Contributed story and photos
It all began in 1984 with a small group of dedicated vendors at the old Lunenburg train station on Dufferin St. Today, our Lunenburg Farmers’ Market is the largest and only year-round Farmers’ Market on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Inspired by the success of the Bridgewater Farmers’ Market at the time, the Lunenburg Board of Trade approached the organizing vendors to try a weekday Farmers’ Market in Lunenburg. Fifteen local vendors accepted the challenge.
On Thursday, July 25, 1984 the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market officially opened, and has run every Thursday morning since then.
In its 35-year history the market has tried different locations moving from the old train station to the Lunenburg Day Care parking lot, and finally calling the Lunenburg Community Centre and Lunenburg Arena its year-round home. The number of vendors has more than tripled in size, but you can still find a couple of the founding vendors at the market every week.
Although there have been many changes and many new faces, the routine and the experience remain the same. Market days start early for our vendors, who have already been working hard to prepare their products. They load them in their vehicles, head to market, greet each other as they set up their spaces for the soon to arrive customers, and grab a coffee.
Customers are greeted by smiling faces, smells of brewed coffee, treats, beautiful local produce, freshly baked breads, cheeses, meats, eggs, fish, flowers, wines, spirits, and more. They chat to the vendors about what is new, what is coming,
what is the best way to prepare or enjoy their product. Many customers load up for the week and then head off to work or grab a seat to enjoy some time with a friend and munch on their favourite treat. It is the experience of shopping and connecting that makes our Farmers’ Market a destination. Our Lunenburg Farmers’ Market prides itself on representing the best that our province has to offer, focusing on Lunenburg and Queens Co. Over 60 vendors bring their products to our market from May – September, with 30 attending year-round.
Our Farmers’ Market has helped launch new businesses, grow new
young farmers, increase access to fresh local food year-round, and become a weekly community tradition for Lunenburg and our surrounding communities. We are also a proud founding member of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative. The roots of our success go back to those original 15 vendors, their commitment and the community connections that they made. Every Thursday, our vendors and our market as a whole continue to bring our commitment to beautiful, quality, locally grown and produced products, and provide a place for our community to connect. We look forward to welcoming you to our Farmers’ Market next Thursday morning.
For information on our Farmers’ Market, our vendors, and to sign up for our weekly newsletter please visit our website, www.lunenburgfarmersmarketns.ca