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HOPE GARDEN ] Cathie Coward. The Hamilton Spectator


Sarah Freeman and her mom Paula Willinsky in their Hope Garden at Ballantrae Garlic Farm in Caledonia. Both mother and daughter had breast cancer and decided to give 50 percent of the profits from the sale of their garlic crop to the Juravinski Cancer Centre where they were treated.

About the HOPE Garden.

Benefitting Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre

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Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation is pleased to welcome Ballantrae Farm’s Cloves for a Cause program to the Care4 family of partners.  Ballantrae Farm is an artisan farming operation specializing in growing numerous varieties of rare, gourmet garlic from around the world. Paula Willinsky, owner of Ballantrae Farm, and her daughter Sarah Freeman, have established a legacy garden benefitting Juravinski Cancer Centre named Hope Garden. 20,000 rare, gourmet varieties; Violet and Rose de Lautrec from France and Kostyns from Russia have been planted in Hope Garden. When you purchase the Hope Garden package of five gourmet bulbs, 5 garlic cloves will be planted as a result of your purchase. 50% of the sale proceeds have been designated for Juravinski Cancer Centre and the remaining 50% will be reinvested in the Hope garden so the fundraising will continue year after year. 


Care4 is a cause marketing partnership that empowers businesses to demonstrate social responsibility by making a financial commitment, on behalf of their customers, to Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation.  We are truly grateful to Ballantrae Farm for their commitment to the Care4 program and, in turn, to the Foundation and our goal of Health Care, Transformed.  It is with the support of businesses such as Ballantrae Farm that we are able to continue to raise awareness about the role we play in supporting patient care across the region.


Pearl F. Veenema, FAHP

President and CEO

Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation



Mother and Daughter Breast Cancer Survivors Grow Cloves for a Cause


It runs in the family. As the mother-daughter team operating Ballantrae Garlic Farm in Caledonia, Paula Willinsky and Sarah Freeman have a lot in common. They both have a passion for the numerous varieties of garlic they grow; they share a deep respect for nature and sustainable farming; and they are also both breast cancer survivors.


Paula’s patient journey began when she was diagnosed in 2001. She received care at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre under the supervision of Dr. Mark Levine.


“It’s a scary thing when you’re faced with your own mortality,” says Paula. “Luckily, I received care from an extraordinary group of people for my radiation treatment, chemo and mastectomy.”


Paula had a second encounter with breast cancer two years later. Luckily, it was discovered at an earlier stage than the first time and it was treated with radiation. Today, she is in good health and grateful to be cancer-free.


“When you’re fortunate enough to come out the other side, there’s so much life to celebrate,” says Paula. “You zone in on what’s important in life, which is family.”


Sarah began her own patient journey in 2014 when she was also diagnosed with breast cancer. “I had a hard time wrapping my head around having breast cancer at age 42,” recalls Sarah. “I was fortunate that Mom was there to guide me through the scariest time of my life.”


Coincidentally, Sarah would also have Dr. Levine as her oncologist during her treatment at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. After undergoing a partial mastectomy and radiation therapy, Sarah is doing well and is scheduled for annual follow-up appointments to monitor her condition.


“We’re very indebted to the great people who cared for us,” says Paula. “That’s why we’re giving back with Cloves for a Cause .”


Cloves for a Cause is a program created by Paula and Sarah to raise money for various community organizations. Paula and Sarah have established Hope Garden to benefit Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.  Hope Garden consists of 20,000 bulbs of rare, gourmet varieties:


percent of the proceeds will be donated to Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation and the remaining 50 When you purchase the Hope Garden package of five gourmet bulbs, 50 per cent will be reinvested back into Hope Garden. This includes the replanting of five garlic cloves, so the fundraising will grow year after year. Ballantrae Garlic Farm will be selling their Cloves for a Cause garlic online, directly from the farm, and discussions are underway with retailers to carry the product on their shelves.


“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.”

Order your gourmet garlic satchels online now through our online retail partner You can select to pick up your garlic at Ballantrae Farm or have it shipped to your location. Each Hope Garden garlic gift package includes five gourmet garlic bulbs in a burlap satchel. These satchels are made for our Cloves for a Cause initiative and can be hung in your kitchen and reused to store your garlic and keep it in a perfect environment. 

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