Greener Village Community Food Centre

Food Bank Distribution. Community Gardens. Teaching Kitchen. Clothing Boutique

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Fredericton Steps up to the “Plate” with Dine Around Freddy!

Over the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to join Heather Allaby and Debbie Perry (with Fredericton Tourism) in their efforts to blog about the upcoming Dine Around Freddy event. This annual event is aligning with FROSTival, Fredericton’s very own winter celebration. Commencing on January 23rd, the dinning event runs until February 7th, where FROSTival will be in action until February 15th. Check out all the events and dates here–>

In previous years, the Dine Around Freddy event involved a number of Fredericton’s local restaurants that prepared a special 3 course menu for a great value ($29.00). Proceeds from each dinner were then donated to a charity. This year, I am happy to announce Greener Village’s involvement with Dine Around Freddy as their charity of choice, donating $1 from each plate sold between the 10 host restaurants.

Between Debbie, Heather and I, we visited each of the 10 restaurants and tasted their “dine around” dinners. As for me, a staff member at Greener Village, I wanted to be as involved as I could. I think with all the great non-profit organizations in Fredericton today, when an opportunity like this happens and you are the “chosen one”, you have to run with it! I wanted to show as much support as possible and do what I could to help the whole project be successful. In this case, I decided to offer my inexperienced skill set of food blogging. Now, I am guilty of taking the odd photo of a meal and posting it to Social Media, but going into a restaurant knowing I’d be taking the pictures, tasting the food and then having to write about them was a whole new thing for me. I love food. I love to write. I love social media. It was also a bonus that I got the pleasure to meet and dine with two very nice ladies!

Each restaurant has a special menu offered, typically an option between two starters and two main dishes plus your desserts. They have totally accommodated for the vegetarians and special dietary needs. Some offer the Soup of the Day so that may change depending on when you go!

Here are a few of my favourite dishes from each restaurant I attended!

Isaac’s Way

I was blown away by one of the main dish options: Pork tenderloin with apple chutney. Beautifully presented, hint of flavourful spice, a smashed potato with season vegetables cooked to perfection.

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For dessert, we were served a heaping portion of apple bread pudding and a glass of mulled cider. It tasted like my grandmother had just pulled it out of the oven!!
photo 4 (5)Catch Urban Grill at Delta Fredericton

To start, Catch had a delicious beet salad BUT they also had these hand made loaded perogies served with mushrooms, onions and spicy sour cream. They stole the show for me!
photo 2 (4) As a main, this flatbread pizza was a great size and big hit between Debbie and I. Roma tomatoes and asparagus added the gourmet taste and look to this dish!photo 4 (4) The East Coast Bake. Baby shrimp and scallops. Mussels. Salmon. Fusilli pasta. Need I say more? photo 3 (4)

Terrace Dining Room at Crowne Plaza

To start we had a beautiful, light, summer cocktail salad. This immediately put me on a beach! Cucumber Carpaccio: a vodka mint vinaigrette with grapefruit salsa. Presented so elegantly and left me ready for the next course!

photo 4 (3)I have been told that the Terrace knows their desserts so it was no surprise when we were greeted with the dark chocolate tart. Accompanied by vanilla sea salt and fresh berries.
photo 5 (1)The Palate

Serving up their classics for Dine Around Freddy, the soup of the day and caesar salad with their signature poached egg prepared us for our mains. This one in particular was my favourite because of the delicious seasonal hearty vegetables. Chicken supreme with mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, roasted potatoes, and pureed squash.
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540 Kitchen & Bar

Am I allowed to have a favourite? …because this is definitely it. 540’s dine around menu was perfect for a cold winters’ night! You will definitely have trouble choosing between their two main dishes.

Seared Atlantic salmon with spicy chorizo sausage and mussel risotto. YUM. So much flavour in every bite. The salmon was perfect and the mussels were like an added surprise!
photo 5How great is this presentation? The perfect portion of lamb shepherd’s pie with a delicious light side salad. That little pot tasted like 4 (1)

Are you hungry yet? With all the conversation, photos and food over, I do have one take home message that I wanted to end with: Not everyone can afford to eat out. If you can, it’s an event like this that really highlights why Fredericton is so great. We see some of the best restaurants in our community stepping up to the “plate” to take part in Dine Around Freddy, proceeds of which are being donated to Greener Village Community Food Centre. At GV, we strive to make good nutritious food available to everyone who needs it. So please, support the local businesses, know you are helping out a local not-for-profit and GO ENJOY THE GOOD FOOD!

