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, 12 km inland from (at exit 11 off the 103 hwy) 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. Our own Middle Earth!

Sadly, Lyme Disease took it’s toll on Ma Bell who now gardens mostly from containers or in partnership with other neighbour growers on their lands.

Fall morning view from the porch

These small local growers and producers continue to be 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.

WHEELS ON MEALS is more than jam!
With the onset of the Corona Virus/COVID 19 – Ma Bell’s Country Condiments took on other challenges to meet the needs of some older residents (including “Ma”) to get good, fairly priced, locally sourced meals to folks not wanting to travel to shops and restaurants. Wheels on Meals became a source of personalized pre-cooked meals, soups and more. This small local, community-based service not only provides tasty frozen meals for folks having to self-isolate, but along with take-out services from other restaurants, Ma Bell continues to provide options year round.

Weekly Wheels on Meals Menus are posted on Ma Bell’s Country Condiments facebook page.

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)