Deadline Extended for Start-Up Farm Program to Dec 3!

Hello Just Food friends,

By request from a number of people, Just Food is extending the deadline for Start-Up Farm applications from this Sunday to Monday, December 3, 2018 – 9am to allow another couple of weekends to ask us questions and fill in the application form.

Please keep in mind that there is the Cliff Gazee Bursary to assist with expenses should someone interested be living with low-income.

For more information or to answer specific questions, please go to: or email

Please share this information with others.




The Just Food team

Just Food March Newsletter

March 2018 Newsletter

Food News and Events in the Ottawa Region

Just Food News and Events

1. March 1 |The Great Big Crunch

2. March 12, 19, 29 | 10 Metre Diet – Backyard Food Production

3. March 13 | Permaculture Workshop

4. Starting March 21 | Red Barn Workshop Series

– March 21 | First Red Barn Potluck 

– March 21 | Potluck + Planning Your Garden to Save Good Quality Vegetable Seeds

– March 25 | Madawaska Forest Garden

– March 28 | Organic Certification Overview

5. March 26 | How to Start a Community Garden Workshop

6. April 29 | Celebrate 15 years with Just Food! 

7. March – April 2018   | Start-Up Food Processor Training in Ottawa

8. Food Distribution Options Enhanced at Ottawa Food Hub

9. Just Food Farm Solar Panel System and Shed Nomination

10. Ottawa Seed library – Gearing up for the 2018 Season! 

Other Community News and Events 

12. Feb – November | Ottawa Horticulture Society Workshops

13. March 13, 14 & 15 | Ottawa Farm Show 

14. March 21 | The Day Of Forests 

15. March 25 | Musical Fundraiser for the Kosher Food Bank

16. March – May | Urban Organic Gardening Seminars with COG 

17. April 9 | Organic Seed Production Course with COG 

18. July 14 – 15 | Eco Sphere Ottawa Expo/ Foire écosphère à Ottawa-Gatineau

19. Oct 1-2 | Championing Public Health Nutrition conference – Early Bird Registration



Just Food News and Events


1. March 1 | The Great Big Crunch

The Great Big Crunch is here. At 2:30 pm on March 1st, over 3500 students across Ottawa bit down on local fruits and veggies to encourage good food in schools.

Check out the Community Food Hub picking up apples and carrots to send to schools across Ottawa.


To learn more about the Great Big Crunch and good food programs in Ottawa schools visit

2. March 12, 18, 19 | 10 Metre Diet – Backyard Food Production




3. March 13 | Permaculture Workshop

Facilitator: Bonita Ford
What can nature teach us about gardening? How can we (re)design our gardens to optimize resources, make less work for ourselves and be more ecologically friendly? In permaculture, we learn to “design like nature”, drawing on simple principles from the natural world. These include: work with nature, start small and slow, emphasize multiple functions, create redundancy, promote beneficial relationships, use renewable resources, cycle resources, maximize diversity and edges, work with evolution, and be creative. Learn about permaculture principles and various ways to apply them in our gardens, as well as permaculture design examples in the garden. This session will include discussion and a small group exercise. Organized with the Community Gardening Network, at Just Food.
Registration appreciated but not required. Email to register at:
Cost: Free
When: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Where: Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, 464 Metcalfe St


 4. Starting March 21 | Red Barn Workshop Series

Throughout 2018 Just Food will be hosting food and farm related events at the Just Food Farm in our new community event space, now called the Red Barn.  These activities will be held on Wednesday evenings and Sundays during the day, along with a monthly potluck. Below you will find what’s on deck for the month of March, with more to come.

We will have speakers, films and books, if you’re interested let us know.


March 21 | First Red Barn Potluck 

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Free

Come join Just Food at the first monthly potluck in the Red Barn! Celebrate the opening of our community space and connect with staff, volunteers, the Board of Just Food, and your community. Each month Just Food will host one community potluck, followed by a workshop, event, panel and more. Please label the ingredients in your dishes, in case of allergies.


