In September 2009, a group of community leaders were invited to attend a meeting to take stock of the many assets in the community, assess what was lacking and what was needed, and answer the question, “How can we make Albert County better?”
This gave rise to several organizations, focusing on different areas such as transportation, communication, local government and food security.
Foods of the Fundy Valley is the group that decided to focus on food security and the local food economy in general. We are a non-profit corporation whose mission is to foster an environment that promotes the production and consumption of local foods and local goods in the Albert County Area. We are governed by an elected Board of Directors, and are supported by many passionate and energetic volunteers throughout the community – farmers, bakers, innkeepers, teachers, business owners, accountants, cooks, scientists, artists, people from all walks of life… all of whom share a common love of food and community.
We believe that, to accomplish our mission, we need to start from the ground up. We have established programs in partnership with the Hillsborough and Riverside Schools, to work with kids from grades K-12, and teach them to grow, prepare, cook and eat fresh, nutritious food right from our soil. Little Green Thumbs, Caledonia Growing, Riverside School Garden Club, and Kids in the Kitchen are all successful programs that have been running for the past two years.
We also partner with the Shepody Food Bank, and run the Shepody Café that provides hot, homemade soups and cooking demonstrations during Food Bank hours. We focus on using ingredients that are in the day’s food boxes, thus giving clients ideas on how to use the fresh produce that is available.
Food producers need an outlet for their goods, and residents need a place to go for local food, without having to make the long drive to the nearest supermarket or box store. We partner with Farmers’ Markets in two locations – the Albert County Museum in Hopewell Cape, and the Vista Ridge Barn in Alma. These markets serve as a showcase for the many talented food producers, artisans and crafters from Albert County. We have local meats, poultry, cheeses, breads and other baked goods, eggs, produce, preserves, plants, flowers, as well as hand-made arts and crafts. The list of vendors is still growing. They are open during the summer season, from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving.
Once a year, at the beginning of the season, we produce and distribute a Local Food Map, a guide to local restaurants, food producers and purveyors, farmers’ markets and food events. We also produce a newsletter, “Fresh from Fundy,” celebrating the foods of Albert County. In it, you’ll find interesting articles about our farmers, fishermen, butchers and bakers, as well as a listing of food related events in the area.
Finally, because we are proud of the seafood, meats, poultry, fruits and vegetables grown in our local area, as well as the preserves, baked goods, condiments and other food related items produced within our community, we have developed the Fundy Fresh logo that our business members can proudly display in their places of business. We will also have Fundy Fresh labels that producers can use to distinguish their products as locally grown or made. So, the next time you see the Fundy Fresh label on a delectable food item, you’ll know that it was produced right here in your own back yard.
If you share our passion and interest in food and community, we invite you to join Foods of the Fundy Valley! Annual membership dues are $5 for an individual or $25 for a business. Membership gives you a voice in our governance and programs, and puts you in touch with your like-minded neighbours. We also have the best AGM Soup Bar in the County!
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