Summer is here, although the sunshine is taking its own sweet time in appearing and we're back from vacation, rested, but not tanned....oh well.
Crummy, drizzly, foggy (not the romantic ocean mists I've mentioned before), damp, dreary weather kept us close to home for the last week of our holiday and I have mixed emotions about that. Naturally, I'd have preferred to drive around this absolutely beautiful province and stopping at farmers' markets along the journey. But staying in Halifax led to a wonderful find....the newest farmers market in Halifax- it's only been around for four weeks! - and is a first for Nova Scotia.
Partners for Care is the results of a brilliant partnership between Capital Health and the Farmers Market Association of Nova Scotia. Every Friday from 10-2, on the lawn of QEII Health Science Centre in downtown Halifax, there's a city of tents....okay a small town of tents. But what a fantastic concept.... Hospital staff and neighbourhood residents get the opportunity to buy fresh, local produce, fish and meat at an outdoor market. It's also a perfect way to learn about what we're eating with the opportunity to hear right from the source.
Like fresh pressed apple juice from organic, fungicide resistant apples that require no spraying. Even though I'm not supposed to have juice this week (South Beach Diet, Phase One), I had to have a sip - delicious - just the right amount of crisp tang and sweetness.
Elmridge Farm, an organic farm from Centreville in the Annapolis Valley had the most beautiful strawberries. I do hope there will be some around in another week or two when I'm done with SBD, Phase I!
Everything is pesticide free and gorgeous! Just look at these awesome Spring Onions...
and these peas and beans. The carrots and beets at the top of this page will have to wait as well, and I will definitely be back for them.
But fresh fruit and veggies are not the only stars at the market...
Happy Granola - even sounds wonderful - you know it's going to be fantastic once it hits your mouth. Perfect for breakfast, snacks and...whenever you have a craving for a tasty treat. It's also on my "wait until Phase Two" list. Lots of delicious ingredients, like dried blueberries, dried cranberries, dried cherries, pumpkin seeds, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, cardamom...the list is endless and I can't wait to give it a try. You can find Patty here on Fridays and at the Halifax Farmers Market on Saturday mornings too.
Pat's Preserves from the Eastern Passage (along the Atlantic coast just the other side of Dartmouth and home to surfing beaches) has a wonderful selection of jams, preserves and pickles that are irresistible...which is why this photo is taken from a distance.
Check out Bohemian Bubbles from Falmouth,NS (on the right) for goat's milk soaps and lotions and Farmasea for organic, handcrafted salves and ointments.
All in all...kudos to the people who thought this venture up. What a wonderful way to educate and feed the neighbourhood!
I'd love to hear about any such markets in your neck of the woods. And if you're interested in eating local - and you should be - everything tastes so much better!...you can find out more here at the EatRealEatLocal website. Throughout the summer, I'll be working with the Eat Real Eat Local Campaign to highlight wonderful local Nova Scotian fare...markets, restaurants and festivals...stay tuned!