March 21 |Planning Your Garden to Save Good Quality Vegetable Seeds – Presented by Kate Green

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM – Suggested donation: $5

After  our inaugural community potluck, attendees will be treated to a workshop on seed saving.  At this workshop attendees will learn the basics of how to properly plan a seed garden to ensure you have good quality vegetable seed.    Attendees will also be able to access seed through the Ottawa Seed Library at the workshop.  The Ottawa Seed Library allows members to borrow seed to plant in the spring with the intention of returning seed at the end of the season that will then be used by future participants.


March 25 | Madawaska Forest Garden  – $10

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
“Join Steven Martyn in his telling of a 35-year journey to the heart of agriculture. Steven has more than thirty years experience living co-creatively with the Earth, practicing traditional living skills of growing food, building and healing… He has given talks and run workshops internationally for more then twenty years and has taught at Algonquin college since 2000. In 2014 Megan and he started the Sacred Gardener Earth Wisdom School.”
Steven’s books, “The Story of the Madawaska Forest Garden” and “Sacred Gardening: Seeds for the Reemergence of Co-creative Agriculture” will be available for purchase.

March 28 | Organic Certification Overview – Presented by Delia Elkin – $30

Workshop: 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Delivered by Delia Elkin, an experienced inspector for many certification agencies in the region, the workshop will provide a clear overview of the Canadian Organic Standards, Permitted Substance Uses, and overall requirements farms need to have in place to achieve and maintain organic certification.  Please bring any specific questions you have about inputs, required documentation, etc. as these can all be answered.

This workshop is appropriate for all growers interested in what organic certification means—whether you are a new grower starting up, a conventional farmer considering a transition for all or part of your operation, or an established grower using organic practices.


 5. March 26 | How to Start a Community Garden Workshop

Learn how to start a community garden: from design, to finding land to budgeting, this presentation will help you plan a community garden in your neighbourhood. This is an eligibility requirement for the Community Garden Development Fund.

Cost: Free
When: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: 1355 Bank Street, 7th floorElmvale room
For more information, and to register, contact

 6. April 29 | Celebrate Just Food’s 15th Anniversary!



7. March – April 2018 | Start-Up Food Processor Training in Ottawa

$195 + HST

Presented by, Just Food and North House Foods in partnership with Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI) with guest expert chefs and food businesses

  • Introduction to food production and production equipment.
  • Introduction to the regulatory environment for successful food processing businesses.
  • Validation and testing of your food products.
  • Information to help turn your idea into a business plan.


March 24 – Production (Ottawa Kitchen) – 9-3:30

  • Understanding a Commercial Kitchen
    • Introduction to Commercial Food Grade Equipment at Ottawa Kitchen
    • Food facility safety protocols
    • Food Safety – what’s expected in a kitchen
    • What is HACCP/ MSDS/GSFI and why is this important/ understanding recalls
    • Record-keeping requirements
  • Sourcing raw materials, costing
  • Understand shelf life/ HPP/ MAP/pH Levels/stabilizers

April 7 – Product Development (Ottawa Kitchen) 9-3:30

  • Understanding testing and scaling up processes
    • Small Test Batch
    • Product Review and Feedback
    • Retesting & Scaling Up
  • Food (Product) Costing
  • Introduction to manufacturing processes and how to build your own process
  • Managing your time and margins in the kitchen

April 14 – Marketing & Pricing (Just Food Farm) Full Day – 9-3:30

  • Product Design, Labeling and Packaging
  • Bulk Packing / Individual Packing/ Case Size
  • Packing Material for all products
  • Understanding & Developing Product Prices
  • Knowing your Market – Defining the market
  • Brand development – Emphasis on Social Media and Online Management
  • Classical Sales Theory, Pounding the Pavement
  • Growing and Managing a Client Base and Client Relationship Management
    • How to deal with Consumer Complaints & Returns
    • Client Payment and Terms

April 21 – Packaging/Distribution/ Co-Packing/ Brokerage (Just Food Farm) 9-3:30

  • Understanding and setting up a partnership
    • Brokering, Co-Packing
  • Understanding Retail environment
  • Distribution and Food Safety – Controlled Environment
  • Understanding launch processes
  • Next steps in your Food Business Development

For registration, contact

For a poster of this event, visit


 8. Food Distribution Options Enhanced at Ottawa Food Hub

Mountain Path and Just Food are pleased to announce the completion of a critical project.  Between January and October, 2017, we worked hard to accomplish two major achievements:

Designed traceability systems and required protocols to integrate new, full product traceability features into the existing HACCP compliant systems already in place at the shared hub facility and with certification to GFSI standard.  A mock recall test at completion of this project was achieved within 45 minutes.

