Volume 2, Issue 3
March 31, 2015
Local Food Hub News and Notes
Your Support Matters
Thanks to your support, Local Food Hub is making more connections among food, farms, and the community than ever before. Picture an elementary student tasting roasted asparagus at school, learning about the farmer who grew the asparagus, and sowing seeds in the school garden to learn about how produce grows. At home, the student’s family receives a bag of fresh produce that includes asparagus, and uses an enclosed recipe to make it part of the dinner menu. All of this and more is happening throughout this year through the Local Food Hub programs you support. 
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Farmer Spotlight: Holland's Three Rivers Farm

Located at the intersection of three rivers – the Maury, South, and James – where the rich soil is ideal for growing produce, Holland's Three Rivers Farm grows delicious, diversified produce on 60 acres, and operates a livestock and grain operation on the rest of the land. The Holland family has been farming in Rockbridge County for almost 100 years. The current owner, Keith, attributes much of his farming knowledge to his grandfather, who initially purchased the land in the 1920s. Today, Keith expertly manages over 1500 acres of farm land.
 
Holland’s Three Rivers Farm has been working with Local Food Hub since 2012 and is a reliable producer for many of our customers. Keith delivers great summer produce, including squash, sweet corn, and bell peppers to our warehouse by the truckload, and provides us with a consistent supply of pastured eggs (see below for more about his delicious eggs!). In addition to working with Local Food Hub, the farm also hosts Family Farm Day events, operates a retail farm stand, and partners with the local jail to provide employment opportunities to inmates, some of whom become future employees upon their release.

Featured Product of the Month: Pasture-Raised Chicken Eggs

While the cold winter weather has hampered our fresh produce intake the past few weeks, our supply of farm fresh eggs has remained strong. We are fortunate to have a year-round supply of pasture-raised chicken eggs, thanks to our hardworking partner farms. Some of our larger egg growers, Holland’s Three Rivers Farm in Rockbridge County and Shepherds Hill Farm in Greene County, have perfected raising chickens through the winter, and have been able to bring us farm-fresh eggs even in the coldest of temperatures. 

“Pasture-raised” means that the chickens freely roam grassy pastures during the day, and access a shelter at night to safely lay their eggs while being protected from predators. Holland’s Three Rivers uses a mobile wagon to protect their hens at night and move them to new pastures during the day, while Shepherds Hill Farm uses a stationary barn for nighttime protection. 
At Local Food Hub, we see about 3,600 eggs come and go each week. Our eggs are incredibly fresh, with most making their way to our customers within a week of being laid. We carry them in bulk, which are perfect for chefs who move through many eggs at a time, as well as in dozen-egg retail packs, perfect for the home cook and breakfast enthusiast.

You can find our eggs in delicious menu creations at Mudhouse Crozet, Oakhurst Inn, and Revolutionary Soup in Charlottesville, at Zynodoa Restaurant in Staunton, and for retail sale at Feast! in Charlottesville and Ellwood Thompson's in Richmond. And, our friends at The Haven, a Charlottesville-based resource center that provides the homeless with a safe place to be during the day, prepare delicious egg breakfasts for their clients using Local Food Hub eggs. 

Community Connection: Spring Time Events

Creating a vibrant, resilient local food system with small farms at its center takes a whole community working together. This spring, we are honored to be working with a number of organizations in our area to ensure that the knowledge and choice of local food becomes the norm, not the exception, for all segments of the community.
 

In March, we participated in the Virginia Farm to School Conference, hosted by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. We met with farmers and nutrition directors from around the state, and spoke on panels related to school food distribution and food safety. There is a lot of momentum for getting more local foods to Virginia schoolchildren, and we look forward to continuing the conversation. Read more about the conference in Charlottesville Tomorrow’s recap.   
 
Last weekend, Local Food Hub participated in UVa’s “farmer’s market-style” Produce Party, hosted by Greens to Grounds, in collaboration with other UVa groups. The event raised awareness about healthy eating and the benefits of supporting local, sustainable agriculture.

On Friday, April 17, Executive Director Kristen Suokko will speak about access to local food on a panel at the Tom Tom Founders Festival. The ticketed event will be held at Brookville Restaurant and includes a delicious box lunch. In addition, April 13-19 is Farm to Table Restaurant Week. Area chefs will create special menus featuring locally sourced items, with all proceeds benefiting Local Food HubVisit the Tom Tom Founders Festival website for more information, including a list of participating restaurants.    
 
On Thursday, April 23, we will once again deliver a fresh, healthy snack to Charlottesville City Elementary Schools for the Harvest of the Month Program, coordinated by City Schoolyard Garden. Stay tuned for details – with warmer weather on its way, we have a lot of tasty local treats planned for this program!

And, on Wednesday, May 13, Local Food Hub will be the featured nonprofit for Whole Foods Market Fair Lake's 5% Day. Our staff will be sampling delicious local items in the store all day, and 5% of all sales will benefit our programs. Plan your shopping trip accordingly! 
 
More information about our events can always be found on our website. We hope to see you soon!

On the Blog: Winter Vineyard Work at Wenger Grape Farms

We are fortunate to have a well-established, third-generation grape farm in our community. Wenger Grape Farms began working with Local Food Hub in 2013, but their history and experience long supersedes their work with us. They are a customer and staff favorite, and a true example of a small family farm. Wendy Wenger Hochstedler of Wenger Grape Farm wrote a guest post on our blog about winter life on a grape farm.
Read More

Grower Services Events

Multi-species Grazing; Challenges and Opportunities
Thursday, April 30, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
City Space
100 5th St. NE
Charlottesville, VA
Cost: $15, RSVP 
here


Join us for a very special workshop on multi-species grazing, presented by Forrest Pritchard of Smith Meadows farm. Pritchard is a full-time farmer, holding degrees in English and Geology from the College of William and Mary. His farm was one of the first “grass-finished” farms in the country, and he has sold his products at leading farmers’ markets in Washington, D.C. for more than fifteen years. His book, Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm was named a Top Read by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and NPR’s The Splendid Table. This workshop will also include a reading from his new book, Gaining Ground.

For more information, contact Director of Grower Services, Adrianna Vargo, at
 adrianna@localfoodhub.org or 434-244-0625.

Local Food for Your Next Event!

Local Food Hub can help your next nonprofit, business, or private event be healthy, delicious, AND support small farms and our local economy. We will work with you to source local products and provide marketing support to make the most of your investment. We work with restaurants and institutions, and have existing relationships with several local catering companies. To learn more about sourcing local for your next event, visit our website here
Local Food Hub is a nonprofit organization that provides access to nutritious, locally farm sourced food for everyone. After five years, we're still a thriving distribution network for local food, but we are also so much more: a leader in the farm to school movement, a donor to regional food banks, a guide for businesses, a resource for farmers, and a catalyst for fresh ideas for how our community feeds itself.

Join us in our efforts of providing access to farm sourced food for everyone. 
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