I received some disappointing news from the Ottawa Farmer’s Market earlier this week. Craig Murkar, General Manager of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market (OFM) informed me that the Stittsville Farmer’s Market set to take place in Village Square Park will not be feasible for this season.
In order for a farmer’s market to take place the OFM association cannot open a market that does not have at least 51 per cent farm produce. Since receiving this news mid-week, I have been working with City Staff as well as OFM to see how we could possibly go forward with the project this year. Unfortunately, and to the disappointment of many, the market will not be going forward at this time.
I am providing below a press release that was issued by OFM to my office this afternoon:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JULY 7, 2017
OTTAWA FARMERS’ MARKET POST-PONES STITTSVILLE MARKET OPENING
The Ottawa Farmers’ Market will not be opening a farmers’ market in Stittsville’s Village Square Park this year. Despite lots of enthusiasm and support from the Stittsville community for a farmers’ market, the farmers’ of the Ottawa region have faced a particularly challenging growing season.
“Excessive rain this spring and early summer has many farmers’ starting the market season late, and missing market days to plant and sometimes replant crops damaged by the rain. Many crops are weeks behind schedule, and a few are drowning in soggy fields” says Greer Knox, President of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market. “Vendor attendance is down at other farmers’ markets in the City, with the bulk of those absences being farmers who struggle to keep their production on target with the rain and lack of sunny days”.
“It’s the wrong time to try to launch another market”. President Knox adds “The produce farmers are bringing to market are excellent quality. And the recent sunny weather has raised spirits and expectations for excellent crops this summer and fall”. The Ottawa Farmers’ Market will continue to operate its existing four markets at Lansdowne Park as well as in Westboro, Orleans and Riverside South.
The Ottawa Farmers’ Market is keen for a successful Farmers’ Market in Stittsville next year, and will continue to work with Councillor Qadri and the Stittsville Village Association to ensure that this venture is successful.
For more information please contact:
Ottawa Farmers’ Market Association
I will continue my efforts with OFM and the Stittsville Village Association to make sure that OFM comes to Stittsville next season. I look forward to having a successful market at that time for the community.