As a collection, these interviews shed light on how the way forward towards a better food system begins by looking backward. For inspiration from our past, and folks like the ones profiled in this video series.

Lewis Cole

“The garden was our most important possession that we had … and we made sure we had enough for the winter, because you couldn’t just run out to the store and buy it.”

Mary Lee

“We had our own eggs, because we had our own hens; we had our own milk, because we had our own cows. My father was a fisherman, so we had our fish he’d catch preserve.”

Leonard Ruby

“The customers we had [at our farm stand] followed through every year. The sky was the limit, you could grow as much and sell as because there was a market for it.”

Jim Fitzpatrick

"Basically, the only things we needed was flour, sugar, and tea. Pretty well everything else we’d grow here ourselves: pork, meat, eggs, milk, butter, [staple vegetables] ... lots of bacon!,” he says laughing. “And the cellar was our refrigerator.”

Bride Martin

“We’d all bundle into the dory and go across the pond with a flour bag [because] partridgeberries save well. Bottle them, put them in the cellar, and they’d be good for years. We didn’t have to buy it. All you wanted was a bit of energy to go get it.”

Leo Walsh

“We had cows, pigs, sheep … and any time we killed an animal, we saved the blood, and we’d make blood puddings. We’d have them pretty well through the winter … we’d do rabbit hunting, partridge. Everyone would help everyone out.”

Frances Saunders

“Store-bought and fast foods were practically unheard of. We had planned meals, households had their menu of the week. Sunday was cooked dinner, Monday then was leftovers, Tuesday was pot day, Wednesday fish day …”

Bride Power

“I learned to cook very early, just by watching, that’s the truth, that’s the way it was, just by watching your grandmother … sometimes Mom would have something written down, but my grandmother had it all in her head. It tasted good, too!”

Edward "Ned" Yetman

“Kelp was good for the gardens. We didn’t have any fertilizer of any kind back then. Twas kelp and manure. We used to go up in the dory and cut it off the rocks … or if there’s a storm in the winter, the sea takes it in [for you].”

Merv Tilley

“If you grow your own food yourself it’s rewarding, and you’ll know it’s not full of poison. Take an armload of rhubarb leaves, throw them in a barrel and burn them, steep them out for 20 minutes, and there’s your pesticide.”

Wilbert Dawe

“We had gooseberry trees, to pick the berries off and make jam. You could live right off the land. Summer time, we had a little dory, and you’d go out fishing so you’d have your fish. There was no [limit] on what you could have then.”

Mary Hanlon

“We had geese for their eggs, and hens for eggs. We used to put the eggs in the big barrel of salt. Say Easter Sunday you had eggs for breakfast, you’d go and you’d pick out the eggs with your hands, with the salt and all.”

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