Updates from February, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • simonathibault 3:43 pm on February 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Nova Scotia Blueberries, Simon T, Van Dyke Bluerry Juice   

    Blueberry Thrills 

    While perusing my twitter feed last week, I noticed a link to this New York Times article, which extolled the virtues of Nova Scotia’s own Van Dyk Wild Blueberry Juice.

    Image courtesy of Van Dyk Health Juice Products Ltd

    This eleven –year-old company was founded by Case and Riek Van Dyk who moved to Nova Scotia from Holland during the 1950’s. The couple launched their product in the fall of 2000, selling it at a few stories around the city. Soon you could buy it across Atlantic Canada as well as in Quebec and Ontario and as far away as Taiwan. The juice eventually made its way to New York, via Fairway stores, and it’s there that the NYT’s Florence Fabricant – as in Flo Fab – discovered the stuff.

    Oddly enough, when the article first went to print, it started that the juice came from Maine, not Nova Scotia. We here at Passable fired off a quick email telling them about the error, and it was graciously fixed. We also sent off an email to the makers of Van Dyk Blueberry Juice to find out what they think of their new found attention. Passable spoke with Randy MacDonald from Van Dyk’s Health Juice Products Ltd.

    Where does Case and Riek Van Dyk’s love of juice come from?

    Casey (and Riek) were familiar with Bilberry Juice sold in Holland and felt there was an opportunity for a high quality pure wild blueberry juice here in Canada. Casey was aware of the increasing research on the health benefits of wild blueberries. He was also keenly aware of the increasing consumer awareness of making healthy food choices.

    How many acres do you have producing wild blueberries?
    The Van Dyk family own and/or manage approximately 700 acres of wild blueberries in southwest Nova Scotia.

    How do you feel about the attention bestowed upon the product in the NYT?

    The article in the New York Times is great for us – I have received numerous emails from all over the US and I expect that the sales of our product at Fairway Markets in New York have picked up as well.

    Do you know how they -or the author Florence Fabricant – heard of it?

    Our product was picked up by Fairway Markets in New York late last year. The owner (Steve Jenkins) of Fairway Markets knows Florence Fabricant and thus the article.

    You can find Van Dyk Wild Blueberry juice at various retailers in the HRM and across Atlantic Canada.

  • simonathibault 4:40 pm on February 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Milk,   

    IT’S HERE! 

    Image courtesy Fox Hill Cheese House

    If the picture doesn’t make it any clearer, Fox Hill Cheese House is finally, after months of paperwork and hard work, selling their own non-homogenised, locally produced milk. The dairy house talked about the sale of milk in a previous article on this website. It’s available at their flagship store in Port Williams as well at the Halifax Seaport Market storefront.

    In an interview with Passable, Fox Hill’s Jeanita Rand tells us that, “Our first day of sales, Friday February 11th, in Halifax was good but our second day on Saturday was awesome!! Our customers were very excited, they have been very patient with the whole process.”

    The milk is available in glass bottles, a system that harkens back to the days of daily milk delivery and the clink of the glass as it was placed on doorsteps. According to the company’s website, the whole milk retails for $3.00 per litre plus $2.25 for the bottle. The milk and bottle are sold separately so that the bottles can be exchanged, (you bring them your clean empty bottles, they supply you with another bottle of milk for $3.00) while customers are able to buy the milk separately. And just like in the old days, you need to clean out your bottles before your return them, and broken or chipped bottles will not be accepted for a return. You can find out more by checking out the FAQ on their website. According to Rand, “Consumers are very positive about have sustainable packaging that can be returned.”

    As for the lack of homogenization in the product, which leads to separation of the fat (read: cream) from the thinner milk, not to fret. Rand suggests that, “gently turning the bottle will integrate the cream throughout the milk.”

    You can get updates from Fox Hill Cheese House by following them on Twitter.

  • simonathibault 11:51 am on February 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bill Wood, , , Wood'N'Hart Farm   

    He’s “that guy” You know “the lamb guy”… 

    He’s “that guy”.

    You know, “the lamb guy”.

    Image courtesy Wood’n’Hart’s Twitter.

