Halifax Farmers' Market celebrates 265 years

The Halifax Farmers' Market, now known as the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, is celebrating 265 years of operation this weekend—making it the oldest continuously operating farmers' market in North America.

The Halifax Farmer’s Market was established by royal decree in 1750

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      The Halifax Farmers' Market, now known as the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market, is celebrating 265 years this weekend.

      "We're the oldest continuously operating farmers' market in North America," said executive director Julie Chaisson.

      The Halifax Farmers' Market was established by royal decree in 1750, a year after Halifax was established itself.

      There are large black and white posters hanging above the market that show what it used to be like in the 1800s and 1900s.

      'A rich history'

      "When you look at those pictures and see the rich history you're part of, it makes you feel really good about the work that you do," said Chaisson.

      Mary Ann LaPierre's family has had a booth set up at the market since the late 1800s.

      "My father started around 1890, a little boy and his mother," she said.

      In those days, LaPierre said the market was outside and many people would travel by horse and wagon to get there. She says her dad would be happy to know the market is still operating today.

      "His favourite expression was 'oh my praises' and my grandmother would be more contented to stay outdoors."

      Meet the farmers

      Heather Johannesen started shopping at the old Halifax Farmers' Market in 1987. She says it makes a difference when you can meet the people who grow your food.

      "I think that we would like to have our food grown locally, we like to know who's making it or growing it," said Johannesen, while pulling a cart full of kale, chard, onions and cucumbers.

      "I think the people of Nova Scotia really do appreciate the effort of farmers and want to support them."

      Giving back

      On Saturday, there was a cake-cutting ceremony, a petting zoo and a giant pumpkin carving. On Sunday, Hatfield Farm will offer horse and wagon rides. There will also be a bouncy castle, as well contributions from the Museum of the Atlantic and the Discovery Centre.

      The Halifax Seaport Market is collecting cash donations for the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre, an organization in its first year of operation.

      "Elmridge Farm and Noggins Corner Farm have donated apples, popping corn and pumpkins and we're going to be giving those away and asking for a donation," she said.