Spruce Beer

February 5th, 2017

The story of Spruce Beer is as old as Canada itself. At least European Canada.


While on his second voyage during the winter of 1535 Jacques Cartier and his crew were stranded near Quebec City. Their ships were frozen in ice and they wouldn’t be able to return to France until the spring.

With a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables available Cartier’s crew began to succumb to what we now know was scurvy. Almost the entire crew became sick. It was only with the help of the local Iroquois that Cartier’s crew survived.

They taught Cartier and his men how to brew a tea using the branches of a coniferous tree that they called Anneda. His men got better. They started calling the tree, not Anneda, but ‘Arbre de Vie’ or ‘Tree of Life.’

Scurvy is caused by a deficiency in vitamin C. Coniferous trees are a good source of vitamin C which is why Cartier and his men got better.  The body is able to store 1,500 mg of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). It is used up at an average rate of 3% per day. After three months of vitamin C deprivation, the stores become largely depleted.

The exact identity of the Anneda tree has been lost. There are a number of trees that it could have been; eastern white cedar, white spruce, black spruce, eastern white pine, red pine, balsam fir, eastern hemlock or even juniper.

There is evidence that the Scandinavians arrived at the same discovery themselves and were already making spruce beer in Europe. “Ancient Scandinavians and their Viking descendants brewed beer from young shoots of Norway spruce, drinking the beer for strength in battle, for fertility and to prevent scurvy on long sea voyages.” However, it is hard to say if this knowledge ever reached the English or French.

The exact date which spruce beer caught on is unknown. But by the middle of the eighteenth century it appears both British and French troops had adopted the practice of adding spruce to their beer in an attempt to prevent scurvy.

By 1749 we know that the French were making spruce beer. Perh Kalm a Swedish-Finnish botanist who visited New France left an account of the production of spruce beer.

“After having put the cutting of the pine into the water, they lay some of the cones of the tree amongst it, for the gum which is contained in them, is thought very wholesome; and makes the beer better….. While it is boiling they take some wheat, put it into the pan over the fire, and roast it as we do coffee; till it is almost black; all the while stirring, shaking and turning it about in the pan, when that is done they throw it into the copper with some burnt bread.

Rye is as fit for this purpose as wheat; barley is better than either, and Indian corn is better than barley. The reasons given me for putting this burnt corn and bread into the water are first, and chiefly to give it a brownish colour like malt liquor; second to make it more palatable; third, to make it something more nourishing.

When it has continued boiling till half the quantity only of the water remains in the copper, the pine is taken out and thrown away, and the liquor is poured into a vessel, thro’ a sieve of hair cloth, to prevent the burnt bread and corning from mixing with it. Then some sirrup is put into the wort to make it more palatable, and to take away the taste, which the gum of the tree might leave behind. The wort is then left to cool after some yeast has been put into it, and nothing remains to be done until it is tunned up, but skimming of what, during fermentation, has risen up upon the surface; and in four and twenty hours it is fit to drink.”

Fort Louisburg

In 1757 John Knox noted that New England troops when they captured Louisbourg (Cape Breton) in 1745 were supplied with spruce beer. “This liquor being thought necessary for the preservation of the healths of our men, as they were confined to salt provisions, and it is an excellent antiscorbutic: it is made from the tops and branches of the Spruce-tree, boiled for three hours, then strained into casks, with a certain quantity of molasses, and, as soon as cold, it is fit for use.”

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Though it’s hard to say whether the New England troops were simply consuming spruce beer found at Louisbourg or whether they had made it themselves, it is clear that the British the consumption of spruce beer took off during the Seven Years War also known as the French and Indian War to Americans. In 1759, General Amherst recorded his own recipe for spruce beer.

“Take 7 pounds of good spruce & boil it well till the bark peels off, then take the spruce out & put three gallons of molasses to the Liquor & and boil it again, scum it well as it boils, then take it out the kettle & put it into a cooler, boil the remained of the water sufficient for a barrel of thirty gallons, if the kettle is not large enough to boil it together, when milk-warm in the cooler put a pint of yeast into it and mix well. Then put it into a Barrel and let it work for two or three days, keep filling it up as it works out. When done working, bung it up with a Tent Peg in the barrel to give it vent every now and then. It may be used in up to two or three days after. If wanted to be bottled it should stand a fortnight in the cask. It will keep a great while.”

