Issue 1, Volume 3
September 26, 2014
Local Food Hub News and Notes

Farm to School: Gearing up for National Farm to School Month and Virginia Farm to School Week


Putting local fruits and vegetables on school menus can have benefits that go beyond the lunch line. When students are exposed to fresh food at school, they’re more likely to make healthy choices at home, too. And when schools invest their dollars in the local economy, the entire community benefits, including farmers, ranchers, and local businesses. 
 
This is what National Farm to School Month is meant to celebrate. Launched in 2010 with the support of the National Farm to School Network, the effort runs nationwide for all of October. During the month, Local Food Hub will be stocking up on fall produce and making plans for Virginia’s own Farm to School Week November 10 – 14.
 
Local Food Hub's Seed to School program works throughout the year with more than 60 schools in eight districts to break down the barriers to putting local produce on school lunch trays, and to create connections between food and farms. Right now schools are getting apples, potatoes, winter squash, and cider from Local Food Hub, and by mid-October, broccoli, kale, salad mix, and spinach will be on the menu. 
 
Farm to School week is a special opportunity to amplify these efforts. Local Food Hub will work with nutrition directors to bring in unique items, such as grass-fed beef, and host in-school events like tastings, demonstrations, and meet-the-farmer sessions. 
 
You can help move food from farm to school by supporting the Seed to School program. Community support helps us offer schools discounted prices for items like pastured beef, keeps our delivery trucks on the road, and allows us to do more programming in more schools. 

Click here to donate, and look for more details about October events and Farm to School Week on our website and blog, and via FacebookInstagram, and Twitter

Farmer Spotlight: Singing Earth Produce

Father-and-son duo Jose and Adolfo Calixto have been farming 20 acres outside of Waynesboro, VA, for over a decade. The growing season at Singing Earth Produce produces just about every type of vegetable in top quality and bountiful quantity, such as cooking greens, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and melons. The Calixto’s have been a partner producer of ours since the early days of Local Food Hub, and it has been an incredible experience watching these two grow fantastic produce year after year.

This year, they are taking a new focus on season extension and winter-time growing. By utilizing high tunnels, or unheated greenhouses, the Calixto's will be able to stave off the bitter cold winter temperatures and keep hardy crops like beets, spinach, scallions, and green onions growing all winter long. Typically, winter is like summer vacation for the Calixto’s as they don’t have much growing on the farm and take some much-deserved time off. However, with our desire to offer our customers more volume and variety during the cooler months, the Calixto’s will work throughout the year to continue to bring us beautiful produce. This winter income will also help fund the steep start up expenses at the beginning of the spring season, which growers often struggle with. If their juicy tomatoes and vibrant squash this summer were any indication, we are sure to see some flavor-packed and vibrantly-colored winter harvests. 

Featured Product of the Month: Salad Mix

After a disappearing act this summer, our salad mix is back for the fall. Our mix is a great blend of flavorful greens that vary slightly from season to season. Right now, we are collaborating with Hartland Natural Farm, in Madison County, VA, on a sturdier, more flavorful mix that is perfect for fall and winter. As the season progresses, additional partner producers will join the mix in an attempt to keep salad greens in supply all winter long - a challenging, but great, project!

Community Connection: Farm to Food Bank

The Emergency Food Bank Brings Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to Clients
Local Food Hub seeks to make local farm sourced food available to as many people as possible. Every day we distribute hundreds of pounds of fresh, nutritious produce to the schools, stores, restaurants, and hospitals where many people get their food, and fall is an especially good time to enjoy the bounty of Virginia's agriculture. 

For many fixed-income Virginians who rely on food asssitance programs, however, this bounty is out of reach. One local food assistance provider is seeking to change this paradigm through a partnership with Local Food Hub.
Read More

Upcoming Events

Tom Tom Founders Festival Fall Block Party
Friday, September 26, 5:00 – 11:00 p.m.
McGuffey Art Center
201 2nd Street NW
Charlottesville, VA 22902

The Fall Block Party at the McGuffey Art Center brings great bands, public art, food trucks, and a craft beer garden to the front lawn of Downtown Charlottesville’s historic schoolhouse-turned-gallery. Don’t miss charity cornhole and awards for Founding Cville, plus special technology and music demonstrations.
 
Founding Cville is an initiative honoring innovators, artists, and community leaders who create great things in Charlottesville. Local Food Hub co-founder Kate Collier is one of many Founding Cville award winners this year, and has been recognized with a banner on the downtown mall. Kate and other award winners will be honored at 6:30 p.m. at this Friday’s event. Kate’s award symbolizes the incredible work that she and co-founder Marisa Vrooman, along with tremendous support from our community, undertook five years ago to create Local Food Hub. Come celebrate!
 
For more information, visit the Tom Tom Founders Festival website here.
 
Workshop: Tractor and Implement Maintenance and Safety
Thursday, October 9, 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Bellair Farm
5357 Bellair Farm
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Join us for our first-ever workshop on basic maintenance and safety techniques for tractors! Todd Anderson, of James River Equipment and an Albemarle County beef cattle farmer, has extensive experience with and knowledge of tractors and heavy equipment of all makes and scales. Todd will discuss the main components of a tractor, provide tips on routine maintenance to keep your machine in tip-top shape, discuss troubleshooting strategies for when your tractor acts up, and will cover important safety practices. For more information and to RSVP, please click here.
 
Save the Date for the 2014 Community Food Awards Ceremony + Fifth Year Celebration
Thursday, November 20, evening
LFH Warehouse, Ivy, VA

Local Food Hub is pleased to announce that the 2014 Community Food Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, November 20, followed by a party to celebrate Local Food Hub's fifth year. The Community Food Awards provide an opportunity to recognize farmers, businesses, and institutions for their commitment to local food, healthy communities, and Virginia agriculture. The ceremony will be followed by a bonfire and meal celebrating Local Food Hub's five years of operation and the community that has supported it. This event is free and family-friendly. Save the date!
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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