From Adventure and Fashion to Feel Good Food: The 2011 Guide to Gifts from the Greenbelt
Tie a ribbon around a gift from the Greenbelt this holiday season. Ontario’s Greenbelt, spanning from Niagara to Northumberland region and north along the Niagara Escarpment, produces a bounty of unique gifts and adventures.
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has assembled a list of our favourite holiday gifts that represent and support the Greenbelt’s agricultural and environmental integrity. Accompanying photos are available for download below.
Pay What You Can: Gifts That Keep On Giving
Donations never grow old. Below are a few Greenbelt organizations that are working to preserve its natural beauty and create a sustainable future for all.
Bruce Trail Conservancy
An organization working to help grow and develop the knowledge and skills needed to protect and enhance the environment surrounding Hamilton. Donations can be made by contacting (905) 549-0900.
Play a role in Ontario’s Greenbelt by making sure there is fresh healthy food for everyone. By placing a donation to FoodShare in the name of a friend or family member, you are ensuring many FoodShare projects are able to continue contributing to many communities. Most FoodShare programs are completely community service, such as teaching how to make homemade baby food, supporting community gardens and kitchens and operating the FoodLink Hotline. www.foodshare.net
Dutchman’s Gold Greenbelt Wildflower Honey
Give something sweet with this full-bodied bouquet of Golden Rod, Aster and late summer wildflowers, all grown in the Greenbelt. Buy online, at your local Longos, Sobeys or health food store for $10.79 for a 1kg jar, or take a trip to their 30 year-old apiaries in Carlisle, near the city of Burlington. www.dutchmansgold.com
Stasis Preserves: Greenbelt-grown Black Walnuts in Honey
The rich, earthy flavour of black walnuts combined with the bright lavender taste of raw wildflower honey makes a perfect pairing for game meats, in salad dressings or even on ice cream. These Greenbelt-grown delectables are made in small batches by Stasis Preserves and sell for $10 for a 250ml jar. Find them Saturdays at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto or in select stores. www.stasispreserves.com
Send the gift of Niagara tender fruit and berries with Greaves Jam. A family-run company since 1927, Greaves Jam can now be ordered online. Visit www.greavesjam.com or call 1-800-515-9939 for pricing and order information.
Upper Canada Cheese Company
Did you know that Comfort Cream, Niagara Gold and Guersney Girl are all local cheeses? And they are right at your fingertips from Niagara creamery, Upper Canada Cheese. Find out where to purchase a selection of local cheeses to share at your holiday party by visiting www.uppercanadacheesecompany.com or calling (905) 562-9730.
Winery to Home
In keeping with the Niagara theme, pair your local cheeses with a VQA wine from Ontario. Now in its sixth year, Winery to Home offers gift certificates that feature their winery of the month gift pack and winery packs. Each pack contains its own wine profile sheet that includes tasting notes, reviews and food pairing suggestions. Visit www.winerytohome.com to make your purchase online.
Roisin Fagan’s Greenbelt Century Farm Tea Towels
Inspired by her family’s Greenbelt farm, Roisin created these gorgeous hand-drawn and hand-printed tea towels. Made from an organic cotton/hemp blend, they are the perfect gift for people who know their way around the kitchen. Pick up at the White Elephant in Hamilton, Distill Gallery in Toronto or online from Fagan’s Etsy shop for $34.00 a set. www.roisin.ca
Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
A membership provides complimentary and discounted access to hiking, camping, picnicking, festivals, conservation workshops and cultural heritage sites. An individual membership is $70 for the year. The membership, and other great gift ideas, can be purchased online or by calling (905) 788-3135.
Kortright Centre for Conservation
Located just north of Toronto, in Woodbridge, this conservation centre features year round family fun from the Maple Syrup Festival to winter hikes. The Centre offers individual and family memberships, ranging from $56 to $96. For more information call (905) 832-2289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greenbelt Picnic and Winery Bike Tour with Zoom Leisure
Award winning wines, romantic vineyards, lush landscapes and great food: this bike trip will bring you the best of the Greenbelt, all the while learning about the captivating history of Niagara-on-the-Lake. This great day in the Greenbelt is $90 for an experience to remember. www.zoomleisure.com
Intimate Cooking Demo in the Greenbelt’s Wine Country
In the true spirit of farm-to-table, the Good Earth Food and Wine Co. uses the freshest local produce from in and around the Greenbelt. Learn from some of Ontario’s best chefs, enjoy the convivial atmosphere and come away with a complimentary bottle of wine. $135.00 for the entire taste bud approved experience. www.goodearthfoodandwine.com
Ice climbing in the Greenbelt
You don’t have to go to Nepal for great ice climbing. Right here in the Greenbelt are some of the best icefalls in Ontario. Take a trip with One Axe Pursuits to Tiffany’s Falls in Dundas and hack your way to the top - a great adventure for only $160. www.oneaxepursuits.com
Ontario Leathers from Hide In Hand
Stay toasty and stylish from hand to toe this winter with leather goods from Ontario. Although the store is not located in Ontario’s Greenbelt specifically, these leathers are procured from hunters and designers from across the Greenbelt and Ontario. Visit www.hidesinhand.com for more fabulous products.
Hamilton Conservation Authority
The Hamilton Conservation Authority Membership provides access to all 21 conservation areas. There are two passes available: a regular pass is $107.35 or you can go above and beyond with the Foundation Pass, which includes a regular pass plus a $100 donation for $170. Both passes can be purchased online or by phone (905) 648-4427
$250 And Up
Coopers CSA 6-Month Greenbelt Organic Vegetable Share
A share in Cooper’s CSA organic farm brings you six month’s worth of some of the tastiest Greenbelt produce around for $235. Customize your basket to include fresh eggs, meat, and poultry. www.coopersfarm.ca
Bare Oaks: Try something new in the nude
Located in York Region at the edge of the Oak Ridges Moraine, Bare Oaks offers the opportunity to truly connect with nature. For those who like the au natural look give the gift of a weekend in the buff or a dining experience like no other at the Bare Bistro. Rates range from $350 for weeks of all-amenities camping to $2420 for a full year camping pass. Visit www.bareoaks.ca or call 1-888-373-9124 to book your nude experience.