Spruce beer would enjoy over a century of popularity, not just in North America but also in Europe. In 1769 a book, The London Practice of Physic, listed spruce beer as a treatment for scurvy giving the following recipe.

“Take twelve gallons of water and put therein three pounds and a half of black spruce, and boil it for three hours; then put to the liquor seven pounds of molasses just boil it up, strain it through a sieve when milk-warm, put to it about four spoonfulls of yeast to work it; it soon becomes fit for bottling, perhaps in five or six days.”

Benjamin Franklin

Even the American founding fathers became interested in spruce beer. Benjamin Franklin first came across spruce beer while in France during the American War for Independence. He began experimenting with it on his return at the end of the war and his recipe for spruce beer survived.

For a Cask containing 80 bottles, take one pot of Essence [of spruce] and 13 Pounds of Molasses. – or the same amount of unrefined Loaf Sugar; mix them well together in 20 pints of hot Water: Stir together until they make a Foam, then pour it into the Cask you will then fill with Water: add a Pint of good Yeast, stir it well together and let it stand 2 or 3 Days to ferment, after which close the Cask, and after a few days it will be ready to be put into Bottles, that must be tightly corked. Leave them 10 or 12 Days in a cool Cellar, after which the Beer will be good to drink.”

Another American recipe comes to us from Amelia Simmons, American Cookery, published in 1796.

“For brewing Spruce Beer. Take four ounces of hops, let them boil half an hour, in one gallon of water, strain the hop water, then add 16 gallons of warm water, two gallons of molasses, eight ounces of essence of spruce, dissolved in one quart of water, put it in a clean cask, then shake it well together, add half a pint of emptins [baker’s yeast], then let it stand and work one week, if very warm weather less time will do, when it is drawn off to bottle, add one spoonful of molasses to every bottle.”

Around the same time spruce beer was becoming ubiquitous with the British Navy. Scurvy was a common issue for sailors on long sea voyages. Records from Captain Cook’s voyages showed that he made spruce beer on both his second voyage to New Zealand and on his third to Alaska using local varieties of coniferous trees. His recipe survives and is still being made by Wingram Brewing Company in New Zealand.

We at first made our beer of a decoction of the spruce leaves; but, finding that this alone made it too astringent, we afterwards mixed with it an equal quantity of the tea plant (a name it obtained in my former voyage, from our using it as a tea then, as we also did now), which partly destroyed the astringency of the other, and made the beer exceedingly palatable, and esteemed by everyone on board. We brewed it in the same manner as spruce beer, and the process is as follows. First make a strong decoction of the small branches of the spruce and tea-plants, by boiling them three or four hours, or until the bark will strip with ease from the branches; then take them out of the copper, and put in the proper quantity of molasses, ten gallons of which is sufficient to make a ton, or two hundred and forty gallons of beer. Let this mixture just boil; then put it into casks, and to it add an equal quantity of cold water, more or less according to the strength of the decoction, or your taste. When the whole is milk-warm, put in a little grounds of beer, or yeast if you have it, or anything else that will cause fermentation, and in a few days the beer will be fit to drink.”

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From Then Until Now

The manufacturing of spruce beer was particularly prevalent in Nova Scotia. Due to its poor climate for growing the traditional ingredients of beer; barley and hops – a substitute was needed. Spruce trees were highly prevalent and molasses from Britain’s colonies in the Caribbean was both readily available, cheap, and gave the spruce beer a colour and taste comparable to traditional malted beers.

Spruce beer remained popular for over one hundred years until the middle of the nineteenth century. A large contributing factor was the British Navy’s shift away from spruce beer to using citrus, primarily lemon and lime, for the prevention of scurvy. The price of grain which had been historically more expensive also began to decline making traditional beer making less costly.

Though the tradition of making spruce beer in Nova Scotia was never fully lost it did drastically decline. Most breweries stopped producing it. Only homebrewers kept the tradition alive. That was until the last couple of years.

Spruce Beer:Garrison

Garrison Brewery’s master brewer Daniel Girard wanted to give making spruce beer a try. He’d heard about spruce beer from his grandfather. When he approached Brian Titus the owner of Garrison he was initially turned down. “Not gonna to do it. No,” he said. “This is not going to be the beer that takes this brewery down.”

