The Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia is famous for its beauty, wonderful growing climate, fertile soil, high tides, and orchards full of plump and luscious fruit. Another landmark is Hennigar’s Farm Market. Nestled outside of Wolfville in the hamlet of Greenwich, Hennigar’s Farm Market has been making memories for families for seventy years.
In 1921, First World War veteran Edward Hennigar and his wife Thelma purchased 39 acres of land with a small orchard in Greenwich and began to farm there. Edward was a meat cutter by trade and peddled fresh meats and apples to the town and surrounding areas.
One of his two sons, Rhodes, took an interest in the farm. After graduating from agricultural college he returned to the family farm and married his school-days sweetheart Gloria Duncanson, eventually taking over the operation in 1952. Gloria and Rhodes started to raise six children, laying hens, fruit, and an assortment of vegetables. One summer there was an abundant supply of sweet corn so they decided to take some down the hill to the roadside. Selling off the back of a Model A truck backed into the ditch worked well and they were no time in getting rid of all the extras that day. Doing this just on the weekend worked well and with the addition of fresh eggs and apples they could see that the “Tannery Hollow” was a good location for visibility and ease for customers to stop. In 1952 they constructed a small building to operate a fruit stand and the business began to flourish.
Son Doug returned to the farm in 1975, and with his brother Jim and father Rhodes formed Hennigar Farms Limited. Wives Darlene and Heather came on board as well as five more Hennigar children. A fourth generation on the Hennigar farm began to emerge. Later, younger brother Mike came back to work at the farm. The once small fruit stand continued to grow. Darlene and Heather introduced local crafts and gift items to the mix. With the earlier inspiration of Mrs. William’s wonderful brown bread, a bakery evolved and then a fully stocked greenhouse. In 2007, Doug and Heather Hennigar took over running the farm, and continued to innovate and grow the business. In 2016 their daughter Elaine and her husband Mike Gardiner returned from sunny Australia to their Nova Scotia roots, and with sons Aiden and Cameron have settled on the farm. We may be looking now at a 5th generation!!
And of course Hennigar’s ice cream has been there to see it all. No one is able to resist one of the gigantic cones of Farmers ice cream served up to young and old and everyone in between; Sunday afternoon line-ups are a frequent sight. Word has spread about the market far and wide, and not only Nova Scotians but travelers from all over the world make a point of stopping by when in the area.
Hennigar’s has recognized the importance of family and quality time together. It has been their mission to provide a healthy, wholesome and enjoyable destination for families where they can relax while shopping. A wonderful addition to this total experience has been the development of a family park adjacent to the farm market. Here the children can feed goats, ducks, turtles, and watch the bunnies and peacocks. A tricycle track has been added for the little folks’ enjoyment. A 2.5 km nature trail winds up through their property for those seeking exercise and the enjoyment of nature. The Cookhouse serves hot snacks with fish and chips as the specialty, and you can eat on the deck out over the pond or at picnic tables.
The time has passed rapidly and it has now been 70 years since those first sales took place off the truck by the side of road. The Hennigar family is pleased to have watched families come and go and grow over those years. It has been their privilege to provide lasting memories for their neighbors, friends, family, and the thousands of visitors who keep coming year after year.