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our story

humble beginnings


Our farming journey began in 2015 as a multi-plot urban farm in downtown Ottawa. We maintained a constellation of impressive backyard (and front yard!) gardens across Ottawa's west-end (known then as Backyard Edibles) as well as establishing one the regions first and largest commercial vertical farms with our microgreen operation at the City Centre complex.


While fostering community connections around the ideals of local and sustainable food security we've grown our shared dream into a successful farm business operating full time and year-round essentially from day one! We're very proud to be a 4 season vendor at local farmer's markets ( and of the enduring relationships we've developed with many local grocery retailers and restaurants.


It had always been a goal to one day transplant our efforts and experience to a farm of our own and by the end of 2019, we took the opportunity to consolidate our operations and move to a NCC farm property in the Mer Bleue Sector of Ottawa's beautiful east end greenbelt. Grateful to have somewhere to both grow and call home, each season we continue to establish deeper roots and a wider offering. We're so thankful to have so much support and to be part of the exciting and diverse community that makes up our region's food scene. 

meet your farmers

Madeleine's passion for farming began after her time studying ecological restoration in school. After an internship on a farm just north of Ottawa, Madeleine adapted what she learned on a rural farm and brought those practices to her hometown. 

In the off season you'll find her exploring the outdoors, studying trees, and playing guitar.



Matthew grew up just outside of the city and always had an interest in working outside and growing food. After studying international development and working in community development and the trades, Matthew decided it was time to join forces with Madeleine and give farming a shot.

You can often find Matthew cooking up a storm and grooving to music, going on adventures with his pup, Winnie, or reading a good book with a great cup of coffee.


Madeleine Maltby

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our practices

Heart City strives to build and contribute to a flourishing local food system by taking a soil-first approach to farming where giving back to the earth is just as important as taking from it. In order to build and sustain the healthy soils that are the foundation of sustainable food, here are some of the practices followed out in the fields of Heart City:


- using minimal tillage when creating garden beds, to leave as much soil structure intact as possible after the initial bed is formed

- utilizing mulch and tarps to protect crops and soil 

- creating our own compost using microgreen refuse and buying organic certified compost & manure when needed

- using natural pest controls by strategically planting crops and using floating row covers to create physical barriers rather than using chemical methods 

- promoting biodiversity by growing flowering crops to attract pollinators and beneficial insects, and creating wildlife corridors throughout the farm property

- practicing crop rotation and enriching soil with cover crops

- sourcing organic non-GMO seeds (including for our microgreen crops) wherever possible

- growing our microgreens in a certified organic soil mixture with no amendments required

- reusing/repurposing as much as possible around the farm and within our operations

- using minimal packaging for our vegetable crops and RPET clamshell containers for our microgreens

our practices
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