Fredericton residents want community gardens

RAVEN students Faith Timipere Allison and Christine Jean write about community gardens in their new article in the NB Media Co-op.

“Recently moving to Fredericton, Christine arrived in 2017 from Ontario, while Faith came from Nigeria as an international student in 2021. We are both curious about the somewhat hidden world of community gardens in Fredericton.

Read the article HERE.

Time to rethink the common burdock, a ‘nuisance’ plant that’s actually a viable food option

As food prices rise, we may need to assess the way we look at our food. This includes looking into alternative, viable food options. Burdock, normally seen as a nuisance by the common gardener or landscaper, is a surprisingly versatile plant. It’s astonishing to most that it is a completely edible plant.

By understanding the growing cycle of the plant and what parts are most choice and when, burdock can easily find its way on to your dinner table.

Read the article HERE by Dallas Tomah in the NB Media Co-op. Dallas is currently working out of the Human Environments Workshop funded by RAVEN.

Green thumbs share harvest at urban communal garden in Moncton

Since 2020, a communal garden has been set-up in a well-established residential neighbourhood, very close to downtown in the City of Moncton. The site is easy to reach by bike or foot for folks in the area, writes Amy Floyd. Read her article HERE published by the NB Media Co-op.

Constitutional right to food… in New Brunswick?

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd wrote another informative article, published by our partner the NB Media Co-op: “Maine is the first U.S state to gain a constitutional right to food – Where is New Brunswick on this issue?” You can access the article HERE.

In November, voters in Maine approved a constitutional amendment establishing Mainers’ Right to Food. In her article, Amy analyzes the situation.

Letters from the Future New Brunswick

Our new book is published! Letters from the Future: How New Brunswickers Confronted Climate Change and Redefined Progress features 37 authors from different backgrounds with many different ideas.

There’s info in the NB Media Co-op story about the book and where to buy or order it. Help us get the word out by sharing this info with your networks, including on your social media. The awesome book launch video link is also below.

Launch story, Letters from the Future New Brunswick:

Launch video:

The book is in bookstores now. We are also having an in-person book launch and discussion with the editors and local authors at the Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre in St. Andrews on Saturday, Nov. 20 from 3 to 5pm. Everyone is welcome to join us there!

Growing a Better Future Project Updates

Amy Floyd, Rural Food Security Policy Analyst

For more information on any of these activities:

Agricultural leases for small farmers

RAVEN is excited to announce that we are working with a legal firm in New Brunswick to adapt an agricultural lease for small farmers. The template will be available in Fall 2021 on the RAVEN site. The document will help small farmers prepare to lease agricultural land to start their own small farm. Stay tuned for details!

“Learn-to-Garden 2021” program for the Nashwaak Valley

In the fall of 2020 surveys went out to shoppers, farmers and home gardeners to get a better idea of projects that people were interested in. One idea that came up several times was engaging seniors as gardening mentors. There are several seniors in the community who have 20 – 50+ years of experience with growing produce, food preservation and raising animals. This seems like a great way to reduce isolation, build inter-generational relationships and teach food security skills. We can do it all with no overhead costs (save a bit of labour time from my position to coordinate)! If the project is successful this year, it would be quite easy for a volunteer to take it on in coming years. Registration began in January and will run until late March.

Community Orchard Regeneration project

There is a very old non-commercial orchard in our community that may contain heritage varieties of apples. The owner gives apples away and hosted our Nashwaak Community Growers group in October for a cider pressing. In return, a group of volunteers will visit the orchard in February and March to share with the hard work of pruning trees. There are over 200 trees and we expect to only get to a handful each year, but that is more than the owner can achieve while working and raising a family. Hopefully this model could be viable for other rural communities.

Expanding the Rural Nashwaak Business Directory

The business directory was started as a volunteer project in 2018. In 2020 it was added to the Nashwaak Community Growers website to allow online access. I put the listing on the site to promote local food vendors, but have had a good response from all kinds of businesses asking to be added.