He eventually gave in and they’ve been producing it as a seasonal addition ever since. On the Garrison website they describe the beer as “North America’s oldest beer style brewed with local Spruce and fir tips, blackstrap molasses and dates. Dark amber and brown colouring. Aroma is a comforting mix of spruce boughs, caramel malts, molasses and dates.”

It’s a strong beer at 7.5% alcohol. It’s heavy and the taste of the molasses and dates are definitely the strongest flavour notes. Though, it does have a nice piney or citrusy hint that isn’t overpowering and balances well.

Spruce Beer

Garrison also ages their spruce beer in rum barrels. This version of the beer has an alcohol percentage of 11%. It has a similar flavour profile as their regular spruce beer but with some spicer notes caused by the rum.

Both are worth trying.


  1.  Don J Durzan. Arginine, Scurvy and Cartier’s “Tree of Life”. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 2009.
  2. Hodges RE. What’s New About Scurvy? American Journal Clinical Nutrition. 1971;24:383–384.
  3. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Oxford University Press, November 2012.
  4. Russell M. Magnaghi. Upper Peninsula Beer: A History of Brewing Above the Bridge. Arcadia Publishing, Apr 27, 2015.
  5. John Knox.  Historical Journal of the Campaigns in North America for the Years 1757, 1758, 1759, and 1760 (volume I).
  6. Geoffrey L. Hudson. British Military and Naval Medicine, 1600-1830. Rodopi, 2007.
  7. Jeffrey Amherst. Journal of General Jeffrey Amherst, Governor-General of British North America.
  8. The London Practice of Physic.Printed for W. Johnston, London, 1773.
  9. Russell M. Magnaghi. Upper Peninsula Beer: A History of Brewing Above the Bridge. Arcadia Publishing, Apr 27, 2015.
  10. Ed Beaglehole. The Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyages of Discovery II The Voyage of the Resolution and Adventure 1772–1775. Cambridge University Press, 1961.
  11. Ed Beaglehole. The Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyages of Discovery III The Voyage of the Resolution and Adventure 1776–1780. Cambridge University Press; 1967.
  12. Garrison Spruce Beer Is a Relic From Nova Scotia Pioneers. TheStar.com, February 7, 2012. https://www.thestar.com/life/food_wine/2012/02/07/garrison_spruce_beer_is_a_relic_from_nova_scotia_pioneers.html
  13. Garrison Brewery. http://www.garrisonbrewing.com/show/the-beer/2.

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Hooked Halifax

February 5th, 2017

How did I miss that a ‘Hooked’ had opened in Halifax? The first time I came across a

Hooked Halifax1

‘Hooked’ was in Toronto, it was 2012, and I was working remotely for a consulting firm.  

To break up my day I would grab my fresh vegetables from the St. Lawrence farmers’ market and on Saturdays I’d buy my meat for the week and a fresh loaf of Blackbird Baking bread in Kensington market at Sanagan’s butcher shop, with its beautiful displays of fresh meat on the left side and a deli on the right. There were fishmongers to the west of Sanagans but I was hesitant to try them. A strong fishy odour wafted out of the stores and it was Ontario.

I don’t know what led me into Hooked – it was totally indistinguishable from the store on either side, set back from the sidewalk with a large awning hiding half the windows. But walking in was a revelation. It smelt fresh. The fish, neatly arranged on beds of ice, was labelled with a name, where it was caught, and by what method. It was new AND it was revolutionary.

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I shopped there and at the Leslieville location for the next few years. Even after moving to London, my mom and I would make pilgrimages to Hooked, with a cooler  of ice, whenever either was going to Toronto.

I’ve since learned the backstory of how ‘Hooked’ was started by Dan Donovan and his wife, Kristin. At 34, Dan needed a change from working on Bay Street. He did a short stint at Jamie Kennedy’s ‘Palmerston Cafe’, fell in love with food, enrolled at the unique Stratford Chef School – which has its own story, graduated, and worked at Jamie Kennedy’s Wine Bar.

