New vendors, fresh spirit mark Main Farmers’ Market’s 11th season

By Christine MacIntyre

The Main Farmers’ Market launched its 11th season at the start of June, and after more than a decade in the neighbourhood, the market has truly become part of the fabric of both Main Street and the Old Ottawa East community. Those who have attended the market regularly over the years are happy to see many familiar vendors are back selling their fresh local produce, meat, baked goods and artisanal products.

Now in its 11th year, the Main Street Farmer’s Market has become part of the fabric of both Main Street and the Old Ottawa East community.
Photo by Ian McDonald

There are nearly 30 vendors participating in the market again this year, offering an interesting mix of foods and crafts. While there may be other, larger markets in Ottawa, the Main Farmers’ Market remains true to its original mandate of bringing local farmers together with the community for easy access to high-quality products – all the while helping to reduce our community’s carbon footprint. All vendors are curated by the volunteer Board of Directors and the Market Manager, Brett Weddle, himself a seller at the market. Great care is taken to find vendors with farm-fresh produce from within 160 kilometres, as well as others whose products align with the market’s vision and goals.

This season, as in the past, the market has welcomed a number of vendors who are not just new to the market but are also brand new businesses that have never sold at a market before. As Sue Cavanaugh, president of the Board, explains, “Since the market’s inception, the Board has sought out and promoted new farmers and other food businesses whenever possible, as part of its mandate to support and grow the local food community.”

Rigby Fiver creator and owner Barbara Di Bacco and satisfied clients enjoy the lactose-free, gluten-free gelato.
Photo by Ian McDonald

The fresh entrepreneurial spirit of the vendors provides an energy that many visitors to the market have commented upon. This season, some of the newcomers have launched some exciting and interesting collaborations. For example, new vendor Rigby Fiver Gelato, which makes lactose- and gluten-free gelato, teamed up with another new vendor, Leaf City Organics, which sells edible flowers, to offer some floral toppings for that day’s gelatos. It was a lovely and delicious treat!

This energy and spirit have combined to ensure that the market is truly a fun, local community gathering place. There is live music almost every weekend, along with cooking demonstrations and a community tent that is provided at no cost to groups with information they need to share with local residents. All of this complements the many delicious options that are available each week from the farmers and local artisans.

For a full list of vendors, and what is in season, visit the market’s website at (mainfarmersmarket.org), or follow the market’s regular posts on Instagram (mainmarketottawa), Twitter (mainfarmmarkott) and Facebook (mainfarmmarket613).

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Filed in: Business Beat, Features, Front Page, News

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