In a recent blog post we discussed the benefits of eating local food and different ways of sourcing it, including community supported agriculture, farmers’ markets, and on-farm markets.
Friends of the Greenbelt just re-launched Greenbeltfresh, a website featuring more than 600 farms and markets that makes it easier than ever to find food produced in Ontario’s Greenbelt. This free online tool supports the enhancement of agriculture and economic activity in the Greenbelt by helping customers find fresh local food.
The Ontario Greenbelt is almost 2 million acres of permanently protected farmland, forests, and wetlands, and includes the Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges Moraine.
The new Greenbeltfresh site features a range of local food outlets in around the Greenbelt, including farmers’ markets, on-farm markets, farms that offer pick-you-own produce, and specialty farms such as Christmas tree farms and maple syrup producers. Vineyards, wineries, and orchards are also featured, and you can even find Greenbelt nurseries for cut flowers and plants.
You can browse farms, markets, nurseries and other locations on the interactive map on the homepage, or search by location, farm name (or market name, etc.) or product. Want more information? Just click the name of the farm or market in the search results or directly on the map. For each farm, winery, or nursery, the site provides information such as when it is open, what you can expect to find for sale there, contact information, and directions. It also provides information such as if a farm offers CSA or if it is certified organic. Additionally, for farmers’ markets you’ll find a list of vendors, so you can know advance what you’re likely to find there.
The range of farms and markets really speaks to the diversity of agriculture in Ontario’s Greenbelt. For example, there are family businesses, historic farms, heirloom variety vegetables and heritage animals, artisanal cheese makers, and pick-your-own apple orchards. The range of food and drinks and grown and produced in the Greenbelt is impressive. As well as fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy, you can also find seeds and nuts, flowers and herbs, honey, maple syrup, apple cider, beer, and wine.
And now it’s easier than ever to find what you’re looking for!