Volume 2, Issue 4
April 27, 2015
Local Food Hub News and Notes
See below for more details!

Fresh Farmacy: Fruit and Veggie Prescription Program

This month, we launched our newest effort to increase access to local food. Through the Fresh Farmacy: Fruit and Veggie Prescription Program, patients and their families at three area health clinics are “prescribed” a biweekly supply of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and eggs grown by our partner farms. The prescriptions include recipes and educational programs that help to encourage home cooking and develop familiarity with new foods. More than 75 families are participating in this program, which seeks to lower obesity rates in our community, introduce families to new, healthful foods, and get kids and adults excited about cooking and eating. It is supported by a state grant to the Thomas Jefferson Health District and will continue throughout the summer and into fall. Stay tuned for more information! 

Harvest of the Month: Asparagus

April is the fourth installment of City Schoolyard Garden’s Harvest of the Month Program at Charlottesville City Elementary Schools. Each month, students taste a fresh, healthy snack featuring a locally sourced food item, grown by Local Food Hub partner farms. City Schoolyard Garden prepares nutrition, garden, and culinary education to complement the snacks. Thus far, students have tasted sweet Pink Lady apples, crispy kale chips, and spicy radishes. This month, students tasted fresh asparagus, a springtime favorite that is highly sought after by chefs, institutions, and home cooks alike.
 
Local Food Hub delivered 90 pounds of asparagus to Charlotteville City Schools' central kitchen, where they were snapped, washed, and dressed with garlic oil and lemon before roasting. Some elementary schools have very small kitchens and some have no kitchens at all, so the district’s central kitchen helps to overcome barriers to serving fresh foods at all of their schools. Once prepared, the asparagus was delivered to all six elementary schools. Students tasted and talked about the snack in their classrooms, and teachers gathered feedback from students about whether they liked or disliked the snack to help the district plan for future snack items.
A number of our partner farms grow asparagus for us, all with varying harvest times. Charlottesville students received asparagus grown by third-generation Holland’s Three Rivers Farm in Rockbridge County. Last year, they delivered 200 pounds of asparagus to us in one week; a record they hope to break in 2015! For the remainder of the season, we will see asparagus from Critzer Family Farm in Nelson County, Goldman Farm in Charlotte County, Walnut Winds Farm in Pittsylvania County, and Hill Farm in Louisa County. Be on the lookout for delicious asparagus creations at your favorite restaurant, and for sale at your favorite retail store or buying club. 
 
Read more on our 
blog, and see special news coverage by CBS19 Newsplex here

Farmer Spotlight: Phantom Hill Farm

Local Food Hub began working with Phantom Hill Farm in Louisa, VA, in 2014. Judging by the volume and quality of delicious produce they provide to us and sell at farmers markets, you may never guess this twenty-something couple has only been farming for a few years. Kathryn Hanks and Chris Pohl met during their undergraduate studies at Virginia Tech, and after graduation and some time spent in the Northern Virginia workforce, they moved to Kathryn’s family’s land to begin their own farm from the ground up.

They grow fresh greens year-round in high tunnels, or unheated greenhouses, and have provided us with high-quality, tender salad mix when the late winter and early spring temperatures prevent much else from growing. The couple is a great help to our production planning, and they are always willing to try new products. Now that spring is well underway, they are growing baby kale for us, in addition to a few other of our partner producers. Local Food Hub has never carried baby kale, but Kathryn and Chris have a lot of experience growing and selling it and are serving as our guides to this new product. We hope to see it at our warehouse in the next few weeks, and look forward to all of the delicious summer produce they have in store for us at Phantom Hill Farm.
 

Workshop: Multi-Species Grazing, with Forrest Prichard of Smith Meadows Farm

Forrest Prichard is a seventh generation family farmer operating an organically managed farm in Berryville, VA. His several hundred acre farm raises grass-fed cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, and chickens, which are all rotated to fresh paddocks of grass on a regular basis. This rotation process, often referred to as rotational grazing or muti-species grazing, ensures his animals are in sync with nature and remain healthy, and prevents the need for chemical fertilization or pesticide use on the land. Smith Meadows also operates a bed and breakfast and a commercial kitchen where they produce many delicious soups, pastas, and prepared food items made with farm-grown products.
 
Sustainable growing and livestock rotation were not always the mantras at Smith Meadows. Prior to 1996, Forrest’s family operated a genetically-modified corn and soybean operation. After receiving a tiny profit of $18.16 for five truckloads of corn, Forrest felt compelled to take a different direction in an effort to make his family’s farm profitable. After almost 20 years of sustainable farming practices, Smith Meadows has gained a strong following at many Washington, D.C. farmers markets, and is a mainstay for many chefs and food purveyors. Forrest's book, Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm, chronicles his farming adventures, and has been rated a top read by many prominent book reviews, including the Washington Post and NPR’s The Splendid Table

Forrest will present a workshop on Thursday, April 30, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at City Space in downtown Charlottesville. While rotational grazing with several kinds of livestock and poultry can have many benefits, making it all work together can be challenging. Forrest will offer solutions that have worked on his farm, and share compelling insights into why multi-species grazing makes economic and environmental sense. This workshop is open to all and will appeal to the beginning or veteran farmer, as well as the grass-fed consumer enthusiast, and will include a reading from his recent book. The cost of the workshop is $15 and RSVP is requested, which you can do
here

News

We’ve Moved!
For quite some time, Local Food Hub's staff has operated from two offices; an administrative office in downtown Charlottesville, and at our distribution warehouse in Ivy, VA. Last week, we consolidated offices at our distribution warehouse in Ivy. This marks the first time in our organization’s history that the entire staff has been housed in the same physical location. We are already feeling the benefits of working from one location, not to mention are enjoying our beautiful views in the country! We look forward to enhancing our programs and services to better serve our community. We hope you will visit us soon at 3302 Lobban Place, Ivy, VA! 

 
Whole Foods Market Fair Lakes 5% Day to Benefit Local Food Hub
Wednesday, May 13, all day
Come shop with us at Whole Foods Market Fair Lakes on May 13 to support Local Food Hub’s efforts to increase community access to local food. Five-percent of sales will be donated towards our efforts. Our staff will be in the store all day to chat with customers and offer tasty local samples. Spread the word, and we look forward to seeing you there!
 
Cured: Central Virginia Bacon Festival
Saturday, May 30, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Get ready for Charlottesville’s first-ever bacon festival! Hosted by the nTelos Wireless Pavilion in downtown Charlottesville, a selection of the finest locally owned restaurants will each be on site offering two or three bacon-themed dishes. You’ll have the chance to sample dishes from a James Beard nominated chef, a dish from a Forbes Five Star resort, and a dish from your favorite diner. Starr Hill beer and local hard cider will be available, and, Starr Hill is brewing a special “Smoke Out” rauchbier with smoked malt for the event!
 
Restaurants include Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie, Ivy Provisions, Blue Moon Diner, Maya, Brookville, Citizen Burger Bar, The Ivy Inn, and more, plus local hog butcher and Local Food Hub partner producer, The Rock Barn. There will be live music by
 Buzzard Hollow Boys. Patrons will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite dishes, with voting proceeds benefiting Local Food Hub. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit the website here.
 
Second Annual Food From Our Farms Dinner
Sunday, June 7
Local Food Hub will host the second annual Food From Our Farms fundraising dinner at the Barn at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, VA. A sumptuous harvest will be expertly prepared by area chefs, with music by local bluegrass artists. Please visit localfoodhub.org/dinner for more information. 
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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