Some Thoughts and Statistics on the New Seaport Farmers’ Market in Halifax

The new Seaport Farmers’ Market in Halifax is almost in full swing now. It is now open 3 days a week, Fri-Sun, and much longer each day than the half day before at the old market that was open just once per week Sat morning. The future intent is for the new market to be open 6 days a week, though the farmers will only be there for 3. The other 3 days will only have craft sellers. It’s a nice big space and I love it, although I hear the busking musicians are disgruntled due to the open space leaving all of them to be heard so they have to compete to get above each other (The Coast, Sep 9 2010). Hey, I like the music and appreciate its contribution to the ambiance of a farmers’ market, but it’s a new farmers’ market building, not a concert hall.

I love the additional selection and larger stands, though I have to curb myself on the cooked food. It smells and tastes great, but just see how much raw food you can get for the same amount of money on a cooked plate, and you’ll not only see the value of labour to your food costs, but also where many of those cents to your food dollar that’s not going to the farmers end up going. Going there with someone who might expect you to buy something, which includes yourself, is also going to be costly with all the potential little craft trinkets you can buy for significant others, kids, etc. It’s great to see all the stuff, but is hard to resist. So far, I have bought nothing other than raw food from the farmers.

I’ll leave with some statistics about the farmers’ market scene in Nova Scotia and the Seaport Farmers’ Market, from various sources like The Coast paper and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

  • 40 Nova Scotia Farmers’ Markets Sep 2010, few opened all week
  • New farmers’ market is in an R-2000 building (NRCan designation) that uses 85% less energy and 50% less water than old market
    R2000-standard PDF
  • New farmers’ market is twice the size of old market (which is still open) at 4,000 sq feet
  • 10,000+ visitors per Saturday (August figures, but is still as crowded as far as I can tell)
  • Total vendors increased by at least 50% between new and old markets opening, though not all are food vendors
  • NS Community Supported Agriculture farms (CSAs) and farmers’ market bring in about $90M a year (and growing) to farmers (includes prepared foods, possibly crafts, so can’t just take it against farm gate)

Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent 2009 as Your Literal Wake-up Call

Most Viewed YouTube Clips Ever, as of Apr 17 2009 (courtesy of Visible Measures)

Most viewed YouTube clips ever, as of Apr 17 2009, with Susan Boyle's video still rising by millions of views per day (graph courtesy of Visible Measures)

In under one week, a video of 48 year old Scots Susan Boyle singing I Dreamed a Dream (magnificent lyrics below) from Les Miserables on Britain’s Got Talent 2009 (April 11) became the most viewed YouTube video ever (Mashable.com)! A search of all the versions now, 8 days later on Apr 19 2009, show well over 50 million views among them! That’s a HUGE statement when you hear about all kinds of stuff that goes viral on YouTube, most of which is crap anyway. But best of all, Susan’s video and story is all real.

If you haven’t seen the video of Susan Boyle from Britain’s Got Talent 2009, have a look below and you’ll understand why. It is the BEST YouTube video I have ever seen, without a doubt… though it’s not like I watch a ton of YouTube compared to the average person. In the intro, the unemployed, self-proclaimed cross-eyed spinster who’s never been kissed said that “I’m going to make that audience rock!” And man, if you’ve never known what making an audience rock meant, this will be all you’ll ever need to see to understand that!

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I dreamed a dream in time gone by, When hope was high, And life worth living, I dreamed that love would never die, I dreamed that God would be forgiving, Then I was young and unafraid, When dreams were made and used and wasted, There was no ransom to be paid, No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night, With their voices soft as thunder, As they tear your hope apart, And they turn your dream to shame (5 note rising crescendo on a desperate word, beautiful!)

But still I dream he’ll come to me, That we will live our lives together, But there are dreams that cannot be, And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be, So different from this hell I’m living, So different now from what it seemed, Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

What lyrics!!! So that was the background on Susan. The idea I wanted to share came from BGT panel judge Amanda Holden (insert whistle here). She said people were being “cynical” of Susan based on Susan’s appearance, and that Susan’s performance was the “biggest wake-up call ever”. That spawned the literal idea in my head of using the video, with all its crowd energy, as either my wake-up alarm or something to listen to while I made and/or ate breakfast. I’ve started doing the former. So instead of hitting the snooze button or accepting whatever came across the radio as a wake-up call, which is often a mediocre to bad mood to start the day, I wake up with a build up that ends in a roar upon Simon Cowell‘s confirmation Susan was “in” at the 6 minute mark. Seriously, I get up near that point, turn to place my feet on the ground and get up to roar with the crowd!

And man, does it ever make me feel like I could do anything and handle anything that life throws my way!

The adrenaline that built up in the previous 6 minutes to that point in the video helps, I’m sure, even though I already know the story. Hey, people watch the same movies over and over again for the same reason. I’m sure this wake-up call using Susan Boyle’s video audio will lose its effect soon enough, but I’ll milk anything that lets me feel like I could do anything in life for all it’s worth. That’s not to say I’m a negative person or anything. No. I’m a very positive person. I’m just a very positive realist.

1999-charity-cd

1999 Charity CD by the Scottish Daily Record featuring Susan Boyle on Track 12

As an added note to Susan Boyle’s history, she is not an instant sensation. She’s been doing this for a long time, and others have heard her before. They just never believed in her and/or gave her a chance. This YouTube “video” below of just Susan’s picture plays rare recording of the Blackburn, West Lothian native beautifully singing Cry Me a River, from a charity CD in 1999 by the Scottish Daily Record newspaper. Only 1000 copies of that CD was made. Betcha it’s worth a ton now! It’ll be worth more after Susan appears on Oprah some time in the future! And she won’t be lonely any more, as she said on Larry King Live just last Friday. 🙂

Ah, yes. Don’t you love life stories like Susan Boyle’s? It further affirms my belief in my two biggest philosophies in life. The first is the best thing you can give someone, including yourself, is a chance. Susan gave herself a chance and so did Britain’s Got Talent. The second is failure is not about falling down, it’s about not getting back up. Susan gave herself many chances, in fact, despite people always blocking her way or ignoring her. She’s gotten back up about as many times as the number of people who have gotten up to cheer for her since her breakthrough, and remains “humbled” through it all as seen on this CNN interview.

Way to go, Susan, and may all your dreams come true!

By the way, who followed Susan on the show? Wow! If you ever want to know what a tough act to follow means, just imagine that scenario!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.0