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Close to Home with Meredith Bell

ma-bellMeredith Bell
Ma Bell’s Country Condiments
Middle New Cornwall, Nova Scotia
www.mabells.ca
Facebook: MaBellsCondiments

1) What is your local farmers’ market and what do you most love about it?
One of the three farmers’ markets I attend is close to home: the
Mahone Bay Area Farmers’ Market, in its brand new location at the Blockhouse School Project.

2) What is your favourite thing to grow/cook and why?
Garlic is a favourite thing to grow and cook, and the early scapes are a delight to eat in many ways, as well as preserve for the winter. Plus, as you can see, they make a statement.

3) What products do you sell and why?
I make food in jars — seasonal condiments such as jams, jellies, chutneys and vinegars. Many are based on traditional flavours and ingredients but with a distinctive twist of flavour combinations.

I chose these as an easy way to provide fresh, quality seasonal products from my own or other local ingredients — that can turn a simple meal into an occasion for the gourmet cook or family on the go. They also mirror the changing seasons, with an often very specific flavour palettes: some flavours are reminiscent of summer, others are really robust, fall flavours.

I also use these as a conversation starter to see what people choose to buy at farmers’ markets and then I have an opportunity to talk about how they prepare their purchases. I can then offer them some new ideas or exciting new additions to any meal or snack.

4) If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?
Sharing and bartering services or products. This often takes place amongst producers and growers at markets — the hidden economy should be recognized as legitimate exchange,

5) What is your greatest food or product design inspiration (i.e. nature, person, place, meal)?
Travelling and working in different countries. I recently met some growers and producers from Iceland — land of rhubarb salt rubs for fish, and more.

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