Hamilton Rural Routes Bus ToursWritten by Rob Porter
Karen Burson of Hamilton's Eat Local is so excited about this event that she can barely sit still while she's describing it. "As someone who decided a long time ago that I would rather be a transit-user than a driver," she enthuses, "I have been frustrated about the fact that the only way to visit the farms that I love has been by car. It seemed to me that there are a lot of Hamilton residents who might be just as eager as I am to find a way to get out of the City once in a while".
Inspired by a student-led environmental bus tour project called "Seed to Scrap" which took place in Fall 2008, and by a gastronomic tour of the Niagara region that had been organized by Slow Food Canada, Burson believed that a tour that explores Hamilton's agriculturally rich outskirts was a compelling idea. Each month’s Rural Routes tour will offer a unique program developed by the host farm. Each will also offer an on-farm market stand so participants can purchase a variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, meats, and more before boarding the bus for the return trip to the City. The tours will run on selected Saturday afternoons from 1:00pm to 3:30pm. The pick up point for each tour is the Bread & Roses Cafe at the Sky Dragon Centre (27 King William St.). This innovative cafe will be offering Rural Routes ticket holders a free cup of their organic, fair trade coffee which is roasted in-house (which is about as local as coffee can get)! Adult tickets are only $5 for each trip while children and seniors tickets cost only $2 each. Here is a look at the schedule:
• June 12: Rural Routes will take passengers to ManoRun Organic Farm located in Copetown. ManoRun is well-known for their relationship with the Ancaster Old Mill. Denise Trigatti, farmer at ManoRun, will lead passengers through a herb garden discovery, livestock milking demonstration, and a talk about the joys of growing and eating food that is both local and organic.
• July 10: Morden’s Organic Farm and Farm Store located in Dundas will be the next destination. Morden’s is a co-operative of local farmers who bring their meats, dairy and seasonal fruits and vegetables to this health-food hub. Sandy Morden, owner and operator of Morden’s, will provide a tour of the farm and a visit with the farm animals.
• August 21: Rural Routes travels to Puddicombe Estate Farm & Winery of Stoney Creek, where staff will teach visitors the correct way of caring for peaches including canning and freezing techniques. There will be fresh corn in season available for purchase as well, so don't miss out on this traditional family treat.
• September 11: Carluke Orchards in Ancaster welcomes you. One of Hamilton’s best-known apple orchards will offer Rural Routes passengers wagon rides and guided walking tours. They are also well known for their tasty farm-baked apple pies.
Tickets will be available at Bread and Roses Café at the SkyDragon Centre (27 King William St.). There may be tickets available on the day of the tour at the pickup point, but seats are limited! For more information about Rural Routes, please visit www.smartcommute.ca/hamilton or call Hamilton Eat Local at 905-549-0900.
Rob joined Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace in 2002, after attending the first Annual Conference on Peace Education in Canada when he started his second university undergraduate degree.
Originally from a farm near Walkerton, Ontario, Rob resides in Hamilton, Ontario where he attended McMaster University for music, theatre & film studies, and peace studies.
Rob has assisted with the Annual Conferences on Peace Education in Canada over the years, first as a volunteer student and later as the facilitator and coordinator. He is now the director of the first community Peace Café, Hamilton Centre for Teaching Peace.
Rob also is a professional web programmer and designer, having designed and programmed dozens of sites since 1997. More recently he has incorporated a business partnership called CartaNova.
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