Posts Tagged ‘Organic Week’

Late summer sampler: Ottawa events include seed-saving workshop, urban farm tours, cooking classes and more

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Seed saving Photo: Kt.ries (via Flickr)

Seed saving
Photo: Kt.ries (via Flickr)

The last Earthward post (Feast on, Ottawa) rounded up the city’s best celebrations of the local harvest, such as the Savour Ottawa Harvest Table, Canadian Organic Growers (COG) Feast of Fields, and the Harvest Noir picnic.

But there’s more than feasts to Ottawa-Gatineau’s food and farming scene. The next few months will see a variety of events offering you the chance to brush up your food skills while enjoying the last weeks of the season. Check them out.

Seed-saving workshops – Aug 20 and 27

Our food supply has come to depend on a handful of crop varieties, making it more vulnerable to disease, pests and climate change. Saving seeds promotes genetic diversity in crops and helps ensure a secure, resilient food supply. To learn more about this traditional practice and save your favourite fruit and vegetable varieties from year to year, join Just Food’s Community Gardening Network in an instructional workshop led by Greta Kryger of Greta’s Organic Gardens.

When + where:                     Aug 20, 6 -8 p.m., Dempsey Community Centre OR

August 27, 6-8 p.m. at the Bayshore Park Fieldhouse

How much:                            $5 or pay what you can

Info/register:                        email or call 699-6850 x12

8th Annual Urban Agricultural Bike Tour – Aug 23

Just Food invites you to participate in this fun, popular event aimed at increasing awareness of and support for Ottawa’s community gardens, and sparking dialogue about the importance of accessible local food.

The full 12 km bike route tours six community gardens; a family-friendly 7 km tour takes in four gardens.

When:                                  Aug 23, 10 a.m.

Where:                                Strathcona Park parking lot (off Range Road in Sandy Hill)

How much:                      $5 donation to the Ottawa Food Bank or pay what you can

Info/registration:       email Olivia at or call  613-699-6850 x12.

Just Food Start-Up Farm 2015

If you’ve ever wanted to start your own farming business, check out Just Food’s Start-Up Farm Program.  It offers a low-risk way for new farmers to test their business ideas and develop additional skills, experience, markets and networks before committing to a larger, longer-term farm operation.

Applications for the 2015 growing season will open in September, but to learn more now, call 613-699-6850 x15, or email

Urban Element hands-on cooking classes

Urban Element is featuring three late-summer classes designed to hone your kitchen skills, inspire fresh meal ideas, and thrill your taste buds. All classes will be held at the Urban Element on Parkdale Avenue. For more information or to register, visit

A Berry Midnights Summer Dream with Chef Bruce Wood – Aug 19  

On the menu: Lugtread-, garlic- and chili-sautéed prawns with salsa verde; pork back ribs with beer and rye-infused barbecue sauce; summer fruit and vegetable slaw; roasted corn muffins; and chilli- and rum-grilled pineapple with fresh berries and coconut custard.

When:                                  August 19, 6 – 9 p.m.

How much:                      $120/person

Summer BBQ Series: Part IV – Resident Chef Anna March – Aug 23 

Prepare a BBQ feast of: grilled shrimp and corn chowder with coriander and corn; hot smoked planked trout with grilled potato salad, crème fraiche, fresh dill chive and parsley herb salad; flank steak lettuce wraps with butter lettuce, balsamic and soy marinade, chimichurri sauce and avocado; and much more.

When:                                  Aug 23, 6-9 p.m.

How much:                     $160/person

Late Summer Picnic – Chef Bruce Wood – Aug 26

Join the chef to prepare: Bay scallops tossed with anchovy, preserved lemon and scallion vinaigrette; Jamaican jerk chicken with a cold salad of rice and peas with spicy vinaigrette; sweet potato scones with whipped herb chèvre; and maple liqueur-soaked summer berries with lemon chiffon cakes.

When:                                  Aug 26, 6-9 p.m.

How much:                     $120/person

Celebrate Organic Week – Sept 20-28

COG’s Organic Week is Canada’s biggest celebration of organic farming, food and products. Events can include pickling workshops, recipe contests, farm tours, and organic food and drink tastings in retail locations nationwide. Every organic grower or advocate, every school, retailer and chef can participate.

Search the COG events page for Ottawa or plan an event in your community that COG can post on its website.

Just Food’s September Farm Workshop Series

Interested in learning more about beekeeping, growing mushrooms or wild and medicinal plants? Just Food will hold a series of three workshops in September, presented by some of our very own local producers at the farm. These workshops are open to the public, farmers, gardeners and anyone looking to gain new skills. No previous farm experience or knowledge is necessary. Bring your friends and come learn new, creative and tasty ways to appreciate local goods this fall! Registration is required.

When:                                  All workshops run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

                                                Sept 13:   Beekeeping with Ron St. Louis of Radical Homestead

                                                Sept 20:   How to Grow Mushrooms with Shelly Lambert and Lukasz Wozniak of Nanabush Food Forests

                                                Sept 27:   Wild Edibles and Medicinal Plants with Amber Westfall (see my post about farmer, forager and herbalist Amber Westfall’s and The Wild Garden CSA).

Where:                                Just Food Farm, 2389 Pepin Court, Ottawa

How much:                     $10/workshop or $20/all three

Register:                            Send an email to with your name, email address, and indicate which workshops you would like to attend.