Be sure to tweet, share, post and instagram photos of your experience with Dine Around Freddy!

Full list of menus and participating restaurants here:



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It’s that time of year!

It’s a beautiful September day. We’ve had sun and rain which has made our gardens prosper over the last few weeks! It has been a busy one! All areas of Greener Village are anxious to get Fall under way! Here’s whats happening around your community food centre…

Community Gardens- everyone is taking pride in their fruits of labour! We have seen so many happy families working on their plots, asking questions and enjoying the comfortable natural space that surrounds our raised beds!

Gardens Aug 9 2014 12

Greenhouses- the U-pick has been a huge success this year! Over 500 lbs of fresh vegetables have been given away to clients of the Food Bank. That dollar value equals approximately over $3300 when compared to supermarket prices… AND there is still so much more to be harvested! 


Clothing Boutique- Out with the Summer, in with the Fall! Next week we are having a $1 SALE on ALL CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR! Monday to Friday, September 8th-12th. Come one come all, we have sizes, styles and brands for everyone!

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School Supplies- Bring in your child’s school list of necessary supplies and we will do our best to fill it! We have backpacks to paper to markers to lunch boxes! Every list is different, so please bring in a list so we can better prepare you with everything you will need! We have had many donations and we are so grateful that we have the opportunity to help our community at this hectic time of year! Happy back to school!

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Food Distribution- We’ve added more choice! We want to promote healthy, nutritious meals and even better, ones that you can cook for yourself! We’ve added a YELLOW tag to our system, meaning that each family gets to choose which pack they want. Equipped with all the ingredients and a recipe. In August, we gave out 830+ packs alone! Not sure what i’m describing? Visit us to learn more about our food distribution and our healthy choice packs!

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Teaching Kitchen- Kate, our lead instructor in the kitchen, is at the NB-Exhibition all week long! She has been cooking up and serving soup on the spot. Promoting our programs and workshops, we are there to spread the information about GV. Visit us all week 2-4pm in the Community Demonstration Kitchen at the Capital Exhibit Center.

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Also, if you haven’t already heard, our teaching kitchen Guru, Kate MacKay, is now airing on Rogers TV!! For the year, you can catch her show (times below) on budget cooking in your very own kitchen! Good job Kate, we are so proud!


Last but not least, our OPEN HOUSE on OPEN FARM DAY NB is fast approaching. In partnership with Agricultural Alliance of NB, we are hosting farm day here at Greener Village on September 21st. Fun for the whole family! We have a ton of activities planned, critters to pet, information to share and locally grown delicious food samples just for YOU! We will also be hosting our second annual fundraising breakfast that morning at 11-1pm. This breakfast is only $5 and all proceeds help our programs at Greener Village. Hope to see you there!

 Open House Celebration

Thanks and happy harvest folks!


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Lettuce Share!

Our greenhouses are over producing, faster than we can keep up with and give out to our clients at the Food Bank. This gives us a huge opportunity to help others, and so we are sharing our produce with our neighbours, the Oromocto Food Bank! We hope that their clients enjoy the fresh salad greens like ours do! #peoplehelpingpeople #community

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Looking Back with Pride & Looking Forward with Passion

My time at Greener Village is almost finished for another summer 😦

While I was writing yesterday, I got a little nostalgic and ended up really looking back into how far the centre has come along since its move. I decided it would make an excellent post; gathering our past with pride and pursuing our future with passion.

We moved to this location in May 2012 (our first open day was the 28th of May 2012). Lots of clean up and renovations had to be done around the property so there wasn’t any gardening happening that first summer (I honestly don’t even know how much work had to be done). My first visit to the food bank was with a food drive in January 2013; I was amazed by the vision and goals that were set for the location. The teaching kitchen was barely started and the garden space and greenhouses were buried in snow, but I knew I wanted to be part of the project.

