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Local Food Farm Stand at Mohawk College lets students, staff get in-season produce

Strawberries. Squash. Carrots.

These are just some of the fruits and vegetables you might find at the Local Food Farm Stand, available every Wednesday from 12-5 p.m. at the Mohawk Fennell campus and hosted by Mohawk Sustainability.

The pop-up stand sells a variety of produce as well as some baked goods, and is open to staff, students and the community beyond the college. The products vary depending on which items are in season.

Ashley Packer, the sustainability programs and services coordinator at Mohawk Sustainability, said the purpose of the stand is to bring local and affordable produce to campus.

“Everything sold at the market is sold at cost,” Packer said. “We source all of our food from a distributor called 100km Foods, and they only deal with local farms within 100 km of Toronto.”

In addition to supporting local farms, the market sells honey sourced from honey bee colonies on campus. Mohawk’s bee colonies are from a partnership with beekeepers at Backed By Bees.

“In the fall, which is expected to be in the next two weeks really, we sell the honey that we harvest from our bees on campus at the farmers stand, as well as honey soda, which isn’t from our bees, but it’s made by Backed By Bees so we wanted to support them as well through that,” Packer said.

Chris Arndt, a current college employee and former student, said they sometimes purchase products from the stand in bulk.

“Lately, I have been buying their bounty bags every other week to help supplement my groceries at home,” Arndt said.

Bounty bags cost $20 and can be preordered through email. They include a variety of ingredients for meal preparation as well as a recipe that utilizes the ingredients in the bag.

“I think the pricing of the market cart is pretty good overall,” Arndt said. “Some specific items, like corn, are a bit more expensive than I would expect. That said, I buy enough produce to know that the $20 bounty bag is definitely a reasonable price, especially given that it’s good quality, local food.”

Arndt said they weren’t looking for local food specifically, but they appreciate the taste of products grown nearby.

“I don’t exactly make it a goal to buy all my food local, but I really do enjoy the taste of local produce,” they said. “We live in such a good region of the country for fruits and vegetables that I figure I might as well take advantage.”

The market can be found every Wednesday underneath the bridge that leads to the David Braley Athletic & Recreation Centre until it closes for the season in November. To learn more about the market, visit mohawkcollege.ca/sustainability/local-food.

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