Food at the Heart of a Community 

Meredith Bell with garlic scapesMa Bell’s Country Condiments is just one of the ways Meredith (Ma) Bell continues to be a part of the local food system.

Being more a part of the food system influenced her choice to move from Halifax in the late 1990s with her young son Michael to Middle New Cornwall, 14 km inland from the scenic coastal town of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

View of house

Ma Bell’s house as seen from the garden

Planting began in earnest. Trees, berries, vegetables, and herbs now grow alongside wild roses, brambles and wild flowers.

Fall morning view from the porch

Other small local growers and producers are the inspiration. They are an answer to the growing need for us to once again become a more self-sufficient community. The sentiment seems old-fashioned —  but with the ever increasing demand for good, fair-market and healthy sources of food — this reality is the only way for the long-term.

Living in a community with an aging population, where young people are leaving for school or jobs — food can be a vital connection. It opens up so many possibilities for education, employment and re-connecting as communities —  together around the table.

Meredith Bell is actively involved with a variety of groups and organizations who support this vision of building a healthy, vigorous economy and social and cultural life for Nova Scotia.

Memberships

Member: Lunenburg/Queens County Food Core Team, Rural Arts & Life Tour Team, Hinchinbrook Farm Society, Lunenburg Farmers’ Market.

Past Director: Hinchinbrook Farm Society & We Dig Food Project, Farmers’ Markets of NS Co-operative & Slow Food Nova Scotia, South Shore Social Ventures Co-op Ltd., a four-year social enterprise project The Blockhouse School Project (SSSVC) — which examined the possibility of re-purposing of an old abandoned elementary school and adding a Commercial Community Kitchen as a Food Hub and small business incubator. (www.theblockhouseschool.org)