Nova Scotians are being encouraged to join the 50% Local Food Club and buy at least half of their food from local producers for the month of September.
“September is the height of the harvest season so it’s a unique opportunity to support local farmers and put more of our food dollars back into the local economy,” said Keith Colwell, Minister of Agriculture. “It’s also the perfect way to learn about the variety of produce and products available right here in Nova Scotia.”
According to a report from 2013, Are Nova Scotians Eating Local?, 15 per cent of Nova Scotians’ diet comes from local sources. The club launched last year and is organized by the Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia and supported by Select Nova Scotia. Along with the food challenge, the program is also about strengthening the understanding and appreciation about where our food comes from.
“Whether inspired by the health of your family, community or our economy, the 50% Local Food Club invites each of us to choose local. This one-month commitment shows us that small daily steps are possible and impactful,” said Keltie Butler, executive director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia.
There are also activities throughout the month that celebrate local food outlets.
— Saturday, Sept. 19, the Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia will host a live Twitter chat with farmers from across the province about Open Farm Day.
— Sunday, Sept. 20, Open Farm Day will give people a chance to visit farms in Nova Scotia to learn more about local food and farmers, and see the impact of spending money locally.
“I am encouraging my legislature colleagues, members of the public service and all Nova Scotians to sign up and eat local in September and throughout the year,” said Mr. Colwell. “The 50% Food Club is your chance to try new delicious local products while putting more money in local farmers’ pockets.”
Last year, the club saw more than 3000 people sign up including community and civic leaders, and businesses from around the province.
To join the club, individuals, families and groups can sign up online at http://nslocalfoodclub.wordpress.com . To find local products, visit http://selectnovascotia.ca and use the where-to-buy search engine.
For more information on the benefits of buying local, and where to find locally grown and made products, visit Select Nova Scotia on Facebook or at http://selectnovascotia.ca.