What would you like to learn about food and farming this fall?

Best of Ottawa’s fall harvest: agricultural fairs, Beau’s Oktoberfest, Organic Week workshops & Just Food Farm events

Friday, September 20th, 2013


Learn how to preserve your tomato bounty at a Just Food workshop this fall.
(Photo: Susy Morris, Chiot’s Run via Flickr)

Shorter days and sharper air signal the last weeks of another growing season. It’s time to celebrate and preserve the bounty, and to save seeds for the spring.  Ottawa offers many fall harvest events to participate in, from agricultural fairs to food and farming workshops.

Agricultural fairs

The Richmond, Carp and Metcalfe fairs continue a long tradition that blends farm and livestock exhibits, local produce, and preserves and crafts with live music, contests and midway rides.

  • Richmond Fair, Sept 19 -22, Richmond Fairgrounds, 6121 Perth Street
  • Carp Fair, Sept 26-29, Carp Fairgrounds, 3790 Carp Road

Beau’s Oktoberfest, Oct 4-5, Vankleek Hill

Beau’s All-Natural Brewing raises money for United Way Ottawa, Just Food, Rethink Breast Cancer and other organizations at their annual signature bash.

Beau’s Oktoberfest 2013 will showcase well-known musicians (Kathleen Edwards, Sloan, The Sadies), highlight local organic food and drink, and feature activities such as a malt sack race, a sausage-eating competition and even a spouse-carrying contest.

Note:  Just Food is looking for volunteers for its Just Food Midway at Beau’s Oktoberfest.  Register at and receive a Beau’s Volunbeer Package that includes: admission to the festival for the weekend, a ticket to the exclusive volunbeer party, a drink token, transportation to and from Ottawa, and more. Contact Heather at for details.

Organic Week workshops from Canadian Organic Growers

September 21-28 is Organic Week in Canada. It’s your chance to find out more about this chemical-free approach to farming that supports a cleaner environment, better treatment for animals, improved conditions for farm workers, and healthier food for consumers.

Here are just two of the events the Ottawa chapter of Canadian Organic Growers (COG) is putting on:

  • Winterizing your Organic Garden & Extending your Growing Season, Sept 24, 7 – 9 p.m.
  • Growing Garlic Organically, Oct 17, 7 – 9 p.m.

Where: Heartwood House, 400 McArthur Avenue (near St. Laurent Blvd.)

Cost: $15 for one workshop, $25 if you register for both. Discounts for students and seniors.

To register:

Just Food Start-Up Farm Program

Just Food’s Start-Up Farm Program supports new farmers in the Ottawa region by offering access to land, shared equipment and training.  This gives new farmers a low-risk way to test their business ideas and develop skills, experience, markets and networks before committing to a larger, longer-term farm operation.  In the coming weeks, Just Food is holding several events in connection with the program:

  • Just Food Farm Tour, Sept 25, 6:30 – 8 p.m. 

Of interest to anyone who follows urban agriculture, community food programming, conservation in the Greenbelt, farmer training, community gardening or education, this free tour is your chance to find out what’s happening at the Just Food Farm.

  • Open House & info session l Sept 18, 7 p.m.

The Start-Up Farm Program will accept applications for 2014 starting this fall. The open house provides a chance to tour the Just Food Farm, meet with program staff and participants, and learn more about the application process. Everyone is welcome, and pre-registration is required.

  • Exploring the New Farm Dream – Is Starting an Agricultural Business Right for You?

Sign up for this three-session workshop if you’d like to apply to the Start-Up Farm Program, or are considering other farming options in the region. The sessions are held Sept 28, Oct 8 and Oct 22 and cost $225, including manual and farm tour.

To sign up for any of these Just Food Start-Up Farm events, register online or call Leela at 613-699-6850 (x15). The farm is located at 2389 Pepin Court.

Tomato preservation workshops 

Learn to preserve your tomato harvest at one of these workshops. Space is limited, so register soon.

  • October 3, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m:  Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, 88 Main Street; $5 or pay what you can

To register: Call 613-699-6850 x12 or email

  • October 21, 5 – 7 p.m.: Centretown Community Health Centre, 420 Cooper Street; Free

To register: Contact Julie at 613-233-4443 (x2108)

Seed saving training

Learn how to save seeds with this two-day session from Tucker House and the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security.

  • Basics of Seed Saving: October 6, 9 a.m. –  5 p.m.  l $80 (includes lunch; reduced cost if you register for both days); Tucker House 1731 Tucker Road, Rockland
  • Seed Cleaning: October 20, 12 – 5 p.m.
    $40 (reduced cost if you register both days); Greta’s Organic Gardens, 399 River Road, Gloucester

To register: Contact Nathalie Mathieu at 613-446-2117 (x8) or


Markets and farm stands

  • Farmers markets

Many markets remain open until October/November so this is your opportunity to stock up on fresh local food!  Here’s a full list of the Ottawa region’s urban and village markets.

  • Just Food Farm Gate Vegetable Stand, 2389 Pepin Court, Blackburn Hamlet

Just Food’s Start-Up Farm Program includes a farm stand where farmers who belong to the program can sell their organic vegetables, fruit, wild foods and herbs.  Stop by on Sundays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., until October 6.  There will be a special Thanksgiving sale on the farm stand’s last day, Saturday, October 12. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

What do you like best about the fall harvest?