Agroecology vs. Industrial Agriculture Infographic by Christensen Fund

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I loved this infographic so much I asked the Christensen Fund to send it to us to print. Thanks Dan Porras for sharing it with our community. Agroecology involves local communities being involved in growing process from seed to mouth- sounds like the Community Shared (Supported) Agriculture model. The file is too large to save here, send me an email to get a copy.

Soil to Sky Infographic Christensen fund


Get Printable Infographic!


New Principles and Practices for Local Economic Development

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Michael Schuman addresses the recent One Nova Scotia Commission Report (a.k.a "The Ivany Report") and presents compelling new principles and practices for Local Economic Development.  

In this Friday morning plenary, Michael provides strategies and real examples from North American communities with vibrant local economies.

Enjoy more talks from the conference


Tips for Making CSA Share Deliveries in HarvestHand

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Spring is here and it’s almost time for CSA deliveries! Here’s a delivery instructional video demonstrating how to manage deliveries and helpful tips to keep members engaged using HarvestHand CSA Software:

Please note: A new Delivery must be created in HarvestHand CSA Software for every delivery period (week, month) of a share in order for a Delivery Report to show for that week (i.e. No Delivery=No Delivery Report). So even if not all the items in the share are known a few days before delivery, a new delivery must be created in HarvestHand  in order for a delivery report to generate and add-on products to be available for purchase during that week. It’s best to enter a Delivery in HarvestHand at least 3-5 days before actual delivery or share pick-up.


Why I Appreciate Seeing My Delivery Every Week

As a member of Taproot Farms, checking my delivery or receiving it in an email also makes be feel engaged, excited, and grateful all at once. It’s a service I value immensely as then I can plan meals and still have time to purchase additional items from Taproot or the Wolfville Farmers Market. I often use it as a conversation starter with friends to demonstrate why I love purchasing food in this intentional way and to show them what I get throughout the year when they are considering investing in a share. It’s also has helped me to make sure I don’t waste any of the food and then feel terrible and guilty (I know I am not alone in this as the most recent Practical Farmers CSA Customer Retention webinar as well as some of the local studies site “veggie guilt” as reason members leave CSA’s)

Wishing you a wonderful, warm, and productive day!

Congratulations Gore Farm

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It is our pleasure to congratulate Robin, Jeniffer, and Mae Heelis for filling their CSA farm membership for the season. Thank you to the Heelis family for sharing their story.


Tell us about your farm. What are you growing? Where are you situated?

Gore Farm sits just outside of St. Stephen, New Brunswick.  The farm has been in the family since the late 1980's, but we began growing in 2012.  Currently, we grow a wide range of market vegetables, eggs (well, the chickens do most of that work) and a few herbs and fruits for our CSA members throughout Charlotte County and for sale at the St. Stephen Farmer's Market.


2. What attracted you to farming? What are you most passionate about?

Philosophy & Practicality. Philosophically, my wife Jennifer and I found ourselves becoming increasingly focused on the quality of our food and the sustainability of our food system. The more we read, and the more agricultural conferences we attended, the more we began to edge toward action over ideology.  

Practically, I am not truly happy unless I have a little dirt under my fingernails. Our move to starting our farming enterprise (however small) fed my innate desire for physical labour and sunshine; while, at the same time, providing sustenance for our family. Ultimately, whether it be philosophy or practicality, it is our desire to live more sustainably and contribute to our community by offering a local, 

seasonal and sustainably grown produce alternative.  And, I must say, we are overwhelmed by the support we have garnered throughout the past four years and extraordinarily thankful for it!


3. What are you most looking forward to in the season ahead?

Winter ending. It is almost May and I think it is still here. Our greenhouse is bursting with seedlings eager to get in the ground; ground, that is far too wet yet to receive them. Overall, we are excited to increase our presence at the St. Stephen Farmer's Market (thanks to the added labour of our niece!), to provide the highest quality produce to our more than thirty members, and to continue to contribute sustainably grown produce to the local food economy in Charlotte County. Oh... and that dirt under our fingernails!



Robin, Jennifer & Mae Heelis


Couldn't resist sharing this. Mae Heelis learning to plant.




Communities with more small locally owned businesses are healthier

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Last week Patricia and I went to the Local Prosperity Conference in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. It was by far the most relevant, interesting and engaging conference I've been to thus far. Other than Slow Food, CSA and farmers market events, I've never been to a conference where everyone is so happy to be there and everyone is actively seeking to form authentic relationships.

I hope to write more about the Prosperity Conference over the next few weeks, but first I want to share with you these two articles that my friend and mentor Linda Best shared yesterday. For context, Linda Best started and grew the FarmWorks community investment fund which has now as raised over $1 million for local food and farm growth in Nova Scotia. Fun fact: Nova Scotia is a leader in community investment internationally because it created Community Economic Development Investment Funds (CEDIF), which has led to over $70 million of local investment in the past 20 years. I think this is particularly relevant as we address the economic challenges we are faced with in Nova Scotia today (aging population, depopulation, shattered social services etc.), but also for communities all around the world. 

I believe more than ever that we will need more local community investment models, import replacements, "local first" business promotion campaigns, policy changes, local currency and savings strategies, and planning. 

Thank you Linda for sharing these articles and quotes:

Locally owned small businesses pack powerful economic punch

Thinking small and local, not big and global, may help communities ignite long-term economic growth, according to economists.

"We can't look outside of the community for our economic salvation." Goetz said. "The best strategy is to help people start new businesses and firms locally and help them grow and be successful."

U.S. counties with thriving small businesses have healthier residents Natalie Smith Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia

U.S. counties and parishes with a greater concentration of small, locally-owned businesses have healthier populations — with lower rates of mortality, obesity and diabetes — than do those that rely on large companies with “absentee” owners, according to a national study.
"Our findings suggest that the rewards of a vibrant small business sector are multi-dimensional," Blanchard said. "In addition to job creation, small businesses yield important non-economic rewards to communities that may improve the health of local residents. "


Photos from top to bottom:

Linda Best, Founder of FarmWorks Investment Co-op from website and taken at Georgetown Conference

Natalie Smith, President Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia from 50% Local Food Club site