It’s been a slow start to spring in Montreal but with a long weekend paired up with nice weather, Montrealers came out in droves to stock up with their gardening supplies.
At the Pépinière Jasmin in the Saint-Laurent borough, hundreds of plants, including herbs and vegetables were flying off the shelves.
“People want to buy their own vegetables, they want to know what they’re going to plant, what they’re going to eat and they want to also make that children will participate in the crop,” said Sophie Jasmin, one of the owners.
Jasmin says that in the past five years, the popularity of urban gardening — even farming — has skyrocketed. So much so, she has added a variety of unique species to her offering, including hens she keeps in a small coop.
Jasmin also points out some black cherry heirloom tomatoes as well Mexican coriander and even a Kumquat tree, a citrus originally from China.
“Since we have a diversity of ethnicities too, we started to have more availability for them as well,” Jasmin explained.
IN PICTURES: Some of Pépinière Jasmin’s unique offerings
Catering to the organic market
There’s also growing interest in knowing where our food comes from and whether it’s organic. According to Canada’s national organic farmer and consumer association, Canadian Organic Growers, the total organic market in the country was worth $5.4 billion in 2017. It’s up from $3.5 billion in 2012.
Jasmin has responded to the demand by adding to her nursery a whole section of organic herbs and even edible, organic flowers such as pansies.
WATCH: Is organic food worth it?
Jasmin wants people to know that it’s a myth that buying organic plants is more expensive than regular.
“It’s going to be the same price. When people know that, it’s good,” Jasmin said.
According to Jasmin, the taste is also good. Organic packs more flavour, without any of the pesticides and chemical fertilizers of regular farming.
Jasmin says although the weather was great on Monday, people should always take a look at the temperature during the evenings when they plant. She says that if it drops below 10 Celsius, then it may be worth waiting a bit longer before planting.
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