Farm-tastic

A blog post from one of our amazing volunteers! Thank you for your kind words Leah!

It’s funny how sometimes we get so wrapped up in the business of school, work, extra-curricular and social outgoings that we, as students, forget to take time to appreciate the small things. This happened to me as a nutrition student, I was so focused and driven on completing school work, going out for drinks with friends, or trying to catch the bus to get to work on time that I forgot to take a minute and remember what important aspects got me here in the first place. It wasn’t until my Nutrition Education class in my third year of University that I actually was reminded of the simple things that can collectively make a big impact.

We were in class to choose a target of focus to work on for our semester long project, and I chose the Acadia Campus Community Farm out of mere curiosity. I quickly learned that the farm was more than I suspected and I became even more enthralled with the idea of researching the farm by talking with its coordinators and simply learning hands-on how the heck they do what they do. I was baffled when I discovered the amount of time and effort the farming coordinators and their volunteers put into making the farm operational, educational and accessible to the public. The level of commitment that they put in to their land to seed, grow and harvest produce is outstanding. Even more so, is value of where the produce ends up. The majority of the vegetables harvested goes to the Wheelock Dinning Hall at Acadia University for the students and staff and any remaining produce from the farm gets donated to the local food bank. Even though the resources from the farm are fairly limited in quantity, the resources are still able to be shared with the majority of community members in some way. I think that that is an outstanding initiative for the community farm members to have; the idea of sharing locally grown and healthy foods is important for everyone to play a part in.

It was not until I got to the farm to do my volunteer hours as part of Nutrition Education, that the amount of work and time put into the farm began to unfold before me. I only had a little taste of the experience while there because I worked on the herb garden behind meal hall, weeding and prepping the soil for the winter season. This was only a small opportunity to get a look at the bigger picture of the volunteerism put into the farm but it was still a lot of work. I also had the availability to ask questions that had been on my mind about the farm, and learn how to differentiate between different herb species. By asking questions I found out that even though the farm runs mostly on the help of others, volunteers are few and far between when the school year begins its midterm season. Due to this, sometimes the farm needs to spread its volunteers thin to get the amount of work needed to be done, accomplished. As said previously it’s funny how we get so wrapped up in busyness but it’s also completely understandable as being a student myself, but a little time can go a long way. I felt that this lack of volunteerism would be valued information to take back to my peers in Nutrition Education, especially after having such an enjoyable, relaxing and informative time on the farm. With this information we were able to create an action plan of how to increase volunteerism for the farm, which became our assignment to hand in for Nutrition Education. Our initiative consisted of first, increasing knowledge of the farm by targeting first year students every year during their Welcome Week with workshops hosted by the farm for four consecutive years. This we hoped, will create knowledge of the farm, its purpose and location and that we reached the majority of the student population with this information by the end of the four years. By educating students of the volunteer opportunities the farm provides, we hope to reach the second goal of increasing volunteerism on the farm!

It’s just one idea a group of us came up with to get more volunteers on the farm, but in short what they need now and in the future is people like me, you, or anyone to lend a helping hand. It’s the little things that can go a long way! It’s the small things like harvesting, foods, valuing your community, being in touch with nature and sharing what you have that made me want to be in nutrition in the first place. The farm brought me back in touch with myself by incorporating all these important values within the community farm. It’s important to volunteer and give back to something so important that gives out so much to the community without people even knowing!

Contra Dance This Saturday!

contra-dancing

Contra Dance on Saturday, Oct 4th

Beginners’ lesson at 7:30pm, Dance at 8pm.
L’Arche Hall, 341 Main St., Wolfville, NS
The leaves are starting to turn, school is back in full swing, and it’s time for a social dance in Wolfville! Music by Andy Webster will keep us dancing into the night!

- Tickets $10 at the door
– Step-by-step instruction throughout
– No partner necessary
– Bring indoor shoes and a water bottle or cup

Contact: valleycontradances@gmail.com for more info

Interested in Farming and Ecology from Horseback?

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Go Loco’ With Local

I challenge you to eat a 50% local food diet starting the month of September!