Other Community Promotion

Many people are moving to N.B from Ontario and other provinces. This is our chance as a community to attract new people to area. We would particularly home to attract young people and families. At the end of December, myself and a volunteer met with the Village of Stanley Council to discuss methods of online community promotion. FB: Moving to New Brunswick: Welcome to the Nashwaak Valley.

Meetings on accessible, rural housing for seniors

On January 12 a mix of stakeholders, including the newly formed Upper Nashwaak Seniors Housing Association met on a call to talk about potential options for purpose-built, affordable, seniors housing in the Nashwaak Valley. This project is relative to food security, because the vision of many seniors in this community is to create housing spaces with gardens for food security and health. The housing will also likely have a cooperative/ communal feel to it while keep with individual units. Another call will be scheduled soon.

Building food sovereignty in New Brunswick with a worker-owned cooperative

In June, RAVEN hosted a visit to Pleasant Ridge in unceded Mi’kma’ki territory (near the Village of Rogersville) to learn about agricultural cooperatives at la Ferme Terre Partagée Cooperative. The trip was organized by RAVEN’s Amy Floyd.

Amy’s article about the history of the farm and agricultural cooperatives is a must-read for anyone interested in food sovereignty in New Brunswick. You can read it HERE online published by our partner the NB Media Co-op.

Build your own rain garden

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd published her new article today in the NB Media Co-op: Build your own rain garden: Using nature’s elegant designs to clean up New Brunswick’s waterways. You can read it HERE.

Amy’s article explains why rain gardens are important and things to consider when deciding if you should build your own. Links to organizations that can provide further resources are also included. Have a look!

Invitation to the farm: Field trip June 19

The RAVEN Project invites you to join us for an afternoon on farm and in community to learn about how Farming Co-operatives can work in New Brunswick with La coopérative Ferme Terre Partagée in Rogersville, N.B. The field trip will be on June 19 and is limited to 15 people. Free.

People are becoming more and more concerned with food sovereignty and supporting their local economy. Co-operatives are a tool that small and mid-scale farms can use to lower costs, become more efficient, expand marketing range and offer a wider range of products to customers. Co-ops can also be set-up to mirror the ethics and values of their members.

This event is organized by Amy Floyd, 
For more information and to register:

This event is organized by Amy Floyd:

Food Security Policy Analyst
The Raven Project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment)

Founder and Administrator
Permaculture Atlantic Network

40 ways to increase food sovereignty this season

“The simplest way to think about food sovereignty is to ask, do people have choice or control about the kind of food they eat? Having sovereignty means choosing to eat food from sources you want to support (like local farms), having access to nutrient dense food, having access to land if you want to grow your own food, and it means having food available that is culturally appropriate and honours our household food traditions.”

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd’s latest article for the NB Media Co-op is here.

Video: A fresh food tax credit and food security for New Brunswick

A video of the presentation by University of New Brunswick and RAVEN Masters student Jessica Morehouse on her research on Fresh Food Tax Credits and Food Security in New Brunswick.

Background: Early in January 2020, the RAVEN project organized a meeting at the Greener Village food bank in Fredericton for local champions working on food security issues. The meeting ended with a request for RAVEN to support research to explore if a fresh food tax credit would work in New Brunswick. Four provinces already have a similar tax credit to support local food producers to donate to food banks. Could this work here? Watch the video:

Webinar Feb 17: A Fresh Food Tax Credit and Food Security for New Brunswick

February 17 – Webinar presentation by Jess Morehouse: A Fresh Food Tax Credit and Food Security in New Brunswick.

Webinar: Fresh Food Tax Credits and Food Security in New Brunswick

University of New Brunswick and RAVEN Masters student Jessica Morehouse will present the results of her research on Fresh Food Tax Credits and Food Security in New Brunswick. The presentation is open to all. Jess will make a 15-minute presentation and then engage in discussion with participants.

Please join us! Registration is required:…/tJYtfu-tqzMqGtDuxc…

Background: Early in January 2020, the RAVEN project organized a meeting at the Greener Village food bank in Fredericton for local champions working on food security issues. The meeting ended with a request for RAVEN to support research to explore if a fresh food tax credit would work in New Brunswick. Four provinces already have a similar tax credit to support local food producers to donate to food banks. Could this work here?

