Since starting their farm in Manotick Station, the team at Roots and Shoots Farm were always talking about how to get more local than they already were. At that point, most of their produce was heading the short distance to downtown Ottawa. Having lived in the area for only two short years, the team also felt that their farm belonged more to Manotick than to Ottawa. But how to reach out to the people living right around the farm? They started a new CSA pickup in 2011 in Manotick, and opened a little farmstand on Wednesday nights while the CSA customers picked up their produce. The interest was outstanding, and the Manotick stand quickly became their busiest.
Then came the call from Paul and Grace Mussell, of Clarmell on the Rideau goat cheese. They wanted to participate in the farm stand, and the next week they showed up with not only their delicious cheeses, but Beking Eggs as well. Score two more points for local food in downtown Manotick!
But that wasn’t enough. Over the course of the summer the Mussells and the team at Roots and Shoots started talking with their good friends at Watson’s Mill. They all felt it was a great idea, and with a lot of discussion the ball got rolling.
During the winter they all started meeting, and soon their friends at Castor River Farm started helping out, and Wednesday meetings fueled by goat cheese, fresh baked goods, bacon, carrots and beets became a regular occurrence.
Now, more than ten vendors have thrown in their hat with the Manotick Farmers Market, and they aim to have the nicest, prettiest, farmers market in the Ottawa area. Deciding early that they would focus on 100% food, all market stall spaces are occupied by food producers or transformers. With a strong belief in local food, and that Manotick is the right place, and now is the right time.
Check out the vendors here, or come on down to the market, Saturdays from 9AM to 2PM.