Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Halifax Seaport Farmers Market

For weeks before I arrived in Nova Scotia, everyone was talking about how terrible the weather has been.  Rain, rain and more rain, with a good measure of cold mixed in.  My first day here I woke up to gorgeous sunshine and shimmering waters.  I spent the day in the garden and joined some friends for the Thursday night sailing races (as ballast!)--it was too nice a night not to go out on the water.  Friday was a bit less nice and then Saturday the reality of what people have been living with came home.  What a day!  Teeming rain all day and temps in the 50s.  Obviously, my golf game was not in the cards, so I decided to check out the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market, which opened last year.

I loved the old market (which is still open).  It is located in a former brewery in a neat stone building.  It was easy to get lost in there, with hallways jutting off in different directions and small rooms with only three or four vendors.  You always were turning a corner to a surprise.  I'm not sure why they decided to open the market at the Seaport, but it is definitely a much cleaner lay-out.  To call it a farmers market seems a bit of a misnomer, though.  It's really more of an artisans' market with some food products thrown in to round out the market's offerings. 

I did have a mission in mind when I set off on my outing.  I bought some belts at the market a couple of years ago and wear them constantly.  I was hoping that I could find the vendor and stock up on a couple more.  I made my way through the aisles looking at all the fun--and sometimes quite tempting--products.  Of course you can find flowers, produce, organic beef and chicken, and lots of sweets, including these beautifully displayed cupcakes.  You can grab lunch there, sampling some international cuisines that we don't get here in Chester.   I had a lovely Caribbean curry soup that really hit the spot on a cold and dreary day.
The market also boasts an assortment of more original products, ranging from doggie treats to pottery to handmade soaps.  I had to laugh when I came upon the "Weiner Man" display, and of course I asked whether this creation was in response to Congressman Weiner's recent indiscretions.  The vendor said it was not a new product, but that the controversy had certainly helped his business.  (There's always a silver lining!)  

I was just about to give up on my belts when I made my way up to the second floor where a few vendors are housed.  Success!     The belts are made from used clothing ("upcycled" is the favored term) and it was funny how some belts could be immediately associated with certain eras.  When I looked at some of the paisleys, I cringed, remembering some of the hideous dresses that we wore in the 80s.  After shaking it off, I bought a couple of belts to spice up my wardrobe and, mission accomplished, made my way to the door. 

On my way out, I noticed that there was a balcony to the outside.  I have to imagine that they have tables out there when it's nice, and I did see a reference to a rooftop cafe which was totally out of the question on this Saturday.  The rain had settled into a mist, so I popped out to check out the view.   Even on a dreary day, not too shabby.   All in all, not a bad way to spend my first Saturday morning in Nova Scotia. 

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