RAVEN video contest winners!

The RAVEN project is pleased to announce the winners of our cell phone music video contest on the theme Growing a Better Future:

Youth – $500 prize

  • Grow it Yourself – Tess Green, East Brighton, NB
  • Seeds are for Sharing – Michael Daugherty with Rosie and Arthur, Knowlesville, NB

Adult – $1,000 prize

  • Notre Jardin – Our future – Melissa LeBlanc and Anna Vienneau, Nashwaak Bridge, NB
  • Planted – Ryleigh Hatch and Erin Sawden, Harvey, NB
  • Dig a Hole – Brendan Green, East Brighton, NB
  • Standing Tall – Eric D’s Allain, Moncton, NB

Runner-up – $500 prize

  • Food Creates Community – Adam Weaver, Scotch Lake, NB

You can view the winning videos here:

Congratulations to all our contest winners!

Building community: new market in Hampton

“The sweet smell of baked goods, fresh food and wildflowers now floods the pavilion on Friday nights in the town of Hampton. The Lupine Market was started by Gillian Cormier and Elizabeth Malatestinic, when they recognized that more could be done to help support local farmers and businesses in their hometown.”

Read Hannah Moore’s latest story for the NB Media Co-op here.

The garden is coming in! Now what?

“This morning I laid in bed wondering if I should make salsa this weekend or try to wait until there were more tomatoes. The cabbage moth made a strike on my cabbages while I was on vacation and now, I have to either meticulously clean each leaf or I can pick it now and make sauerkraut. My zucchinis and cucumbers are also getting big and need to be processed as soon as possible.”

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd writes about what to do with the produce from your garden this week. Read Amy’s story here.

Hope Blooms: youth-driven food security movement flourishes in Halifax

RAVEN’s reporter Hannah Moore writes this week from Nova Scotia:

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” This is the motto that drives Hope Blooms, a community project based in the North End of Halifax. It is a space that provides people in the community with opportunities to learn, share, connect and grow.”

Read Hannah’s story here.

Planting urban food gardens in New Brunswick

This week, RAVEN’s food security reporter Hannah Moore writes about urban food gardens:

“With crowded neighbours, limited space and bustling roads, urban dwellers may feel discouraged from growing food on their property. For those with greenspace surrounding their homes in the city, the status quo is to maintain a nice green lawn, maybe with some perennials or annual flowers. But lawns in the city have the potential to offer much more than a pretty face.” Read Hannah’s article here.

Are you living in a food desert in New Brunswick?

RAVEN’s summer reporter Hannah Moore writes this week about food deserts:

“A food desert is an area where access to affordable, healthy food is restricted because residents do not have a grocery store within a convenient travelling distance. In a city, neighbourhoods 5km or farther from a supermarket, grocery store, garden or market may be considered food deserts. In rural settings, the radius can be much greater.” Read Hannah’s story here.

Permaculture in Bayside, NB

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd writes about a permaculture workshop at Mike Humble’s FoodsGood Farm in Bayside, NB. You can read her story here. Humble explained the basic concepts of permaculture: looking to nature to learn design patterns for our daily life, managing water on land, feeding microbes to build healthy soil, learning from Indigenous earth care methods,  inviting predatory insects to control pests in the garden, working in ergonomic patterns, and using clever hand tools in the gardening.

RAVEN’s 2020 Cell Phone Music Video Contest

Get your cell phones out and start filming! You can enter the contest if you live in New Brunswick – even if you are not a musician. We have 4 prizes of $1000 for the winning videos plus 4 extra prizes of $500 for videos made by children and youth 15 years and under.

The contest theme is:

Growing a better future

This contest is running parallel to our project on community food security, Growing a Better Future, details here.

Here’s one definition of community food security developed through research and practice: “Community Food Security is a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally appropriate, nutritionally sound diet through an economically and environmentally sustainable food system that promotes community self-reliance and social justice.” (reference) Note that the focus is on community rather than gardens for individual households (although that’s important too).


