MARKET FRESH

A Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia Blog

2016 Atlantic Canadian Farmers’ Market Conference

acorn-2015-3On November 28th, we will host the 2016 Atlantic Canadian Farmers’ Market Conference in Moncton, New Brunswick. This one-day bilingual conference is the only of its kind in all of eastern Canada, bringing together vendors, market managers, organizers and partners from NS, NB, PEI and NFLD for a fantastic day of learning and networking.

We are once again hosting this one-day conference in partnership with the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) and their annual three-day conference which takes place November 28th-30th.

Specifically, the Atlantic Canadian Farmers’ Market Conference takes place on the first day of the ACORN Conference. Farmers’ market vendors, volunteers and staff can register for the one-day farmers’ market conference at a cost of $40 (FMNS member markets and their vendors) or $50 (non-members) while ACORN conference attendees, registered for the three-day conference, can move between the farmers’ market conference and the larger ACORN conference at the ACORN registration rate.

Registration is now open for the Atlantic Canadian Farmers’ Market Conference and space is limited.

View this information in both English and French here.

Workshops:

(#1.) Farmers’ Market Fundamentals

This hour-long session will cover the basics – from formulas for market growth and product mix to research on why markets fail and how your market can thrive. Michelle Wolf, armed with more than 20 years of farmers’ market experience and expertise, will open the session. Keltie Butler, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia, will follow alongside two Market Managers. With all that, we’ll still leave plenty of time for Q&A.

(#2.) Drawing Customers In: Marketing & Promotions for the Farmers’ Market Sector

In this one-hour workshop, we’ll take a practical look at what brings people to farmers’ markets generally, what draws people to specific booths at a farmers’ market (including your own), and how to build your farmers’ market business without relying on the market itself to find new customers for you. Farmers’ market selling is unique – even from other direct marketing approaches. Find out how to create a farmers’ market promotions plan that is based on best practices and that takes advantage of our sector’s unique – and powerful – value proposition.

(#3.) Business Skills & Smart Habits for Growing a Successful Business or Farmers’ Market

In this hour-long workshop for business owners, market vendors, and farmers’ market managers, we’ll dive into planning and business skills – concepts, habits and best practices. We’ll explore time management ideas, what work-life balance means for seasonal businesses, how working from home can be a blessing or a burden (and what to do about it), building good work habits, planning for success, understanding the difference between a hobby and a business, and cultivating a winning business mindset.

(#4.) Our Panel of Experts Speaks to Farmers’ Market Vendor Success

This one-hour session will bring together the knowledge and experience of both market managers and vendors thanks to our panel of 5 regional experts. Sharing their insight, and offering advice, this bilingual panel will focus on vendor success, avoiding all-too-common mistakes, and identifying opportunities in the marketplace.

Speaker Bios:

pm officeMichelle Wolf is a certified coach, education trainer, and Director of Training for Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia. She has worked with over 200 farm owners, managers, and entrepreneurs to help them grow successful markets and businesses through her extremely popular training programs and as private clients. Michelle owned and operated a profitable farm-based herb company for 20+ years and sold at farmers’ markets for 18 years, also managing a mid-size farmers’ market for six years and winning Market Manager of the Year. Michelle speaks at direct marketing, farmers’ market, organic agriculture and sustainable lifestyle conferences throughout North America, and we are proud that she is one of our own. She is a dynamic, engaging workshop facilitator with a wealth of organic production and agricultural business experience, and a sought-after motivational speaker on business and personal development topics. She holds a Master’s Degree from York University, is former president of Seeds of Diversity Canada, and now runs a training consulting company at www.WholeGreenHeart.com .

img_0733It is fair to say that Keltie Butler has her hands in many local pies. The Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia, Keltie has previously worked with the Food Action Committee of the Ecology Action Centre as well as Toronto Refugee Community Non-Profit Home and Housing and as an instructor with St. Lawrence College, teaching within the Sustainable Local Food Certificate online program. Thanks to many years of apprenticing and working on small-scale organic farms, as well as Common Roots Urban Farm, Keltie has more than whet her appetite for agriculture. In fact, in 2015 she and her partner Michael began market gardening on borrowed land, operating a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) of 17 shares in their first season. And, this fall, Keltie and her partner purchased their own farm property in Scotsburn Nova Scotia. At the heart of her love of local food and farming is the unstoppable ability of food to bring people together regardless of language, culture, or age. Keltie is passionate about community development, food security, agriculture and she has a serious sweet tooth.

Cooking Amid a Hot Summer In Nova Scotia

Wow, it is summer in Nova Scotia and it is hot! I don’t know about you but I am feeling resistant to turning on stove – let along the oven. Of course, the BBQ is a great option on these warm summer evenings but what about cookin’ something up without any heat at all? Now, that sounds appealing!

Farmers’ Market Tomatoes with Basil and Mozzarella

  1. Cut ripe tomatoes (roughly 1lb) into thick slices and lay then on a beautiful wooden cutting board or a serving plate.
  2. In a small mixing bowl or medium mason jar, whisk (or in the case of a mason jar – with a lid on – shake) 1tbsp of balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp of quality olive oil. Drizzle mixture over the slices of tomato.
  3. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  4. Top each slice of tomato with a slice of mozzarella – you will need about 1lb of mozzarella and you can cut it thinly.
  5. Now, for the piece de resistance, top each with a full, fresh basil leaf. You will need about 1 cup of basil leaves, loosely packed when measuring, for this.
  6. Bon appetit! Serves 4 as a tapas.

Tomato Bruschetta with Toasted Baguette
Okay, admittedly this recipe involves a toaster…

heirlooms-10

  1. Chop a mix of tomatoes, totally roughly 2lb. [Really any ripe, in-season tomatoes work beautifully with Roma tomatoes and a rainbow of cherries tomatoes being the traditional choice.]
  2. Mix the chopped tomatoes with 3/4tsp of sea salt in a non-metal bowl and set aside for 30 minutes or so.
  3. Pour the salted tomatoes, which will now be sitting in their own juices thanks to the salt, into a colander and let the liquid drain out.
  4. Chop two cloves of garlic – or more if you like – as well as some red onion (a single small red onion or half of a larger red onion).
  5. Combine the tomatoes, garlic and onion in a bowl.
  6. Add pepper to taste (try 1/4tsp) and 1/2tsp of either red vine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Also chop and add 1tbsp of fresh basil.
  7. Slice a baguette and toast, serving the warm bread alongside a bowl of bruschetta.

Juliette’s Summer BBQ Salad

This is an outstanding summer salad recipe – a specialty of my good friend Juliette. Her recipes never come with exact amounts – she is just that great of a cook! Luckily, this is a forgiving recipe so use what you have on hand, favour your favourite ingredients and just experiment.

mushrooms

  • Grill crimini mushrooms whole, cutting them in half or quarters after the fact. Add any of the juice that spills out when cutting into the salad!
  • Grill thin, long slices of zucchini – use green or yellow or a mix of both. After grilling, cut into chucks. Again, add any juice that spills out when cutting into the salad.
  • Char the skin of red pepper/s and then place them in a paper bag or sealed container so that they sweat – for easy skin removal. Remove skins and cut into chunks.
  • Half or slice a mix of rainbow cherry tomatoes.
  • Cut an avocado or two into chunks.
  • Mix all these ingredients into a big salad bowl and toss.
  • Mix up a salad dressing of apple cider vinegar, a splash of olive oil (you don’t need much in these recipe), some lemon juice, salt and pepper. Fresh cilantro is a great addition as well.
  • Serve warm.

Not Buying Local Meat? What a Misteak!

LanceatMarketI know, I really butchered the title using a meat pun didn’t I? But let’s talk about local meat.

