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NDG outdoor markets fill the need for freshness
Article mis en ligne le mercredi 25 juillet 2012

Photo: Gerri Barrer

Maude-Hélène Joyal bags Quebec strawberries

It was one of the hottest July days on record. People outside were wilting. But the produce at the community market on the corner of Benny and Monkland looked as fresh and juicy as if it had just been picked.

That’s because it had. The night before, the staff of Tera ter, a community organization, selected the fruits and vegetables that had just been delivered from Quebec farms to Montreal’s Central Market. They stored them in a cold room overnight and presented the array the next morning to the people of NDG.

Florence Nguezem was on her way to swim at the Centre Sportif de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce when she happened upon the small corner market for the first time. “It’s always good to have fresh fruits and vegetables that didn’t come by boat from South America,” she said, while admiring the cantaloupes, strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb that came from fields close to home.

Tera ter is committed to providing local produce to residents in their own neighbourhoods. “We want to promote access to healthy eating with markets in the parks and near public transit where people circulate,” said Maude-Hélène Joyal, one of the market organizers. She also pointed out that the enterprise is ecofriendly - the produce has not travelled long distances to its point of sale.

Prices are in line with what grocery stores and other outdoor markets charge. There are some imports such as lemons from Mexico and pineapples from California. But Joyal says that’s only because customers expect these items at a market. There are no organic products since they are more expensive than non-organic fruits and vegetables and Tera ter wants to keep its market produce affordable. If there are any leftovers, they are turned into compost.

There are two Tera ter markets in NDG. The Benny Park location, at the corner of Monkland and Benny, is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Sept. 22. The Georges-Saint-Pierre Park market, on the corner of Upper Lachine and Oxford, is open Fridays from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. until Aug. 31.

[ Gerri Barrer ]

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