Volume 2, Issue 7
July 28, 2015
Local Food Hub News and Notes
Feeding Our Community
Our newest partnerships aimed at increasing access to local food in our community continue to flourish, and are getting more delicious as the summer growing season progresses. 
The Fresh Farmacy: Fruit and Veggie Prescription Program has provided 76 families who are at risk for certain health-related illnesses, such as obesity and/or diabetes, with more than 3,500 pounds of fresh, local produce. Since the program began in April, patients have reported increasing their overall consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, becoming more likely to make healthy food choices, and are participating in home cooking and recipe swapping with others in the program. Supported by a state grant to the Thomas Jefferson Health District, the program is currently slated to end in September. All partners are actively searching for future funding opportunities to expand or continue this vital program. Stay tuned for more details!
 
See special coverage of the Fresh Farmacy Program from CBS19 Newsplex
here, and from NBC29 News here
Our Farm to Workplace Program continues to bring fresh produce shares to Crutchfield employees, which is offered to them at a reduced rate, subsidized by Crutchfield. Employees and their families are excited to bring fresh produce home and are trying new things. Program participant Angie Eubanks said, “I am so glad I signed up. I was a little nervous at first that I wouldn’t get enough or wouldn’t like the selection, but when I walked through the door [at home] my kids were delighted. They couldn’t wait to help cut up the zucchini and squash for dinner that night. While dinner was cooking, my daughter cut up the fruit for dessert!”  
Rachel Showalter, another participant, said, “Swiss chard was such a nice surprise, as I never buy that and actually liked it a lot,” while Josh Dierauer said, “The variety has us eating foods we likely would not add to our diet on our own!”
 
This week, employees will receive cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, zucchini, green peppers, yellow onions, and heirloom tomatoes. For more on this program, see an article by Charlottesville Tomorrow, which also appeared in The Daily Progress,
 here.

Ensuring Quality and Safety: Good Agricultural Practices

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, a government- and industry-recognized standard in food safety, is among the highest regarded credentials available in fresh produce food safety. Many food businesses and institutions require that farms maintain this certification in order to sell produce to them, so achieving GAP can reap major economic benefits for growers by enabling them to sell into new markets. Because the certification process is challenging and there are high costs associated with compliance, Local Food Hub offers cost-share programs and technical assistance for growers interested in becoming GAP certified. This spring and summer, our Director of Grower Services, Adrianna Vargo, was busy in the field helping nine of our partner farms achieve GAP certification.

This group represents some of the most promising new and experienced small-scale farms in our region. From a half-acre high tunnel operation east of Charlottesville, to a 30-acre produce farm in southern Virginia, and a third-generation vineyard in the Shenandoah Valley, the farmers managing these businesses have recognized the need to proactively address increased demands in the marketplace for food safety assurances.
 

Congratulations to these farms for their hard work in achieving GAP and supplying us with fresh, high-quality, and safe local food:
 

Hill Farm, Louisa County
Holland’s Three Rivers Farm, Rockbridge County
Malcolms Market Garden, Augusta County
Planet Earth Diversified, Greene County
Riverstone Organic Farm, Floyd County
Shady Lane Farm, Albemarle County
Sunnyfield Farm, Rockingham County
Walnut Winds Farm, Pittsylvania County
Wenger Grape Farms, Augusta County

These nine farms join a handful of our partner farms that already hold GAP certification. 

Featured Product: Melons!

Melon season is here, and we couldn’t be more excited! This week, juicy watermelons and cantaloupes were delivered by the truckload to our warehouse from Reese Farm in Halifax County. When we say the truckload - we mean it! Reese Farm delivered over 800 watermelons, or about 11,000 pounds, which took one of the biggest trucks we've ever seen at our warehouse!

Also in this week are sugar cube melons from Malcolms Market Garden in Augusta County. While small in size, their flavor is big and sugar-sweet, just as their name implies. Melon season will be gone before you know it, so be sure to scoop them up from your favorite retailer, and dine on delicious creations from your favorite local chef. 

On the Blog: The PB&J Fund's Kids Supporting Agriculture Program

For the second year in a row, Local Food Hub is pleased to partner with The PB&J Fund during their summer programs. The PB&J Fund is a nonprofit that connects Charlottesville youth with the resources and knowledge necessary to help develop a healthy diet. By working with community partners to provide healthy meals and teach cooking habits, it aims to address kids’ nutritional needs at each stage of development.
 

One of The PB&J Fund’s core summer programs is their collective take on a traditional Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) style program. It has been renamed Kids Supporting Agriculture (KSA), and is led by The Boys and Girls Club of America Keystone teens. The students are raising funds to attend the national Keystone Teen Leadership Conference, and to gain valuable health, nutrition, and business skills along the way. Similar to a traditional CSA, the teens operate a five-week program where individuals and families sign up to receive a share of fresh, local produce, grown by Local Food Hub partner farms. The teens are responsible for all logistics related to the program, including marketing and selling shares to area neighbors (the teens deliver the produce bags on foot!), providing customer service, estimating profit margins, and organizing the produce drops.
Read More!

Workshop: Pest Management Field Day

Thursday, August 27, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 
Bellair Farm, Charlottesville, VA


Join us for an interactive workshop and field walk at Bellair Farm to learn about identifying and managing the major plant diseases and insect pests that affect vegetable and small fruit crops in Virginia. Dr. Steve Rideout, Extension Specialist of Plant Pathology and Director of Virginia Tech’s Agricultural Research and Extension Center at the Eastern Shore will lead the workshop. A group of graduate students from Virginia Tech who are involved in groundbreaking research on pollinator risks and pests, such as the brown marmorated stink bug, Mexican bean beetle, harlequin bug, flea beetles, and squash bug, will also provide their expertise.
 
The cost of this workshop is $25, and includes a delicious lunch from Great Harvest Bread Company. Please reserve your ticket
here. This workshop is free to Local Food Hub partner farms; please email adrianna@localfoodhub.org to RSVP (you do not need to purchase a ticket). 

Events

Save the Date: Community Food Awards & 6th Birthday Celebration
Thursday, October 22, 5:00 p.m.
Local Food Hub Warehouse, Ivy, VA


Save the date for our annual Community Food Awards and sixth birthday celebration! The awards recognize farmers, businesses, and community partners for their commitment to local food, healthy communities, and Virginia agriculture. Following the ceremony, there will be a community meal, bonfire, s’mores, family-friendly activities, and a fun photo booth. To RSVP, email info@localfoodhub.org. This event is free and open to all. Read about last year's celebration 
here.
 
Virginia Farm to School Week, October 5-9, 2015
Farm to School Week has moved! Previously held in November, the week provides an opportunity for schools and partnering organizations to highlight efforts that are taking place throughout the year to source more school foods locally, and to provide educational activities to students that emphasize food, farming, and nutrition. Virginia’s Farm to School Week now coincides with National Farm to School Month.
 
In 2014, Local Food Hub provided more than 28,000 students in six school districts with 9,000 pounds of fresh, local produce and meats from 22 small family farms! Stay tuned for more details about the delicious foods coming to your school. If you are a school interested in working with us, or if you’d like to support our efforts to teach students about where their food comes from and create greater connections to their food, please email us at info@localfoodhub.org. 
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. 
Donate
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Copyright © 2015 Local Food Hub, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp