Photos: June 30, 2016
It's the season of abundance when the market is filled with local produce. The asparagus season is slowly coming to an end, but local strawberries have appeared.
The Atwater Market is not a farmer's market. It is a permanent fixture, running all year. Outdoor stalls are dismantled in November and reappear in April, but some of the stalls move into an enclosed area. The stalls sell a mix of local and imported produce, but now is the season when you see more and more locally grown food, often identified with signs sporting little fleur-de-lys, the symbol of Quebec.
You can buy all kinds of things at the market from food to flowers. This seller was trying to entice buyers to celebrate Canada Day (July 1) with bouquets of red and white flowers.
Shopping at the market is about so much more than buying. It is about stopping to chat with the local seller of L'Itinéraire, a newspaper written and sold by itinerants - people who have had substance abuse issues, are underemployed or unemployed, and who gain a sense of self-worth and dignity through their writing. The fellow at the market has written some books and proudly shared that he was asked to write a two page spread about his neighbourhood for the bilingual paper. I bought a copy. Or exchanging with the woman who sells vegetables and berries, who is always there with a hello and a few words, even if I buy nothing. It is about relationships, about respect for the smaller merchants and valuing small producers.