On Sunday, August 22 from 11am-3pm at the Mabou Arena, Cape Bretoners are invited to come together to celebrate local food and local farmers at The Select Nova Scotia Incredible Picnic.
Organizers emphasize the importance of consuming regionally-sourced food. “Local food is fresh, tasty and the best choice for the environment and supporting the local economy. The Incredible Picnic is a great introduction to all that Nova Scotia has to offer”, said Laurel Browne, Chair of the Mabou Farmers’ Market.
Frances Oommen is the Incredible Picnic coordinator, and emphasizes the nutritional, enivornmental and economic reasons for eating local food. “If you think about the foods in the supermarket, it’s probably travelled about 2000 miles,” explained Oomen. The nutritional value of produce decreases the longer the amount of time between harvest and consumption.
Oomen also points out that as oil prices rise, the cost of shipping food around the world makes non-local food more expensive. “We mustn’t lose our ability to grow and produce our own food. In the future when the price of oil means that it costs much more to transport food around the world, Nova Scotia needs to be able to feed itself,” said Oomen. She also pointed out another benefit of buying local is developing relationships with producers, something not possible with much of the food purchased in large grocery stores. “You can ask questions about how [farmers] grow their food…and the farmers appreciate repeat customers.”
Vendors will be on hand to cater to all tastes. Fare includes local ice cream produced by Scotsburn, organic burgers and sausages, Cape Breton mussels and oysters, freshly baked goods, and more. Fair Trade coffee, tea and locally made herbal tea will also be served. In keeping with a healthy living theme, there will be exercise activities for all ages, including Tai Chi demonstrations and a nature walk for children. Musicians will be on hand for the day’s entertainment, and local artisans will be conducting demonstrations of spinning, weaving and knitting.
The picnic coincides with the Mabou Farmers’ Market, which operates weekly from 11:00am to 2:00pm each Sunday. Visitors to the Incredible Picnic will be able to purchase local vegetables, meats and crafts from regular vendors, and are welcome to bring a picnic lunch to eat on site.
The Incredible Picnic in Mabou is the only one of its kind in Cape Breton this year. Sponsored the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture in partnership with Select Nova Scotia, other Incredible Picnics in Nova Scotia will be held in Truro, Musquodoboit, Wolfville, Windsor, Dartmouth, Hubbards, and Annapolis Royal. For more information visit selectnovascotia.ca.