Kennedy had to sell off the Wine Bar to avoid bankruptcy during the 2008 financial crisis but Dan already had started to think about a  business that sourced fish caught in a sustainable manner, that knew its fishermen, knew how the fish was caught, and hoped there were people who wanted to eat that kind of fish.

This from Dave Adler of ‘Hooked Halifax’, now open at 5783 Charles Street just around the corner from Local Source.  In 2010, while working for the Ecology Action Center marine team,  he was involved in developing their Off the Hook initiative. The program was a co-op with Digby County fisherman, designed to connect local, small scale fisherman directly with consumers through a subscription program. A few years and iterations later,  the community-supported fishery has wrapped up. But the NS market for sustainably-harvested fish appears to have grown, and consumers now have access via ‘Hooked Halifax’ and ‘Afishionado Fishmongers’.

Chinook, Sockeye and Hatchery Coho

On my first visit to ‘Hooked Halifax’ I picked up a pound of line-caught haddock. I soaked it in buttermilk before breading with cornmeal and flour. I served it on potato latkes with sautéed red cabbage and a dill sour cream. It was delicious.

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Building Future Food Leaders: A Change Makers Guide

January 19th, 2017

Youth Food Movement

Our very own Duncan Ebata was recently featured by Slow Food Youth Network. Below is an excerpt from their publication Building Future Food Leaders: A Change Makers Guide.


Duncan Ebata

Meet Duncan Ebata. A plating workshop from a Noma chef and having delicious chamomile crème brûlée for dessert didn’t have the same impact on Duncan Ebata as ground lentils, with orange and millet flour for breakfast. This porridge-like meal from Tunisia, derived from peasant food is way more interesting to this Canadian Slow Food Marketeer than the art of plating. Two years ago, he started the SFYN Canada, now Duncan is starting a Community Food Hub in rural Nova Scotia.

At Terra Madre ‘16 Duncan’s goal was to “spend less time on forums and panels and take more time to eat and connect with people.” During his lunch he sat down with Rahul Antao, who’s working for IFAD, to talk more on the topic of youth leaving rural areas to live in the city. During the Building Future Food Leaders meeting they ran into each other. “Rahul always asks rural food producers the question – has your well being improved since you moved to the city? Most people he’d asked in fact said it didn’t improve their wellbeing.

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I wonder how much different the world would look like if food producers critically asked themselves this question.” The most significant takeaway from the meeting for Duncan was that food education is a system change strategy that’s far more effective than other informative events. “Using the iceberg model, where campaigns and public awareness events are just the tip, but what’s not immediately visible below the water surface are some things like Food Academies that have the potential to create lasting political and cultural change.”

In Canada and the U.S. motivating youth has been challenging says Duncan, because it’s not very clear what’s in it for them. Starting a Food Academy can offer something different from other movements by providing a more diverse program and bringing people from every part of the food system together.

“Copying successful models like this is a big help so you have the confidence to know this idea will work.” Connecting with fellow delegates, food producers and activists from around the world was the most inspiring and interesting according to Duncan. “I met a woman from Ivory Coast who lives in France and makes artisanal chocolate called “Yeres” as well as two Georgian natural winemakers. We shared her chocolate and talked about natural winemaking. It’s amazing how this kind of sharing creates a deeper connection. That’s what makes this event so special.”

Download the Building FutureFood Leaders 2016 Guide



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ACORN Winter Events

January 13th, 2017

ACORN Winter Events

ACORN has so many exciting events coming up in the next few months, and we wanted to make sure you don’t miss out – they’ve put together a list of upcoming events and dates, and of course, you can always consult our events calendar for more details.

Please share widely with your networks, and feel free to get in touch with any questions!

Come join us this winter!

Come join us this winter!

January 15th, 10am to 4pm – Seedy Sunday at the Ross Farm Winter Frolic, NS.

January 16th, 10am to 3pm – Nova Scotia Organic Forum, Truro, NS. Free event. Please RSVP to acornoffice@acornorganic.org by

January 17th, 8pm AST – Webinar: “Too Many Rutabagas: Time and Productivity Management for Farmers” with Chris Blanchard. Registration required January 17th at noon. Free for ACORN members/$25 for non-members.

January 24th, 9am to 4 pm – Organic Pastured Poultry Symposium, Dieppe Market, NB. $60 for ACORN members/$80 for non-members. Registration required by January 17th.

