Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trout Lake-Cedar Cottage Pocket Market

A lot of people want to eat local and/or organic, but a lot of people cannot afford it. For the most part, prices of produce at farmers' markets are the same or even cheaper as those at supermarkets. (Please never buy produce at Safeway, which is always expensive!) But still, with low wages, high unemployment, and an ever-increasing cost of living, accompanied by a culture and society long accustomed to not seeing the virtue in spending more money on fresh groceries than on clothing (that's not an insult, it's just a general fact), buying and eating local and well is expensive. Especially in lower-income areas like East Vancouver.

Along comes the Trout Lake-Cedar Cottage Pocket Market. It is the project of the Trout Lake Cedar Cottage Food Security Network-newly revived after a brief hiatus-along with partners such as the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health. It's goal-and a well-met one too-is to provide fresh, local, and organic produce to its neighbourhood at low, affordable prices.

Sweet and delicious Organic Royal Gala Apples
from Cawston, BC

I bought these apples at the pocket market on Sunday (literally a stone's throw from our place) for only 50 cents each!

There were peaches, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, and more produce as well. The quantity is small (at least when I got there), but the quality is high. And that is truly what matters, especially when it comes to food.

There is a coupon program as well for low-income persons with any profits from regular cash sales directly supporting the coupon program.

If you live in the neighbourhood, it is well-worth showing up to get a few things! It is really important to support programs and markets like these. This is ultimately what we need after all: markets in all of our neighbourhoods, each little nook and cranny served with fresh, healthy, and affordable produce.

The next one is October 17 with coupon program shopping only from 10-11:30 with the general public welcome after until 1pm. It takes place at Brant Villa at 2290 E. 25th Avenue.

If you want more details, go to TLCC Food Security Network's blog. And in case you're wondering what a pocket market is, here is a definition (generously sampled from the Coquitlam Farmers Market website):

Pocket markets are mini farmers markets where we sell the food our vendors grow or prepare, on their behalf. A fairly new concept in Metro Vancouver, pocket markets allow local producers, especially farmers, to focus their time and talents on growing or preparing food for local distribution and consumption while providing citizens with more locations where they can access fresh and delicious food from a known and trusted source. For our vendors, pocket markets provide an added way for them to get their food directly to your plate. This helps moves our region towards greater self-sufficiency!

*Also, there is a new pocket market happening at VCC-Broadway Campus from 11am-2pm on Tuesdays, run by the Coquitlam Farmers Market whom also runs a few other pocket markets in the Lower Mainland.

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