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Services  -  Enterprises  -  Silver Spring Farm

Through the Years...
Silver Spring Farm of Ottawa, Ontario

For a quarter of a century, children, youth and adults have made outings to picturesque Silver Spring Farm, located in the west end of Ottawa at the intersection of Richmond and Baseline Roads. There, through the auspices of the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OCAPDD), they have participated in activities and fundraising efforts supporting persons with developmental disabilities.

Silver Spring Farm claims a history all its own. Prior to becoming part of Ottawa-Carleton's Greenbelt through government expropriation in the 1960s, Silver Spring Farm was owned by a Dr. Moffat and operated as a major dairy farm. Thereafter, when OCAPDD entered into a long-term lease with the National Capital Commission for this piece of Greenbelt property, Moffat House, the original stone home and residence of Dr. Moffat and his family, became one of the first residences for OCAPDD clients. Since that time, two additional residences, Campbell House and Charette House, have been built on the property.

In the early days of the farm's operation by OCAPDD, the stables in the horse barn were rented out for riding school activities. Many visitors today still recall fondly their equestrian outings at Silver Spring Farm. Visits to the goats were reportedly also a highlight!

A tree nursery, later replaced by a greenhouse project, continued onsite until 1995. OCAPDD clients took great pride in actively participating in the growing of bedding plants and poinsettias. Silver Spring Farm plants had a wonderful reputation throughout the community, and no Christmas season was complete without a visit to buy a beautiful poinsettia. In the summers, OCAPDD clients sold corn and other vegetables at the roadside stand.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, spring water was also sold at the roadside. It was reputed to be the best-tasting water in the region, according to an Ottawa Citizen article in July 1982.

In 1996, a new project was begun. This initiative, which involved the growing of garlic, was one that would require much more volunteer support than past projects, and help was enlisted from the local community. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has willingly provided a significant portion of the volunteers and equipment since that time, helping with the garlic, and later the squash, pumpkin, gourd and red onion crops. This volunteer base has further expanded through the support of members of the Ottawa-Carleton community. OCAPDD clients also play an active role in these activities in specific ways, such as separating the garlic cloves for fall planting and assisting with parts of the gardening, harvesting and planting activities.

From dairy farming to horseback riding, bedding plants and fresh spring water, and now boasting bountiful crops of garlic, squash, pumpkins and onions, this special property has made a unique contribution to the Ottawa-Carleton community throughout its history. While the nature of its role has evolved over the years, Silver Spring Farm remains a true Ottawa landmark in its support of persons with developmental disabilities.

The Silver Spring Farm Cookbook

The Silver Spring Farm Cookbook is designed to introduce the reader to the wonderful uses of fresh garlic and onions in everyday cooking and to present the family of squash and pumpkins in such a way as to encourage their use in a variety of recipes. The recipes were submitted by various members of our community. All were tested beforehand and passed the taste test of many a family supper table.

The criteria by which recipes were selected for inclusion in this collection were ease of preparation, availability of ingredients in the average kitchen, and whether the end result would appeal to a wide range of tastes. We emphasize the use of fresh ingredients with minimal use of any packaged or prepared, canned or frozen foods.

Also included in The Silver Spring Farm Cookbook are planting, harvesting and storage instructions for those eager to try growing these vegetables in their own garden.

If you wish to purchase a copy of the cookbook for $14.98 (tax included) please contact Jack Fraser.

Location, Produce and Hours of Operation

Silver Spring Farm is located in West End Ottawa at 1701 Robertson Road, Nepean, at the corner of Baseline Road and Robertson Road (2kms from Bayshore Shopping Centre).

For available produce and hours of operation call (613) 569-8993, extension 409.

For volunteer opportunities, please
click here or contact Jack Fraser at (613) 569-8993, extension 409.