4 kinds of lettuce, bounds of berries, a variety of root veggies, fields of fresh herbs, bunches of broccoli and cauliflower, and piles of preserves are among the goods coming out of Mark’s Market in Grand Falls as of this weekend’s grand opening
They’re enjoying a healthy investment of money from both the Federal and Provincial Governments, who co-invested some $172,500 into Mark’s market to help it expand and boost the province’s bleak agricultural industry.
“Mark’s Market produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are typically, and not so typically, grown in Newfoundland and Labrador, said Steve Crocker, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods. “With help from the Provincial Government, the farm has been able to strengthen access to local markets and enable consumers to buy directly from the farm market.”
The funding is part of the Provincial Government, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s commitment of $37 million towards a program called “Growing Forward 2,” which aims to promote innovation, competitiveness, and market development for Canadian farmers. Investments like these “help meet the Federal Government’s goal of putting more healthy, high-quality food, produced by Canadian farmers, on the table of Canadian families.”
In Scott Simms words, an MP for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame, it also “helps to diversify Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy, create jobs, and grow the middle class.”
Mark’s Market was born out of a family farm started by Richard Oram over 25 years ago. His son Chris is now active in the business; Chris graduated from Dalhousie’s Agricultural program in 2011. Oram says the funding granted them a new facility which will enable them to extend their season and increase their product line.