Field of Dreams: Just Food’s Proposal to Create a Community Food and Urban Agriculture Hub in Ottawa

Patricia Ballamingie, Assistant Professor,  Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University;


Sarah M.L. Walker, PhD Candidate, Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University


As groups within civil society seek to advance discursive constructs of food security, social justice and sustainability through concrete, on-the-ground projects, they challenge the economic, social and ecological status quo.  This paper will evaluate Just Food’s proposal to create a Community Food and Sustainable Agriculture Hub in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, through the lens of Gibson-Graham’s alternative/community economy and politics of possibility, and will argue that Just Food cultivates the emergence of new social and economic relations, even as their activities are constrained by and interwoven with neoliberal market logic.  The introduction will provide the substantive context, methodological and conceptual approach.  It is followed by an outline of the case study, that will establish the conditions within which this project proposal emerged, and detail some of the challenges that have been overcome to date.  The conclusion  will demonstrate the food hub’s alignment with Gibson-Graham’s concepts of alternative/community economy and politics of possibility.

Keywords:  alternative economy, food hub, Just Food, sustainable community
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