This Saturday June 3rd, we have some very special guests…a Highland dance group!
The highland dancers are dancers at the Holly MacDonald Bent School of Dance. A group of the premier dancers are preparing to dance at ScotDance Canada Championship Series in PEI in July. They will be taking part in the small group choreography challenge, as well as other competitions including the Canadian Championship. The theme of the choreography is Canada 150, and their dance will represent the joining of the original four provinces coming together to form Canada.
At the Market, they will be performing a variety of dances including the Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Sean Tribuhas as well as the national dances.
Farmers Markets are so unique, shopping at them is an experience unlike any other. Not only are they unique from other places you shop, but they also vary greatly from each other. Farmers Markets are made up of locally raised foods and hand crafted items unique to the geographic areas they are in. You will find items that reflect the local culture and spirit of the surrounding communities. Farmers Markets offer face to face interaction, lowers the carbon footprint and there’s a direct and transparent supply chain. These are just a couple of the reasons among many that illustrates why people shop at Farmers Markets. While you can certainly just go to the Market, there are ways that you can ensure you get the most out of your Market experience.
As someone who organizes the Market each week, it’s easy for us on the Market side to just assume that you know all these intricacies but alas, you know what they say about assuming! That being said I thought it might be handy to give you a bit of an inside look at how things work and that might help you get the very best out of your Market trips. I’m going to call it Market Shopping 101…I hope you find these things useful.
Make a list of all the things you really need at the Market and the things you want to check out a little closer. Once at the Market, you will want to take your time to look around and see everything there is to see, but you don’t want to forget what you came for. Nothing is more frustrating than getting home to find out you forgot your lettuce.
The best way to plan ahead is to know who is coming to Market. Each week we post a poster that lists all the causal vendors that come to the Market for the coming Saturday. These are the ones who aren’t with us every week and we do it so that you know who is new and you can see if this is the week that a certain vendor is with us. You will also find that starting on about Wednesday and Thursday, we really start posting all the interesting items you will find on Saturday to social media. Pay attention to these posts and then if you see anything that catches your eye, write it on the “Check it Out” section of your list. If you aren’t seeing these posts in your social media feed, make a point of going to our page to take a look for yourself…Facebook only shows you so much.
**keep in mind that the Market is home to more than 70 individual business owners, so there may be last minute changes. That may mean we weren’t able to advertise a vendor due to a last minute addition or they aren’t at Market as advertised to to an unexpected absence.
2. COME PREPARED
Bring your reusable bags and try to bring some smaller bills and change with you. Keep in mind that while vendors are advised to keep a supply of change on hand, when they get several $20 bills in a row, especially on small items first thing in the morning, it makes it very difficult for them to make change. It might seem like a little thing but they will be very grateful for your thoughtfulness.
If you are coming for awhile or maybe going somewhere else after the Market, bring a cooler with you to store your meat and veggies. This will save you the disappointment of spoilage due to a hot car later on.
3. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE WELCOME TABLE
Not the most imaginative name, but we are welcoming, so that’s a thing. Have a question or need some general information? We are here to help. We do move the table from time to time due to space availability, but we are always there. We can answer questions, help you if you’re looking for a certain item or vendor and we have 50/50 tickets for sale as well as Market swag. If you need help with something out to your car, one of our volunteers can help!
4. GO AHEAD, MAKE IT A DAY
We work hard at making the Market a place you want to be and hang out at on a Saturday morning and we hope that you make it part of your weekly routine. We know that you likely have other things to do, but if you can possibly swing it, set the time aside and make a point to spend time at the Market and really look around. Have a bite to eat…come for breakfast and stay for lunch and shop in between. We’re not rushing you, we want you to spend time with us!
As an organizer we sometimes have to move vendors around so you may find that your vendor isn’t always in the same spot. This is usually out of organizational necessity or requirement, but it also keeps you looking and you might find something new that you haven’t seen before.
The great thing about small producers and artisans is that they have the flexibility to change items, so really look at their tables and see what’s new. Don’t be afraid to stop, they’re happy to see you!
We have lots of local music at the Market. They come to play for you out of passion for what they do and out of their appreciation for the Market. They will have an open case, show them your appreciation!
Make two full laps around the Market. On your first pass, stop and look at everything, remember that list? Use it to write things down and remember where you found them. On your second pass, go back to those things and purchase them!
Stop and talk to your friends and neighbors and make it a social day out, just be sure that your conversation isn’t blocking other patrons from reaching a vendors table. It makes it hard for vendors to earn their livelihood if customers can’t get to them!
