Whether we glean it from Hollywood or pastoral poets, we all have an idea of the perfect farm. An idyllic landscape filled with bright yellow flowers, horses grazing under trees, long-lashed dairy cows, and waddling geese.
While many small farms we’ve visited are lovely, they rarely have this kind of meltingly sweet aesthetic. Mariposa Farms outside of Ottawa, however, has it. While it’s prettier than a staged movie set, it’s not for show. This is a busy, diverse, high-producing organic farm run by hardworking Ian Walker, Suzanne Lavoie, and their staff.
They raise vegetables, all kinds of birds, cows, pigs, geese, flowers, and more.
Mariposa has been around since 1980, and is an integral and active part of the Ottawa food and sustainable agriculture scenes.
We walked around the farm, and visited its most recent addition – a farrow of pigs. Honestly, there are few things more adorable than a pack of twelve pink piglets charging around together, which looked like ants in comparison to their large mother.
In addition to scraps from the farm (that day, the pigs were feeding on Brussels sprout leaves), Mariposa arranges a weekly pickup of food prep scraps from Ottawa restaurants, which mean their pigs are some of the best fed anywhere, and there’s less unused waste produced by restaurants.
The farm welcomes guests each week for their Sunday Lunch, which is held in an old barn they converted to a casual restaurant. For $45 + tax and tip, diners have a choice of three appetizers, three main courses, and two desserts or a cheese plate.
The food, understandably, is sourced from Mariposa and the surrounding region. They also host cooking classes at the farm, including lunch, for just $50, as well as weddings and groups. So yes, you can get married at the perfect farm, with ducks waddling and flowers blooming and the whole bit. It’s remarkable.
Thanks to Ian and Dave for touring us around, and sending us home with some duck to cook up!