Christmas comes early for Concordia’s City Farm School
On July 3, Charleen Kotiuga, four seasons grower and market coordinator with Concordia’s City Farm School, went to work expecting to harvest some fresh garden produce for the day’s market.
What she found amazed her — a beautiful new market stand on wheels, with baskets for produce and a carved wooden sign. A garland of Gerber daisies and a string of lights adorn the new structure.
“I kind of cried, it was so beautiful,” says Kotiuga. “It’s so much easier to set up, and new people came by that day just because they were attracted to the look of the stand.”
City Farm School is an initiative of the Concordia Greenhouse that aims to promote urban agriculture and local food autonomy. The school grows 30 types of vegetables in more than 100 different varieties behind Hingston Hall at the Loyola Campus.
Who built the stand?
Credit for the new stand goes to property and operations manager Gerry Barrette and his team from Facilities Management. Over the past few years, he observed how the City Farm School team would lug out tables, chairs and baskets of produce to set up for their weekly market.
“We saw a need and wanted to help,” says Barrette, who began conceptualizing the project with his team in January.
He hopes the new stand will reduce the group’s set-up time and provide them with a means to transport their market anywhere on campus.
“It’s nice to see people out in a garden on campus — on their hands and knees weeding,” Barrette says. “They work so hard and what they accomplish is fantastic.”
Barrette’s gesture touched Kotiuga, who said she couldn’t be more thankful to the Facilities Management team.
“It’s so nice to see that people care and that our project is supported by the community,” she says.