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Food has always been something that brings people and communities together and FarmWorks has figured out a way to use food to help those in the community of Ottawa. FarmWorks is a social enterprise with Operation Come Home (OCH), which supports at-risk and homeless youth (16-30 years old) by giving them an opportunity to develop valuable skills in agriculture and learn about local food sustainability.
Youth are provided meaningful, paid learning opportunities through workshops and experiential learning on a local farm in Blackburn Hamlet. They can then utilize those skills and their experience to help them get work in the fields of horticulture, agriculture, hospitality or even enter into a related education program.
FarmWorks creates certified organic and hand-harvested produce on a small scale which is then sold through community supported agriculture (CSA) member shares. Those shares are sold from mid-June to mid-October in various seasonal harvests with products not always found in grocery stores. Since it started in 2013, 39 youth have been employed in the program and have gone on to further develop their skills and experience in working with agriculture and food.
FarmWorks is currently looking for new members for the 2016 season to help support their program by purchasing CSA shares. This season they will have two options for share purchases in their farm. They offer a full share ($575), where members will receive produce weekly for 16 weeks and a half share option ($325), where member will receive half that amount of produce for the same amount of weeks.
Produce will be distributed from approximately mid- July to mid- October. All of the revenue goes back into their non-profit organization that helps to continue the FarmWorks program or assist with other programs at OCH. CSA members can also stay up to date with FarmWorks newsletters. Members are even welcome to tour the farm to see where their food comes from or learn some new and useful farming skills.
Interested in getting involved? You can contact FarmWorks at 613-230-4663 or send them an email at email@example.com. To learn more or to sign up for shares, click here.