Celebrating Local Food Week

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The first week of June marks the second annual Local Food Week and here at the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation we're in full celebration mode. 

Created under the Local Food Act of 2013, Local Food Week is part of an overarching strategy to grow the province’s economy by making more delicious, fresh local food available to all Ontarians in markets, schools, hospitals, long-term care homes, grocery stores, and restaurants.

As champions of the almost 2 million acres of protected countryside that make up Ontario's Greenbelt, we're excited to be part of the Week's festivities. 

Throughout the week, we're going to be talking about, thanking, and celebrating the many growers, producers, and local food sellers that make Ontario's Greenbelt great. We'll be sharing our favourite Greenbelt farmers' markets, we'll be participating in the June 3 #LoveOntFood Twitter party, and we'll be keeping you in the loop about the many Local Food Weeks events and going-ons throughout the province. 

Whether you're actively involved in the sector or just want to learn more about the food you're eating and its journey from the farm to your plate, we'd love you to be part of the celebrations.

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Announcing our Greenbelt Route winners!

GBRoute-Full_Colour_Logo-horizontal.pngAfter months of anticipation, four lucky winners and their friends will be joining us on the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure this August, a 6-day fully supported ride that is launching the Greenbelt Route, from Northumberland to Niagara.
Here's what one of our winners, Todd, had to say:

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Tales from York: It's farmers' market season

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Tales from York is a blog series focused on the people and places that make York's Greenbelt great. The series will cover everything from local businesses, to seasonal events, to life on York farms. Look out for our upcoming posts to stay up-to-date and informed on exciting going-ons in York's Greenbelt. 

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Explore York Region's Farmers' Markets

Spring has sprung! Summer is near! The Bees are buzzing and fresh produce is here!

It's the time of year again for fresh Ontario Greenbelt produce. Visit to your local Farmers’ Market and browse the leafy greens while sipping on some cold lemonade. You can’t get more local than in York Region! Meet your neighbouring farmers from just a half hour away.

Hang out in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville and snack on delicious treats. On the last Thursday of every month, come join the street party with all the vendors as Main Street shuts down for pedestrians between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Leave the kids at the art tent, and pamper yourself with some home-made all natural beauty products! Or stop by the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market in Richmond Hill to pick up some home-made jams and jelly made with berries straight from the farm. And remember, not all the markets are seasonal - the Village Organic Market at the Toronto Waldorf School is open year-round.

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Tales from Durham: it's farmers' market season

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Tales from Durham is a blog series focused on the people and places that make Durham’s Greenbelt great. The series will cover everything from local businesses, to seasonal events, to life on Durham farms. Look out for our upcoming posts to stay up-to-date and informed on exciting going-ons in Durham's Greenbelt. 

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The Taste of a Greenbelt Farmers' Market in Durham 

The farmers' market season has begun!

I visited my first farmers' market of the year earlier this month  - it was brisk out, but it was worth it.

There weren't too many vendors out yet (many don't come out until June), but the selection was still bountiful.

One of the best features of Durham Region farmers’ markets is the diversity in selection - everything from fresh local vegetables, to homemade pies, to maple syrup.

I made sure to buy and try something from every vendor, as well as talk to everyone. From sharing tips on recipes, to growing your own, I always find the local farmers to be happily helpful.

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York

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Bustling communities and scenic countryside meet in York Region. Pay a visit to an agricultural fair or stroll through the historic downtowns of Schomberg, Newmarket, or Stouffville. Take a break from the Greenbelt Route and experience the rich cultural diversity of retail and dining opportunities in these communities. With over 60 museums and galleries, and more than 125 performing arts festivals and events, York Region is a treasure to behold.

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Niagara

Photo-Posing-Vinyard-Bike-2014-08-07-VQ-Grand-Tour-Niagara-097.jpgWind your way up onto the Beamsville Bench, a narrow plateau sloping gradually from the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment northwards to the bottom of the crescent-shaped Lake Iroquois Shore Bluff. This appellation reaps the benefits of continuous air circulation that moderates temperature and creates a unique set of conditions that provide a natural complexity to the grapes that are grown here.

Award-winning wineries are eager to share their distinctive personalities and products with you. Take in a vineyard concert, tour the wine cellars, and sample inspired food and wine pairings at one of more than seventy VQA wineries in Niagara, 14 of which are right on the Greenbelt Route.

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Halton

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Fall in love with Halton Region as you cycle along the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment and onto the rolling hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine.  Soak in the rich history, as the Greenbelt Route carries you through the beautiful Town of Halton Hills, renowned for its rolling terrain.  There is plenty to see and do as you drop into the charming communities of Acton and Georgetown.  Be sure to pay a visit to the historic lime kilns in the community of Limehouse too.

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Hamilton

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The City of Hamilton is home to more than 100 incredible waterfalls and cascades.  Many of these marvels of nature are just steps from the Greenbelt Route, as it winds through the Niagara Escarpment.  Pedalling from Hamilton, you’ll experience scenic vistas from the top of the escarpment, lakes, Carolinian forests, and a vibrant community that is renewing its relationship with a natural environment that really sets this community apart.

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Peel

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Looking to bring the little ones along on your next bike tour?  How about getting your parents or grandparents to join you for a leisurely family ride?  Then look no further than this family friendly section of the Greenbelt Route.  Here you will meander along the Caledon Trailway as it travels 30 kilometres along a multi-use path built on an historic rail bed.  Instead of trains, you will be sharing this part of the route with walkers, joggers, and the occasional trotting horseback rider!

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Durham

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As you pedal across the working landscape of Durham Region, pay a visit to some of the many farm stops or farmers’ markets along the way to taste the local flavour of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, honey, and much more.  From Lake Simcoe to Lake Ontario, Durham is an agricultural powerhouse.

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