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Year-Round Farmers Market

The O'Hara Commons believes that one of the most effective ways to strengthen local food systems is through developing food-based programs and partnerships. Utilizing available resources, we can increase equitable access to local food through our Year-Round Farmers Market program.

We host an in-person mid-week farmers market, from June - September, and are transitioning to an online platform for the remainder of the year. These market opportunities serve over 65 local farmers, food producers, and thousands of Ravalli County households. 

We accept multiple payment methods, including SNAP, Double SNAP Dollars, and Senior Coupons. 


SNAP & Double SNAP Dollars Program

Over 75% of the Federal Farm Bill is earmarked for Food Assistance Programs. In accepting SNAP at our Farmers Markets, O'Hara is ensuring that our local farmers and food producers see some of that funding stay in our local food system. Additionally, our partnership with the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition allows us to match up to $30 value of fruits and vegetables to anyone who purchases $30 of SNAP eligible products at our Year-Round Farmers Market. This amazing program increases access to the healthiest of foods and pays our farmers and food producers fair compensation for their offerings. 


Old Blue Moon Orchard

In 2021, we were approached by a new property owner. They purchased their dream home and got a 5-acre, 500 mixed-fruit tree orchard. They could not find an orchardist interested in leasing the fully fenced and irrigated orchard. Their question to us: would you like to take the management of the orchard as a program and save the orchard from being cut down?

Thus began a wonderful partnership. O'Hara is restoring the orchard, the A-grade harvest will be sold to support the program. The B-grade fruit is donated to community members and organizations that feed people and the C-grade fruit is given to farmers and ranchers who raise livestock (no waste). 


Additionally, the orchard serves as an outdoor classroom for small orchard management classes. 


Local Food Procurement Assistance Program

In collaboration with Ravalli County Economic Development Authority, we were the recipients of the USDA Local Food Procurement Assistance grant. This funding allows us to purchase food from farmers and food producers and distribute to underserved community members. O'Hara has used this program to both educate and be educated on the barriers that many of our community members experience in accessing local food. In the end, we will have purchased over $70,000 of food from small-scale food growers and producers and have served over 45 families.


Additionally, we have forged wonderful working relationships with Ravalli County Food Banks (Darby Bread Box and Stevensville Pantry Partners). The program has been a great success, it will sunset in late summer, 2024. Should funding become available again, O'Hara and RCEDA are well-positioned to be continuing recipients. 

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Educational Programs

Throughout the year, O'Hara is able to offer learning opportunities for all age groups. A well-balanced and resilient food system involves engagement from all community members. Our programs include cooking with local foods, gardening, small orchard management, natural history, seed saving, composting, and gardening for pollinators. 


We offer courses on our grounds, we sponsor local experts and we network learning opportunities offered by partners and organizations. photo: pasta made by 9-year-old participant


Demonstration Gardens

O'Hara is fortunate to have our facility and grounds located in the center of Hamilton, the county seat of Ravalli County. We count as our neighbors Bitterroot Public Library, the Hamilton Post Office, and the Ravalli County Government Offices. 

Our grounds are open to the public and serve as demonstration gardens. We have a vegetable garden, pollinator gardens, mature and young fruit trees, a compost demonstration area, backyard chickens, and drought-tolerant gardens. All of the gardens amount to an 'Edible Landscape' upon which programs and our mid-week Farmers Market occur. Our grounds are certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a 'Wildlife Habitat'.


Resource Sharing

A founding program for O'Hara was our 'Resource Sharing'. Our members have access to garden tools, food preservation equipment, cider presses, and access to grounds for events.

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