January 31st, 4pm – Application Deadline for Executive Director position. 

February 7th, 8pm AST – Webinar: “Farm Finances: Setting up and Managing your Farm Financials” with Chris Blanchard. Registration required by February 7th at noon. Free for ACORN members/$25 for non-members/$25 for non-members.

February 8th and 9th – Online Season Extension Conference with Andrew Mefferd, author of The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook and consultant Phillipe-Antoine Taillon. Details coming soon!

February 14th, 1pm to 5pm – New Brunswick Organic Forum, Fredericton, NB. Free event, with option to purchase catered lunch.

February 19th and 20th – Holistic Farm Life Workshop: NB with Debbie Lawrence, Fredericton, NB. $100 for ACORN Members/$150 for non-members.

February 23rd and 24th – Holistic Farm Life Workshop: PEI with Debbie Lawrence, PEI. $100 for ACORN Members/$150 for non-members.

March 5CSA Fair, Dieppe Rotary Park, NB. Details coming soon!

MarchWinter Pruning Workshop for Organic Apple Production at Beamish Orchards, PEI – weather dependent.  Stay tuned for more details!

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Ross Farm Winter Frolic

January 9th, 2017

Ross Farm Winter Frolic 2017The Ross Farm Museum Winter Frolic is a family tradition in Nova Scotia – with sleigh rides, sledding, snow shoeing, and hot chocolate made over an open fire. This year, ACORN and Slow Food Nova Scotia are partnering with the Farm to bring one of the first Seedy Days of 2017 to the event! When your cheeks are rosy and you’re ready to warm up, drop into the Learning Center for a visit with Steph Hughes of ACORN (Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network  (http://www.acornorganic.org/) and Chris Sanford, seed farmer with Yonder Hill Farm. They will be on hand to amuse and inform you with activities and workshops throughout the day relating to the wonders of seeds! Then learn about the Slow Food Ark of Taste and the role that Ross Farm Museum is playing in this global effort to save traditional and heritage foods.  All included in the day’s admission price.

https://rossfarm.novascotia.ca/event/winter-frolic  See you there!

Chris Sanford is a Lunenburg County farmer/gardener Nova Scotia based in Laconia.  She has been a seed saver for over 10 years and has worked with 150 varieties of vegetables, grains, and flowers at her farm.  She is also the Community Gardens Coordinator for the Town of Bridgewater, as well as the South Shore Seed Library Coordinator.

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Digital Media Coordinator Job

December 26th, 2016

Have a passion for food and community? Are you a good writer and editor? Want to hone your blogging, social media skills, writing, and email marketing skills?

Slow Food Nova Scotia and The Spot Community Food Hub (new organization) are looking for an ambitious Digital Media Coordinator to help us in building a stronger community online.

The ideal candidate…

  • is passionate about and has experience in creating highly engaging online content(blogging, video, photos, graphics etc.)
  • is a strong writer and editor
  • has experience taking video and posting it online
  • is comfortable writing press releases
  • has experience working from home or remotely, is efficient and communicates clearly
  • has some experience with the development and implementation social media strategy
  • has used Mailchimp or Constant contact and has used WordPress or similar blogging tool
  • has interested in learning how to measure social media and blog campaigns

Please note, this is our ideal candidate, don’t let it deter you from applying.


  • $17/hour at 35 hours per week for 12 weeks.
  • Flexible working times and location
  • Free admission and invites to awesome food events
  • Personal work training budget

Working environment:

  • The work plan will be collaboratively developed with the Digital Media Coordinator
  • The Digital Media Coordinator will report to Communications Committee of the Slow Food Nova Scotia Board and The Spot Community Food Hub CEO.
  • For the most part, the Digital Media Coordinator will work from home or whatever public place they choose (Coffee shops, library, hubs etc.). The Digital Media Coordinator will check in weekly with the Slow Food Communications Committee and The Spot Community Food Hub.
  • There will be at least one monthly co-working day with members Slow Food Communications Committee and the Spot Community Food Hub.
  • The Digital Media Coordinator will be invited to and asked to be at several Slow Food and Spot Community Food Hub events

The candidate…

  • will be between the ages of 15 and 30 at the time of intake;
  • has demonstrated skills achievement at the post-secondary level—this means that the participant must have more than secondary school achievement. If the participant is a high school dropout who has taken an equivalency course or courses, they would not qualify. If the participant entered university or college as a mature student and is pursuing a course of study at the post-secondary level, they would qualify;
  • intends to gain ICT skills and knowledge;
  • has a computer of their own that they can use for this work (ideally)
  • willing to attend two government events to provide feedback and meet other participants
  • will be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada and be legally entitled to work in Canada; and
  • must not be in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits while participating in a CF project.

