As promised, let me tell you what Chris was up to earlier this summer. He left town, drove up north and hitched a ride with his parents over the border to catch the Montréal-Halifax train. Final destination: Nova Scotia. From the Via Rail Canada website...
As the train departs from Montréal in the evening, you’ll watch the sun set over fertile farmlands carpeting the southern shores of the St. Lawrence River and the Matapédia Valley. The [train] covers hundreds of kilometres while you slumber so that upon waking, your eyes alight upon Chaleur Bay in all its misty, early-morning glory.I want to book a train trip all the way across Canada and have one of those sleeper cars and bring a hat box and vintage luggage and wear sheath dresses and... I don't know, have a murder mystery dinner party. Fake murder mystery, obviously. I like to think that Chris has paved the way for such a trip with his rail travels this summer. I'm sure that I'm romanticizing his twenty-one hour train ride a bit, considering he was riding coach and only slept a few hours, but I still like the idea of train travel very much.
But why was he taking an overnight train to Nova Scotia in the first place? Chris and I identified a few compelling reasons and we would like to share them. To be clear, though, this trip could have been taken to almost anywhere and the reasons and goals would have remained the same. But why not go to a beautiful maritime province if you can?!
Long-time readers may have noticed a shift in the focus of this little blog. What started as an outlet for me to share sewing and craft projects has transformed into a place where I share my experiences of creating meaningful traditions and connections with the greater handmade, homegrown movement. (Ok, and sometimes I tell you about my nail polish and purses. Deal.) Over the last few years we've started cooking more, buying fresh fruit and vegetables, easing up on processed junk foods and thinking a lot more about this food system of ours. I've met up with an incredible group of women at the From Scratch Club and worked my way into a thriving local food scene. Also, I've become a bit compulsive about photographing my dinners, though for everyone's sake, I'm trying to wean myself off of that.
Food is hugely important, right? Food sustains us; it can keep us healthy or make us sick, it's often the foundation of social gatherings and can provide comfort in times of need. So why not try to understand the food system better? To try to understand where food comes from, who grows or produces it, how it gets to the market and then to your kitchen. From seed to dinner plate, farm to table. Food is real, tangible and essential. In all societies, throughout time and across cultures, humans depend on food for survival. And, if they're lucky, for enjoyment too. Getting together to cook and break bread is one of the best reasons I know of to get together at all.
We owe it to our present and future selves to be more connected to our food system and to understand what we are consuming. So where do you start?
(Stay tuned for Part Deux coming soon...)