With our bountiful land of agriculture, our Acadia Farm plots, the surrounding markets and our friendly farming neighbors this should be no problem! 

The hope is to consume and purchase food from local producers to support our farmers and producers and gain a better relationship with your food! Let’s all jump on this bandwagon and support a sustainable and healthy future! 

*Warning* you may get hooked on the intense flavours when buying fresh!

Here’s the link to the event and club: http://nslocalfoodclub.wordpress.com/join/

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Zucchini, Zucchini so much Zucchini!

Ever wonder how you can use all of the zucchini that you plant? 

How about trying a few of these ideas out?

  • Zucchini Stuffed boats 
    • Cut the zucchini in half and scrape out holes along the “boat” and stuff with goodness! Some people stuff them with meats, cheeses, more veggies, quinoa, rice… almost anything!
  • Zucchini Pasta
    • A wheat noodle alternative for those interested in avoiding wheat. The zucchini can be spiralized, shaved or cut thin. You can eat the noodles raw, bake them crispy or steam them. It is very yummy with a Mediterranean pasta sauce and toppings! Another option is the slice the zucchini into thicker and wider slices and use it as the pasta noodle layer in lasagna!
  • Zucchini Fries
    • No need to have deep fried potatoes when you can coat zucchini sticks with a crispy mixture and bake them! Maybe dip them with a fresh tzatziki from your cucumbers!
  • Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
    • Why wait for the zucchini’s to be ready? You can stuff the flowers with cheeses and herbs. Typically they are then batter fried. In Italy this is a special dish called fiorri di zucca! Very elegant and special dish, a great dish to impress friends at a potluck!
  • Zucchini Relish 
    • This alternative will help to store your zucchini for longer periods of time. Who doesn’t love a spicy relish at a BBQ!
  • Bread, Muffins, Cake 
    • Zucchini is super easy to incorporate into baking! Whether you make a savory Indian inspired zucchini muffin, whole grain loaf, zucchini banana loaf or a chocolate zucchini cake you will be pleased with the moistness and texture zucchini adds to your baking!
  • Add it to stews, soups and sauces
    • Zucchini has a high water content which allows it to break down into dishes easily. May as well add some extra nutrients to your dishes!
  • Eat it raw
    • Among many great ways to prepare zucchini, the flavour is great alone! Add it to salads, dip it, add it to sandwiches. The options are endless!
  • Freeze it
    • Ok, you have a lot of zucchini and no time to make these awesome dishes, so freeze it! You now have zucchini for the whole year! 

 

ENJOY!!!

P.s. Did you know that on August 8th it was National Zucchini Day. On this day you sneak a zucchini onto your neighbors porches!

Zucchini

Seed Saving Workshop Information

For those of you who couldn’t make the seed saving workshop I have attached the handouts used. They are very helpful if you are interested to save your seeds to use next season!

Also here is the link to the seed saving catlogue that was talked about. 

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Young Agrarians

Last night at the seed saving workshop there was discussion about young agrarians meeting up to discuss interesting topics.Everyone is welcome, not only the “young” 

Here is the info below: 

 

On Tuesday August 19th, the Just Us! Centre for Small Farms is pleased to host Sara Dent (the BC Coordinator of the Young Agrarians http://youngagrarians.org/ )…we thought her visit would be a good excuse to have some folk drop by and perhaps think about our own Young Agrarians chapter!

 

It will be pretty casual…from 7PMish on…we’ll have some refreshments and a bonfire…just drop by if you have the time.  Please forward the invite to young folks on the farm or anyone interested in farming.

http://centreforsmallfarms.ca/


About

The Acadia Community Farm began in the Spring of 2008 with the vision of providing local, organic produce to the dining hall at Acadia University, while also serving as a community garden. Now entering our seventh growing season, the ACF has grown (no pun intended) to become a community centre for the exchange of knowledge surrounding gardening, food, and sustainable agriculture. Read the blog or explore the site to find out more!

Contact

Want to get involved? Contact info@acadiafarm.org

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