At Just Us Coffee Coop, Grand Pre NS
Left to right: Av Singh, Just Us staffer, Vandana, Just Us Staffer, and Just US Founder Deb Moore
By Michael Howell, Slow Food Nova Scotia Mainland
Slow Food International Vice President Dr. Vandana Shiva visited Nova Scotia for a whirlwind four days in mid February 2012. Spearheaded by Slow Food member Av Singh (SF Northumberland Shores) and co-organized by a cross-section of organizations devoted to food and seed security, her visit saw her give four lectures, visit three universities and local farm markets, attend a sustainability fair, community showcases and enjoy repasts from Slow Food chefs across the province.
Slow Food Northumberland Shores Convivium Leader Scott Whitelaw hosted her at Sugar Moon Farm (where he and Quita Gray operate a year round maple syrup operation). SF Nova Scotia Mainland Leader Michael Howell hosted a sold out vegetarian dinner at his restaurant Tempest and was part of the steering committee that organized Vandana’s Valley Visit – a day with Dr. Shiva in the Annapolis Valley that included a presentation at Horton High School attended by over 500 people. And Chef Craig Flinn hosted her final brunch at Chives Canadian Bistro before her sold out speech at Ondaatje Hall at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
Everyone who had the chance to meet Dr Shiva was overwhelmed by her energy and tenacity given the rigorous schedule, which allowed her to see two provinces and six communities in a very short span of time. Fundraising activities for the People’s Policy on Global seed sovereignty raised close to $30,000 in that same period!
Her impassioned presentations moved the thousands of Nova Scotians and New Brunswickers that heard her. Many thanks to the nearly two dozen organizers who mapped out her itinerary, welcomed her to their communities, helped in ways large and small and contributed to the success of her visit.