Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hooked brings smart seafood to Halifax

Sustainable, small-scale fish headed for Charles Street

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2016 at 11:34 AM

Dave Adler is bringing Hooked to Halifax - SUBMITTED
  • Dave Adler is bringing Hooked to Halifax
  • Submitted

Dave Adler is not new to the fair-and-sustainable fish game. If you aren’t either, you’ll recognize his name from his work with the Ecology Action Centre’s Off The Hook community-supported fisheries program—which works to connect consumers with local, small-scale fishers—as well as Slow Fish Canada.

He’s the man behind Hooked Halifax and papered-over windows at 5783 Charles Street, a soon-to-be fish store. “It’ll be a seafood shop, bringing in all sorts of local products, all from small-scale fishing families,” says Adler. “I’ve done a lot of work with the EAC over the years and this is the evolution of that. We were found was what really was missing was an anchor, a retail shop to anchor the whole thing.” In addition to being a local anchor, Hooked is part of a network of similar shops in Ontario started by Kristin and Dan Donovan, friends of Adler’s from Slow Fish.

“What we’ll be able to do is when we buy products from the fishers, we can buy for more than just this market—and we can bring in products from all across the country,” he says. “In terms of supporting the fishing families, we need to work together to broaden their markets....One of the neat things, and great things about this is that we’ll have access to local fisheries and amazing seafood from all over the place.” And because summer is basically synonymous with seafood, Hooked Halifax aims to open in early July.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Dawgfather finds new digs

Longtime sausage slinger moves to Barrington and South while a new wiener dealer sets up at Dalhousie.

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2016 at 5:26 PM

The Dawgfather PhD in front of the Dal SUB - THE COAST'S ARCHIVES
  • The Dawgfather PhD in front of the Dal SUB
  • The Coast's archives

It's a dog-eat-Dawg world out there, man.

Today, it was brought to The Coast's attention the Dalhousie University's celebrity chef, the Dawgfather PhD, has found a new place to sell his street meat.

The move comes after the hot dog doc's court case against the municipality (an effort to halt a proposed bike lane that would affect his parking spot, which was in a No Parking zone) was dismissed back in April.

While dedicated patients of the PhD will now have to follow their noses and barbecue cravings to the corner of Barrington and South streets for lunch—it appears another, unrelated hot dog vendor has cropped up in the Dawgfather's former space in front of the Dal SUB.

Twitter tipster @EhGwendo says the owners of the cart are well aware that the bike lane's on its way, but hadn't heard of the Dawgfather's beef with the city.

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Luis Clavel welcomes you to The Table

The Halifax chef and his mother cook up Latin American comfort food tomorrow night at the Seaport Farmers’ Market.

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2016 at 11:29 AM

Chef Luis Clavel will share his moms pupusas,and more, tomorrow
  • Chef Luis Clavel will share his moms pupusas,and more, tomorrow

When Halifax chef Luis Clavel wants comfort food, it’s usually his mom’s pupusas he’s craving. The traditional Salvadoran dish is “like a flapjack stuffed with cheese and then pan-fried,” he explains.

Clavel—the chef at Shuck Seafood + Raw Bar— was born in Puerto Rico and raised in El Salvador and Guatamala before immigrating to Nova Scotia in his pre-teen years, meaning his knowledge of Latin American cuisine began around the dinner table.

This familiarity made him a natural choice for the first of a new series of dinners at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. Called The Table, these meals feature a set menu created by a chef and an immigrant, reflecting the food of the immigrant’s native region. The result is an intimate setting exploring the diversity of a particular cuisine.

The first event, happening tomorrow will be Clavel and his mother, his “favourite cook in the city.” They’ll be crafting dishes from all over Latin America—including those well-loved pupusas.