Ideally available to start working the week of January 9th, 2017.

Please send resume (Linkedin is even better) and short email including “why you’re interested in this position” and “why you’d be a good candidate” to Duncan [at] slowfood.ca  by December 31st, 2016.

If you don’t see this job description before then, please still send your application in if before January 5th,  2017, as we will be conducting interviews on January 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

Please note that we will only contact people that we wish to interview.


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 December 10th: Celebrate Terra Madre Day 2016

December 2nd, 2016

Every year on December 10th, the Slow Food Network around the globe celebrates Terra Madre Day.

Food communities and Slow Food convivia all around the world celebrate local eating, agricultural biodiversity and sustainable food production. Celebrations take shape with hundreds of events ranging from collective meals, fundraisers, community festivals, protests, workshops for children, excursions to producers, and much more. It’s our way of demonstrating diversity and Slow Food’s philosophy of good, clean and fair food to communities, the media and decision makers.

This year’s Terra Madre Day brings special attention to the relevance of biodiversity to build a better future and Slow Food’s first international fundraising campaign Love the Earth, Defend the Future.

Join in the celebrations this year!

Get involved on December 10! Find an event close to you or create one, simple or elaborate, large or small, based on your interests, creativity and availability.

Come out to a Terra Madre Day event:

Dec 10th

Brooklyn Warehouse, Halifax. A good, clean, & fair Prix Fixe menu. Chef Steph produces the daily menu the night before. – more info http://brooklynwarehouse.ca/

Dec 9th – 11th

Battery Park’s Birthday Weekend Celebration of good, clean & fair food & drink featuring Nova Scotian small batch craft brewers. Contact eat@batterypark.ca or http://batterypark.ca/

Dec 9th – North Brewing tap takeover and launch of Benjamin Bridge Collaboration beer.

Dec 10th – Five Battery-branded beers. Batattery Pale (TataBrewing), Battery Rock (Boxing Rock), Blood Donair (Big Spruce), Dartmouth Dark (Anchored Coffee), and Saison de Pinot (Benjamin Bridge) on tap

Dec.11 – “12 Dishes of Christmas”: 6 Chefs, 12 Courses, 6 Craft Beers

Want to put on your own celebration?

  • Terra Madre Day can be celebrated in an endless number of ways, from small gatherings with friends to large events: a celebratory picnic; a film screening to raise the profile of good, clean and fair food; an excursion to visit producers; a campaign or petition on a particular issue, didactic activities, a local gathering of producers, chefs, youth and others… Be creative! Click here for more ideas on how to celebrate.
  • Support Slow Food’s first international fundraising campaign Love the Earth, Defend the Future and  help collect the much-needed funds for Slow Food to continue its activities independently as a non-profit organization and keep its role as the protector of biodiversity.
  • Use the hashtags #lovetheearth #defendthefuture when you are talking about Terra Madre Day online, to help spread the word!

Tell us what you are doing! Remember to share with us your activities on the official event page of Terra Madre Day!

Thursday Nov 3 is Slow Food Day at Devour Film Fest

October 29th, 2016

Slow Food Events at Devour Food Film Fest

Please note: Paid-up SFNS members get a small discount when buying film tickets. Look for an email with the subject, “Devour! 2016 – Your Discount Code” in your inbox.

