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Deconstructing Dinner: Halifax Awaits a World-Class Farmer's Market

In October 2009, Deconstructing Dinner descended upon the Halifax Farmers' Market. Founded in 1750, it is the oldest continuously running farmers' market in North America. The first market vendors were Acadian - the original European immigrants to the land.

In 1983, the vendors launched what is now a self financed cooperatively governed group of local producers, processors and artisans that has grown to over 200 vendors. The model is a unique one that ensures the market stays true to its roots as a food-focused venue.

With the rising demand for locally produced foods, the market has outgrown its current space and over the past 8 years has been working towards moving to a better location. That move is now expected to take place in June 2010.

Market management believes the new Seaport Market will be an ecological and cultural showpiece linking the Province's urban and rural economies in a seamless community focused on local food and sustainable principles. The market will be open six days a week at Pier 20, the busiest tourist entry point in the province, and it will be at the heart of the cultural, social and community centre that is emerging in the Halifax Seaport Development.

The building itself is expected to be the highest rated LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building on the eastern side of North America.


Fred Kilcup - general manager, Halifax Farmers' Market (Halifax, NS) -
The Halifax Farmer's Market has been operating since 1750, and is the oldest farmer's market in North America. With approximately 150 weekly vendors and up to 9,000 visitors on a busy day, it is a vibrant and bustling shopping environment.

Gordon Michael - executive director, Farmers' Market Investment Co-operative - (Halifax, NS) -
The FMIC is seeking to raise $2.25 million from the people of Nova Scotia to help fund the new Seaport Market. The model is a unique example of how local food projects can receive funding from the public at large.

Richard Rand - farmer, Foxhill Cheese - (Port Williams, NS) -
Fox Hill Farm, a sixth generation family farm nestled in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, is home to Fox Hill Cheese House. Specializing in aged and specialty cheddar, plain and herbed havarti and gouda, quark and quark dips, fresh curds, feta, Parmesran (a Parmesan style cheese), natural yogurt, and gelato.

Jude Major - farmer/pet baker, Katie's Farm - (Clam Harbour, NS) -
A micro producer of Certified Organic Treats for pets. Katie's Farm is Canada's first Certified Organic bakery for pets. And it's the only operation to grow its own ingredients.

Jogi Mullner - baker (Nova Scotia)
Jogi and his wife are immigrants from Germany and bake breads and blackforest squares in true German style.

Sass Minard - member, The Grainery Food Co-op - (Halifax, NS) -
The Grainery Food Co-Operative is a non-profit, volunteer run organization dedicated to making local and organic food affordable and available to Halifax communities.

Peter Darnell - owner, Indian Point Marine Farms - (Indian Point, NS) -
Indian Point Marine Farms Ltd. has been growing mussels in the waters of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia since 1982.

They are a small family-owned business.

Bill McKibben - author, Deep Economy - (Ripton, VT) -
In March 2007 McKibben published Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. It addresses what the author sees as shortcomings of the growth economy and envisions a transition to more local-scale enterprise. Bill was interviewed in 2007 on Corporate Change Radio and a segment from that show is featured here.

You can download this episode here.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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