Nova Scotia has plenty of local food options, even in the winter

Things are busy year round at Olde Furrow Farm in Port Williams, NS

Owners Adam Webster and Courtney Madore are washing, weighing and organizing veggies for their community-supported agriculture, or CSA, bags.

From November to April, subscribers get a weekly bundle of winter produce like sweet potatoes, carrots, beets and kale.

This is only their second year doing a veggie bag for winter. It’s been a hit.

“There’s been a huge demand,” said Webster. “I think more farms should be doing CSAs because people really like getting veggies delivered to them.”

The provincial government is pushing for 20 per cent of food bought in Nova Scotia to be produced locally.

Webster said there were still plenty of local options despite colder weather.

“We grow vegetables to sell during the winter,” Webster said. “So this is the time that it’s good to buy them because this is when they’re in season.”

A woman stands in a kitchen next to a bowl of green cabbages.
Jocelyn Durston co-owns Seven Acres Farm in Canning, NS She says eating local in the winter is better for the environment and boosts the local economy. (CBC News)

Jocelyn Durston and her partner subscribe to the Olde Furrow Farm program. She said learning to eat seasonally has made her appreciate food more.

“It makes every season richer and more delicious, and there is just so much variety,” she said.

Durston is a farmer himself.

Seven Acres Farm in Canning, NS, grows cut flowers and produces fresh produce in the summer. In the winter, Durston and his partner focused on their preserved products, going through thousands of pounds of locally grown cabbage a year to make their sauerkraut and kimchi.

Three jars labeled with the name
Seven Acres Farm makes a number of preserved and fermented products like kimchi. (CBC News)

Durston said buying local food is good for the environment, the economy and your health.

“The gas costs or transportation costs to get from a local farm to your local farmers’ market are just tiny compared to something that came from across the country or around the world,” he said.

“And often the farms here are growing food in a way that’s really healthy for the environment around them.”

Seven Acres Farm has also seen demand for its products increasing year after year, even through the winter.

“I think once people get into the habit of shopping from their local grocery store or their local roadside farm stand, they realize how awesome it is and they keep doing it.”


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