• James Armstrong

Hudson Food Collective’s food related projects


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Hudson Food Collective’s second annual Harvest Gala guests Helen Henshaw (left) and Lynn Bookalam (right) participated in a guessing the weight of a squash contest grown by Loïc Lavoie-Friedman (centre).

The Hudson Food Collective’s second annual Harvest Gala held on Saturday, September 29 provided diners with a delightfully delicious vegetarian four-course meal prepared by local chefs. The fundraising event, held at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre, provides financial support for the various projects developed by the collective.

All the vegetables used in the production of the meal came from one of those projects – the Hudson Heartbeet Community Farm. This year marks the fourth anniversary of the collective and the second year of operation for the farm.

General Manager of the Hudson Food Collective Robyn Rees described the organization’s vision as local and global.

“We strive to develop resilient and robust projects that have growing, meaningful, and lasting impacts on our communities in Hudson, Vaudreuil-Soulanges, greater Montreal and humanity at large,” she told The Journal noting that the work they do is aimed at increasing the sustainability of the region by developing a local food system that is ecological, healthful, and just.

Kitchen Garden Project

The collective has created and continues to develop a variety of food related projects other than high-profile Heartbeet Community Farm. The Kitchen Garden is part of the History Garden, located in the heart of Hudson between two heritage houses belonging to the town at 539-41 Main Road. The focus of the project prioritizes the planting of heritage and heirloom varieties of vegetables and provides space for a hands-on style of gardening education. The partnership between the History Garden and the Kitchen Garden Project began in 2016 at the invitation of Elaine Steinberg who was the then-steward of the History Garden.

Seed Library

Related to the Kitchen Garden project, History Garden, and Community Farm, the seed library facilitates the exchange of seeds within a community providing protection and propagation of a wide variety of species that results in greater resilience within the food system. The seed library functions similarly to a book library where individuals sign out a packet of seed they want to grow and at the end of the season, harvest seed from the plants they grew and return them to the library.

Wild Edibles Series

Throughout the spring and summer seasons, the collective offered a ‘Foraging for food in your backyard’ series of events led by Vanessa Waters, a veteran forager keen to share her knowledge as a way of fighting the mindset of scarcity. The point of the series is that an abundance of food is available in our local environment. The goal is to share it sensibly, leaving enough for others including wildlife and the propagation of future crops.

Hudson Heartbeet Community Farm

The Community Farm project, operated and managed by Rebecca Phaneuf-Thibault and Loïc Freeman-Lavoie, provides a wide variety of pesticide-free vegetables, herbs and flowers. It also provides opportunities to learn about small-scale farming and community events. For detailed information, visit www.hudsonfoodcollective.com.

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