New Halifax boutique market brings farm fresh produce to north end
Jun 7, 2017 10:35 AM by: Local Xpress
By Helen Earley
Tucked inside a fish warehouse at 2867 Isleville St., Halifax’s newest farmers market is on the same block as a pawnshop and a doggie daycare called Petite Urban Pooch.
It may seem like an unlikely location until you consider that this large, quiet building is smack-bang in the middle of the up-and-coming north end, with the fast-expanding Hydrostone area just two blocks north, and the deliciously hip new businesses of Agricola Street (think the newly opened Chain Yard Urban Cidery and the soon-to-open Kismet restaurant) to its south.
I came across the market by chance on my daily walk home from work. Brought in by curiosity (why had I never seen these boxes of vegetables in that doorway before?) I was delighted to find more than just veggies.
The Thursday-only farm market is a co-operative venture between Afishionado, Holdanca Farms, Maritime Gourmet Mushrooms, Gold Island Bakery and the main player, Abundant Acres Farm, owned by David and Jen Greenberg. Based in Burlington, Abundant Acres also sets up shop at the Seaport Market on Saturdays.
As I mentally congratulate myself on finding Halifax’s newest “secret boutique market,” Jen explains that the market is mainly a distribution point for the Abundant Acres Farm Share, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program that has been running for several years, formerly out of Victoria Park on Spring Garden Road.
I meet Briana Covey, who has been part of the CSA program for over two years. Covey grew up on a farm in Cape Breton, and values the fresh food that she can get through the Abundant Acres CSA.
“They’re my farm away from home,” she says with a smile, as she collects her share, which this week consists five items and one herb.
Although she lives in Fairview, Covey says that the bus ride into the north end is a small price to pay for organic produce, admitting that her bags do become a little heavy once the zucchinis and potatoes start making an appearance in the fall.
During my half-hour at the market, there is a constant flow of customers through the door. Some are regulars, greeting Jen warmly with a hug, and some are brand new CSA members: “OK, how does this work?” There are a few, like me, who arrive fresh off the street, curious at the new kid on the block.
The only thing that’s missing is a coffee pot and a couple of patio tables.
I shop. One chicken, some fancy mushrooms, a bunch of spinach, two bouquets of cilantro, a bag of mixed lettuce and a loaf of rye bread later, I am ready to go home and cook dinner. My pride in carrying home a bag of farm-fresh loot (all for under $35!) is matched only by the giddy satisfaction that I have discovered Halifax’s newest, coolest little farmers market.
Abundant Acres Farm Share Market is open at 2867 Isleville St. on Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. until the end of October. At the time of writing, there were still farm share spaces available, or you can check out the market for produce and other farm fresh foods.
Note: this article was written for the Local Xpress, which has since gone offline. I assume this is due to a settlement following the recent strike. I am very pleased to republish my work here.
I am also very pleased to say that since the publication of this article, the market has extended its opening hours to year-round, Thursday – Saturday.