The local food movement continues to grow and gain momentum as everyone from chefs to school children, families to new entrepreneurs, re-acquaint themselves with the kitchen, with the seasons and with fresh fruits and vegetables. But where does local meat fit into the picture?

Meat can contribute to a well-balanced healthy diet and we are fortunate enough to have a fantastic community of hardworking, local meat producers in our province. In fact, locally produced meat in Nova Scotia can include beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, goat, duck, geese, rabbit, llama, and wild boar. Surprised?

To get more information on the local meat industry in Nova Scotia, I reached out to livestock farmer Lance Bishop of Wild Mountain Farm. Wild Mountain Farm is located in Baxter’s Harbour about 30km north of Wolfville. Lance’s farm supports the idea of animals being raised in a more natural and respectful way and offers grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork and lamb, and free-range chickens. Among other things, I asked Lance why these practices for raising animals are important to him, what the health benefits are and, of course, for some of his cooking tips and tricks.

Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS): What was it about farming and the meat industry that led you to choose to pursue this career path?

lance and kathleen and cowsLance Bishop (LB): I grew up on a kind of a small-scale farm where I had naturally just fell in love with the lifestyle and the cattle. As I started to choose my first career – it was to be involved with conservation and wildlife biology – I always kind of panged to be around cattle again. So, at one point when I was about 30 years old, I decided to buy cattle and farm them in a way that was as consistent with conservation and sustainability as possible. One of my drivers was to have a better connection with the food that I ate and allow for that connection to be available for other people.

FMNS: Why is it important to you to raise your meat the way you do – i.e. grass fed cattle, pasture-raised lamb and pork, and free-range chickens?

Lance and SheepLB: I think the animals themselves have a better life. For me personally I actually ended up spending 11 years of my life as a vegetarian because I didn’t like the thought of eating animals from industrial agriculture. The only way I can really reconcile myself eating meat is to know that the animals’ lives aren’t permanent – like humans – and that they at least lived in as natural a way as possible and in such a way that they experience a little bit of joy. Also, by raising animals in the ways in which they historically lived, from an evolutionary perspective, tends to lead to food products for humans that are the most appropriate for our bodies. For example, grass-fed beef has a ratio of 1:1 for omega 6 to 3 in the fat compared to grain-finished beef which tends to have a ratio of 6-10:1 for omega 6 to 3. Another big reason is because pasture-based agriculture can play a really important role in reversing climate change in as much as grasslands can sequester and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that has largely gotten to elevated levels due to industrial tillage-based agriculture and chemical fertilizers. The last reason is really just because it feels right to me to be in that kind of context with those kinds of animals living in a natural way.

FMNS: Are there any additional health or nutrition benefits from eating meat raised in these conditions that consumers may be interested to know?

LB: Yes, the livestock products tend to be much more nutritionally dense, measurably so, and the eggs with higher levels of essential vitamins, minerals and fats. The meats tend to have much healthier fat profiles and nutritional profiles in general. Another example would be conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is found in grass-fed ruminant animals and is now known to be a superfood for humans – it is about ten times higher in grass-fed ruminants compared to ruminants that are fed a high grain diet.

Note: The word “ruminant” comes from the Latin ruminare, which means “to chew over again”. A ruminant is a mammal with hooves and a complicated system of stomach compartments whose digestion works by chewing partly digested food a second time in order to soften it. Cows, sheep, goats and deer are all ruminants.

FMNS: We always hear of eating fruits and vegetables when they’re in season. Is this also the case for meat? Do different kinds of meat have different seasons? What is each season of the year like on a livestock farm?

LB: Poultry, in particular, that are raised on pasture – so chicken and turkey meat, ducks – the production season is always in the green months of the year. That’s why after the first of December, chicken and turkey tends to be for sale frozen.

