Just Food Farm: 2013-2014 Outcomes

What happened in Just Food’s first year of hosting farm programs at our site in the Ottawa Greenbelt?

1. Our new Start-Up Farm Program offered access to land, infrastructure, equipment and training to help new farmers start successful farm businesses in the Ottawa region:

  • Three acres of land were cultivated using organic production methods;
  • Nine new agricultural enterprises were established by new farmers;
  • A new irrigation system and produce washing station were built;
  • We purchased two walk-behind rototillers, a tractor and farm implements for field work;
  • Over 13,000 pounds of crops were grown and harvested;
  • Produce was delivered to over 50 CSA customers and 5 local restaurants;
  • A new farm gate stand supplied hundreds of customers in Blackburn Hamlet with fresh produce;
  • The farm site was pre-certified organic with EcoCert Canada;
  • Seven training workshops were held for new farmers;
  • Five farm tours were held and dozens of visitors came to check it all out.

 2.  Just Food hosted three Partnership Programs with non-profit community groups at our farm in 2013:

  • Farmworks with Operation Come Home: helping youth at risk build their farming skills on a one acre plot;
  • Karen Community Farm with KLEO (Karen Learning and Education Opportunities): helping new Canadians with agrarian backgrounds connect to their new environment on a one acre plot;
  • Apple Blossom: a weekly day-program for children and their parents to connect to the farm, including the development a children’s garden near the farmhouse.

Benefits to Start-up Farmers:

  • Access to farmland, shared equipment and infrastructure at a smaller investment and reduced risk compared to starting their own independent farm;
  • A chance to start small and grow slowly before having to make a longer term commitment to a farm business;
  • A network of new growers to collaborate with and learn from;
  • Convenient access to the urban Ottawa market;
  • Skills development through training courses and staff support.

Benefits to Neighbouring and Broader Communities:

  • Fresh, local produce is available to residents at our Farm Gate Stand and directly from the farms;
  • New local businesses will spend money on local goods and services;
  • The farm site is being maintained and enhanced as a community site, accessible by bus, car and bike;
  • Organic production at the farm means no chemicals or contamination of the land, water, air, or wildlife.

Benefits to Just Food:

  • We are able to support new farmers on our site, as well as continuing to support famers throughout the region;
  • We are building a dynamic, innovative farm that can serve as an accessible destination for schools, agri-tourism, and the general public;
  • We can offer a diverse range of educational workshops and tours to help people learn where their food comes from.

Just Food Community Food Farm

2391 Pepin Court
Blackburn Hamlet (between Vanier and Orleans) in Ottawa 
On Bus Route #25
Gate is open 7 days/week, with open hours reflecting daylight. 
9am – 6pm – (and in summer up ’til 8pm)
(Sometimes gate will be open earlier but safe to say 9am)

Map for Community Farm


Start-up Farm Program

Just Food established the Start-Up Farm Program to support new farmers in the Ottawa region. By offering access to land, shared infrastructure/equipment, and training, the program aims to enable more people in this region to start their own successful farm business.

> Read More about Just Food’s Start-up Farm program