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Not a Bad Homework Assignment: Start a Farmers' Market

The Coquitlam market, bringing local food to the 'burb for 20 years, started in an SFU classroom.

By Tyee Staff 9 Jun 2016 | TheTyee.ca

The Coquitlam Farmers Market has been an important part of the city's local food scene for 20 years, but it wasn't started by farmers -- it was started by students for a class project.

Terri Evans was one of four students in a Simon Fraser University sustainable communities course who wanted to use city space to highlight local food. What better way to do that, the students thought, than to help set up a farmers' market.

"Farmers' markets provide a lot of economic activity," Evans says. "They provide a great opportunity to buy food directly from local farmers, and for people to re-learn knowledge that they've lost -- such as the seasonality of foods."

The City of Coquitlam was happy to support the project. It made sense that local citizens should be more connected to locally grown food.

Fast-forward 20 years, and the Coquitlam Farmers Market now contributes $1.5 million to the local economy during its summer season alone.

It's been a while since Evans was a student, but she's still involved with SFU. She manages the university's urban studies program and is also an instructor with the department of geography.

"I think it provides a lot of credibility for students to see their instructors doing work in the community," she says.

Evans is also still involved with developing the market, and is satisfied to know that she helped change shopping habits in the suburb.

Check out the full story at SFU's website here.  [Tyee]

Read more: Education, Food,

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