Yes you have read right, the Ottawa Organic Farmers’ Market as been around for 32 years to be exact. This week, get to know a bit more about your market.
All started in 1989 as an initiative of the Waldorf school (downtown Ottawa) when organic, local food, biodynamic and regenerative agriculture where seldom used terms. But, the school and those first few farmers who joined were real visionaries. Marginal and simple it was, but still, the demand for such products was high enough that the market opened year round already in 1990.
The market has moved several times and it was even, for a very short period, in a private backyard which shows how much determination there is from vendors and customers to keep this ‘’institution’’ alive and well. At one point, the market even had its own music band!
Another interesting fact about the market, is that it was always based on a collective approach: minimum structure and infrastructure, a lot of volunteer work and a goal to be financially independent from grants or other public support. The market has its challenges like any organisation but sharing responsibility and workload has minimized expenses and that is the main reason it survives and was able to adapt to the present COVID-19 crisis. Of the first vendors Hedwig (Glen Andrew Farm) and David (Ferme terre à terre) still remain and offer their products with the same passion. Today the second generation of farmers (Ferme terre à terre and La rosée) and second-generation customers (children of long time customers) are coming to the market.
May this great venture continue so a third generation can enjoy farming and eating organically!