Volume 6, Issue 3
July 5, 2016
Local Food Hub News and Notes

Bringing the Farm to Hospital

Local Food Hub, Polyface Farm, and the University of Virginia Health System have teamed up to bring pastured-raised local pork to hospital patients, families, and employees. Last month, Polyface Farm in Augusta County found itself with a surplus of its popular sausage. While UVA Hospital seemed like the perfect partner - it serves thousands of meals per day, and is committed to sourcing locally - it also has strict procurement requirements that are more rigorous than many small family farms can navigate alone. These include liability insurance, delivery infrastructure, safety certifications, and more. Local Food Hub was founded to help small farms overcome such barriers, and was able to purchase all 7,000 pounds of pork from Polyface Farm and deliver it to the hospital. Polyface breakfast sausage can be found in the cafeteria, and was showcased at a recent employee appreciation celebration (pictured below). We look forward to continuing this partnership to bring more local food to our local hospital. 

Bringing the Farm to University

Thanks to a new partnership between the University of Virginia Dining Services and Greens to Grounds, local food will now be more accessible to UVA students. Starting this fall, students will have the opportunity to use their pre-paid meal plan dollars to purchase a Greens to Grounds subscription. Greens to Grounds is a student organization dedicated to promoting consciousness of local food in Charlottesville by offering shares of local, seasonal produce to students and the UVA community. Since its founding in 2014, Greens to Grounds has relied on Local Food Hub to access food from small family farms in Virginia. We are thrilled to see their success in expanding local food access among the UVA community. You can read more about this exciting new partnership on our blog by clicking below. 
Read More on our Blog!

Achieving the Highest Standards in Food Safety

As of June, eight of our partner farms had achieve the highest in food safety certification, thanks to our on-farm technical assistance and guidance. Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification is an industry-recognized standard in food safety that represents best practices in farming and food handling. Our Grower Services Program helps partner farms achieve GAP through one-on-one training and cost-sharing opportunities. Pictured above, our Director of Grower Services, Adrianna Vargo, conducts a mock GAP audit for Jose Calixto of Singing Earth Produce in Augusta County. Singing Earth passed their official audit with flying colors last month, which Jose teased was less challenging than the mock audit we conducted to help him prepare! GAP certification will enable this group of growers to sell to more customers, as GAP products are in high-demand from many large institutional and retail customers.

What's In Season?

We have bid farewell to many early summer favorites, such as strawberries, blueberries, and leafy greens. Next, we welcome our heat-loving fruits: blackberries, cantaloupe, sugar cube melons, and raspberries! They will be here and gone before you know it, so be sure to take advantage while you can (and maybe freeze some for a future smoothie or a taste of summer in December?). Summer squash, leeks, and carrots are still here and in good supply, perfect for your grilling and summer salad-making festivities. The most cherished fruit (or vegetable?) of the season has yet to arrive: tomatoes! Heirloom and red slicing tomatoes will be in our warehouse in the next week or two, with mixed cherry tomatoes not far behind. Cheers to summer!

Workshop: Summer Production Walk at Bellair Farm

Date: Thursday, July 14
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Bellair Farm, 5375 Bellair Farm, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Cost: $10 (This workshop is free for Local Food Hub partner farms.)

You won't want to miss our second seasonal walk at Bellair Farm! Now that many of our favorite summer crops are in full bloom, we'll have lots to examine and discuss while walking the fields of a diversified, Certified Organic farm. A wide range of topics will be covered, including weed and pest control, disease prevention and management strategies, crew management, harvest techniques, equipment choices, livestock management, budgets, and more. 

The workshop will primarily be held in the field, so please dress accordingly and bring plenty of water and sunscreen. 

If you have specific topic suggestions or questions, please contact Adrianna Vargo at adrianna@localfoodhub.org

RSVP

Workshop: Honeybee Colony Management

Date: Thursday, July 21
Time: 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Albemarle County Office Building, Room A, 1600 5th Street, Charlottesville, VA 
*Please note this is NOT the County Office Building on McIntire Road!
Cost: $10 (This workshop is free for Local Food Hub partner farms.)

Mitigating pests and diseases within a honey bee colony can be one of the biggest challenges beekeepers face, both hobbyists and farmers alike. Heather Stertzer, Beekeeper/Co-Owner of Scottsville Supply Company, and Keith Tignor, State Apiarist, will discuss how to protect your investment and keep your colony as healthy as you can. The workshop will go in-depth on techniques to minimize destruction and colony loss from internal pests and diseases.

This workshop is tailored to beekeepers who have already established a colony of bees in a managed hive, and will include Integrated Pest Management practices (IPM). It will not cover beekeeping fundamentals.

For questions, please contact Adrianna Vargo at adrianna@localfoodhub.org

RSVP
Farm Aid 2016 is heading to Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA, on Saturday, September 17! Each year, Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews host a concert to bring together a wide variety of artists, farmers, and fans for one mission: keeping family farmers on the land. Farm Aid is an all-day festival that brings together incredible music, good food and hands-on activities to get folks in touch with the roots of our food. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $50 million to help family farmers thrive all over the country while inspiring millions of people to take part in the Good Food Movement. Local Food Hub has been fortunate to receive support for our small family farmers in Virginia. Join us to fight for equity and fairness in our food system, and work to make sure everyone has access to fresh, healthy food. Tickets are on sale now here, and more information about our plans for this special day are coming soon!
Local Food Hub is a nonprofit organization that partners with Virginia farmers to increase community access to local food. After seven 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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