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New produce markets open in NDG
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 11 août 2011

 
Photo: Anja Karadeglija

Much of the produce for sale at this market in Georges-Saint-Pierre Park comes from local sources.

This summer NDGers have two more alternatives to buying fruits and veggies at the grocery store – they can do their produce shopping in a park or in a parking lot.

That’s due to the Les comptoirs urbains Tera ter, a non-profit that operates markets in other areas of the city and has now moved into the neighbourhood.

In July they opened two produce markets in NDG, one in Georges-Saint-Pierre Park in St. Raymond, and the other in the parking lot of Westhaven Centre, near Concordia’s Loyola campus.

On a warm, breezy Wednesday in St. Raymond, next to the kids playing in the wading pool, white canopies were set up to shelter the tables lined with colourful rows of corn, apples, berries and other produce. Passersby stopped to ask questions and browse the selection.

While the NDG markets are just starting up, director David Tremblay says that the organization’s more established markets end up becoming more than just a place to buy produce.

“Often, people will gather around the market, and we invite community groups to set up information tables. Even other merchants are invited, creating the real atmosphere of a small market,” explained Tremblay.

The goal is to increase accessibility to fresh produce, both in terms of proximity to people’s homes and in prices, which are 20-40 per cent lower than at a grocery store.

Some segments of the population are especially likely to benefit from the market, like those who don’t go to food banks and can’t afford to buy enough fresh produce. Others live too far from the grocery store, and at the alternatives – small corner stores and big box stores – the selection leaves much to be desired, said Tremblay.

Brenna Parris was one of those who stopped by for the first time. She got off the bus she was riding because she saw the stand and wanted to check it out.

“I’m surprised and happy that it’s here, and it’s very fresh – you can see what you’re buying,” she said. “Around this area there’s no grocery store, so really, residents would have to go a fair distance for the fruits and vegetables.”

The Georges-Saint-Pierre Park location is open Wednesdays, 3-7 p.m until September 14. The Westhaven location is open Thursdays, 3-6:30 p.m. until October 15.

[ Anja Karadeglija ]





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