Designed and implemented training across all Hub facility users, including businesses within the Ottawa Incubator Kitchen, focusing on topics of recall, communications, new traceability equipment, Food Safety and Quality Control, and Process Control.

This project was critical to ensure continued and enhanced retail options for Eastern Ontario regional product including grains, fruit and vegetables and processed items.  Of particular focus were new businesses incubating within the Ottawa Kitchen component and the growing Ottawa Food Hub, which is focused on increasing regional producers’ access to retail stores and institutional purchasers.

This project was made possible through financial supports from the McConnell Foundation Regional Value Chain program, which strengthens the ability of regional supply chains to make healthy, sustainably produced food accessible to all people. This project was also funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.

For more information, please contact

For more information on the Ottawa Kitchen, click here.


 9. Powering for Prosperity Award Nomination: Just Food Farm Solar Panel System and Shed

We are thankful to have been nominated for the 2018 Powering for Prosperity Awards for the completion of a 10kW solar panel shed that you can find on our property!

Staying true to the ambition for vibrant, just and sustainable food systems, Just Food, Bullfrog and Beau’s Brewing Co. with other funders teamed up to build a 10kW Solar panel system and shed at the Just Food Farm.

This is an extension of a commitment to normalize and spread sustainable food and farming practices across the Ottawa region. However, this project goes beyond a solar shed and renewable energy demonstration; it will help influence the sustainable food movement by showing solar energy as an ingredient in sustainable and organic farming.


Just Food installed a 10kw solar PV system to lower operating costs and their carbon footprint while demonstrating the application of renewable energy as part of a sustainable farming hub.

Check out our two videos demonstrating the project and the impact local partnerships can have on creating spaces for education, green energy and community building. You can find our videos from Beau’s Brewing Co. and Just Food’s Associate Director, Phil Mount here!

Although we did not win the award, we are grateful for the opportunity to be recognized for green energy initiatives and their importance. Congratulations to all nominees, but especially organizations in Ottawa such as Alfred Solar Energy Project by Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-Op, and the victors Karen’s Place Renewable Energy – Ottawa Salus on their deserved win.

We all benefit when cities come together to support renewable energy! Go Ottawa!




 10. Ottawa Seed library – Gearing up for the 2018 Season! 

The Ottawa Seed Library is gearing up for another great growing season! Seed saving takes time and energy all year, and we are always looking for individuals to help grow the library in a multitude of ways. From seed packing to saving, event organization and workshop delivery, we rely on volunteers, members and generous donations to make sure seeds are received, grown and distributed all over the Ottawa area.

If you or someone you know would like to get involved, contact us at or check out our webpage


11. Community Garden Development Fund 2018 – Taking Applications Now!
Are you interested in starting a community garden or enhancing an existing garden?
If you are then you are a great candidate to apply for a grant through the Community Garden Development Fund!
Community gardens can take a variety of shapes, sizes and models.  Gardens that have large plots, small plots, or gardens that work primarily with kids, adults, newcomers to Canadas, and more are all possible projects for the Community Garden Development Fund.
If this is of interest to you please check out the CGN Section on our website, or reach out to Jordan at for more information.

Other Community News and Events

12. March – November | Ottawa Horticulture Society Workshops

From drystone walls to container gardening – check out some of these great gardening workshops offered throughout the year!

Click here for more information:

13. March 13, 14 & 15 | Ottawa Farm Show 

The Ottawa Valley Farm Show (OVFS) is Ontario’s longest running agricultural trade show. From the beginning, it has been organized by farmers for farmers on a non-profit basis. Join them this year to check out their exhibitors and seed show!

