July 24, 2008 - News

Farmers' market awaits its rainmakers
Citizens have plopped down almost three-quarters of a million dollars of their retirement money to invest in a new harbour-side home for the Halifax Farmers' Market, bringing the structure one step closer to realization. But while organizers are optimistic, some of the government funds needed to move forward with the project remain unsecured and each delay sees staggering increases in construction costs. By moving from its present cramped Keith's Brewery locale to Pier 20, the market hopes to gain some much-needed breathing room, pull in a few dollars from cruise-ship tourists and give farmers the opportunity to hawk their goods throughout the week. The design of the proposed Seaport Farmers' Market is cutting edge on the energy efficiency front, incorporates wind and solar power, a green roof and on-site composting. Financing for the project is just as innovative as the building design. The market cooperative, which runs the weekly market and is controlled by farmers, established a separate Farmers' Market Investment Cooperative to own the new building and lease it to the farmers. That way the farmers can attract outside investors and funders for the new building without giving up control of the day-to-day operations.