“We love the name The Table because we’re welcoming people to sit down at the table with us and learn about the people we have in our community,” explains Julie Chaisson, the Seaport Farmers’ Market executive director. “We’re a little bit spoiled in that we get to see this [diversity] every weekend and eat this incredible food,” she says about the Seaport market. “We wanted to share that.” To her, dinners like Clavel’s give the average Haligonian an opportunity to “connect with a different part of the world.” Chaisson’s goal for The Table dinners is simple: Drawing the community together. 

“One of the things we all connect through is food, different food,” she explains. After all, as Clavel says, “food is the universal language.”

The Table: Latin American Night at the Market
Seaport Farmers’ Market, 1209 Marginal Road
Thu, May 19, 6:30-9pm

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Monday, May 16, 2016

FIELD NOTES: Off-Grid Greenhouse Systems

Community dispatches from the Common Roots Urban Farm

Posted By and on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Eddie Julien, Hope Blooms community volunteer - JESSIE JOLLYMORE
  • Eddie Julien, Hope Blooms community volunteer
  • Jessie Jollymore

Have you ever wondered how to save irrigation cost when you were gardening? Are you interested in solar energy? Do you have questions about when to start your seed planting?

On May 14th, the coordinator of Hope Blooms Community Garden Greenhouse, Peter Wilkinson, hosted a workshop at the Common Roots Urban Farm on Off-Grid Greenhouse Systems.

Hope Blooms is a nationally famous Halifax project that empowers youth to grow food and market value-added products. They have built a small social enterprise from the ground up that gives back to their community in many ways. Wilkinson and the youth shared their successes and failures implementing low-cost solutions in greenhouse. They talked about their irrigation solutions, their use of passive solar, and low-cost ventilation system and about the plants they grow well, and the benefit of starting seeds at home.

Two gardening tips:

1) When you start planting seeds for transplant, plant at least 50 percent more than you need. Some will inevitably fail, and if you do have a surplus, then you can share them with other community gardeners.

2) Regarding irrigation, use a simple irrigation system rather than complicated one. A bucket and a hose can be very effective. Recycle materials whenever possible as it will save you money and give a level of satisfaction.

When asked why he is interested in irrigation and solar energy, Wilkinson says his interest was initially inspired through travelling work on farms and projects globally in India, Nicaragua, Japan, US and UK. He studied ways different cultures adapt to different environmental circumstances: rich or poor, droughty or swampy, there are always solutions to agricultural challenges.

“In Canada, we're blessed with water and wealth, but we are not preparing well for climate change. With rising costs of living and pollution, sustainable solutions are a worthwhile option to consider and invest in. Saving water and utilizing renewable energy empowers communities and individuals to take responsibility for their consumption, while supporting the understanding of what access to these resources can mean to our environment,” he says.

Check out Common Roots' entire schedule of spring workshops below.

More workshops from Common Roots
  • More workshops from Common Roots

Yao Wang is an international student studying nutrition at the Mount Saint Vincent University, and an appreciated volunteer at Common Roots Urban Farm since 2015. 

Jayme Melrose is a plant-lover trained in permaculture, ecological gardening and community design, now the project coordinator of Common Roots Urban Farm.

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Halifax's Mobile Food Market launches this weekend

Turning a transit bus into a grocery store in the name of food security

Posted By on Thu, May 12, 2016 at 3:56 PM

  • via

A regular, everyday Halifax transit bus is being transformed into a food market on wheels to bring affordable, high quality, fresh fruits and vegetables to communities across Halifax.

The 21-week pilot, known as the Mobile Food Market, launches this Saturday— May 14—making stops to the communities of North Preston and East Preston. North end Halifax, Fairview and Spryfield will get visits the following Saturday, May 21. The project is a partnership between Partners for Care, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax Regional Municipality and the Ecology Action Centre.

Aimee Carson, the community food organizer at the EAC describes the project as a way of addressing food insecurities across the city. “In Nova Scotia and in Halifax household food insecurity is a very pressing and growing concern,” she says.

According to a 2012 report by PROOF, a research team that investigates household food insecurity in Canada, one in five households in Halifax were affected by food insecurity between 2011 and 2012 making food insecurity the highest in Halifax compared to other metropolitan areas.

Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, medical officer of health with Nova Scotia Health Authority, says currently as many as one in seven households in Halifax either can’t afford or can’t access healthy food. The five communities chosen to be stops for the Mobile Food Market were selected under the consideration of proximity and accessibility to a grocery store, as well as the concern of neighbourhoods with a higher proportion of residents struggling with food access.

The fruits and veggies being sold to these communities will be sold at prices comparable to discount grocery stores, and both cash and debit will be accepted on-site.

A full schedule mapping exact locations and times for the Mobile Food Market can be found here. Follow along with the MFM on Facebook here.

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Stillwell Beergarden set for Spring Garden Road

More like Beer Garden Road, am I right?

Posted By and on Thu, May 5, 2016 at 11:25 AM

This shipping container is headed for Spring Garden Road - LENNY MULLINS
  • This shipping container is headed for Spring Garden Road
  • Lenny Mullins

After a successful inaugural summer on the Halifax Waterfront, and a surprisingly trying search for a new location, Stillwell has was scored a new spot for its open air beer garden on the corner of Spring Garden Road and South Park Street. Come early June, the Stillwell Beergarden will be slinging local craft beers from the longtime empty 4,800 square foot lot between Eastlink and Bookmark (where City Pizza burnt down in 2008).

"Spring Garden Road is an interesting sell to our customers. I like the vibe of that corner. The park is there, it’s just a cool part of the city. It's a very different vibe from the waterfront, and different from what we’ve done on Cornwallis," says Stillwell's Christopher Reynolds. "The beer garden project for me is really fun because it can become what the space needs it to be."

Super classy streetview screenshot of soon-to-be location - GOOGLE STREETVIEW
  • Super classy streetview screenshot of soon-to-be location
  • Google Streetview
This space will have a chill, oasis-like vibe, he says—think plants, picnic tables and twinkly lights—with gated entrances on both Spring Garden and South Park sides of the lot. Last year's bright red shipping container bar will make itself at home there, serving up 10 taps of cold craft beer, like Big Spruce’s Silver Tart, and a new gose—a sour, salt-tinged German-style beer—that Stillwell has collaborated on with North Brewing. For food, a "summer barbecue" inspired 10-to-12 dish menu will be planned and executed by Stillwell sous chef Joe Martin. "On a stick, on a bun, and more," says Reynolds."Happy summer barbecue foods basically."

Also in the mix will be Manual Food + Drink Co.'s Sonny and Emma Adamski, who'll be operating a dairy bar on-site, from Steve-O-Reno's former drive-thru hut. That's right, soft serve returns to Spring Garden and South Park (RIP DQ) bringing good coffee and baked goods with it.

"We’re so lucky to be partnering with business owners who we have looked up to from day one," the Adamskis say, via email. "It’s so refreshing to work with people who aren’t afraid to think outside the box and actively try to push the boundaries of what their business is capable of. Especially in a city that doesn’t always reward that kind of thinking."

"Our goal," the Adamskis say, "is that when people look back on summer 2016, they conjure up images of hanging out with their favourite pals on the sunniest, nicest day, with fingers sticky from double-fisting their ridiculous ice cream cone and their favourite craft beer."

Reynolds says the Stillwell Beergarden will call Spring Garden and South Park home for at least two summers, possibly three. "I don't want to look for another beer garden ever again," he adds, laughing.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Harold MacKay's Downeast Beer Factory is open

Local brews and pub food take over the former Brewdebaker's/Sleeman's location

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Downeast's brew set-up - VIA FACEBOOK
  • Downeast's brew set-up
  • via Facebook

Harold MacKay is back in the beer game.

While many Coast readers might recognize his name from a certain concert funding scandal that rocked the city five-plus years ago, beer was his bag way before the Black Eyed Peas.

