For the Love of Food

Written by vendor: Nikki Oke

If we haven’t met yet, I am one of the hearts behind Rooted Oak Farm. We are new to the market, having started in 2021, but my partner Stuart and I have been working towards this moment for the last decade.

Stuart and I both grew up in this region, Stuart in Amerstview and myself on Wolfe Island, and our history is deeply entwined with this community. We first met while working Trailhead on Princess Street and then fell in love while weeding carrots at Patchwork Gardens. (A story for another time).

We (as lots of first-generation young farmers do) started our farm on rented land in 2017 in Quebec and have marketed primarily into the capital region through CSA and at Farmer’s Markets. When we were looking to purchase a farm in 2020 we knew we wanted to be closer to the community that meant so much to us. And that is how we landed in North Augusta, we would have loved to be even closer to Kingston, but I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the price of land around Kingston has become unattainable for young farmers.

Farmers’ markets are a vital part of a local food system, providing a place where eaters (that’s you) and farmers can connect. The experience of shopping at a farmers market means that you get to shake the hand of the person that grows your food and they get a fair price for the goods they are selling. It’s no secret that food has some of the narrowest margins out there and can be a risky endeavour. Growing crops outdoors means that they are subject to all weather conditions whether that be drought, hail, tornadoes, etc. The cool thing about buying directly from your farmer is that if you pose the question, they will tell you about the struggles and successes they are having in that particular season, this is a really important part of a reciprocal relationship between farmers and eaters because we need each other!

Over the years we have gone to many farmers’ markets, but none can compare to the environment that the MCFM. This place is special, and we are so grateful to be a part of it.

Our favourite thing about this market is you! The folks that come out each week to buy their groceries from a local producer, grab lunch, and/ or take part in the many activities available. The MCFM has fostered a culture of connection and we would love to connect with you- please stop by and introduce yourself!

If you want to read more about our story or learn more about our farm, please visit our website:!