BY Ted Hutten
Lakeville, in the Valley
I’ve been at the Historic Farmers’ Market in Halifax for a little over three decades. Both markets are year-round but the clientele is very different here at the Lunenburg Market. In the off-season this market is a lot of local, mainly older, loyal people. In the summer season there’s a heavy influence by a lot of people from other areas of Canada, the US and Europe who have homes here, which changes things dramatically. The volume increases and the types of produce people are looking for changes too.
The old Halifax market has been very much shaped by what I’ve offered there. I have a lot of people who come through that market to buy Chinese long beans, Shanghai choy, broccoli and carrots. People have been exposed to these more exotic products, I think basically through my table and through other people growing and vending similar things. It’s a much more long-standing clientele for me, people seem to know me and what I do a bit better.
There’s more explaining of the crops that I grow here in Lunenburg, which because of movement of people in this area has more transient customers. In comparison to Halifax, the six years or so that I’ve been here feels new to me. I like both markets a lot, but they are foundationally different. Halifax is heavily focused on international foods from the Middle East and Asia. There’s a growing interest in that here, which is exciting.