanced orders of 30 lbs. worth of vegetables for $30. On Oct. 5 students met with the farmers at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre for a day of bagging and boxing potatoes, apples, carrots, garlic, kohlrabi, squash, onions, turnips, parsnips and herbs. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the program saw over 350 boxes sold. Across the province over 6.000 boxes were sold, generating over $180,000 to be split between Nourish Nova Scotia, schools and Nova Scotia farms.
The program found partners in Northern Nova Scotia through registered nutritionist Trudy Reid and the Cumberland Food Action Network, where partnerships where area famers had already been made. The school program was a natural fit for everyone.
“[We] really, really value increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and creating awareness around food and I wanted to see this happen in Cumberland County, so we brought together some of the farmers and approached some of the teachers, ” Reid said.
Participating farms were the Good Thyme Farm in Amherst Shore, Side By Each outside of Amherst, Les Jardins Stellaria in Lower Shinimicas, Alder Meadow Farm in Linden, Wysmykal Farm on the Northumberland Shore, and Vista Bella in Malagash.
To learn more about Nourish Nova Scotia, visit www.nourishns.ca.