Simply fresh. Simply fun. Simply local.

Halton Region is home to a thriving agricultural industry. One of the great things about living in a community with a strong and diverse agricultural sector is the ability to travel a short distance to buy fresh, local produce. Halton Region is proud to support this vibrant industry by working with community partners to ensure farming land and practices are sustainable and are here to enjoy for generations to come.

The Simply Local program is a great example of how Halton supports local agri-businesses, many that are family-owned. Simply Local also encourages healthy eating and helps connect Halton residents with local farms.

Plan your agri-venture using our Simply Local map.

Halton’s Simply Local interactive map makes it easy for you to discover Halton’s local farms, farmers’ markets and agri-businesses. This summer, explore Halton’s thriving agricultural industry and visit:

I encourage you to show your support for our agricultural community and local economy by buying, eating and visiting local. Check out halton.ca/simplylocal and start exploring today! Halton’s vibrant and diverse agricultural sector is just one of the many reasons why Halton is a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Still a few days left to spring into action with Halton Tourism’s photo contest

With endless opportunities for entertainment, recreation, education, relaxation and fun, Halton Region is a true four season community. From beautiful gardens, farmers’ markets and heritage attractions, to biking and hiking trails, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.

Tourism contest

This May, residents and visitors have been sharing their favourite local spring activities in a Halton Region “Spring into Action” photo contest.  There is still time for you to submit a photo with your favourite spring outdoor activity or location for a chance to win a $100 gift card at Burlington’s Mapleview Centre. The contest runs until May 31.

Looking for ideas of things to see and do in Halton this spring? Visit the Region’s tourism webpages, Discovering Halton and our welcome to Halton video, Tourism in Halton.   You can also find Halton Tourism on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter @HaltonTourism or on Pinterest at pinterest.com/haltontourism.

I invite you to grab your camera, hop on your bike or take a walk around your neighbourhood, snap some photos and enter our contest.  With your help, and through the power of social media, we can share what you love about Halton in springtime with the rest of the world!

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Discover Halton’s Farmers’ Markets and Local Foods

This is one of my favourite times of year. Farmers’ markets are opening and Halton residents are rediscovering the benefits and the excitement of living in a community where there is access to fresh, local produce and products right from the farm.

Starting in May and June and continuing right through to October, fresh fruit, vegetables, maple syrup and other delicious foods are available at local farms and farmers’ markets.

To learn more, I invite you to take a look at Simply Local – Your Guide to Halton Farms. This excellent resource promotes Halton’s diverse farming industry, encourages healthy eating and helps connect Halton residents with Halton farms. Discover which farms are growing your favourite produce, where you can pick your own and what is in season.

You can also check out our new interactive Simply Local Map. This online tool makes it easier for you to plan out your tour of Halton farms by providing detailed location and driving directions.

There are many benefits to buying from local farms.

  • When we buy locally, we support the local economy and keep our farms in business for future generations.
  • With less processing, packaging, refrigeration and transportation involved in connecting food from the farm to the consumer, buying locally also helps protect our environment.
  • Buying locally helps us build a sense of community by establishing a connection between the farmer and the consumer. By engaging with Halton farmers, residents can make more informed choices in selecting healthy and nutritious foods.
  • Many farms also offer play areas and wagon rides to make your visit even more entertaining for the whole family. Participating in activities at one of Halton’s farms is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors, interact with our community and with nature.
  • Local food can be an important part of healthy eating. Buying food that is locally grown may encourage increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, which is good for your health.
  • Lastly, one of the top reasons to buy from local farmers is that freshly picked local food always tastes great!

I encourage you to support our farms and buy locally. I look forward to seeing you at a farmers’ market or Halton farm soon.

For a free copy of “Simply Local – Your Guide to Halton Farms,” you can: order online, dial 311 or email Access Halton and request a copy to be mailed, pick one up at the Halton Regional Centre at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville or visit your local tourism office.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Growing Good Food Ideas video series (video)

A healthy agricultural sector is vital to the existence of a healthy Halton Region. Our participation in the Growing Good Food Ideas video series allows us to showcase our diverse and innovative farming community and learn about best practices in other communities.

Halton Region collaborated with Sustain Ontario, Powerline Films and 16 other partner organizations in the production of the 2012-2013 Growing Good Food Ideas video series. Halton’s two videos in the series explore sustainability and the benefits of local food in the region.

Explores the importance of protecting farmland.

 

Showcases farms and farmers in Halton Region and discusses the importance of local food.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

 

Horsepower in Halton: 32nd Annual Halton Farm Tour

On September 20, the Halton Agricultural Advisory Committee (HAAC) successfully hosted its 32nd Annual Halton Farm Tour, “Horsepower in Halton.”

David Whitford, Manager of Sam-Son Farm accepts Farm Tour sign

We have many farms in Halton because we are fortunate enough to have some of the best agriculture lands located in Canada, right here in Halton Region. This is why we need to continue to support our local agricultural industries. 

 Each year, we visit three agricultural or agriculturally related operations, and have an opportunity to learn more about the challenges facing the farming community.

One of the beautiful Sam-Son thoroughbreds

As a region, we need to continue to further support our agricultural neighbours. They provide us, and the communities around us, with produce we eat, valuable services to all people in our community and jobs to ensure our long-term wellbeing.

Our tour highlighted three equine operations in Halton: Sam-Son Farm, Windrush Stable and Mohawk Slots and Racetrack Facility.

Andrew Hill has been taking therapeutic riding lessons at Windrush Stables for the past three years. Windrush is one of only two private therapeutic riding stables in Canada.

This year’s theme, Horsepower in Halton, is particularly relevant now with the uncertainty surrounding the horse racing industry. 

Participants in the tour included representatives from Regional and Local Council, local and regional staff and media. Attendees had the opportunity to meet and hear from agricultural leaders, ask questions, and learn about issues and trends affecting Halton’s equine industry. 

Lesley Gauer accepts Farm Tour sign at Windrush Stable

In addition to the tour of the three operations, attendees heard from six panelists in a discussion focused on the economic importance of the equine industry to Halton and the Province. Moderated by HAAC Member Peter Lambrick and following an introductory presentation by equine expert Dr. Bob Wright, the discussion highlighted the challenges the horse racing industry is facing and the positive benefits the industry provides throughout Halton Region. One of the most pressing issues facing the industry at this time is fate of the provincial Slots at the Racetracks program, which is scheduled to end next March.

Keynote speaker Sandy Hawley

Sandy Hawley, who currently ranks eighth among jockeys in career wins, is a member of the Order of Canada and  Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and has been called the crown prince of the “Sport of Kings,” provided the keynote address at a dinner that featured local food at the Halton Region Museum.  Sandy rode his first race in 1968 at the age of 19. In his remarks, he credited legendary trainer  Donald H. (Duke) Campbell  for teaching him the fundamentals, including basics like what a hay net is, and leading jockey Avelino Gomez, his idol, for teaching him the real meaning of the sport, and fondly recalled meeting Bill Shoemaker, who was not only a great rider but a real prankster. Claiming to be lucky to be in the right place at the right time, so many times, Sandy shared fond memories of his days as a rider, including his races at Woodbine and Mohawk, and his pride in backstretch, the frontstretch and racing facilities here in the province.  Sandy summed it up nicely when he said: “It was a fantastic day today, some great speakers, a very emotional day…hopefully things will work out.”

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”