About an hour south of Ottawa in Jasper, ON sits a family-owned farm that’s managed to extend the growing season for fresh, local, certified organic greens that are available in the Ottawa region. Bluegrass Farm is a certified organic vegetable farm that uses an innovative system of heated greenhouses that help to supply the Greater Ottawa Area with fresh local produce nearly year-round. Owners Bradley Wright and Leela Ramachandran are committed to protecting ecosystem health and growing a diversity of produce, focusing on salad greens and other greenhouse crops. Their organic certification with Ecocert Canada means they grow everything in accordance with the Canadian Organic Standards.
Currently, Blue Grass Farms distributes produce through their Spring Greens CSA program, with eight weekly baskets of fresh greens through May and June with items like spinach, baby kale, mesclun mix, lettuce, arugula, baby swiss chard, mustard and Asian greens, garlic scapes and green garlic. They also sell to restaurants and shops (like The Red Apron!) in Ottawa, Perth, Kemptville, Smiths Falls, Merrickville and Almonte, making it easier than ever for folks across the city to have access to local greens almost all year round.
When available, we’ve been adding Bluegrass Farms greens to our Dinner’s In The Bag meals, so keep your eyes peeled for them in upcoming menus.
To celebrate the start of local greens seasons, we’ve shared some of our best tips for buying and storing greens below. Enjoy!
Shop for vivid coloured bunches with firm leaves and stems. Avoid those with excessively thick, tough or woody stem ends.
Soak greens in a basin of cold water to remove sand and grit. Change water several times or until the bottom of the basin is free of residue. Dry on clean towel, place in a zip bag with a damp towel and refrigerate. Use within several days.
Cooking with Greens
Mustard Greens with Cumin and Balsamic
Asian Greens with Garlic Sauce
Garlic Scape Pesto
Mesclun Salad with Fried Shallots and Blue Cheese
Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard
Baby Kale Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Strawberry Spinach Salad