There is power to food—resilience and subsistence. We need it; we crave it; we bond over it. There is much more behind the meal that nourishes us—the hands and care that go into growing, feeding, harvesting, and preparing the food that is in front of us. We like to be involved in as much of that process as possible. As such, the garden here at Cabot Shores is flourishing and we’re doing some experimenting to grow our body of knowledge (along with our kale). Our early crops like swiss chard, broccoli, peas, and an array of lettuces have been started and we are quite enthused on their progress.
Food for us is a way to build community, it is something that connects all of us and makes us human—we need food for our survival. Food can help to facilitate community resilience and connection. The act of growing, preparing, eating, and sharing food brings us together to experience nourishment and to fulfill our human desires to socialize and find a sense of belonging. Movements often mobilize and connect through food—through potlucks or shared meals, food can be that barrier breaker, the element that brings us together.
There is an art to gardening; an art that facilitates emotional growth for us here. Dig and sow has been our garden slogan the past two weeks. Turning over the soil feels
metaphorical every time. This year we’re working to experiment with cold frames, greenhouses, irrigation, and some companion planting. These are all experiments because we are often taking our creative abilities to reuse the materials we have to reduce our consumption and, consequentially, our eco
logical footprint. Importantly, this work
couldn’t be done without the dedication of our chicken pals who work on our compost and provide us with great company.
To be able to maintain autonomy and have a sense of overall wellbeing when we serve our meals instills this connection and barrier breaker. To know that energy put into the garden is going to feed our guests and help in being subsistent within our environment is a wonderful feeling. We will be working diligently over the next few months to continue growing and harvesting for the Bistro and build our knowledge on farming techniques living on the coast and within the regions of the Cape Breton Highlands.
Written and Photographed by: Chris Dufour