MacKay—who was one of the founders behind long departed Dartmouth brewery, the Maritime Beer Company—opened Downeast Beer Factory in Burnside on Sunday. The pub and brewery made its debut at 612 Windmill Road, which just so happens to be the former location of Maritime Beer (later Sleeman's Brewery) and Brewdebaker's Tap & Grill. It joins the ranks of fellow Dartmouth craft beer authorities Battery Park/North Brewing, Propeller Brewing Co., Spindrift and Nine Locks.

At the helm on the beer side of things is Rod Daigle, the co-founder of Ontario brewery, Brimstone Brewing. He'll be brewing up a trio of signature beers—Wylde Mylde Blonde Ale, Fiddler's Irish Red Ale and Game Changer IPA—which the bar will serve alongside other local craft creations. The restaurant's sprawling menu includes classic pub fare, noodle bowls, shareable plates and burgers, promising a focus on "downeast" hospitality.

And given the fact it's already equipped thanks to the location's former tenants, Downeast will eventually be home to a drive-thru cold beer store, selling its own brews as well as craft beer from around Nova Scotia.

Follow along with updates via its Facebook page.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

FIELD NOTES: Growing veggies in the city

Community dispatches from the Common Roots Urban Farm

Posted By and on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Common Roots Urban farmer Sara Burgess - NICOLA PARKER
  • Common Roots Urban farmer Sara Burgess
  • Nicola Parker

As spring bursts forth from winter, does it make you want to garden? Or is it rising food prices and growing local food trends? Either way, it’s time to get dirty, and there are loads of local resources to support your emerging or entrenched gardening habits.

Tonight (Tuesday, May 3) at 5pm, urban farmer Sara Burgess will host a workshop at the Common Roots Urban Farm on growing good veggies. Sara has been working at Common Roots Urban Farm, the community farm on the corner of Bell and Robie, for four years. Sara runs the market garden, growing thousands of pounds of food annually for donation to the Parker Street Food Bank, wholesale and retail.

At this workshop, she’ll share her failures and successes growing veggies in the city. The key take-home treasures of the workshop include timing and spacing of plants for optimal productivity. She’ll talk about how to plant successions to grow multiple generations of plants to maximize time, and how to grow vertically to maximize space.

Here is one example that Sara wants to share: lettuce grows well below tomato plants, allowing two crops in the same place— plus the tomatoes shade the lettuce, which lettuce likes, and the lettuce shades the soil, protecting the roots of the tomatoes, so both are more productive.

When asked what is the most exciting thing about gardening, Sara says, “Producing food for people. When I was first growing food for myself I was doing it in flower boxes. The few times I got to bring salads to friends’ for a barbecue was exciting, but it got really satisfying when I started farming and started producing a really large quantity of food – like enough for whole families for weeks at a time.”

She adds that the most challenging thing about gardening is the watering. "In the Common Roots Market Garden we don’t have a proper irrigation system right now and watering is manual and very time consuming. Because of this, last year, I really learned that a crop can look like it is doing fine, but without adequate water it doesn’t really grow. We were watering, but not the amount needed for the veggies to thrive.”

Before farming at Common Roots Urban Farm, Sara farmed with Jody Nelson at LocalMotive Farm, when it was still in Stewiacke. “Small scale farming is possible and productive," she says of what she learned from that experience. "Jody was farming 1.5 acres, and had an 80 member CSA plus sold at a weekly market. She was able to feed so many people with such a small area, a few tools, and a little help. ”

“When gardening, you’re just not in control of everything, no matter how much you want to be. It’s a good life lesson," says Sara. "Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, blight destroys all of your tomatoes. On the other hand, sometimes you get hundreds of pounds of beans out of a small space, with minimal effort. The nice thing about gardening with an urban farm is that we get to see our so many other gardens and gardeners. It helps to understand what is in our control, and what is just happening."

If you have questions about growing veggies in your home garden, Sara is willing to field them at Common Roots' workshops, or the farm's Facebook page.

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Vol 27, No 17
September 19, 2019

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