3 – 4:30 pm

Slow Food NS is hosting a panel following the screening of Angry Inuk – more info here

6 – 7:30 pm
Come well our Snail ranks to greet and mingle as the Founding Sponsor hosts the Happy Hour in the Wilson’s Home Heating pavilion – more info here

Other Slow Food Related Events

Friday, Nov. 4

11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Innovation in Culinary Tourism Summit at the Wilsons Home Heating Pavilion, Troy Restaurant. Free admission. Presented by the Valley Regional Enterprise Network

3:00 – 4:30 pm
The Chocolate Case w/ El Cacao – Panel Discussion to Follow
Join the stimulating conversations that Devour! can provoke. Following the screening of this superb film, The Future of Food Law & Policy in Canada conference will discuss law as a tool in ethical sourcing, transparency, and enabling consumers to gather the information necessary to vote with their wallets. More info here

Saturday, Nov. 5

11:30 am – 1 pm
A Fish Called Sustainable:
Human impacts on the ocean and sustainable seafood initiatives in Canada. Free admission. Thanks to Oceanwise. More info here

For information on all other events and to get your tickets, visit the Devour! website.

We hope to see you there!

Harvest Dinner at Dr Arthur Hines Elementary School

October 17th, 2016

Chris Velden from Flying Apron Inn and Cookery and our Slow Food NS Board just finished up the 2016 Harvest Dinner at Dr Arthur Hines Elementary School (see below). Below are photos from the event and details about this school garden project. A couple years ago we supported this project and made a short film about it called “The Edible Schoolyard” (more details below).

Students cooking up a storm with produce from their school garden

Excited students cooking up a storm with produce from their school garden

Gorgeous carrots from from school garden

Kids learning about where food comes from…

Chris Velden from Slow Food NS and Flying Apron Cookery cooking with students from Dr Hines Elementary School

Produce from School Garden

Some of the produce from school garden


One of the abundant raised bed gardens at the school

Chris Velden from Slow Food NS and Flying Apron Cookery cooking with students from Dr Hines Elementary School

Chris Velden from Slow Food NS and Flying Apron Cookery cooking with students from Dr Hines Elementary School

About the Harvest Dinner and Edible Schoolyard Project:

Every year year students and teachers at Dr Arthur Hines Elementary school  select the vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs that will be grown. Students, with support of staff, volunteers and members of Harmony Park, plant the seeds. During the summer, the community helps maintain and weed the garden.

In the fall, we celebrate the harvest by using what we have grown as part of our healthy lunch program and in October we have our Harvest Festival. A local chef comes to the school and prepares a special lunch with the help of our grade 6 class. Students prepare work samples that reflect the importance of our garden and work is viewed by community members. In 2008, the garden and our school were captured in the video, The Edible School Yard. Slow Food Nova Scotia produced the video. –Excerpt from Dr. Hines Elementary School Website

View Edible Schoolyard Film Trailer


Slow Food AGM 2016

May 21st, 2016


Photo from Tangled Garden- Novascotia.com

2016 AGM – June 5, Hortonville, NS
Sunday, June 5, 2016
Horton Community Centre (get directions)
11794 Highway 1, Hortonville, NS

This year, we are getting together in a true hotbed of GOOD, CLEAN, and FAIR.
Within 5 minutes of the community hall where we’ll meet are Tangled Garden, Just Us! Centre for Small Farms, Just Us! coffee roastery, and the brand new Horton Ridge Malt and Grain Company malt house.

Mark this date on your calendar now — you won’t want to miss it.

10:00 am  Doors open

  • coffee/tea, snacks & mingling
10:45 am  Information sessions

  • The local fishery
  • Small agriculture in Nova Scotia
  • Slow Food Youth
  • Brief introductions to available afternoon tours
11:30 am SFNS Annual General Meeting

  • Leader’s report
  • Financial report
  • Ark of Taste
  • What’s happening in the coming year?
  • Election of board members
1:15 pm Lunch ( $30/person and $20/youth under 30 yrs old)

2:30 pm Tours

Stay tuned for more details on food, tours, agenda, and directions.

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At the AGM, this year’s agenda and minutes from the 2015 meeting will be circulated.

If you are not a current member of SFNS, you are certainly welcome to attend this event, and we hope that you will consider joining either the Slow Food Mainland convivium or theSlow Food Northumberland Shore convivium (it depends on where you live), or Slow Food Youth (depends on your age).

The caterer does need to know how many people to expect for lunch, so we would really appreciate your RSVP to Sheila Stevenson (Sheilastevenson17@gmail.com).

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 Thanks, and see you in Hortonville June 5!

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