With grass-fed beef, it is easiest to feed the animals – such that they become fat, juicy and tender – during the summertime. The fall, then, tends to be an easier time to have an abundance of these kinds of products available. However, many farmers have figured out how to store the grass through the winter – of an adequate high quality in the form of hay, haylage and silage – such that these animals can be available fresh year-round. But in a small-scale operation it tends to be much more realistic for the farmer to kill and freeze the animals quickly to preserve the meat and preserve its quality.

With pigs that are raised on pastures, their lifespan tends to be about 6-8 months so it’s much better done just during the warmer months. Pigs don’t particularly enjoy the outside in the cold weather; they need to be housed properly in that time.

FMNS: You raise a few different breeds of cattle on your farm. Do the characteristics between these breeds differ, both in terms of their habits when they’re alive and the taste of the meat produced?

LB: There are some pretty substantial differences between breeds. Some of the best tasting breeds tend to be the least productive breeds from a modern cost perspective and therefore we try to combine the good tasting breeds with higher producing breeds to get a great product that’s affordable for customers. Within breeds there’s a lot of variability as well. For cattle, for example, we’re always searching for animals that are appropriate for pasture-based production which tend to be smaller sized animals that grow up fairly quickly and fatten fairly easily on a lower input diet such as grass.

FMNS: If a customer is making the switch to start using grass-fed beef, are there any cooking differences they should be aware of or any tips you might have?

LB: High quality grass-fed beef is comparable to high quality conventional beef in terms of cooking. It has more to do with the amount of fat that is in the beef. If the meat has lots of fat then it tends to be much easier to cook but if it’s a particularly lean product, then one should tend to cook it on a lower heat for a longer time.

FMNS: Increasingly, we seem to be seeing more people eager to try new types and varieties of fruits and vegetables, but when it comes to meat, folks often seem more hesitant. What would you say to someone who is unsure about experimenting with new types of meat in their kitchen?

LB: Don’t let the grocery stores’ bland flavours make you think that their foods are normal. Anything that’s raised on a pasture, compared with its industrialized modern efficient counterpart, is going to have higher levels of bioflavonoids which to most people expresses as having a unique, intense, and delicious flavour. When you’ve lived your whole life never having experienced true natural flavours, it can be a challenge to ones’ expectations when they take their first bite. I would say the best that we can do is try to keep our minds and our palettes open and experience how awesome natural food can really be.

FMNS: Are there any specific cuts of meat you would recommend?

LB: My biggest suggestion would be to let local meat cooking become a place where you explore the complete animal. Sometimes we fall too quickly into having a few good experiences and then we try to stay in our safe zone and buy the same cuts all the time but the reality of supporting local farmers is that their animals come in a vast variety of different cuts and these cuts, and when combined with Google recipe searches, can result in an amazing discovery of new and exciting flavours and textures of local food – that would be my recommendation.

From someone with a nutrition background and a plan to pursue a career in dietetics, I was interested in doing a bit more research on the nutritional value of grass-fed beef and was pleased to find that evidence supports Lance’s claims. For example, a summary on CLA from Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (2016) stated that ruminant animals, such as cattle, are a source of CLA and the bioavailability of CLA from these animals is largely dependent on their diet. A study by McAfee, McSorley, Cuskelly et al. (2010) found that consumers who ate red meat from grass-fed cattle, compared to concentrate-fed cattle, had higher blood levels of omega 3. Another study also found there to be more omega 3 fats in the grass-fed beef, compared to the grain-fed beef, regardless of the cut of meat (Ponnampalam, Mann & Sinclair, 2006).

Speaking of cuts of meat – pay attention to what cuts you’re buying, especially if you’re on a budget as some cuts are more affordable than others. If your recipe isn’t clear on what cut of meat to use, or if you’re looking for a cheaper cut to use in its place, don’t hesitate to ask your local meChris The Flying Apronat producer or butcher for advice. If on a budget, you can also consider buying in bulk and freezing meat or instead of buying separate pieces, like chicken breasts, buy the whole chicken and learn how to cut it down properly yourself. You can even take cooking classes to learn more about cooking with inexpensive cuts of meat through the Flying Apron Cookery. In fact, they are offering a class in September on how to cook delicious meals using inexpensive cuts of chicken. Check out the link: http://flyingaproncookery.com/event/meat-on-the-cheap-chicken-demo-cooking-class/.

