Arts & Culture

The Halifax Farmers’ Market experience

A Saturday spent at the Seaport market

The Halifax Farmers’ Market experiencephoto by : Cameron Edwards
written by Katie Keizer
October 14, 2016 6:05 pm

There are some things that are quintessentially Haligonian, and making a morning trip down to the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is one of them.

The prospect of waking up before noon on the weekend can be daunting for a student, but it can be worth it if you do.

Armed only with my wallet and ravenous appetite, I went down to the market located along the water’s edge, directly between the boardwalk and Pier 21.

A mixture of fresh aromas hit me as soon as I walked in – a combination of fresh bread, seasoned barbeque, sugared donuts, and just a hint of curry wafting through the air.

It’s a scent that should confuse the brain’s senses but left my mouth watering for more.

I joined the other market shoppers in the current of organized chaos that wound around the stalls, taking a lap of the marketplace.

There is no shortage of options to pick from at the market.

Once I bought a gargantuan Montreal smoked meat sandwich and took a seat, I started to process the market and noticed a number of things in the bustling atmosphere.

One, the size of the building is astonishing – it holds over 250 vendors on Saturdays when it’s open and also includes built-in shops and a restaurant. It has a very modern design, but melds perfectly with the historical brick buildings of the Seaport District that surrounds it.

The vendors’ stands are all located inside, allowing the market to operate year-round.

The main floor has food stands, with all kinds of fresh produce waiting for purchase. Whether you’re looking for sushi, German desserts, West African stews, or local wines, there is a stall selling it.

The second and third floors are where you can pick up a handmade dog toy, jewelry or leatherworks as they cater more to the crafters and artisans stands.

It seemed as though everyone in Halifax was at the market, and the two cruise ships docked behind the building added an additional bustle to the crowd.

People of all ages, shapes and sizes greeted each other in multiple languages, sitting among friends, and introducing much younger and smaller Haligonians to the community.

Tourists remarked on how amazing the market atmosphere was- I had to agree with them.

The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is the oldest continuously operating farmers market in North America. Opened by royal proclamation in 1750, the market has always stood as a symbol of tradition and community for the city.

Today, it also stands as a symbol of culture, where the differences among people and the differences among wares offered represent their distinct cultures, and yet, work in combination with the rest.

The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Information on vendors, events, and their workshops are on the Seaport Farmers’ Market website.

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