GV Time line

Before I began as a summer student last year, I was a volunteer in the gardens. We accomplished so more with the gardens last year, than I ever thought possible. I’m very thankful that I was able to return this year and continue to contribute to the growth of the gardens and this community.

I’ve gotten to meet so many unique and fantastic people while working in the gardens. Everyone has a story to share and I’ve been lucky enough to hear countless ones. Everyone brings something different to the gardens and leaves with something different.

GV Garden Story

In my first year, I came here missing my family farm and working in the great outdoors. I left feeling like I had found a new home and I was happy to find out that I loved gardening, not  because it was what we did to have food as a child, but because I enjoyed planning, planting, growing, and sharing the harvest.

I came back this year eager to plant again, but I didn’t really expect there to be much difference from the year before; maybe a few more beds and a few more workable rows in the greenhouse. Boy, was I wrong! A second greenhouse fully planted and growing, six new raised beds, the community garden off to an impressive start, and lots of things ready to start up next year.

So, this year, I’m leaving with projects and dreams for next year. I’m taking a stronger knowledge base with me and I have things I want to come back and accomplish.

– Briana

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Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.

– Dorothy Day

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Growing a Difference

Yesterday was a very busy and very rewarding day in the gardens.

An open day after a long weekend, and at the start of the month usually means a very busy day with lots of people. Yesterday was no exception!

The rewarding part was the amount of fresh produce that was picked by our clients. We had 68 pounds of fresh veggies go home with clients; that’s 10% of all that was produced last season out in only one day!!

Last year we had one greenhouse and the raised beds planted for clients to pick fresh vegetables and we produced approximately 680 pounds of fresh produce. This year we have two greenhouses running as well as some raised beds within the community garden. We’re looking forward to doubling our total production number this year.

For the rest of the season we’ll be running the greenhouses and our raised beds as a “U-pick” for clients of the food bank on our open days. This means we need volunteers to help welcome clients, tour them around the gardens, and record what’s harvested. If you’re interested in knowing more about what we’re doing at Greener Village and you’d like to volunteer some of your time contact Vadini, our Volunteer Coordinator:

There are still lots of challenges and bugs (metaphoric ones) to work out of our system, but everyone is really excited to have things growing. Everyone who visits the gardens are impressed with the size of the space we have for growing and they are very supportive of what we are trying to do with the new space.

Forgive me if this seems like too much, but I do believe in this. Every leaf of lettuce picked and every tomato grown makes a difference to someone in our community. Whether it’s having the access to fresh vegetables, the excitement of  a new experience, or the pride in seeing the results of hard work. It isn’t just lettuce, swiss chard, and cucumbers that grow in our gardens and greenhouses. We aren’t just harvesting ingredients for a salad. We’re growing knowledge and independence. We’re harvesting change and hope.

– Briana 🙂

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Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

– William James


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Amazing Things are Growing

Weather means more when you have a garden. There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.

~Marcelene Cox

IMG_5559My pole beans are starting to create the column I was hoping for; they aren’t as full as I’d like, but it’s been an excellent trial run for next year.

IMG_5556Our gourd has reached the roof of its trellis! We’ve had lots of fun showing off its progress to everyone who visits the garden.

IMG_5558And its starting to put out fruit!

IMG_5567We have a beautiful, volunteer sunflower growing in the front bed. By volunteer, I mean he grew all on his own from a seed that would have been dropped by the seven foot sunflower we had out front last year. I’m excited to see how tall this one will grow.




IMG_5523Greenhouse #2 is producing wonderfully. We’ve been picking off of it for the last two weeks and everyone is enjoying the lettuce and the experience. There’s nothing more calming than picking your dinner (or lunch).


A few of the tomatoes are starting to ripen! But we’ve also had some green ones go home for fried green tomatoes. I’ve never had friend green tomatoes, but those who love them are very excited to see the tomatoes growing so well.

IMG_5508We have a tiny little watermelon starting; it’s about the size of a quarter, but we’re all really excited about it.


IMG_5514Our beautiful swiss chard, which is no longer being guarded by wasps.


The corn, gourds, and cucumbers are putting out lots of beautiful green. I’m checking regularly (and some what patiently) waiting for the cucumbers to be big enough to pick!


