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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Very local produce

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organic produce
Please don’t squeeze the tomatoes, reads a hand-written sign above a basket of oddly-shaped tomatoes at this veggie stand on Sherbrooke Street West.  Stephen Homer, the friendly farmer behind the stand, easily convinced me to put down sixty cents for an organic purple heirloom tomato. He explained that the veggies were cultivated at Ferme du Zéphir, one of the only remaining farms on the Island of Montreal.

Homer divides his time between his home in NDG and an apartment near his farm in the West Island. He says that his staff travel by commuter train and bicycle to work on the farm in Senneville.

Supporting local farms is one way to help keep our province’s best agricultural land out of the hands of suburban developpers and to reduce the environmental impacts of importing food over long distances. Best of all, since the fruit and veggies don’t have far to go between the farm and the market, the farmers can select for taste rather than, say, stackability.

Montrealers can sign up to receive a weekly basket of organic produce from Ferme du Zéphir, delivered either in Pointe Claire or NDG. There is also a market every Thursday at Co-op la Maison Verte (5785 Sherbrooke West). Given the success of today’s veggie stand, they’ll likely be back on Saturdays as well.



  1. I got some veggies (mainly tomatoes to go with mozzarella & basil) from these guys in front of Coop Maison Vert two Thursdays ago. (I was only in NDG to go to Akhavan for feta cheese – talk about serendipity.) Didn’t realize they were that local! They also sold me some handmade chèvre from a woman they know who has just a few goats.

    I may have to go visit them; I also go out to Ferme du Pointe Moulin on Ile Perrot once in a while.

    If only there were more so close.

  2. one of the only remaining farms on the Island of Montreal.

    Ngh. It’s either one of the few remaining farms, or the only remaining farm. “One of the only” is common in journalese but it’s meaningless.

  3. This reminds me: can anyone tell me where I can get a Montreal melon? Are they or will they be widely sold?

  4. Shawn, you should ask at the Eco-Quartier in NDG. Someone in there is helping run the gardens where those are grown. Not the most common thing, I think, and maybe better in theory than reality, but you might be able to score one.

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