New Research on Value of Holland Marsh to Ontario "Holland Marsh the Goldmine of Ontario Agriculture" - Local Growers, Foundation Celebrates Greenbelt Turning Five

Newmarket, January 28, 2010 - The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Holland Marsh Growers Association today are coming together to celebrate the Greenbelt’s approaching Fifth Anniversary with a new report detailing the economic value of the Marsh to the province’s economy.

“This paper is the first of its kind, and it tells an impressive story. This tiny piece of land contributes as much as $169 million to the provincial economy per year,” said Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Foundation. “But that’s not all we’re celebrating tonight on the Marsh. We’re celebrating their tenacity, their ingenuity and their drive to make the most of the market opportunity that comes from a deepening desire to eat locally.”

The report prepared for the Foundation by Planscape Inc. and Regional Analytics, details the variety of crops grown in the Marsh, ranging from carrots, celery and onions to Asian vegetables. Vegetable production in the Marsh accounts for as much as 14% of the total annual vegetable production in Ontario. Net farm revenue for Marsh growers is 2.8 times higher than the provincial average.

“We’re proud of our place in the Greenbelt and our status as Ontario’s salad bowl,” said Alex Makarenko the Chair of the Holland Marsh Growers Association. “The support we have received from the Foundation has helped us tell Ontario about the success and the potential of the Marsh and to serve as a model for agriculture throughout the Greenbelt and across the province.”

The celebration, billed as the “Holland Marsh Hoe Down” takes place tonight at Waterstone Estates, 17900 Dufferin Street in Newmarket. It features local food, drink and entertainment, including square dancing.

The report is entitled “Holland Marsh: An Agricultural Impact Study” and its primary author is agricultural researcher Margaret Walton.

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The full paper can be found here: http://www.greenbelt.ca/research/greenbelt-research/holland-marsh-agricultural-impact-study 

For more information please call Jennifer Story, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, at 647.966.6310 (cell) or Alex Makarenko, Holland Marsh Growers Association at 905.836.3202

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