Freshen up

The Hal­i­fax Cen­tral Li­brary wants to feed you and teach you at FRESHFest.


FRESHFest Sun­day Septem­ber 10, 12-4pm Hal­i­fax Cen­tral Li­brary 5440 Spring Gar­den Road

Karen Dahl feels li­braries have a role to play when it comes to sup­port­ing food ed­u­ca­tion, and the Hal­i­fax Cen­tral Li­brary is em­brac­ing that role.

“Con­nect­ing peo­ple to re­sources is sort of a fun­da­men­tal piece of what li­braries can do,” says Dahl, the man­ager of Pro­gram De­vel­op­ment at Hal­i­fax Pub­lic Li­braries. She’s also one of the or­ga­niz­ers for FRESHFest, an event of drool-in­duc­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and fo­cused on Food Re­sources Ev­ery­one Should Have. It’s part of the li­braries’ Tastes Like Home pro­gram se­ries, which aims to cel­e­brate Nova Sco­tia’s food cul­ture.

“We’re re­ally look­ing at sto­ries and recipes from found­ing cul­tures in Nova Sco­tia,” she says, “and then we’re also ex­plor­ing the di­ver­sity of today’s cui­sine: Things that new­com­ers have brought to the re­gion.”

Tastes Like Home has work­shopped var­i­ous as­pects of “culi­nary lit­er­acy,” in­clud­ing “ba­sic kitchen sur­vival” for young peo­ple and “lost arts” such as pre­serv­ing and pick­ling. FRESHFest is of­fer­ing knowl­edge about com­mu­nity gar­dens, old-timey food-pro­duc­tion meth­ods and even bee­keep­ing. Taste of Nova Sco­tia, a prov­ince-wide food mar­ket­ing com­pany, will take part in the culi­nary stage in Paul O’Re­gan Hall, where lo­cal chefs and pro­duc­ers will show off their skills and of­fer some sam­pling.

“I think re­ally any­thing that’s talk­ing about the lo­cal food com­mu­nity here in Nova Sco­tia is some­thing that we love be­ing in­volved in,” says Emily Haynes, Taste of Nova Sco­tia’s ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor. “We were re­ally ex­cited to have an op­por­tu­nity to just bring more aware­ness to our mem­ber­ship and to the broader lo­cal food in­dus­try.”

On top of tast­ing, FRESHFest will serve as a com­mu­nity fo­rum to dis­cuss is­sues such as food ac­cess, health and sus­tain­abil­ity.

“So, Food Re­sources Ev­ery­one Should Have— I think we’re speak­ing about food jus­tice but we’re also say­ing, ‘Ev­ery­body eats,” says Dahl. “Ev­ery­body needs to know what’s avail­able lo­cally and ev­ery­body needs to have an op­por­tu­nity to cook and taste and try.”


Par­tic­i­pat­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion FOUND makes smooth­ies with for­got­ten food.

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