Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Day Tripping by Andrea Lussing

Republished with permission from Andrea Lussing  

What better place to head to for a few hours on a misty, overcast, warm, fall day in Nova Scotia but the Valley. Spotted with wineries, farm markets and and farm animals, the Valley is one of my favourite places to go. There's such a sense of home-grown goodness there. Stress levels plummet as you drive past the one and only fair trade and organic 'Just Us' coffee roasting house, the Tangled Garden with homemade jams and jellies from their garden and the beautiful Grand Pré winery nestled just outside of Wolfville. The Valley helps you make a connection with the earth.

The businesses that line the main streets of Wolfville and surrounding areas feature local arts and crafts, produce, coffee, wine and meat. Touching the grapes on the vine at Grand Pré, then enjoying a glass of their finest really takes you from seed to table and makes you feel like part of the cycle. The beef in my friend's lunchtime hamburger came from local, grass fed cows that had surely enjoyed the beautiful summer, grazing the fields overlooking the Minus Basin a few short weeks ago. The feta cheese in my salad came from the Fox Hill cheese farm down the road, and I enjoyed a cold pint of 100% Nova Scotian, Keith's beer as I waited for my lunch.

Eating local and buying local is our way of saying that we appreciate the land, our land, that surrounds our communities. It means helping your neighbours put food on their tables by supporting their businesses, and it means using fewer resources and less energy from the earth. In a word, it means respect.

I encourage anyone to start to read the labels and stickers on your food and goods. Ask yourself where the item that you may purchase came from and how long ago it was in its natural state, and what was the process of getting it f from that state, to your bag. Choosing local is a small effort that can make a major change in our world in areas of your health, to the environment, to global finances. Wherever you are, enjoy what is there to be offered, in all its glory.

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