We live in New Carlisle, Quebec which is the southernmost point of the Gaspé Peninsula, or Northern Gespe’gewa’gi. We are on the Bay de Chaleur and look across the water to New Brunswick. We live on the edge of town, with a field in front of us and bush or forest just across the road behind us. We raise animals and grow food at our home and down the road at Adam’s parents’ place which was his great Grandparents’ farm. New Carlisle is both a French and English-speaking community and is located on Mi’gmaq territory. Our kids go to a French Language home daycare at our neighbour’s house, and French Elementary School in Paspébiac, the next town to the east.
Adam and I are both teachers. Adam working as a substitute teacher and also a butcher during the hunting season in the fall. We work in local English Schools, for the Eastern Shores School Board. I wouldn’t say that we are farmers but we spend much of our summer growing a big garden and sell our produce at the Local Market in New Carlisle. We helped start the market as part of a Committee in 2014 and it has grown every year since. Part of our goal is to support local growers and connect them with local people. Connecting both the English and French speaking communities.
Food sovereignty for us means having choices and we feel very lucky to have so many. We work hard for it but growing, raising, processing, and preserving our own food lets us not only decide what we eat but how it is grown. We also benefit from everything that is available from the grocery store but I think we appreciate it so much more, knowing what work it took to arrive there. There is also quite a lot of choice when it comes to wild caught and locally grown food in our area. It is such a pleasure to “shop” for dinner in your own garden. Vegetables come first in the summer and what is ready to eat is how we plan our meals. Gardening, and gathering from the forest is our work, our entertainment, our exercise, and our children’s classroom for the summer and fall.
Our connection to the Legacies Project comes through Dianne. Both Adam and I worked as farm labourers at Grenville Farm and it is really there that we learned to appreciate where food comes from, the dedication of farmers to the land and to the people they feed. We learned to love working outdoors surrounded by nature. Working for Dianne certainly has influenced our lives, and the choices we have made about where to live and work. The Legacies Project has connected us with new people, new ideas, and places and encouraged us to look around our own community with new eyes.