    Most people don’t know Bill Wood’s name, but they sure know him and his wares. Wood has been a staple at the old Halifax Farmer’s Market on Hollis Street for almost twenty years. People know him by his smile as much as they know him by his produce. His farm, Wood’n’Hart produces some of the most acclaimed lamb in Nova Scotia. His client list includes Fid, Chives, The Wooden Monkey and Brooklyn Warehouse. Passable sat down with Bill to talk about how he got into farming, selling cuts that “nobody wanted”, how lamb has changed, and what he’s up to these days.

    How did you get into farming?

    I grew up on a dairy farm in Ontario and my family have been dairy farmers since 1710, when my family came to Ontario. Neighbours of ours had sheep, they ran 800 ewes. I always liked seeing the sheep in the field. In 1966, I was in 4-H and I bought five sheep that I got from out west. They ran in a straw bar for the winter, ate their way through it, and in 1967, I showed sheep at the Royal Winter Fair.

    I moved [to Nova Scotia] in 1988.

    Why did you move here?

    My wife is from here, but I had been here ten years before that working for a company and I fell in love with the province then. I would’ve moved then, but the ex-wife wouldn’t move then. But I got here, one way or another. (laughs)

    Where does the name Wood’N’Hart come from?

    My last name is Wood and my wife’s maiden name was Hartland, so we just shortened up.

    (More …)

    • Wendy Jones 9:40 pm on February 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Really nice piece with our favorite guy- Bill W. I learned new things about him and his farming operation, and love to read the stories behind the food that I choose to purchase and eat. Thanks Simon, for this insightful interview. And Bill… you’re pretty communicative when you wanna be!!!

    • Ruth 1:08 pm on May 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Great article about one of my favorite farmers!

  • simonathibault 10:30 am on February 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Daniel Klein, , ,   

    Pass The Perennial Plate, Please 

    Imagine being in your late twenties, working in some of the top restaurants in the world – The Fat Duck, Bouchon, Craft – and then leaving it all to move back home. Sounds crazy, right?

    Crazy like a fox.

    Daniel Klein left the world of kitchen whites and cooking lines and started up The Perrenial Plate, a food blog/video diary/documentary series. Klein’s site introduces you to the local Minnesotans who people who provide him with food – from fishmongers to farmers, from rabbit farms to wild game hunts.

    Image courtesy of The Perennial Plate

    Klein is not only a chef, he is also a filmmaker and a self-proclaimed activist. As described in his first post, Klein decided to start The Perennial Platein an attempt to combine my three passions… food, film and creating positive change in this world. More and more, what we eat is of paramount importance, and as I live in the Midwest, I’ve decided to make this show about the way I would like to eat here. I want to be eating delicious, adventurous and above all, sustainable food.”

    His ideologies around food are not only present in the subject matter of his series, but in what and how he chooses to show his audience. In his first video, Klein points the camera squarely at himself as he kills a turkey destined for a holiday feast. Klein wants you to know where your food comes from, whether that’s a carrot dug out of the ground or the meat on your table. There is work, there is sacrifice and there is something noble in it all.

    And people are taking notice. Klein is now writing for The Huffington Post and is gathering more and more recognition for his work. Although Klein lives in Minnesota, his model for eating – and the connections he makes with farmers/producers/etc – can easily be reflected and appropriated in a place like Nova Scotia. Passable interviewed Klein via email.

    (More …)

  • MB 6:32 pm on February 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cheese, Chocolate, , , ,   


    Decadence 2011

    On February 3, I went down to the Westin Nova Scotian for Decadence: Chocolate | Wine | Cheese, a night of almost unbridled indulgence and bite-sized gluttony that is one of the three big events in Halifax during the Savour food & wine Festival, which happens every year around this time. (The other two key events are the Rare & Fine Wine Show and the Savour food & wine Show itself.)

    I really like Decadence. Not just because it’s wall-to-wall goodies, but because the event showcases the chefs-in-training from the NSCC culinary and pastry arts programs. It’s a really nice little glimpse at the future of Haligonian cuisine.

    (More …)

    • Ashley 5:18 pm on February 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome post- your photos are awesome. We had an awesome time hosting Decadence here at the hotel again. It’s such a great evening and what an opportunity for NSCC Culinary students to get some real world experience and show us their stuff.



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