5. ENGAGE! ENQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW
Vendors are at the Market because they are passionate about what they do and you as a consumer have the unique opportunity to talk to the very person that grew, made or baked the item you are considering purchasing. Find out about their processes, more about their farm, what makes them tick. Your farmers and artisans are proud of what they have produced and they would love to share it with you. Don’t be afraid to take an interest!
6. VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE
Try something new. Every time. Pick up at least one new thing every time you come to the Market. We have so many interesting items. And if you’re not sure what to do with them, ask your producer. They are usually armed with tried and true recipes and new uses for those awesome things.
7. BUY IN SEASON
Remember, everything is locally grown. If you are looking for fresh picked strawberries in December, you are going to be disappointed. Know what’s in season and when it’s coming up. We have info about that at the Welcome table we mentioned above.
At the same time, when something is in season, buy lots of it and preserve it by freezing, canning etc. That way, you can still have local strawberries in December.
8. DON’T SEE IT? ASK ABOUT IT.
When you are shopping with a vendor and you see an item that isn’t exactly the colour or size you wanted or they don’t have the item you were looking for, ask! Yes, you can do that! Some vendors may be willing or able to custom make an item for you or may have one in stock at home that they just didn’t bring with them. Remember, it never hurts to ask!
9. SHARE WITH US
Show or tell vendors how you are using their products. It will make them feel great and perhaps even give them a new idea on how to utilize their product.
Share your market finds with us. Post your photos to our facebook page or share on Instagram @ngfarmmarket with the hashtag #myngfmfinds We may share it but it shows others how clever you are with your Market finds. We also love recipes using our vendors products or seeing how that art piece looks in your home….just sayin’
10. SPREAD THE WORD
Ask friends and neighbours if they have been to the market before. Tell them, show them or feed them the amazing items you found at the Market. Bring your visitors for a unique morning out. Farmers Markets have a large and positive local economic impact in their communities. When you shop with our vendors, your money is going directly to them and their families. When they have to make, bake or grow more, they have to buy more. They register their kids in community programs, shop at other local businesses, all from money earned at the Market. They are spending and re-investing that money in the community.
New to the Market this week, May 27, 2017 is another talented young musician, Caroline Boulter.
Caroline is a Grade 7 student at New Glasgow Academy. She has been playing the violin since she was three years old. She just moved to New Glasgow from Lethbridge Alberta in 2016. She continues to study the violin with Christy Hodder at the Maritime Conservatory in Halifax. Through the Maritime Conservatory, she joined the Nova Scotia Youth Ambassadors. Under the direction of Christy Hodder, this group of young violinists travels around Nova Scotia and Canada performing both traditional fiddle music and classical repertoire. Caroline has been the recipient of many awards both since coming to Nova Scotia and in Lethbridge. She has travelled over from Alberta to New England to Halifax as part of her music education. Caroline is busking today to help raise money for the NSYA as they plan to travel to the Tavistock Fiddle Festival in Ontario and the end of June.
The smell of spring is in the air. We dream of warm, lazy summer days on the beach and enjoying all the farm fresh bounty that our fields have to offer. The smell of fresh baked breads, unique creations by our talented artisans and cultural culinary delights that tingle the taste buds are plentiful. Local music, laughter and friendship are always in abundance at the Market. Here, everyone is family.
As you plan your Maritime vacation or staycation, be sure to add the New Glasgow Farmers Market to your trip. It’s the perfect start to any weekend! After your trip to the Market, be sure to visit our surrounding communities on the Northumberland Shore to take advantage of the beauty, talent and experiences our region has to offer.
Our farmers, food producers, artisans and musicians are ready to welcome you!
We are ready to go, and we can barely wait! Your vendors overwhelmingly decided that they would like to come back early to greet you!
Over the next few weeks, you will start to find many of your favourite vendors on a regular basis! Additionally, we are super excited and happy to welcome some brand new faces.
Some of your favourite vendors will be moving around, some will have moved into the dome this week and some will be moving a bit later on. While it might be confusing at first, we hope that you will use it as a time to take a good look around, you just might find something you haven’t seen before!
This Saturday, April 1st, we welcome back all of your favourite food vendors! Syrian Delights, Spicy Kitchen and Shree Curry Place who have been rotating, will now be back to serve you on a weekly basis! You will find Lema and the Spicy Kitchen in the dome along with Jiggy Java who will still have her Jiggy muffin and sandwiches available, Shree Curry place will join Big Cove Foods, Big Willie’s Brunch and West Side Bistro in the Market building.
We also welcome first time vendor Mack Mariplex with gourmet popcorn! They have been patiently waiting for us to make room! Show them some love by visiting them this Saturday!