Now that you know the facts, be sure to check out the great products your local meat vendors have on offer at the farmers’ market. Pick up some veggies while you’re there as well and try making an entirely locally sourced meal for dinner! If you’d like more information on Wild Mountain Farm, visit their website at https://wild-mountain-farm.myshopify.com/. You can find Lance at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning as well as the Spryfield Farmers’ Market every other Sunday. Wild Mountain Farm even offers a delivery service via their website. And for more information on other cooking classes offered by the Flying Apron Cookery, visit their website at http://flyingaproncookery.com/calendar/.

I hope we’ve whet your appetite for local meat! See you at the farmers’ market.

 

Written by: Laura Woodworth, St. Francis Xavier University Dietetic Intern

References:

McAfee, A. J., McSorley, E. M., Cuskelly, G. J., Fearon, A. M., Moss B. W., Beattie, J. A., Wallace, J. M. W., Bonham, M. P., & Strain, J. J. (2010). Red meat from animals offered a grass diet increases plasma and platelet n-3 PUFA in healthy consumers. British Journal of Nutrition, 105(1), 8-89. doi:10.1017/S0007114510003090

Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition. (2016). Conjugated linoleic acid. Retrieved from Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition website: http://www.pennutrition.com.libproxy.stfx.ca/KnowledgePathway.aspx?kpid=14500&trid=14516&trcatid=38

Ponnampalam, E.N, Mann, N.J., & Sinclair, A. J. (2006). Effect of feeding systems on omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid and trans fatty acids in Australian beef cuts: potential impact on human health. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 15(1), 21-29. Retrieved from http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw.libproxy.stfx.ca/server/APJCN/15/1/21.pdf

One More Reason To Fall In Love With Cape Breton

rhubardThe Cabot Trail, world-class golf courses, beautiful beaches, historic sites, amazing music, great people – these are just a small handful of Cape Breton’s qualities that draw people in to visit from all over the world and what makes the locals want to stay on the island. Another splendid attraction Cape Breton has to offer? A number of charming farmers’ markets! Four of our favourite farmers’ markets call the island home – the Cape Breton Farmers’ Market in Sydney, the Inverness Village Market, the Mabou Farmers’ Market, and the bi-weekly Port Hawkesbury & Area Community Market. Each of these markets offer their own unique atmosphere and they contribute to Cape Breton’s distinct culture and strong sense of community.

Cape Breton Farmers’ Market
Located at:
340 Keltic Drive, Coxheath
Market day
: Saturdays 8:30am – 1pm, year-round.

IMG_2002Market personality: The Cape Breton Farmers’ Market is a year-round affair with more than 30 full-time vendors and many more part-timers’. This time of year is perhaps our favourite with lots of vendors – new and old – to be found both inside and outside the market. The newest addition – at the market this Saturday, June 18th for the first time – is a baker serving up gluten free and diabetic friendly treats and baked goods.

Many farmers’ markets across NS include live music as it adds to the great atmosphere of a market and invites you to stick around, greet your neighbours and tap your feet. It will come as no surprise that the Cape Breton Farmers’ Market shines when it comes to live music!

Groceries, gifts, music and more, the Cape Breton Farmers’ Market is a long standing tradition with over 30 years under their belt! And, if you are looking to try something new, to switch things up from the same old pizza take-out routine, then we recommend digging in to the diversity of delicious, ready-to-eat ethnic foods available at the market, from African to Italian, Pakistani to German.

