Community FarmA community garden, but better, in West Ottawa/ Nepean
Calendar at a Glance
Prepare the fields & plant.
Harvest our first greens & trellis our climbing plants!
Harvest the bounty & weed our hearts out!
Harvest our fall crops & prepare the beds for winter.
“Being part of Beetbox community farm was the highlight of my year! I met great people, shared recipes, farming experiences, and worked hard to go home each week with a massive amount of organic veggies. Being part of the farm has also helped me connect with this land and develop a sense of belonging as a newcomer to this city.”
“My partner and I (along with our daughter) joined the community farm last year and had a blast. We worked 4 hours a week and brought back tremendous amounts of veggies each week. The veggies we brought home were slightly different each week depending on what was in season. We learned a lot about farming and growing vegetables. It was really fun to work alongside the BeetBox coordinators and the fellow volunteers.”
“I’m so lucky to be a part of this program (Community Farm). It’s like a grow-your-own CSA! For a relatively low price, I’ve gotten to learn a whole lot about farming and gardening, made new friends, gotten fresh air and movement built into my week, and grown more fresh veggies than I know what to do with.
Do I have to come to the farm every week?
No, finally you can take a summer vacation without any garden guilt!
In this program, you choose a weekly or biweekly shift depending on how many veggies you want and how much you want to learn. Each weekly participant can skip up to 3 weeks in the season without concern and 1 week for bi-weekly participants. Although we do not strictly enforce this vacation rule, if you miss more than 4 sessions it will impact the success of the garden for everyone.
You will sign up for a regular “Home shift”, but you are able to attend other shifts during the week if you have a scheduling conflict or change in your schedule.
Do I need prior farming experience? What do we do each shift?
No! All skill levels are welcome.
Our Community farmers are a diverse group with different levels of growing experience. Our coordinators will teach you everything you need to know to be a part of this program. You’ll take home some great skills back to your own garden as well!
At each shift we plant, weed, and harvest crops under the direction of a coordinator. We also work on shared projects with the horticulture operation at the farm such as weed-wacking around our shared electric fence or cracking garlic for fall planting. There is also the option to join the Special Projects team for more ad hoc farm projects.
How much veg can I expect from this program?
The value of the veggies participants will receive is more than double the cost to participate. The harvest is planned for 18 weeks from mid June to early October. The harvest will be lighter in the spring, with a lot of greens, but as the season progresses you can expect to take home a full grocery bag full of fresh vegetables, harvested by you and your fellow community farmers on your shift.
What do the participant fees contribute to?
The community farm fees cover the costs of the resources we use to make our project possible from the commercial part of Beetbox Farm. Our garden relies on key shared farming infrastructure such as irrigation systems, pest-control, cover cropping and bed amending and a greenhouse for seedlings. This program also makes a critical contribution toward enabling Beetbox farm to exist.
What do community farmers grow?
Over 40 types of vegetables and even a few fruits like melons. Check out the BeetBox Farm Store page for a list that is very similar to what we grow.
Can I participate with my kids?
Families are also welcome. What we have seen is that usually one parent is on childcare at the farm, while the other works, although some tasks are kid-friendly!
Can I bring a friend?
Friends are welcome to join and partake in farm tasks. Friends who have been to the farm multiple times and understand how the program works may be able to cover shifts for you and collect your harvest share if you are not able to make it to the farm some weeks.
Is this part of the BeetBox CSA?
The Community Farm garden is located at BeetBox Farm, but is separate from our CSA and horticulture operations. We do often work on shared projects though.
Community Farm is in-between a CSA and a community garden. Although we use the CSA crop plan and a lot of farming tools, how much we grow is also dependent on the effort we all put in. In the 3 years we have run the program so far, we have had amazing success!