Concordia Farmers’ Market is back for the fall semester

Farmers’ Market at the Loyola Campus. LUCAS MARSH/THE CONCORDIAN

The market wants to promote sustainability by offering local and organic food to Concordia students

The Concordia Farmers’ Market made its comeback on both campuses for the fall semester. 

Until the last week of October, vendors will offer local and organic products to students. The market takes place from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays at Loyola and on Thursdays at the downtown campus. 

Lacey Boudreau, one of the coordinators for the Farmers’ Market, explained that it started as one of the many projects within the Concordia Food Coalition. Founded in 2013, the Food Coalition aims to promote a more sustainable food system at Concordia. 

“It’s one of the pieces of the puzzle that we’re trying to put together for a new food enterprise,” said Boudreau. “We want to give students the opportunity to have very direct access to local organic food every week.”

In front of the F.C. Smith Building at Loyola and the J.W. McConnell Building downtown, local vendors from the neighbouring area sell their organic products. Among them are the vendors from Co-op CultivAction, a food cooperative that is part of the Concordia Food Coalition. 

Caleb Woolcott, a member of CultivAction, said the co-op provides food from its mixed diverse vegetable garden with the goal of making fresh local produce accessible to all. 

Through their community-supported agriculture program, people can order baskets at the beginning of the season and come to the Farmers’ Market to pick up fresh vegetables every week. Vegetables are sourced locally from their garden that six staff members are responsible for, along with volunteers and interns. 

A part of the garden also serves for the development of permaculture gardening techniques and is used by students to learn and practice sustainable agriculture.

“Urban agriculture, a lot of it is about community engagement, and there is a really wonderful community around the garden,” said Woolcott. 

Nico Schutte, co-founding member, explained CultivAction’s main goal is to work on food sovereignty within the University. 

“We’re trying to have a circular food economy in Concordia,” said Schutte. “The idea is to divest in the international factory farm food system that clearly does not feed the majority of people and only contributes to climate change.”

Though the market closes in November to reopen next summer, the team hopes to be active during the winter semester.

“There is the possibility of some pop-up holiday markets that we’ve been talking about or different things happening throughout the winter until we start again next summer,” said Boudreau.

Student Life

Slice of Life: Growing sustainability

Check out Concordia’s Farmers Market for all things organic and local

Did you know Concordia has a farmers’ market? I didn’t until just last week. Crazy, right? I literally could not believe that locally-sourced, organic veggies, snacks and so many other handmade products were being sold right at school. The Concordia Farmers’ Market (CFM) takes place every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second floor mezzanine of the Hall building.

An Instagram post made by the CFM on Aug. 7 indicates that their location moved to the corner of Mackay St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd. that week, so it would be wise to follow them on social media in case of any future location changes (see below). The CFM is supported by many on-campus organizations such as the Concordia Greenhouse, Concordia Food Coalition (CFA), Sustainable Concordia, Concordia Student Union (CSU) and Sustainable Action Fund (SAF).

According to an article from November 2014 on the university’s website, the idea of an on-campus farmer’s market started with two anthropology students. After an inspirational trip through the Costa Rican countryside, Kasha Paprocki and Alejandra Melian-Morse decided to start a recurring farmers’ market with the help of some volunteers “as part of an internship course on social economy, supervised by Satoshi Ikeda,” said the same article. During their first market on Oct. 29, 2014, 500 people came by. Melian-Morse is still the CFM’s project leader.

On the CFM’s Facebook page, you can find all kinds of affordable, organic veggies that cycle out depending on the harvest season. Other goodies from urban farms and greenhouses such as the Concordia Greenhouse, the City Farm School at Loyola, and Jardins Autonomnes can be found at the market as well. “It is also a great place to get gifts and lunch from,” the same page reads. They have everything from herbal teas to chemical-free, zero-waste shampoos, handmade beaded jewelry to a range of honey bee products—all offered at relatively affordable prices.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ll definitely be checking out what’s in season over the next few weeks at the CFM. The best part about doing even a portion of your shopping there—aside from the convenience of it being on campus—is that you’d be supporting small businesses and local food distribution networks in Montreal. This ultimately contributes to a more sustainable economy, something I think all of us can get behind.

Follow the CFM on Instagram @concordiafarmersmarket

Feature graphic by @spooky_soda

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