Frequently Asked Questions
- Can our market join FMNS?
We welcome new members to our cooperative but we do have some criteria for membership. These criteria ensure that we stay true to our mandate of supporting authentic farmers’ markets.
Please read our ‘membership criteria’ document for more information .
- What services does Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia offer to its members?
At FMNS, we want our member farmers’ markets to grow and thrive; We are committed to providing the best possible services to help you better manage, develop and promote your markets.
For a full list of services please read our ‘Benefits of Membership’ document.
- How much does it cost to join FMNS?
All members must buy a $100 share in the FMNS Cooperative. This is refundable should you decide to leave.
In addition, membership dues are paid annually. These are based on the number of vendors at your market and the length of your market season. Please contact us for more information [Contact Us].
- How can I start a Farmers’ Market in my community?
FMNS has five years of experience helping communities in Nova Scotia and across Canada to create and grow thriving farmers’ markets. We offer consultancy services into the economic and community viability of farmers’ markets and would be happy to support you and your market. Please contact us for more information [Contact Us].
- We are building a permanent home for our farmers’ markets. Can FMNS help us to access funding?
All members of FMNS have access to the services of the Farmers’ Market Development Cooperative (FMDC) [FMDC pdf] and the Farmers’ Market Investment Cooperative (FMIC) [ext link to FMIC site]. These cooperatives were created to help both for-profit and not-for-profit farmers’ markets access the funds they need to grow their Markets.
- I’m a vendor at a farmers’ markets that isn’t a member of FMNS. Can we join you?
At FMNS we welcome new members. To learn how your market can become a member and the benefits of membership of FMNS please read our ‘Join Us’ [Join Us] page.
- I’m a farmer/ artisan/ chef. How can I sell my products at my local farmers’ market?
To book a table, please contact your local farmers’ markets directly. To find out which farmers’ market is closest to you, its size and hours of operation, please visit our farmers’ markets directory [Find a Market].
Many farmers’ markets are fully booked at certain times of the year or may have an excess of some products. You should contact your preferred market well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- How much does it cost to have a table at my local farmers’ market?
Every farmers’ market has a different pricing system depending on the number of services they provide: some are indoors; some provide wash stations and electrical outlets; some attract larger numbers of customers. You should contact your local farmers’ market directly [Find a Market] to ask about pricing.
- I am a farmer/ artisan from New Brunswick. Can I sell my products at farmers’ markets in Nova Scotia?
Most Nova Scotia farmers’ markets have strict criteria about where vendors’ products come from. Exceptions may be made in the case of extremely unique products. For more information you should contact your local farmers’ market directly [Find a Market].
- I would like to import and sell products from Africa to fundraise for schools there. Can I sell my products at farmers’ markets in Nova Scotia?
Most Nova Scotia farmers’ markets have strict criteria about reselling. Exceptions may be made in the case of extremely unique products or situations. For more information you should contact your local farmers’ market directly [Find a Market].
- I’ve just moved to Nova Scotia. Are there any farmers’ markets in my community?
There are farmers’ markets all over Nova Scotia, selling fresh local produce, unique crafts and hand prepared foods. To locate your closest authentic farmers’ markets please visit our farmers’ markets directory [Find a Market].
- How can I tell that I am shopping at an authentic farmers’ markets?
At Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia, all of our member markets are authentic farmers’ markets’. To find farmers’ markets in your area please visit our farmers’ markets directory [Find a Market]. Please read our criteria for membership to learn more about what makes a true Farmers’ Market.
- How can I be sure that the vegetables sold at my local farmers’ market are really local?
Authentic farmers’ markets are the #1 location for local, fresh, seasonal produce. At certain times of the year, particularly when there is snow on the ground, certain products are in short supply. At these times, some vendors may supplement their local apples, carrots, turnips, onions, squash and potatoes with imported tomatoes etc. The wonderful thing about buying direct from the producer is that you can ask what is local and what isn’t to guarantee a truly local shopping basket!
- Where can I buy farmers’ market products online?
Some vendors (mostly artisans) are able to make sales online. Please visit your local farmers’ markets and speak with the vendors directly about online purchasing options.
- I work on Saturdays; are any farmers’ markets open during the week or on Sundays?
