Farmers’ markets across Nova Scotia are celebrating the second annual Farmers’ Market Week (3-10 August) – the only event of its kind in Canada. The festivities highlight the wonderful fresh food, artisan products and local crafts available at more than 40 markets province-wide. Rustik Magazine has teamed up with Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia to profile some of the vendors and producers that make up Nova Scotia’s vibrant markets.
1) What is your local farmers’ market and what do you most love about it?
I love the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on the waterfront because of the diversity of products and the chance to get to know the different vendors. Everybody has a story that makes them wonderfully unique to this province. I don’t even have a dog but I love watching the folks who make dog toys out of nautical ropes work at their table and chat with everyone. I am a total foodie, and getting to taste dishes from all over the world and learn stories such as the history behind Cornish pasties is fascinating to me.
2) How did you get into your line of work? Any advice for someone just starting out?
I was able to bring a number of my interests together to create a business I am passionate about and want to share with others. My theatre training and love of performance, my ever-growing interest in food and restaurants, which came out of years in the service industry and my own travels, as well as my experience as a long distance walker: all of these prepared me to create a series of culinary walking tours in Halifax. My advice to others might be to focus on something that excites you; and don’t be afraid to seek advice in your field and learn from others.
3) Do you have a favourite celebrity chef and what do you like about them?
I love Laura Calder from New Brunswick. She filmed her Food Network show French Food at Home in Halifax for years and focused on simple French dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. I loved how she always shared a personal story connected to each dish and took her time to explain every detail of the preparation.
4) As a child, which foods/veggies did you avoid? And now?
As a child, I always hated sardines and baked beans. My tastes have expanded dramatically since I left home, but I still dislike those two things – although I enjoy dishes that are really quite similar, like cassoulet or smoked herring. A big step for me in the last few years has been growing to love spicier foods. I was always reluctant to try them, but the more adventurous I let myself become, the more new and wonderful dishes I get to enjoy.
5) If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?
Time! I think it would be wonderful to be rewarded for your hard work with a few extra hours in the day to do things you love or to dream up more creative ideas for your pursuits. I am always in search of more time for just plain old living (and for trying more great local food!)