Click here for more information:

14. March 21 | The Day Of Forests 

March 21 is the International Day of Forests – will you celebrate? Let’s make our cities greener, healthier, happier places to live!

Click here for more information:

Learn more about what’s happening in Ottawa, and get involved in the Ottawa Food Forests


15. March 25 | Musical Fundraiser for the Kosher Food Bank

There will be a musical fundraiser for the Kosher Food Bank on Sunday March 25th at 3 PM.

It will include A Touch of Klez (klezmer band) and the choir Musica Ebraica.

The event will be held at the Soloway Jewish Community Center at 21 Nadolny Sachs Private (near Carling and Broadview).

The cost is a minimum $10 donation to the Kosher Foodbank. Please bring a piece of ID to show at the entrance.


16. March – May | Urban Organic Gardening Seminars with COG (local chapter)

Where: The Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St W, Ottawa

When: Saturday mornings – March 10th, April 14th, May 12th 9:30am-1:30pm. Seed Sale to follow at 1:30pm.

Topics include:
Growing Organic Vegetables, Herbs & Edible Flowers, Container, Small Space, and Labour Saving Urban Garden, Starting Seeds Indoors and Out, Soil, Compost, Garden Planning Workshop, Garden Diagnosis & Organic Garden Management of Pests & Diseases, Extending the Gardening Growing Season, & Winterizing, and Seed Saving.

17. April 9 | Organic Seed Production Course with COG 

Want to learn more about producing organic seeds? Want to learn about their commercial production, harvesting, quality, marketing, breeding and more? Want to build your own business following your own unique seed-farm business plan?

Click here for more information:


18. July 14 – 15 | Eco Sphere Ottawa Expo/ Foire écosphère à Ottawa-Gatineau

Foire écosphère: environment et écohabitation: la première année à Ottawa-Gatineau

En collaboration avec la Ville de Gatineau et le Festival du Chanvre cherchent des exposants et conférenciers pour leur foire le 14-15 Juillet à Gatineau.

Pour plus d’information, visitez


Ecosphere Canada: environment and green housing, is having their first Ottawa-Gatineau expo.

They are looking for speakers and facilitators for their event on July 14-15.

For more information, visit


19. Oct 1-2 | Championing Public Health Nutrition conference – Early Bird Registration

Early Bird Registration is open for the Sixth Biennial Championing Public Health Nutrition conference in downtown Ottawa on October 1-2, 2018, at 

The conference will explore front-of-pack nutrition labelling, school food, the new Canada’s Food Guide, the new national food policy for Canada, health-promoting consumption taxes, and much more.


If you received this monthly newsletter from someone else and would like to receive it directly, sign up here.  If you have a food or farm-related event or issue that you would like posted on this newsletter, send a request to

Although all volunteers and community partners of Just Food want to ensure Ottawa has a vibrant, accessible, sustainable food system, we have many diverse perspectives on how to get there. Just Food welcomes this diversity and believes that it is through working collaboratively with different opinions that we will arrive at a healthy food system for all. Any information that Just Food sends can include information from different community members and community partners and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Just Food.  If you ever have a question about any information listed here, please do not hesitate to e-mail or call 613-824-7771



Donate to Just Food

Help build more just, vibrant and sustainable food and farming systems in Ottawa region by supporting Just Food!

We are a grassroots, non-profit organization that runs the Community Gardening Network, Savour Ottawa (a local food promotional initiative), the Ottawa Buy Local/Grow Local Food Guide, and the Just Food Farm, among other initiatives.

The Just Food Farm is an exciting initiative on NCC Greenbelt land, on which we…

  • Run a Start-Up Farmer Training Program
  • Host the Karen Community Farm
  • Lease to long-term producers like Nanabush Food Forests, Radical Homestead, and The Wild Garden
  • Host children and youth educational tours and programs

    …and much, much more!

Donate Now 

Option A: Get a charitable tax receipt through Achillea Endeavours

Just Food is also working with Achillea Endeavours on our farm and education-related projects.