Absolutely! Many of our member markets are open on days other than Saturdays and some are open more than one day a week. To find out which farmers’ markets are closest to you and their days and hours of operation, please visit our farmers’ market directory [Find a Market].
- Are all of the foods sold at farmers’ markets organic?
No, not all of the food is certified organic but a wide selection is. Farmers’ markets commonly have a wider selection of higher quality organic products than grocery stores. Please visit your local farmers’ market and ask vendors if their products are certified organic (they will have a certificate if they are) or call to ask the farmers’ market manager about the availability of organic products at your local market. [Find a Market].
- Do farmers’ markets in Nova Scotia permit the use of biosolids?
At Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia we strongly encourage our member markets to have policies in place relating to the use of biosolids. Some markets ask all primary producers to sign a waiver stating that they have not used biosolids to produce their products. Others ask primary producers who use biosolids to have a sign stating this fact, clearly displayed at the market. Also, certified organic farms are not permitted to use biosolids and there are a wide range of certified organic products available at farmers’ markets. Please contact your local farmers’ market for more information [Find a Market] or ask the vendor directly. That’s something you can’t do at the grocery store!
- I’m looking for Halal/ Kosher/ Organic/ Gluten-free products? Can I find them at Nova Scotia farmers’ markets?
Yes you can! Contact your local farmers’ market for more information [Find a Market] or ask vendors directly. Even if they don’t currently offer a particular product, they may be able to adapt to do so. They joy of shopping at farmers’ markets is being able to communicate with the people who produce your food.
- We would like to invest in our local Farmers’ Market. How do we go about doing this?
The Farmers’ Market Investment Co-op was created to allow Nova Scotians to invest in farmers’ markets through the CEDIF program. Please visit the Farmers’ Market Investment Co-op website for more information. [ext link FMIC]
- How are farmers’ markets reaching out to the wider community?
Our partner organization, The Nova Scotia Food Alliance, has started a program called ‘Community Connectors’. The purpose of this program is to outreach to the wider community to determine how farmers’ markets can play a more central role in their communities.
- I’ve heard that Nova Scotia is losing its farmers. What is FMNS doing about this?
The Nova Scotia Food Alliance was created to help combat this problem by focusing on the issue of food production in Nova Scotia.
- We are organizing a local food event; Can FMNS help us to promote it?
If there is a connection to farmers’ markets in Nova Scotia we’d be happy to add your event to our blog and/or calendar. Please send us a concise summary with the time, date, location and any costs stated clearly. [Contact Us]
- Can our organization hold an event/ promote our activities at our local farmers’ market?
Most of our member markets have community tables that can be booked, often free of charge, given sufficient advance notice. Please contact your local farmers’ market for more information [Find a Market]
- How can I find events and activities at farmers’ markets?
There are many ways that you can keep in touch with your local farmers’ market
- V isit our blog and calendar for events happening across Nova Scotia [Market Fresh News]
- Visit our member markets’ websites for activities in your area [Find a Market]
- Join our member market Facebook pages and subscribe to updates. [Find a Market]
- We’d like to have a tour of a farmers’ market. Who should we contact?
Farmers’ markets are open to everyone! Feel free to drop by during opening hours.
In addition, if you want to learn more about the history and culture of your local farmers’ market, some of our member markets offer either free or for-fee tours at certain times of the year. Call your local market for more information [Find a Market]
FOR VOLUNTEERS AND POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES
- I’m passionate about local food and would like to volunteer. How can I help?
Thank you! Please contact either your local farmers’ market [Find a Market] or FMNS [contact] depending on whether you want to volunteer in Halifax, your local community or by internet. Clearly state what kind of volunteer work you are interested in doing e.g. web design, public relations, events coordination, food education or grant writing. You should include your resume, references, when you are available and why you are interested in volunteering. This allows the farmers’ market manager or volunteer coordinator to make most effective use of your skills in a way that fits in with your other commitments
- How can I find work with farmers’ markets?
Please contact either your local farmers’ market [Find a Market] or FMNS [Contact Us] depending on where your interest lies. Clearly state what kind of work you are looking for and include your resume, references, when you are available to start and why you are interested in working with farmers’ markets. Your resume and cover letter will then be kept on file until a position opens up. You will often be asked to volunteer in the mean time as a way of demonstrating your skills and commitment. [Find a Market]