The project pilots the use of Market Bucks, or "coupons" as an advertising tool to attract new customers to farmers’ markets. Partnerships between farmers' markets and local, community businesses will raise program funds and distribute the Bucks.
A new market exists for Greenbelt farmers to grow ethno-cultural vegetables. Vineland is continuing with its efforts to launch this market by conducting research and training farmers in crop production, completing a market analysis, and developing partnerships with retailers. Activities in year two scale up commercial production, develop opportunities to test crops in the marketplace, and increase education and outreach activities to the larger farm community.
The Beamsville Bench Winery Association will develop and launch a low-impact trail for residents and visitors to access seven (7) working vineyards in the heart of Niagara’s Greenbelt and reinforce the importance of viticulture and the value of the Greenbelt.Read more
The project connects visitors and residents to Ontario's Greenbelt through a continuous 600km cycling route that traverses seven Greenbelt regions from Northumberland to Niagara. The Route is intended for recreational cyclists and will encourage exploration of Greenbelt attractions, including nature, farms and rural towns. Partnerships with municipalities will ensure permanent maintenance, signage and marketing of the route. Other partnerships include local tourism operators and accommodation and restaurant spots through the Welcome Cyclist Network. The project has economic outcomes, as was demonstrated in 2007 when 1.5 million Canadian visitors spent $303 million on cycle tourism in Ontario.
Funding is provided to the Greenbelt Fund to establish a regional food hub pilot for the Greater Toronto Area in order to meet consumer demand for local food. The hub will open the door for small and mid-scale farmers, and those with differentiated products, to gain access to the marketplace where the majority of food spending occurs. This project confirms partnerships and develops an implementation plan to carry out the pilot.
Partnering with Transportation Options, this planning grant will support the initial stages of developing a 600km cycling route that traverses six Greenbelt regions from Northumberland to Niagara. The Greenbelt Cycling Route will allow Ontarians to connect and explore the Greenbelt in a new way – by touring and exploring by bike.Read more
This project will increase the production of ethno-cultural vegetables on Greenbelt farms and connect growers to markets. Vineland will provide training and support for rural and peri-urban farmers in the Greenbelt to increase the production of Oriental and Indian eggplant, okra, Thai chili peppers and others.Read more
This funding supports the Rouge Park Alliance in hosting the 2012 Tour de Greenbelt - a fresh air festival on wheels. This annual family-friendly cycling event takes place in Ontario’s Greenbelt and for the first time, this year’s program will include hiking and running courses. Activities supported by this grant include managing participant registration, route development, partnership and sponsorship development, and coordinating event logistics.
Farmers' markets are well-known as community local food hubs; but with an abundance of fresh, homemade and sustainable products on display, they are also a great place to learn about nutrition. This project investigates the link between market attendance, knowledge of local foods, and healthy eating. The results will help markets promote healthy options and benefits of eating local to families across the Greenbelt.
The Network will also continue to offer professional development to market managers, and support best practices and knowledge sharing, all in an effort to help markets and their farm vendors economically thrive.
The Greater Golden Horseshoe's food and farming industry contributes $35 billion to the provincial economy through jobs and economic activity. This project supports the implementation of key activities outlined in a newly developed Action Plan to recognize and grow this important economic driver.
The GTA-AAC, along with their partners, the regions of Hamilton and Niagara, are receiving funds to get started on implementation of the Action Plan. The grant also supports a working group of regional and municipal economic development staff to attract new business that will lead to better integration of Greenbelt goods into the distribution chain, new processing infrastructure, and new markets.