Some of your other returning./moving vendors:
Merigomish Market Garden
Peace by Chocolate
Nova Scotia Spirit Company
Soap Company of Nova Scotia
Carlson Family Farm
Ste Famille Winery
The Spicy Kitchen
Dalhousie Maple Syrup
Carlson Family Farm
Shree Curry Place
If you are looking for a vendor on this list who is currently at the Market on a weekly basis and they aren’t mentioned, it’s because they are staying in the Market building.
Of course there will be more new and returning vendors every week! So come on out every week to see who’s new!!
See you at the Market!
For the coffee lover. Fair trade, hand roasted coffee. Buy the bag and have it ground or give the whole bean. We also think someone should buy these and coat them with Chapel Cove Chocolate!
With a year in our new building under way we now are focussing on some other great projects, goals and initiatives so we can cross them off our to-do list. One of them that has been on our radar for some time has been the goal of adding an AED at the Market. And since February is recognized as heart month, we thought now would be a good time to get started on our goal!
What is an AED?
AED stands for Automatic External Defibrillator. It is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. It is very easy to use and it can save a life.
Why Do We Need One?
Though we are currently open one day per week, we are a public place. We see about 1500 to as many as 3000 people come through our doors when we hold special events. Not only that, it is our goal to hold more events and become a gathering place for all in our community. There are also large events that take place near us such as Race on the River, Johnny Miles, Relay for Life and this year, we are home base for Coldest Night of the Year. These are all active events and for the safety of our guests, visitors and yes, our vendors too, we would like to have one of these machines available should the occasion arise. We think the more of these we have available in our community, the better.
How Much Does It Cost?
A good, reliable AED will cost in the neighbourhood of around $2000+ dollars. It does have to be maintained and in the unfortunate event where we actually have to use it, we will have to re-stock defibrillation pads as well as provide maintenance to ensure it is in good operating condition should we need to use it. We also have to train our staff and board members how and when to use it. Taking these factors into consideration, our goal is to raise at least $5, 000.
We are a non-profit organization and we have many other initiatives in the works for this year so we are asking for your help so we can accomplish as many of these initiatives as possible. We are asking for your help to reach our goal.
How Can I Help Save a Life?
There are a few ways you can donate:
Come to the Market and leave your donation in our AED collection box
Want to use a credit card? Click on the donate button below and make a donation via PayPal
We celebrated the grand opening of our new, heated building and held our first ever Winter Market! The Town of New Glasgow held their 2nd annual Chill Out event at the Market and we are very happy to be the location of the 2017 Chill Out event again this year on January 14th, 2017!
Because of our new winter home, we were able to provide a marketplace for more than 30+ vendors including farmers, food producers and artisans to sell their wares for the winter and early spring months who would otherwise have not had a local place to sell their goods. This earned them money and of course when you buy, they have to re-stock and that means shopping here at home. We saw record breaking attendance at the opening in January. We continued to welcome roughly 700 shoppers every Saturday through the winter months, great for our first time open in the winter! This gave our community another place to shop for local goods through these months.
We grew into two buildings when we re-opened the dome in late April. Because of this, we were able to increase our vendor capacity by more than 100%, making our Market home to more than 70 vendors through the peak season!
This year we saw our attendance increase by 60% and on occasion, we more than doubled attendance over last year, showing that we had many new visitors joining us throughout the season. That means more people supporting local and putting money into our local economy!
As you may (or may not know) the New Glasgow Farmers Market is an independent non-profit organization. We are run by a board of volunteers and we are a co-operative, meaning that all the vendors are also expected to participate in the successful functioning of the Market, and we have one staff member, the Market Manager. All the money required for operating comes solely from weekly table fees paid by vendors and fundraising. We do also apply for grants as well when possible.
Fundraising includes our gift baskets and weekly 50/50 draw. They also include occasional events that the community can come out and enjoy.
We decided to change our approach with fundraising this year and try some new events. As with all grand plans, some of the ideas were great, others not so much. But it was all worth a shot, you never know until you try!
We held two fabulous main events last year. Our first was our From Market to Main Street event. It was a magnificent farm to table event designed to highlight the integral relationship between urban and rural communities. The event brought the community together in so many ways, more than we ever could have hoped for. That’s what the market is about, great local food and bringing people together!
On August 27, 2016 160 people dined in the middle of Provost Street in historic downtown New Glasgow. They came together for an unprecedented night of fun and friendship. We made the table in one long row on purpose, because people would need to sit near someone new, introducing them to someone they hadn’t met before. They enjoyed local food and music and sipped on local wine and craft beer. And in the end, friendships were made and fun was had by all. It really was a magical evening!