  • 10am, August 31, 2020: last date and time to download an application form. The form will be removed after this time. The form is available now from the link below.
  • midnight, August 31, 2020: last date and time to submit your completed application form with the link to your video. We will send a confirmation email when the form is received. No late applications will be considered.

RAVEN contest partners:

This page has links to all the the information you will need to enter the contest.

Important: if you are planning to enter the contest, read the contest guidelines and FAQs first!

For the contest guidelines click here. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below on this page are also part of the guidelines.

For the application form, click here. You must use the application form to enter the contest.

The link to the winning videos from the 2019 contest is here.

If you have any questions, read the FAQ below. If you have other questions, email the contest:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and additional guidelines.

Here are some common questions we are expecting and our answers. These form part of the contest guidelines. Check back for more FAQs – we will add them as we receive more questions this year.

Q: I’m using YouTube and cannot make the video password-protected. What should I do? A: Make the video “unlisted” and send the link.

Q: Do I need to write the music? A: We welcome original music. Historical music / songs that are out of copyright can also be used. Sites are available online with music you can use for free without copyright restrictions. Singing songs is fine if you have written the song. Note that the application form includes a statement confirming that the music is not protected by copyright. If you are unsure, do not use it.

Q: Does the music need to have lyrics / words? A: No but words help tell a story and get your message across. A message that inspires or stimulates action is one of the judging criteria.

Q: Does the theme have to be “Growing a better future: community food security in New Brunswick?” A: Yes, it can be anything related to growing a better future and / or community food security in New Brunswick. If you are not sure what it means, google “community food security.”

Q: How are the videos judged? A: Each video will be assigned points by the judges. The information is in the guidelines document.

Q: How do I submit a video, can I email you the video file? A: No, we do not accept video files by email. You will need to put the video online somewhere. If the site you choose permits protecting it with a password, do that. YouTube does not permit password protection – make the YouTube video “unlisted” and include the link. The application form has a place for you to include the link to your video that you have uploaded, and the password if you have one.

Q: Does the person submitting need to be involved with an environmental group? A: The contest is open to all residents of New Brunswick, except members of the RAVEN team and contest partners.

Q: Can it be a video I made already or does it need to be original for the contest? A: We prefer videos that have not already been shared online. If it’s one you made already, you will likely need to edit it to meet the guidelines.

Q: Can I enter the contest more than once? A: The judges will look at only one video per name listed on the application form. If more than one form is submitted by the same person or organization, the last form received will be entered into the contest.

Q: Is it a cash prize? A: The prize will be a cheque issued to the name of the person on the application form. That person (or group) must have a bank or credit union account to cash the cheque. No substitute names will be allowed, so ensure that the correct name is on the form.

Q: Can a video be submitted by a group? A: Yes, however if successful, the cheque for the prize will be made out to the name on the application form. If your group is incorporated and has a bank or credit union account you will be able to cash the cheque. If not, one person will have their name on the application form, the person who will cash the cheque.

Q: What is the maximum length of the video? A: Two minutes, including the opening title slide and the closing credit slide (see the guidelines and judging criteria). Videos longer than two minutes will not be entered into the competition.

Q: Does the editing need to be done with a cell phone? A: The video needs to be shot using a cell phone but the editing can be done using a phone, computer or other device.

If you have any other questions, email the contest:

Farmers require urgent support to ensure food security in New Brunswick

RAVEN’s food security analyst Amy Floyd published a story today in the NB Media Co-op. Her story discusses a recent proposal to support farmers in the province to ensure our food supply this year. Amy also highlighted the work of the Food for All food security network which acted quickly after the COVID-19 outbreak to bring groups together to work strategically on the problem. You can read Amy’s story here.

Calling new gardeners in the Nashwaak Valley

Do you want to grow a garden this year but don’t know where to start? Amy Floyd, RAVEN’s lead for the Growing a Better Future initiative is offering advice and support on how to grow your own food. Amy’s project is focused on the Nashwaak Valley.

RAVEN is offering financial support to 20 households to start a small garden. The deadline to apply is May 8, 2020. See the poster for details.