Achillea’s mission as a charitable foundation is to support ecological agriculture, including farmer training and apprenticeship; and artistic and educational programs related to ecological agriculture. Achillea has an agreement with Just Food to implement such programs. Donations for this work should be made out to Achillea Endeavours and mailed to:

Achillea Endeavours
5519 Old Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2K 1G4

Please indicate that the donation is for Achillea’s work with Just Food and include your return mailing address for a charitable receipt.

We thank you very much for your support.

Option B: Directly to Just Food 

> Make an immediate, or monthly, secure online donation using your credit card

Donate by Mail:

Donations by cheque may be mailed to:

Just Food
2391 Pepin Court,
Ottawa, ON
K1B 4Z3


Community Gardening Network

Community Gardening Network

Community Gardening Network of Ottawa is an information and resource-sharing network that supports the sustainable development of community gardens within the City.

  • Assisting two or more community gardens to get established each year, including building skills and capacity through our “How to Start a Community Garden” workshops and resources;
  • Funding garden developments by providing grants from the Community Garden Development Fund
  • Working with private and public landowners to increase access to land for community gardens in the city;
  • Keeping food and gardening information flowing between Just Food, the community garden coordinators, and the gardeners;
  • Building gardening skills in the city through our beginner level gardening workshops;
  • Encouraging food preservation of the summer’s harvest through our canning and food preservation workshops;
  • Raising awareness in the city about community gardening through online newsletters and special events such as the annual Urban Agriculture Bike Tour.

People will join community gardens for many different purposes, why each person is looking to join a community garden is unique to each individual or family, but some common reasons include:

  • Learning to grow food
  • Teaching others to grow food
  • Providing food donations to food programs (Plant-a-Row, Donate-a-Row)
  • Building & engaging with your community
  • Enhancing community safety
  • Improving mental health (therapy gardening)
  • Enhancing public spaces
  • Empowering individuals with resilient skills

The Plant-a-Row, Donate-a-Row campaign encourages home gardeners in their front or back yards, and community gardeners to grow food for their neighbourhood food cupboards by pledging to grow at least one row in their garden to be donated.

For more information, please navigate to the Plant-a-Row, Donate-a-Row section.

Just Food Farm

Just Food Farm

Started in 2012, the Just Food Farm is where people and projects come together to model and inspire small-scale, viable agriculture businesses and initiatives in the Ottawa region. Located on a 150-acre farmstead in the Ottawa Greenbelt on the west side of Blackburn Hamlet, the Just Food Farm is ideally situated on the #94 bus route and bike paths, with a unique network of pathways that make exploring the varied activities a pleasure. It is between a residential area and the ecologically protected Green’s Creek, allowing us to demonstrate that agriculture can flourish in this context. At the site of the old NCC tree nursery, we are maintaining the windbreaks and will introduce edible trees, maintaining the beauty of the area.

  • A healthy local food economy with access to food for all, serving the growing demand for locally produced products
  • A vibrant and economically viable farming sector
  • A cost-effective model of conservation and land stewardship that builds on scientifically based agro-ecological practices

Featured programs include:

Just Food Start-up Farm

The Start-Up Farm Program provides access to land, training, and shared infrastructure and equipment within a mutually supportive and ecologically sustainable environment. We also provide training and support to new and established producers throughout the Ottawa region. More information here.

The Wild Garden

Amber Westfall

amber-westfallThe Wild Garden provides community members with local, organic and sustainably harvested wild foods and healing herbs.

The Wild Garden also offers educational walks and workshops on the edible and medicinal plants, growing in the local landscape.

Amber is an experienced forager, wildcrafter and gardener. Drawing on traditional techniques of tending the wild and permaculture design, Amber uses regenerative growing and harvesting methods with the goal of co-creating vibrant, healthy and diverse ecosystems.

Contact Information
Cell: 613-415-4213
Or follow at

Nanabush Food Forests

Shelley Lambert

nanabush-2015If “you are what you eat” then, you are Food, Personified. That is our motto at Nanabush Food Forests. How do we achieve that? We focus on creating nutrient rich soil. If you grow healthy soil all of its derivatives will benefit. Great food is simply a derivative of great soil. If you want highly nutritious and superbly delicious food, then you want food grown in great soil.