In addition to our amazing contributions from vendors, we had local partners that made it all possible and without them, we could not have pulled it all off. The Town of New Glasgow provided logistical support and approval to use the beautiful and historic Provost St. as the backdrop. Our food partner for this event was local chef Jason Conway from J Conway Catering. We gave him the challenge of preparing a meal from as many locally grown foods sourced from the Market as possible. He kindly donated his time and talents for this event!
We partnered with Glasgow Square Theatre who lined up local talent. Guests listened to the talents of market favourites Heather Cameron , Amelia Parker and Ray Stewart and of course Pat Spaulding! Pictou County Pop Classics brought down the house with a preview of their 70’s show which was a sold out event after their appearance at the Market to Main event.
The decor and consulting that provided the most beautiful and elegant setting was provided by local business Rocklin Parties. All the details, like flowers and hay came from Market vendors and many of the servers were vendors from the Market too!
We had 3 hours to turn a busy and bustling downtown into a beautiful and elegant dining room. Weather was not on our side at the beginning, causing rain delays and maybe a little gray hair for organizers and musicians. A wonderful thing happened when it rained though…guests huddled together under the awnings of local businesses to keep dry. They mingled and got to know people that maybe they hadn’t met before. The rain added to the intricacy of it all. In the end, the night cleared up and the meal was top notch … people were dancing in the streets!
Here are more photos from the event, courtesy of Wonderland Photography and Kimberly Dickson from the Town of New Glasgow, please click on the photo:
The event garnered attention, not only province wide, but we even had Markets from the country contact us asking how they could do it in their communities!
In fact, the night was so amazing, that we are going to do it again! We have a couple of twists up our sleeve and can’t reveal much more just yet, but you should mark August 19, 2017 on your calendar. Keep an eye out on our website and Facebook page for an announcement on 2017 tickets!
Our other big event for the year was Roktoberfest. Held on September 17th, the goal of this night was to put a focus on our many wonderful distilleries and local music. It was to be a casual and fun environment filled with music and food. We once again partnered with J Conway catering for a simple, yet delicious German inspired meal. Our partner, Rocklin Parties took good care of us too!
The night was a great success! We have a similar evening planned, but again with a twist in store, so for this one, mark October 28th on your calendar… and while we’re keeping it secret, we can tell you it will be a Boo-tiful evening and you’ll have a Monsterous-ly good time!
We also held our first ever weeknight Market in December. More than 2700 people came out and shopped with us! It gave those who may not normally have the opportunity to visit us on a Saturday a chance to come and see what we have to offer. It was so successful, we’ll be holding a couple more in 2017!
All in all, it was a very successful fundraising year for us. We raised more than $15, 000! In addition to operating costs, the more funds we raise, allows us to tackle some of the goals on our wishlist. And when we accomplish those goals and put on events, we strive to use local companies and businesses so the monies raised goes right back into our community. This year as we accomplished our goals and held our events, we also spent more than $20, 000 in our community along the way. That doesn’t even include all the supplies we had to purchase to stock the new building and more!
With some of the funds raised this year, we installed our Market Kitchen which is used on market days by Big Willie’s Brunch, but it is also utilized by some of our food vendors who require the use of an approved kitchen in order to sell at the Market. Without the kitchen, they would be unable to sell with us and offer their amazing food to you. We would like to thank Alain Bosse, the Kilted Chef for consulting with us and helping us with our vision. We purchased flooring materials from McLean’s Flooring, and Lyon’s Brook Piping and Welding, did a fabulous job fabricating our beautiful stainless countertops and Happy Harry’s Pictou County found us just the right cabinets. We purchased our stove from Chediac’s . Of course we cannot forget to thank St. Joseph’s Academy for generously donating the beautiful triple sink and tap in our kitchen! Big thanks goes to Colin from Knotty Acres who constructed, painted and built the kitchen and installed the kitchen floor and tile backsplashes in the Market. Lumber and other materials came from various shops within our county.
We also purchased heaters for the dome and while it definitely was not a tropical destination, they did take the edge off. They enabled us to keep both buildings open, offering you more variety of local goods and more vendors had a holiday Marketplace. We purchased them from Terry and his team at Graybar .
We thank you all for your support and we have some fabulous things happening at Market in 2017! We have a special project or two that we will get to cross off our wish list that will better our community. And of course we will have some more great events that you will not want to miss. Stay tuned and keep in the know, you will not want to miss it!
We look forward to starting our 2017 season with you on January 14 at 9am!
We are continuing to be Local, Fresh and Flourishing!