Volume 2, Issue 10
October 28, 2015
Local Food Hub News and Notes

Farm to School Week Recap

Earlier this month, students throughout the state celebrated Virginia Farm to School Week. School cafeterias showcased local products, farmers made special visits to classrooms and cafeterias, and students learned growing techniques in the garden. Local Food Hub conducted several taste tests and meet-the-farmer events in select schools in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Greene County, Nelson County, Staunton City, and Waynesboro Public Schools. Taste tests ranged from three varieties of apples and apple cider, to acorn and butternut squash and sweet potatoes. Menu items were just as delicious, with grass-fed ground beef tacos and meatloaves, fresh salads, kabocha squash soup, and black bean chili. 
Thank you to the nutrition directors, cafeteria managers, kitchen and school staff for creating such an exciting week of delicious local foods, and for inviting Local Food Hub to share in all of the fun! A special shout out to Tye River Elementary in Nelson County, where students and staff dress like farmers (see their cafeteria staff below). We can't wait for next year's celebrations!

Congratulations, Community Food Award Winners!

Last week, we held our annual Community Food Awards ceremony at our warehouse in Ivy. A record number of our farmers, partners, and supporters turned out on a beautiful fall evening to celebrate – a testament to our community's commitment to food and farms! Ten awards were distributed, in the form of a cutting board shaped like the state of Virginia. Read more about the award winners here

The evening was filled with live acoustic music by Herb and Hanson, a delicious meal by Harvest Moon Catering, a bonfire, s'mores, activities, and great conversation among friends, partners, and new supporters. The highlight of the evening was a fun photo booth by MoxBox - see all of the evening's images here! Local Food Hub staff had some fun, too (see photo below)!

Thank you to all of our sponsors who enabled the success of this event. You can read and watch more about the evening, thanks to Charlottesville Tomorrow and NBC29 News. And, save the date for the 2016 Community Food Awards on October 20, 2016!

Featured Retailer: Greenwood Gourmet Grocery

Greenwood Gourmet Grocery of Albemarle County has consistently ordered from Local Food Hub for over six years. Owners David and Nina share our commitment to supporting small family farms, and work hard to source products from as many local farms as possible. They incorporate local items into their fresh produce selection as well as their prepared foods, and let their customers know exactly where their food comes from. They are always willing to test a new local product for us, and provide valuable feedback to help us make important business decisions. 
 
Last week,
Greenwood Gourmet Grocery was presented with our Retail Leader Award, which recognizes a retailer who has demonstrated a commitment to the purchase and marketing of local food and to a partnership with Local Food Hub in this effort. Be sure to visit them in Crozet to pick up local groceries or enjoy a delicious lunch or snack - you won't be disappointed! 

Featured Farmer & Product: Virginia Chestnuts

Local Food Hub is pleased to announce our newest partner producer, Virginia Chestnuts of Nelson County. Owners David and Kim Bryant both grew up among farming families, which provided them with a strong background to establish and manage an orchard. They established their chestnut orchard in 2009, and in 2012 began a chestnut growers group of five chestnut orchards. The group shares tips with one another, enabling them to provide the best quality chestnuts and to produce high volumes to meet customer demand.

Virginia Chestnuts are water cured, a method that enhances flavor and preserves freshness. The harvest time lasts from late fall into early winter, and they store beautifully in refrigeration. They taste great roasted over the fire, used in stuffing, made into soup, or just eaten raw as a snack. You'll begin to find them in your favorite retailers and restaurants this week. Be sure to stock up for your holiday meals, as retailers tend to sell them quickly! 

Upcoming Events

The Virginia Film Festival Presents: Polyfaces
Saturday, November 7, 4:45 p.m.
PVCC Dickinson Center
Purchase tickets here!

Set amid the stunning Shenandoah Valley, this joyful documentary details the innovative agricultural techniques of Polyface Farm. Founded by the Salatin family, Polyface uses no chemicals in its food production and strives to produce food in a way that works with nature, not against it. Charming and insightful, this film is inspiring in its symbiotic relationships between local economies, communities, and the importance of healthy soil. Following the film, Local Food Hub will participate in a discussion with filmmakers Lisa Heenan and Darren Doherty, Joel Salatin, Daniel Salatin, Tanya Cobb of UVa, and moderator Brian Wheeler of Charlottesville Tomorrow.

Upcoming Workshops

We have just two workshops remaining for 2015, and you won't want to miss out! This Thursday, October 29, Ellen Polishuk of Potomac Vegetable Farms will share her expertise for analyzing key farm data to make important decisions that result in increased farm profits. And on November 5, energy experts will guide you through an energy audit and discuss potential sources for funding and support for energy related projects.

Is Your Gut Instinct Costing You Money?
Thursday, October 29, Piedmont Virginia Community College

Cost: $10

Evaluating and Improving On-Farm Energy Efficiency
Thursday, November 5, Piedmont Virginia Community College
Cost: $10


Please visit our Workshops page for more information, including to purchase a ticket and to RSVP. Partner farms do not need to purchase a ticket; please email adrianna@localfoodhub.org to secure your spot. 
Local Food Hub is a nonprofit organization that partners with Virginia farmers to increase community access to local food. After six 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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