Inverness Village Market
Located at:
40 Mill Road, Inverness
Market day:
Saturdays 11am – 2pm, June 25th – August 27th

IMG_0701Market personality: The Inverness Village Market kicks off their season in just over a week, on Saturday, June 25th. This market, run by the Cottage Workshop, has a brand new home at 20 Mill Road, just behind the legion – thanks to the famous Chase the Ace in Inverness this past winter! Our biggest tip? Go to the Inverness Village Market hungry – ready to dig in to a bowl of the Cottage Workshop’s famous seafood chowder! And, Inverness isn’t too far from from another market town, Mabou, so if you are vacationing or live in the area, you can make it a weekend affair by visiting the Inverness Village Market on Saturday, and the Mabou Farmers’ Market on Sunday! We promise you will be well fed!

Mabou Farmers’ Market
Located at:
Mabou Arena, 186 Mabou Harbour Road
Market day:
Sundays 11am – 2pm, June 1st – October 15th

IMG_2021Market personality: This season, the Mabou Farmers’ Market turns 9 and boy how the market has grown! Nine years ago, the market started with just 6 vendors and about 100 loyal customers. Now, the market is home to as many as 58 vendors and serves a regular 900 customers per market day! The Mabou Farmers’ Market kicked off their season earlier this month, so no need to wait – stop by this Sunday! Our recommendation? Pick up a loaf of traditional German bread and bite into a fresh baked pretzel right there on the spot! Don’t miss the handmade Syrian chocolates, candies and baklava. And, if it is seafood you are after, you’ll be thrilled to find fresh, local oysters as well as – new this season – Cape Breton lobster! If you are on a road trip across the island, this market makes an ideal pit stop – located on the midpoint of Cape Breton’s world famous Ceilidh Trail.

Port Hawkesbury Community Area Market
Located at: Civic Centre, 606 Reeves Street, Port Hawkesbury
Market day:
Saturdays 10am – 2pm, June 11th – October 15th bi-weekly.

greenMarket personality: By popular demand, the Port Hawkesbury and Area Community Market is back operating at the Civic Centre this season – a great spot for a great market. The market runs every second Saturday, making June 25th your next opportunity to shop the market. Food trucks are a great addition to a farmers’ market and this market knows it. Find “Stand and Stuff Your Face” food truck (home of the double grilled cheese cheesy burger) each market day at the Civic Centre along with a much, MUCH more! If you’re making your way to Cape Breton from the mainland, Port Hawkesbury will greet you just on the other side of the causeway. The farmers’ market will be full of smiling faces, friendly folks, delicious food and unique craft. Don’t miss it.

Want to know more?
Wondering what’s in season and available at a farmers’ market near you? Find, and keep in touch, with these great farmers’ markets using Facebook. But, consider this your warning – do not scroll through farmers’ market photos on an empty stomach!

Cape Breton Farmers’ Market (Sydney): https://www.facebook.com/CBFarmersMarket/?fref=ts
Inverness Village Market: https://www.facebook.com/InvernessVillageMarket/?fref=ts
Mabou Farmers’ Market: https://www.facebook.com/maboufarmersmarket/?fref=t
Port Hawkesbury & Area Community Market: https://www.facebook.com/PortHawkesburyCommunityMarket/?fref=ts

 

Written by: Laura Woodworth, St. Francis Xavier University Dietetic Intern

 

Young Farmers Weigh In On The Future of Farming in Nova Scotia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Young Farmers Weigh In On The Future of Farming in Nova Scotia

June 7, 2016 (Halifax, N.S.) – Last month, the Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) interviewed a selection of current and new farmers about the future of farming in Nova Scotia and the role farmers’ markets can play.

With the average age of Nova Scotian farmers at 55.4 years old according to Stats Canada, and calls for increased food production and consumption in both the the provincially adopted Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act (EGSPA) and the Ivany Report, FMNS wanted to take a closer look at the experiences of young farmers in Nova Scotia.

They shared quotes, images, and advice from these interviews through their social media channels last month, and invited two young farmers to showcase images from a day in their life on their @MarketFreshNS Instagram account.

One of the recurring topics that arose from these interviews was the role Farmers’ Markets play in fostering young farmers.

