Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday at the Market - Across the Bridge

View of Halifax from Alderley Landing, Dartmouth

One of the Tall Ships in town, barely visible through the fog. Let me explain my adventure....

When we are in town (Halifax, Nova Scotia, for newcomers here), I love to visit the Halifax Farmers' Market and it's been a while since I've been...what with holidays and visits to camp to see our angels. I've been itching to return. That said, there is another Saturday Farmer's Market just across the Halifax Harbour in Dartmouth. But first let me tell you about my mystical journey to get there.
I've often mentioned the Nova Scotian fog, how romantic and mystical it is (That's one of the churches in Mahone Bay along the Lighthouse Route). It always reminds me of one of my favorite novels...The Mists of Avalon, the mythical land in the time of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table.

This time the fog was so thick, that, in order to get to the other side of the Halifax Harbour (a five minute journey) I had to travel over the invisible bridge. Invisible??? Yes, just like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade , crossing the deep chasm to get to the chalice, I had to have faith and trust that the bridge actually was there. I couldn't see anything ahead of me, except for a faint pink glow of the tail lights of the car ahead. Even after the ghostly bridge, the windy road, to the Landing was eerie and everything looked so foreign.

And if you think I'm doing my usual exaggerating, the photos at the top of the post show you just how foggy it was. Normally, the view of Halifax is sharp and so clear you can see the ships docked in port and hustle and bustle of the crowds on the boardwalk. And that tall ship you see is actually docked just off of the Dartmouth pier, perhaps 50 feet from where I was standing!
But back to the business at hand....Saturday Farmer's Markets. Alderney Landing is home to artistic events, shops selling local artisan art, jewellery and more, the ferry to Halifax, and (from my perspective, the most inviting) a Saturday Farmer's Market. I've spoken many times about how the Halifax market is so different to other markets I've been to - a very social scene with music and lots of chatting.
The Dartmouth Saturday Farmers' Market is more like farmers markets I've been to elsewhere...lots of lovely produce, mixed in with lots of local knitted items, jewellery and homemade jams, preserves, pies and breads. That's Anna Wall, who, along with her husband, Ben are Mennonite farmers from Noel, NS. Their Saturday begins at 3AM to get to the market in time to set up for the 7am opening. All those breads and pickles you see are made by Anna. You can't see all the pies in front of their booth or the beautiful fresh vegetables that they grow on their farm or the fresh eggs from their own free range chickens. But... addition to eggs and basil and...well, I couldn't resist these cute Cocas (they are another summer squash, looking like tubby zucchini). and I'm going to use them to make some South Beach Diet friendly fritters...stay tuned.

The atmosphere at the Dartmouth market was more like Ontario markets I've visited in St Jacob and Kitchener, just on a much smaller scale. Lots of homemade breads, cakes, pies and preserves, lots of small booths but a feeling of a large community.
A stark contrast to the Halifax Farmers Market - this photo was taken at 9:30am and is why I usually go at 7am to avoid the crowds. So what's your for shopping or markets for socializing or a bit of both worlds?

I love eating locally farmed, locally made, locally dished up- and you should be - everything tastes so much better! I encourage you to do the same. 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, restaurants and festivals...stay tuned!


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

What an exciting place for a foodie Ruth.

Ruth Daniels said...

I do seem to be finding more interesting foodie places...a few new restaurants that I have to try - Indonesian, Portuguese (my favorite back in Toronto), Latin - Guatamala/Mexico and (at least, I've heard) Cuban.