My Local Greenbelt Guide hits hole-in-one at Green Living Show

Toronto, April 24, 2008 – If you’re looking for a place to get away with the family, pick up your root vegetables or maybe find a restaurant serving tasty local food where you can enjoy a fine Greenbelt wine, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation’s new My Local Greenbelt Guide, has it all. With the message of “think global, eat local” making headlines in places like TIME Magazine, the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly, it’s clear that today’s official release of the Guide is what the public is hungry for.

The Guide will be the focus of the Green Living Show’s “A Taste of Ontario’s Greenbelt” taking place at the Entertaining Stage in the Direct Energy Centre of Exhibition Place, featuring local celebrity chefs preparing dishes with Greenbelt-grown and produced ingredients. The event is set to build awareness of Ontario’s Greenbelt, its agricultural sector and the importance of local food to Ontario’s health and environment, all of which the Guide also features. Twenty-five thousand visitors are anticipated at the Green Living Show taking place April 25-27.

The 67-page colourful, handy guide produced by the Greenbelt Foundation has more than 400 listings covering wineries, orchards, farmers’ markets, stores, sugar bush operations, festivals and fairs.

“We have a passion for producing excellence in local wine and this guide helps get our name out there and reiterates our strong belief in celebrating the land,” said Mike Weir, Canada’s top golfer and owner of Mike Weir Estate Winery, one of more than 70 wineries listed in the Guide both in and outside the Niagara Region. “I’m proud to have my winery listed in such a comprehensive booklet. Everything is at your fingertips.”

Supporting local growers and Ontario’s economy is what the Guide and the Greenbelt are all about.

“For the first time Ontarians will have a comprehensive, all-season list of where to go, what to buy and what activities they can enjoy in the Greenbelt,” said Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “We receive frequent requests for this type of handbook and it’s no wonder, considering 91% of Ontarians say they prefer to buy locally grown fruits, vegetables and meats,” he said.

“This free guide is priceless,” said Owen Steinberg, Executive Chef of Il Fornello restaurants who created a local food menu for the chain. “It makes life so much easier to source local products not just for the restaurants but for my home as well.”

Ontario’s Greenbelt is the world’s largest and most diverse and the Guide shows the variety of food and activities it has to offer. All of the listed locations are situated in or just outside Ontario’s Greenbelt. Listings include important details such as:

  • Addresses, websites, and phone numbers
  • Hours of operation for farmers’ markets
  • More than 140 on-farm markets and pick-your-own farms
  • Time of year for fairs and festivals
  • Parks and conservation areas and their contact information
  • Charts outlining the seasonal availability of Greenbelt fruits and vegetables

The listings are colour coded and separated into the following regions:

  • Niagara
  • York/Simcoe
  • Halton/Hamilton
  • Wellington/Dufferin/Peel
  • Grey/Bruce
  • Durham
  • Toronto
  • Kawartha/Northumberland/Peterborough

The Guide is highlighted in the current issues of Spacing and Edible Toronto magazines. It is available at selected outlets in Toronto such as Whole Foods Market and the Big Carrot Natural Food Market. You can order copies of the free Guide through the Greenbelt Foundation by calling 416-960-0001 or e-mailing info -at- ourgreenbelt.ca. An online version is available at www.OurGreenbelt.ca.

Ontario’s Greenbelt is 1.8 million acres of protected land that wraps around the Golden Horseshoe and encompasses the Niagara Escarpment, the Oak Ridges Moraine, Rouge Park, some 7,000 farms and hundreds of rural towns and villages. It is vital to securing a local food source and to the quality of life of Ontarians.

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation began its work in June 2005 as an independent, charitable foundation with a mandate to fund organizations in support of farming, the environment and rural communities located in Ontario's Greenbelt.

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For a PDF version of this press release, click here.

For further information and a digital copy of the Guide, please visit www.OurGreenbelt.ca, and contact: Jennifer Asselin, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, tel: (416) 960-0001, email: info -at- ourgreenbelt.ca.

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