“This place is paradise”

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd wrote an interesting and informative story published today by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. Amy is leading RAVEN’s initiative, Growing a Better Future that focuses on food security. Her new story describes the new group she formed to support small growers and includes an interview with one of the group members. You can read Amy’s story here.

Moving forward on rural community food security in New Brunswick

This has been an exciting week for the RAVEN team, with new staff and collaborators joining the project, a new initiative started, and the launch of the 2020 cell phone music video contest. Joining these activities is a new article by RAVEN friend Brian Beaton, published by our partner, the NB Media Co-op. You can read Brian’s article, Moving forward on rural community food security in New Brunswick, here.

The joys of rural life – Letter from NB’s future #10

Teri McMackin wrote this week’s Letter from NB’s future, from Petitcodiac in August 2030. She describes a wonderful rural lifestyle that could be possible in 20 years if the right choices are made now. You can read Teri’s letter here.

RAVEN’s Daniel Tubb and Abram Lutes are the series editor. The letters are published by RAVEN partner the NB Media Co-op.

Local food for local communities: Letter from NB’s future #8

Stephanie Coburn writes the latest letter from New Brunswick’s future. NB Media Co-op publishes the letters in collaboration with RAVEN. You can read Stephanie’s letter here. She is a farmer with a vision for how local food production can sustain local communities in the province. Her letter, from July 2040, explains how this would work. It’s a wonderful vision.

Go east, young woman: Letter from the future #5

What would happen if fallow farms were made available to homesteaders. Could it bring back people to our province to work on the land? Friend of RAVEN Leland Wong-Daugherty imagines it in A letter from New Brunswick’s Future #5. You can read it here.

Everyone is invited to submit an idea for the Letter from the future series. Here’s the link to all the letters and the call for submissions.

RAVEN visit to Knowlesville

Members of the RAVEN team made a follow-up visit to Knowlesville on May 25-26, a rural community we first visited in March. Similar to RAVEN’s first visit, we enjoyed a potluck supper with community residents and friends, and we discussed plans for the upcoming community festival.

The PRAXIS project festival, June 7-9 in Knowlesville, is a permaculture-inspired art festival with music, workshops and many other events. The RAVEN team will be participating this year with a video crew. We hope to capture the excitement and vision inspired by this unique rural community in New Brunswick. Everyone is welcome to participate – look out for the RAVEN crew!

The festival will take place on the South Knowlesville Community Land Trust. Community members are developing a rural neighborhood “where urban and rural sensibilities can be brought together to create a wellspring of opportunities for the inhabitants and surrounding community.”

RAVEN at Hayes Urban Teaching Farm

RAVEN’s Casey Burkholder and Tracy Glynn spent the morning today with 10 students learning about regenerative farming with the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm in Fredericton North. Casey led the group in a cellphilming workshop.

Three groups produced short films about food and recycling that you can view online here. Two more videos are in production.

Casey and RAVEN doctoral student Alicia Noriega are working on analyzing the content of the videos. We look forward to the results of their analysis. Thanks to course instructor Corinne Hersey for inviting RAVEN to give a digital storytelling workshop with the students at Hayes Urban Teaching Farm.

Living the good life in rural New Brunswick

In a story for the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn spoke with rural residents living in Taymouth. Like many rural communities, Taymouth faces many challenges but newcomers choosing to make their home in its rolling hills are part of a different, more hopeful story about rural New Brunswick. Read Tracy’s story here.

Video: Nashwaak residents see a future in farming, not fracking

In a video produced by the NB Media Co-op, the RAVEN team spoke with Nashwaak residents Jim Emberger and Amy Floyd. They talked about the need to create clean rural economies in New Brunswick. Emberger is the spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance and Floyd is a volunteer with the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm. Watch the video here.

Open Farm Day showcases family operations behind food production in NB

Friend of RAVEN Brian Beaton wrote a story for us about Open Farm Day. Every year, people have an opportunity to visit the farms where their food comes from. This year, farms across New Brunswick opened their gates for visitors on Sunday, Sept. 16, to learn and experience the important work being done to provide safe, local food for families and their communities. Read the story here.