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All Photos courtesy of Pam Kapoor

Ottawa’s Youngest Farmers’ Market Serves Little Italy & Beyond

By Pam Kapoor on July 26, 2012

Situated in the heart of Little Italy, the Preston Farmers’ Market considers itself a neighbourhood destination for all of central Ottawa.

From swiss chard, sauces, and sausages to soaps and sock moneys … the PFM offers “everything you could want in one delicious stop”. Saturday shoppers can find fresh produce & meats, hand-roasted coffee, sweet treats, handicrafts, and more courtesy of local farmers, producers, and craftspeople.

This year’s PFM line-up features big draws (Suzy Q Doughnuts, Purple Urchin, Riverglen Biodynamic Farm, Upper Canada Heritage Meats) as well as lesser-knowns like The Joy of Gluten Free (baked goods) and Jirah’s Garden (seeds). Also on site is Ottawa’s newest food truck, The Town Fryer.

Artisanal and local are more than just buzz words for the PFM: various experts share skills in the community matters booth, there is seating for communing, and live performers provide the market’s soundtrack.

The PFM’s farmer’s breakfast has been garnering a lot of buzz around town: for just $6, customers ‘get a plate & circulate’ – various vendors serve up hearty, homemade grub.

With so many popular farmers’ markets in the national capital region, the PFM stands out because of its size & dedication to relationships:

“We all believe strongly in fostering sustainable connections between producers and consumers, and the market is small enough that we can really get to know each other,” says Leela Ramachandran of Chelsea Gardens.

“We are 100% purveyor-powered and community-inspired,” says Kelly Butler, market manager. “We wouldn’t be here were it not for a tremendous groundswell of support.”

After a successful run in 2011 as an initiative of the Preston BIA, PFM vendors & patrons were disappointed when word came earlier this year of the market’s cancellation. So they brought it back to life through initiative as organic as the produce they sell. It’s now dubbed “the little market that could”.

The Preston Farmers’ Market runs Saturdays from 9am – 2pm, til October 6th at the Il Postino Parking Lot (corner of Preston/Louisa). Vendors include Bekings Poultry Farm, Chelsea Gardens, Clarmell Farms Pure Goat Cheese, CleanHandsWarmHands, A Curious Collective, Face to Grace, Foster Family Farm, Hall’s Apples, Heavenly Honey, Helios Farm, IndieGo Designs, Jaded Raven Creations, Jirah’s Garden, Le Michel Ange, Liege Belgian Waffles, Meeka’s Creations, Meow! That’s Hot, Morsel, Nishin Da Skin, Purple Urchin, Richard’s Kitchen, Riverglen Biodynamic Farm, Souria Products, Suzy Q Doughnuts, The House of Bubbles, The Joy of Gluten Free, The Merry Dairy, The Town Fryer, Upper Canada Heritage Farm, and Yummy Cookies.