Better soil, better food, better people.

We have established non-certified organic food forests within the City of Ottawa with emphasis on permanent, sustainable agriculture. By design, gardening in these forests builds soil structure, uses less water and yields a dramatic amount of highly nutritious food per square meter. Our hope is that all people take the opportunity to look good, feel good and be good. Eat from our forest gardens!

Best personal regards,nanabush-logo

Team Nanabush

We named ourselves Team Nanabush several years ago, after visiting Petroglyphs Park and learning about the mythical and mischievous Nanabush, whose role was to teach man what foods in the forest were medicine.

For more information, visit

Radical Homestead

Radical Homestead picCorrie Rabbe & Ron St. Louis

Inspired by a desire to consume less and be more self-reliant, Radical Homestead founders, Corrie and Ron, decided to challenge themselves to learn a new skill every week for one year. From kimchi to beekeeping, this experience transformed them, deepening their connection with the Earth, their food, and enhancing relationships with friends and family, and their surrounding community.

After keeping bees for a few years as a hobby, Corrie and Ron decided to expand their operation. They offer pure, unpasteurized honey and other bee related products.

They also offer a variety of workshops on beekeeping, fermented food, and herbalism.

Products: honey, jams and jellies, salves, and other bee related products, fermented foods and drinks. Organic (non-certified) beekeeping, non-pasteurized, wildflower bee yards.

Radical Homestead_BeesWhere to Buy: Website, special events, or by appointment.

Contact  Information
Phone: 613-852-5063
Website :
Savour Ottawa Online:

Operation Come Home: FarmWorks 

FarmWorks-Feature-Image-JPGFarmWorks is a social enterprise at Operation Come Home, which offers at-risk, street-involved and homeless youth the opportunity to develop employment skills within the agriculture industry. It also provides a safe workplace environment and social supports to ensure youth success. FarmWorks currently employs six youth throughout the summer and provides training in food, farming, and agriculture. The team of youth works alongside our farmer and social support staff to provide 26 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members with fresh produce over an 18-week period. FarmWorks’ goal is to provide youth with a range of skills lfarmworkseading to future employment within the field and to continue personal and professional development throughout their FarmWorks experience.

Products: Mixed vegetables and herbs.

Where to Buy: We offer our product through CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

Contact Information
Carolyn McClelland
Phone : (613) 230-4663
Email :
Website :


KLEO Karen Community Farm 

KLEOphoto2Farming is a way of life that is fundamental to the absolute well being of the Karen people, an ethnic minority who fled from Burma due to civil war, and were resettled by UNHCR in 2006 after living for more than a decade in refugee camps in northern Thailand.  The Karen Farm provides Karen refugees in Ottawa, who have endured years of displacement, a place of comfort and sense of home, as well as a place to practice and adapt their farming skills and provide healthy fresh food for themselves and their community.

At the one acre plot at the Just Food Farm, elder Karen, with limited english language skills and employment prospects, are adapting their traditional farming methods and crops to the Canadian context, while sharing their knowledge and experience with Karen youth, reversing the generational imbalance that can exist when the young adapt to their new environment more quickly. Karen youth who work as interns and volunteers at the farm are exposed to their traditional heritage, plus the reality of farming in Canada and the possibility of pursuing it as a career. The Karen have also taught us about wild foods!

KLEOphoto1The farm sells its certified organic produce through weekly vegetable boxes in a CSA program which helps to offset costs. The farm is supported by volunteer drivers and record-keepers. The Karen community enjoys celebrations and feasts featuring their traditional foods such as Chin Baung (roselle), Mying Khwar (pennywort) and many ethnic brassicas.

The Karen farmers, working alongside KLEO and Just Food, have made this farm a great success story.

Contact: Erin O’Manique, Board Member of KLEO Support Group

We will announce new programs as they evolve though the Just Food Newsletter and the Blackburn Community Association website.