Three ways to Celebrate the Greenbelt at the Royal

TORONTO, Nov. 6 /CNW/ - The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is Canada's pre-eminent agricultural event. In honour of this year's Fair the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is celebrating the Royal in three big ways: first, with the opening of nominations to award up to five innovative Greenbelt growers; secondly, with a host of activities under the banner "Greenbelt Day" at the Royal; and thirdly, with the release of a report profiling agricultural activity in the Greenbelt. Below is some detail on each activity.

Nominate a Greenbelt Grower/Producer

In recognition of the fact that over 50% of the Greenbelt is agricultural land, and there are so many growers/producers taking agriculture in new and exciting directions, the Foundation will be giving its annual Friend of the Greenbelt Award to up to five Greenbelt growers/producers who demonstrate leadership, innovation and impact in their field. Nominations open today and continue to Monday January 18, 2010. Nomination forms will be available at the Greenbelt booth for the duration of the Fair, and online at www.greenbelt.ca . The winners will be honoured at a ceremony to be held in March of 2010 to mark the 5th anniversary of the Greenbelt. Past recipients of the award include former Premier Bill Davis and platinum-selling musician and activist Sarah Harmer.

Celebrate Greenbelt Day

We hope you can join us to celebrate Greenbelt Day at the Royal, November 11, where we will celebrate in a number of ways: Greenbelt-grown apples will be handed out to visitors during peak hours, school kids attending the Royal that day will receive a Greenbelt t-shirt and temporary tattoo, TVO Kids celebrities including Envirogirl will do a special performance ("Entertaining at Home" Stage at 1pm), and a special greenbelt message will be announced at all livestock shows taking place throughout the day.

At the Greenbelt booth in Heritage Court representatives from an array of agricultural, food and environmentally focused projects will be on hand to discuss with visitors the significance of the Greenbelt to their work. Those projects are: the Greenbelt Farmers Market Network; the Gateway to the Greenbelt exhibit; the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance; New Farmers to Grow, New Places to Go; and the Niagara Greenbelt Discovery Routes.

Finally, visitors can also celebrate Greenbelt Day by sampling a glass of the winners of the wine competition's Greenbelt Award of Excellence. The award was given to one red wine and one white wine. The red wine category winner is the 2007 Wayne Gretzky Estates Shiraz/Cabernet VQA and the white category winner is 2008 Flat Rock Cellars Reisling VQA. Both products will be available at the Vintners Terrace and the Hitching Ring throughout the Fair, and at the Wine Tasting Centre on the afternoon of November 6.

Release of Greenbelt Agricultural Profile

It is crucial for those working to protect and enhance Ontario's Greenbelt to know as much as possible about the agricultural activity taking place on it. To that end, the Foundation has just released a report "Greenbelt Grown: A Profile of Agriculture in the Greenbelt" with the most recent census data.

    
    Some interesting facts and figures include:

    -   Almost half of Ontario's fruit farms and one fifth of the vegetable
        farms are located in the Greenbelt
    -   Nearly 90% of all vineyards in the province are located in the
        Greenbelt
    -   The Greenbelt is home to over 3,000 livestock farms, the majority of
        which is cattle
    

The report is being sent this week to municipal, regional and provincial politicians, planners, agricultural and environmental groups and is available online at http://www.greenbelt.ca/research/occasional-papers . It details the demographics, primary commodities, farms sizes, farm receipts, and other details about Ontario's farms and growers/producers in comparison to Ontario's comprehensive figures, and also profiles farms and growers/producers by region.

SOURCE Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation

For further information: For further information: please contact Jennifer Story by cell at (647) 966-6310 or by email at jstory@greenbelt.ca

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