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The Local Life

First of all I would love extend a heartfelt thanks to all of¬†those who came out and made the King County Studio Tour’s 10th year a success! I truly enjoyed meeting a wide variety of people and welcoming them into our home and studio.

Secondly, as the summer approaches, (June 21st is the solstice – get your dancing shoes on ūüôā we begin to gain access to more and more local produce. It has always been a passion of ours to eat locally (from our own garden, from local gardens and never outside of Canada) but this year, we at The Herb Farm have been intrigued by the popularity of the hundred mile challenge. Although we’re not interested in pledging and taking the challenge, we are certainly considering embracing an entirely local lifestyle.

When you step back and look at what these maritime provinces have to offer, it makes sense to stay close to home. Nova Scotia can grow almost anything, and New Brunswick is right behind them, while Prince Edward Island has some of the most beautiful and bountiful seafood offerings, not to mention potatoes! There are plenty of local dairy producers, (Northumberland is made right here in New Brunswick, and Armadale¬†Farms in¬†Roachville¬†makes gorgeous full flavored cheeses, butters and yogurt) and eggs that came from well-treated chickens are easy to come by (and cheap at $2.50 per dozen!). There are plenty of farms that specialize in growing specific types of produce (u-pick berries, pumpkins, seasonal vegetables, apples, peaches, plums and cherries – oh my) and fear not meat eaters – there are even farms that have home-grown grass-fed and fair-treated meat products available. Of course, for those partial to bread and grains, look no further! For right here in New Brunswick we have our very own Speerville¬†Flour Mill, producing flours of all kinds, (spelt, kamut, cornmeal, whole wheat, whole white, and many non-gluten flours as well) whole grains, (barley, rye, wheat kernels, oat flakes, spelt flakes…) dried beans,¬†maple syrup, pasta, oils, and even personal hygiene products – and it’s all sourced from mostly organic local producers¬†(like grains grown in maritime fields).

So what actions are we taking to live locally?¬†This year we are¬†growing our own food and herbs, as well as fiber and dye plants, and making some of our own clothes and cooking here at home, we are also using Speerville¬†products in our baked goods (including those for purchase and for catering) and using the homegrown fibres to make products for sale as well. We have also have been shying away from the buzzing lights of grocery super stores, embracing the local markets and supporting our neighbourhood farmers (at least those who choose not to spray with pesticides or use¬†chemicals).¬†There are never¬†very many prepackaged foods in the cupboards, so it is easy to stay away from the big brand name boxed foods from far off lands.¬†We also have plans to preserve as much food as possible for the winter months¬†(our¬†freezer¬† is currently half full of fiddleheads and asparagus for the winter months, and we’ll soon be picking and freezing berries and other fruit) to continue to live without the glorified “always in season” grocery stores.

And what can you do to join the movement back to local? First of all, check out websites like www.buylocalnb.ca¬†, and http://hundredmile.foodtv.ca to find out how many wonderful products are being grown right in your back yard! Secondly, take action! Put down those oversized California strawberries and pick up the ripe, flavorful local berries – or even go to a u-pick and spend an afternoon gathering your own! We have started a buying Co-op through Speerville Flour Mills (www.speervilleflourmill.ca) so if you are interested in any of their products and are in the local area, let us know and we’ll add you to the order (it saves on shipping and handling and it can help create a community among us).¬†We also offer¬†hand spun, woven and knitted clothing (socks, sweaters, hats, mittens, and almost anything you can imagine) as well as¬† delectable baked goods and healthy vegetarian catering using only local, fresh and naturally grown ingredients.¬†Thirdly, grow¬†your own garden, even if you can only manage a few rows of¬†vegetables, the bounty alone will be your reward. Most importantly¬†– get out there and share with your neighbours. Host a garden dinner party and have locals over for fresh homegrown food. Inspire those around you to embrace the local lifestyle, and create a community.¬†Remember, support your local economy and buy local.

Every little bit counts, and living local just feels right. So next time you venture into the local food market, try to reach for “product of” wherever you are, and better yet, find a farmer’s market or vegetable stand to fill your fridge with nourishing, in-season and local products.

You can also contact us: Angela Belyea and Chef Ness Belyea here at The Herb Farm for more information, our own homemade and local products, as well as a price list and/or to become part of the buying co-op for Speerville Flour Mill. Keep your head up and remeber: Think Local!

The Herb Farm

323 Parleeville Road

Norton, NB, Canada

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(506) 839-2519

All of the knitted, woven and hand spun creations are from the talented mind of Angela Belyea. She uses all natural fibres and techniques familiar to many great-grandmothers to create beautiful, wearable art. Custome sizes and orders are available – please contact for further information.

The food creations evolved from the mind of Chef Ness Belyea. Most items are low gluten, and all are vegetarian. Baked good are entirely free of animal products, “vegan”¬†(unless otherwise noted). Certain edible creations are topped with cheese, or may contain egg (though sourced only from sustainable, local and mostly organic methods), but they are also available without.

Whether you wish¬†to walk the streets in comfort, ¬†style, and green-friendly,¬†or nourish your body with¬†healthy fuel – we’ve most certainly¬†¬†got something for you.

Spring has sprung, and here we are in full swing at The Herb Farm. With seeds to be planted, gardens to till and weed, knitting, spinning and weaving to be done Рnot to mention cooking and baking Рand all of this while trying to get a few house repairs completed, there simply is not enough time in the day.

It is less than one month until the Kings County Studio Tour (June 12-13th) (www.studiotour-nb.com) and there are tonnes of things that have to get done. Luckily, with some inspiration and quick thinking, our kitchen was painted a beautiful buttercup yellow. Next on the agenda is flooring…so we’ll see what happens.

We have¬†plenty of herbs growing madly, and ready to sell – including Mint, Chives (garlic and regular), Oregano, Thyme (lemon and creeping), angelica, hyssop, southern wood, tansy, mugwort, motherwort, valerian, lemon balm, burdock root…and many more. Not to mention food creations inspired from the freshest garden ingredients as well as local organic products from our friends at Speerville Flour Mill.¬† Some of the edible art¬†includes breads, desserts, meal ideas and fresh pasta. And all of our products are currently Certified Organic as well and Certified Naturally Grown. We also have plenty of hand spun, woven and knitted artwork colored with natural dyes and created out of earth-friendly, natural fibres!

You can contact us by phone, email or good old snail mail, and please come out and visit our studio June 12th and 13th!

Angela and Chef Ness Belyea

323 Parleeville Road

Norton NB, CA.

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