Turnip or rutabaga? Can anyone tell me?


A surprise broccoli plant as well was found among my brussel sprouts.


I have never grown brussel sprouts in my life! I hadn’t even tried them until a year ago because my mother didn’t like them so we never grew up eating them. I discovered I adore them and learning to grow them has been a wonderful adventure and a great learning experience. They definitely require patience, but seeing the little bulbs starting is so exciting and rewarding for me!

They may be one of my favourite plants in the garden this year.


The garlic is ready to harvest and cure!

Our volunteers are really excited to help out with this. It’s going to be much easier than when I used to harvest it at home (we grow a lot of garlic!).

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Now on to all the flowers!

The earth laughs in flowers.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson






IMG_5529(I really love gladiolus)




IMG_5518– Briana

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Many Hands Make Light Work

Some days it never seems like there’s much to do in a garden, other days it seems like there’s more to do than can possibly be done. Last week, the Douglas Baptist Church Group (who have volunteered for the last two years) were back for their third year of week long volunteering.

Even in the rain these kids (and the adults) worked all day. We started in the Native Edible Shrubs and Trees; which desperately needed weeding and some re-mulching.

At the start of the week, this is what the Native Edible garden looked like this (see first picture).

This is how it looks now! (See second picture).

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It’s always a little hard to stay ahead of the weeds in the Native Edible, but with twenty or so people all working together, everything was finished in a little over two days.

We laid newspaper and hay down to help control the weeds as well as protect the soil from the harsh sun. We’ve been working hard to give the Native Edibles a boost  with a few doses of compost tea! We also had the group paint signs to identify each of the native shrubs!

We still have a little research and planning to do with the Native Edibles, but we’re very happy with how everything is coming along. It’s really exciting to see what is actually starting to grow and produce in the Native Edibles, the blueberries are actually putting out fruit and so are the Dewberries. They look so much like blackberries, it’s easy to confuse the two when you look just at the berries.




The next project we worked on was the surrounding garden area that was left from Green Village; my worker bees last year put a lot of effort into it , but we haven’t gotten to pay much attention to it this year because of starting the community garden, and getting the second greenhouse up and growing. They were excited to work with this new area; they helped prune, clean up, and open up the walking paths. We want to create a children’s’ pathway through the area to the gazebo with fun things for kids to find while they explore the pathways.



Some of the younger kids of the youth group got to do rock painting too. Everyone was very excited and interested in getting to play with paint. So at the end of the week to help show others that they lent their hands to Greener Village, we had them put a hand print on the first few beds in the community garden. It’s a tradition we’re going to continue on with until we cover all the beds with the helping hands that have contributed to the gardens and it’s a fun way to incorporate some art into the garden.


 I”m looking forward to next Monday because we will be having a whole rock painting event! It was something I wanted to do last year, but we ran out of time. The rocks that the church group painted are placed all over the garden and it’s a little like an Easter egg hunt; kids seems to really enjoy the added excitement to walking through the gardens. All the supplies will be provide, we have a shelter so even if it rains we can still paint.

So, here’s my push to get everyone out to this little event;

We Rock! Rock Painting Day

July 28th, 2014

From 10am-12

At Greener Village Community Garden

Add your touch to our garden; family fun for all ages

Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult

All supplies will be provided

Just wear something you don’t mind getting paint on

(just incase)


There, thanks for baring with me and I hope to see you in the garden on Monday!

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We also have some helpful animals around the garden. We’ve seen a lot of these little guys around the gardens in the last week (first picture). I’m not sure exactly what kind of amphibian they are, but they’re about the size of a dime and really cute. Nothing like the huge toad (he’s as big as my palm) who keeps hiding in the back and surprising me (second picture)! I moved him out to a nice safe and cool place today because he was stuck in one of my planting containers. I”m sure anyone who would have seen me would think I was crazy, since I was talking to him the whole way to our destination convincing him it was not a good idea to hop out while I was walking. He’s safe and sound in his new home now.

It’s great to see so much wildlife around the property, especially helpful ones and not ones that I need to worry about eating our plants.IMG_2561

ToadI think that’s all for now.

Stay cool

– Briana 🙂