Moss Park residents to enjoy fresh food from new farmers market

Moss Park residents are getting a Saturday farmers market with affordable fresh fruits and vegetables starting Oct. 3. The market will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“With stores not really being accessible to the older folks I thought a community market would be advisable for them to come to,” says Moss Park resident Dennis Hawkins, who got the idea started with help from food advocacy groups Building Roots and Push Food Forward.

Hawkins is the one who, in 2012, started a community garden on the lawn outside the Moss Park apartments at Queen and Sherbourne streets. Several residents use the garden to grow vegetables to supplement their meals. There’s even a garden for kids so they can learn how food grows.

The market, just steps away from the garden, will operate year round and go indoors at 275 Shuter St. when the weather gets cold.

Hawkins says the market will offer a free delivery service to local tenants who find it difficult to get out of their apartments. A high school student has already told him he wants to be a delivery person.

Wali Barak of Arman Farmers’ Market in Regent Park will run the market. “For fruits and vegetables it’ll be just me,” says Barak.

“What I do is bring affordable vegetables and fruits. But the main issue is to bring the residents together to get to know each other and to learn from each other,” says Barak, noting how the neighbourhood has residents from various cultures.

In addition to regular “Canadian” food he has foods that appeal to different ethnicities. “I’ve got 168 different items of fruits and vegetables. I have different vegetables for every culture.”

Creating Caring Communities at Parliament and Dundas hopes to offer roasted corn and children’s games on opening day to encourage a good turnout. Barak suggests more vendors may do business at the market once they learn what people want.

Posted On: October 01, 2015