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”.

Simply Local – supporting local farms

One of the great things about living in a community with a vibrant agricultural sector is the ability to travel a short distance to buy fresh, local produce.  Summer is here and local farms and farmers’ markets are attracting visitors from close and far.  Did you know that Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville all have farmers’ markets that operate once or twice weekly from now until October?

Supporting our local farmers by buying produce locally creates a number of benefits for our community.  When you buy locally, you support our local economy by helping to ensure that our farmers are in business for future generations.  You help the environment by reducing the amount of processing, packaging, refrigeration and transportation involved in getting food from the farm to our plates.  You also make healthy choices by eating fresh produce that is better for you and tastes great because it is freshly picked!  Fresh fruits, vegetables, maple syrup and other items are now available at many local farms and farmers’ markets.

Simply Local – Your Guide to Halton Farms promotes Halton’s diverse farming industry, encourages healthy eating and helps connect Halton residents with local farms.  I encourage you to use this valuable Halton resource to discover which farms are growing your favourite produce, where you can pick your own items and learn what is in season. You can also use the interactive online map for Simply Local to plan and get driving directions for your personal tour of Halton farms and explore opportunities to experience various fun outdoor activities for all family members.

A healthy agricultural sector is vital to a healthy and sustainable Halton and Regional Council is committed to supporting and preserving our agricultural community. Halton is currently implementing an Agri-Tourism Action Plan prepared by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance which was approved by Council in November 2013.  This plan has a dual purpose of supporting our vibrant agricultural sector and attracting more visitors to Halton through agricultural and food tourism development. Putting more locally sourced foods on restaurant tables is essential to growing the culinary tourism industry in Halton, as well as contributing to a sustainable local economy.

From strawberry picking in the summer to pumpkin patches and apple picking in the fall, there are many opportunities to enjoy all that our local agricultural sector has to offer year round. Take a moment to view the Growing Good Food Ideas videos to learn more about the importance of the Simply Local initiative in Halton.

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.”

Simply Local – Simply the best!

Looking for a new experience right here in Halton? I invite you to pick up a copy of Simply Local: Your guide to Halton farms. The newly updated publication provides a directory of farms in Halton open to the public, nurseries and garden centres, farmers’ markets, heritage farms, and horse farms offering riding trails, lessons and camps.

Whether you live in Halton or are just visiting, Simply Local will help you find great things to see and do in Halton. And when you support local farms, you’re helping to keep our agricultural industry – and our economy – healthy and prosperous. Buying local can also reduce the impact on air quality and climate change by reducing the distances our food must travel to reach our plates. And of course, farm fresh food simply tastes better.

Simply Local: Your guide to Halton farms is published by Halton Region as part of its Simply Local initiative, which aims to promote Halton’s agricultural industry and local agricultural products, encourage healthy eating and physical activity and create a connection between Halton residents and Halton farms. 

Visit one of the attractions listed in the guide, snap a photo and upload it at Halton.ca/tourism or describe your experience in a sentence or two for a chance to win a prize. The contest closes on October 1, 2012.

To order copies of the guide, visit www.halton.ca/healthresources, drop by the Halton Regional Centre at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville, request a copy by dialing 311 or visit your local tourism office or library.  You can also access the information online at www.halton.ca/simplylocal.  The printed guide contains a QR code you can scan using your smart phone to check for updates to the listings. 

For information on other things to see and do in Halton, visit Halton.ca/tourism or find Halton Tourism on Facebook. You can also join the conversation on Twitter @HaltonTourism or on Pinterest at pinterest.com/haltontourism.

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 this summer!

There’s no better place to enjoy summer fun than Halton. This summer, stroll along Burlington’s Waterfront Trail or take part in the Joseph Brant Day Festival on August 6.  Enjoy first class jazz at Downtown Oakville’s Jazz Festival, August 10-12, or visit one of the Town’s many shops, galleries and restaurants.

Drop by a Farmers’ Market in Georgetown or Acton or participate in Acton’s Leathertown Festival on August 12. Take in a movie under the stars at Kelso Conservation Area or register for Alexander Family Farm Day at Halton Region Museum.  Experience life on the farm with antique tractors and steam engines at Country Heritage Park in Milton.

Halton offers countless opportunities for entertainment, recreation, education, relaxation and fun – truly something for everyone.  You can find a list of things to see and do in Halton on the Region’s tourism webpages, Discovering Halton.

We also recently released an updated 2012 Cycling in Halton map. This easy-to-use map not only includes a bird’s eye view of the entire Region, but also recommends seven loop rides with suggested routes that include urban areas and nearby scenic, rural roads suitable for cycling.

This month we are also releasing Simply Local: Your guide to Halton farms.  This resource lists farmers’ markets, nurseries, horse farms, pick your own and on-farm markets.

Whether you are planning a staycation, looking for ways to keep out-of-town guests entertained, or just want to help promote our wonderful community, I invite you to discover and share Halton on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.  And you still have one day left to enter our latest contest. Tell us about your favourite summer activity in Halton and/or send us your best summer photo to be entered into a draw to win great prizes courtesy of Conservation Halton.

To learn more, visit www.halton.ca/tourism, dial 311, 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866, TTY 905-827-9833. Find Halton Tourism on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter @HaltonTourism or on Pinterest at pinterest.com/haltontourism

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.”