See what activities your neighbours have been up to around the county
The Cape Breton Food Hub is gearing up for a new season of connecting consumers and chefs with local food producers.
The Food Hub resembles an online farmers market where consumers can order products listed by local food producers. Products are then shipped to the seven distribution points around the island for pick up. The hub operates as a nonprofit multi-stakeholder cooperative, where both consumers and producers are members. Established in 2015 as part of a two-year pilot project to develop a local food distribution model in Nova Scotia, the Food Hub moved to a stand-alone project without provincial funding last year.
“The Food Hub enjoyed a successful and exciting year in 2017, even as we waded our way through some growing pains,” said Food Hub Executive Director Alicia Lake in their year-end report. “In 2017, we were able to expand to serving over 40 food producers, 235 household consumers, and about a dozen restaurants.”
“We are looking forward to continuing to grow, and seeing new farmers joining up,” Lake said by email.
The cooperative is seeking funding from municipal partners to continue its expansion. Inverness councilor and Food Hub Board Chair Jim Mustard provided an overview of last year’s success to Victoria County Council on April 23.
In 2017, Victoria County contributed $7,500 to the Food Hub, while producers in the county made $17,000 in revenue through the co-op. This year they are asking for $12,500 from each of the four Cape Breton municipalities to support increased staffing for the growing cooperative.
Inverness has approved the $12,500 in their budget. Victoria County passed a motion to defer their amount to their budget deliberations.
Mustard told the council meeting there is real potential in connecting local producers and chefs through the cooperative. Producers are ramping up this year based on past success and demand from the restaurant industry.
“The Telegraph knocked it out of the park last year,” Mustard said of the restaurant and hotel in Baddeck.
Some of these restaurants will be participating in a Food Hub fundraiser called Good Cheer, Food n’ Blues at the Inverness County Center for the Arts May 25 from 7-11, featuring Halifax blues band Buck Tingley and the Galaxy 500’s. The restaurants will be making dishes with local ingredients supplied by Food Hub producers. Tickets are $20, $10 for students and meals are $10 per dish.
A dedicated group of volunteers ignored the forecasts for rain on April 28 and came out to help collect a season's worth of litter around the Village of Baddeck. In just a few short hours, the bags of waste and recycling seen here were collected by approximately twenty volunteers. The East Coast Credit Union sponsored the event and volunteer BBQ while other local businesses donated prizes for those who participated. Photo by Andrew Brooks