Susan teBogt, a young farmer in Onslow, Nova Scotia, says that farmers’ markets are playing a key role in supporting the next generation of farmers by providing infrastructure for direct to consumer sales and relationships, as well as opportunity for start-up and small business incubation.

“Selling direct [to customers] at a farmers’ market is one of the best things a young farmer can do,” teBogt says.

teBogt grew up on a family farm, and began her own farm business at the of age 18. She and her partner Fabian Hamilton now raise grass-fed beef and lamb, pasture raised pork, turkey, eggs and chicken, selling their products at the Truro Farmers’ Market.

This sentiment is echoed by Jocelyn Durston, co-owner of Seven Acres Farm.

“Farmers’ markets offer a low-cost, low-pressure venue to build relationships with customers and explore market potential,” says Durston.

Durston and her partner Chris Kasza moved to Nova Scotia from British Columbia, in search of farmland. Now in their second year of farming outside of Canning, Seven Acres Farm sells at the Tantallon Village Farmers’ Market and the Wolfville Farmers’ Market.

“I love farmers’ markets and likely wouldn’t be where I am as a self-employed farmer without them” Durston says.

Keltie Butler, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia, feels that farmers’ markets undoubtedly play a role in increasing local agriculture production and consumption.

“Farmers’ Markets offer extraordinary access to delicious, fresh, healthy, local food. They provide communities with agricultural awareness and invite relationship between producer and consumer.” Butler says.

The Provincial Government, under EGSPA, has set a goal that by the year 2020, 20% of the food purchased in Nova Scotia will be produced in Nova Scotia. The Ivany Report echoes and furthers this goal, calling for a doubling of the value of agricultural products produced in Nova Scotia for the local market.

Courtney Webster, a young farmer and co-owner of Olde Furrow Farm in the Annapolis Valley, would also like to see this goal achieved.

“I wish customers could really see how much impact their purchases make. Some years you squeak by, and think – thank god that guy had to buy 50lbs of pickling cucumbers – now we have enough to pay the light bill!” Webster says.

Webster and her husband Adam sell their produce at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, where they are able to speak directly with customers.

“Through the sharing of education on the benefits of purchasing a local product, consumers can understand that they are helping in more ways than one when choosing local.” Webster says.

Durston echoes Courtney’s sentiment. “I’d love to challenge Nova Scotians to commit to doing their grocery shopping at a farmers’ market once a week for a month – and using this as an opportunity to see how eating in season can be so satisfying and how the quality of the food compares to what is found elsewhere.”

For more on this story, visit the Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia blog: http://farmersmarketsnovascotia.com/2016/05/10/meet-3-young-women-farming-in-nova-scotia/

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About Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia
Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) is a cooperative of certified farmers’ markets spanning across the province. Since 2004, FMNS has been working on behalf of farmers’ markets and their vendors, producers and artisans. We support our markets by building the capacity of the sector through leadership, province-wide marketing, professional development, advocacy and networking opportunities.

About Your Local Farmers’ Market
To learn more about a farmers’ market in Nova Scotia, and to set up interviews with market staff and local vendor producers, please contact the FMNS office.

Contacts
Keltie Butler, Executive Director
Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative
Office: (902) 425-9776
Cell: (902) 830-4113
Email: fmns@farmersmarketsnovascotia.ca
www.farmersmarketsnovascotia.ca

Susan teBogt
Wild Pasture Farm
Truro Farmers’ Market
Email: wildpasturefarm@gmail.com
http://www.wildpasturefarm.net/

Jocelyn Durston
Seven Acres Farm
Tantallon Village Farmers’ Market & Wolfville Farmers’ Market
Email: jocelyndurston@gmail.com
http://www.sevenacresfarm.ca/

Courtney Webster
Olde Furrow Farm
Wolfville Farmers’ Market
Email: oldefurrowfarmers@gmail.com
http://www.oldefurrowfarm.com/