11:34 am - Friday, February 21 2020
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UpSkilling Food Festival In Sydney!


Making a Dosa in the Indian Cooking Workshop

Give someone a fish and you feed them for a day; teach them to fish and you feed them for a lifetime

Teaching skills, building confidence, and helping to grow a more sustainable food system.

These were some hopes we had for Sydney’s first Upskilling Food Festival. 

On May 3rd, around 100 people gathered  to take part in a full, with 15 workshops to choose from, designed to excite and inspire people to learn a new food skills. People had the chance to learn about everything from fermenting foods, to backyard garden planning and  keeping hens, to traditional Mi’kmaq medicines.

Do-it-your self compost!

Do-it-your self compost!

Taste testing some fermented foods

Taste testing some fermented foods

This was the second Upskilling that the Ecology Action Centre’s Our Food project helped organize, the first being in halifax. This time, Our Food Project partnered with  New Dawn, Cooperative Study Club and the Cape Breton Food Hub to put on this food gathering together.

Planning began in the Fall, and started with the idea that we wanted to host an event that would encourage and support people in becoming more knowledgeable about food. We wanted it to involve lots of hands-on skills and practical knowledge.

We hoped that people would be as excited as we were about the whole thing. And turns out, you were. The event sold out in 2 days! And we were left scrambling how we could squeeze a few more people in. Not a bad problem to have, really.

There’s definitely a growing demand to become more engaged in growing and preparing our food and to reclaim a lot of the everyday skills that were common place a few generations back.

“It’s been a really neat experience!” one presenter told me. “Who knew, my gardening skills would bring me such celebrity!”And it’s true. More and more, those in our community who hold knowledge in growing and preparing food are being asked to share what they know.

Sharing what you learned

Sharing what you learned

This Upskilling festival flowed from morning workshops into a tasty lunch, conversation and live music and then into more hands-on learning in the afternoon. People seemed keen. Candid. And excited to be there.

I think it’s safe to say, that we will be seeing more food upskilling in the future! Upskilling-1-3


Thanks to Corey Katz contributing to the photos in this post

About Ecology Action Centre

This is a blog from the Food Action Committee of the Ecology Action Centre, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Join us as we document our experiments with sauerkraut, push for urban chickens, make giant batches of jam, and plant some seeds (both literally and figuratively). For more about what the Food Action Committee is working on, visit our website.


The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.


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