Giving Back with Gourmet Garlic: Cancer Survivors Cultivate the Land and the Community

Hamilton, ONIn recognition of National Garlic Day, Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation is proud to welcome Ballantrae Garlic Farm to its Care4 cause marketing program.

Sarah Freeman with her mother Paula Willinsky, Owner of Ballantrae Garlic Farm

Sarah Freeman with her mother Paula Willinsky, Owner of Ballantrae Garlic Farm

Ballantrae Garlic Farm, located in Caledonia, launched its Cloves for a Cause charitable program in 2015. As part of Cloves for a Cause, the mother-daughter team consisting of Paula Willinsky, Owner of Ballantrae Garlic Farm, and Sarah Freeman, Paula’s daughter, established their Hope Garden in support of Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. The Hope Garden consists of 20,000 bulbs of rare, gourmet garlic varieties: Violet and Rose de Lautrec from France, and Kostyns from Russia. When you purchase the Hope Garden package of five gourmet bulbs, 50 per cent of the proceeds will be donated to Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation in support of Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, and the remaining 50 per cent will be reinvested back into the Hope Garden. This includes the replanting of five garlic cloves, so the fundraising will continue to grow each year.

“We are grateful to Paula and Sarah for their commitment to give back,” says Tamara Pope, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, “and April 19, National Garlic Day, is the perfect opportunity to announce this partnership.”

The mother-daughter duo chose to support Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre after both were diagnosed and treated for breast cancer at the site.

“We’re very indebted to the great people who cared for us. That’s why we’re giving back with Cloves for a Cause and partnering with Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation’s Care4 program.”
– Paula Willinsky

“Ballantrae is a place for life,” says Sarah. “If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you. We want our land to take care of other people too, and this program is one way we can do that.”

Customers can secure a spot on the reservation list for their Hope Garden gourmet garlic packages online now at and they will be notified when it is ready for purchase online or directly from the farm in Caledonia once the harvest is completed in late August 2016. Discussions are underway with retailers to carry the product on their shelves.

To read about Paula’s and Sarah’s patient journey, visit

Information about the Care4 program can be found at


Media Contact: 

Tamara Pope
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation
Office: 905-521-2100 ext. 43744
Cell: 905-979-0325


About Care4 and Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation:

Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation is a registered charitable organization raising funds in support of Hamilton General Hospital, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, McMaster Children’s Hospital, McMaster University Medical Centre, St. Peter’s Hospital and all of their associated programs including the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre and Regional Rehabilitation Centre.

We are an essential partner in the health care journey as The Foundation provides funding for leading-edge equipment and patient amenities, innovative research initiatives, redevelopment of patient care spaces, and the education and training of health care providers. We are focused on enabling outstanding patient care at Hamilton Health Sciences, through our goal of Health Care, Transformed.

As Ontario’s most comprehensive hospital system, Hamilton Health Sciences provides care for the full spectrum of life’s journey from pre-natal to palliative care serving 2.3 million residents of Hamilton and south-central Ontario. Hamilton Health Sciences is the regional and provincial leader in many specialized acute and chronic care programs including pediatrics, pediatric mental health, cancer, cardiac, stroke, burn, trauma, neurosurgery, high-risk obstetrics, orthopedics, geriatrics and rehabilitation services.

Care4 is an innovative fundraising partnership that empowers businesses to demonstrate social responsibility by making a financial commitment on behalf of their customers to Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation. The principle of the program is simple, yet powerful in its multiplier effect. When consumers make a purchase from a Care4 partner, a portion of the purchase directly supports patient care, education, research and equipment across the supported sites of Hamilton Health Sciences.

About Ballantrae Garlic Farm and Cloves for a Cause:

Paula Willinsky of Ballantrae Garlic Farm has been introducing Canadians to the wonderfully diversified world of garlic since 1998. At Ballantrae Garlic Farm garlic is grown organically. No synthetic chemicals are used in any part of the process from seed to harvest. Using organic farming practices, each garlic clove is hand planted in the fall. In spring the hardy plants push their way through the mulch and begin their summer growth. All the beds are tended and hand weeded throughout the spring and summer until the bulbs are ready to be hand harvested. Each summer’s crop is then carefully cleaned and hung to cure for a few weeks until it is ready to ship to you.

Growing organic heritage varieties from around the world is our passion. The foundation for our boutique approach to growing is patience. In some cases we have started with a single bulb and develop our inventory over several growing seasons before it is made available to the public. We like to think of our team at Ballantrae Farm as curators of the gourmet garlic world.

In 2015, Ballantrae Garlic Farm launched their fundraising program, Cloves for a Cause. In October and November, 40,000 cloves were planted to raise funds for various charities. The summer of 2016 will see those 40,000 beautiful bulbs harvested and they will be sold as singles as well as in a gift package of 5 gourmet bulbs.