The sun was shining, people were smiling and The Fine Tuners were givin’ out the fiddle tunes (their CD, Anchor’s Away, is well worth buying). The new Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market* in Nova Scotia’s capital city had just opened and I wanted to check out the scene.
The scene, it was a-flourishing. At 9:00 am, the sustainable seaport building at Pier 20 – the grey water is recycled through the toilets, for example – was jam packed with Halifaxonians (is that right?) picking up their fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, Acadian cuisine and local wine.
“This is more of the place to see and be seen,” Chef Dennis Johnston of Fid Restaurant tells me. But it’s business, too, just on a Maritime level. Dennis pulls up his Volvo station wagon every morning to buy fresh produce from the farmers themselves for his restaurant: “I know the names of some of their dogs,” he points out, reiterating the way he does business.
This isn’t the location of the original Halifax market, though. That one, the longest running in North America, still takes place every Saturday at the historic Brewery Market, although with less than half of the vendors. As prices for the new market went up, some vendors decided to stay put.
I chatted with some of them while winding through the labyrinth of rooms (and buying some fantastic spices from Tandoor Spice Blends), expecting them to be bitter about the new market hiking up the price to sell their goods. I was wrong. Most were happy to have more space at Brewery Market, dealing with fewer crowds and actually selling more because there was less competition.
The Brewery Market takes place every Saturday from 7:00 am – 1:00 pm. The new Halifax Seaport Market will run on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and then expand to everyday, year round.
Read more articles on Halifax here.