November 2, 2016
Volume 14, Issue 3
Local Food Hub News and Notes

Leading the Way in Food Safety Training

Over the past year, the federal government has finalized new regulations for produce food safety. Our Director of Grower Services and on-staff farmer, Adrianna Vargo, has been diligently working to interpret the new regulations and help our partner farms understand how the rules apply to their operations. In many instances, our partner farms have had to make minor adjustments in their on-farm infrastructure, ranging from installing hand-washing stations in the fields to posting proper signage to ensuring their employees are compliant with the new safe handling procedures. We continue to help our farmers navigate this complex system and obtain cost assistance for voluntary on-farm food safety audits.

In addition to making on-farm improvements, many farm operations are required by law to have a supervisor or responsible party complete a new standardized curriculum that meets the standards of the Food and Drug Administration. Local Food Hub is the only nonprofit in Virginia to acquire training credentials under the new federal food safety law in order to conduct this required training. This week, we successfully trained and graduated 18 of our partner farms (pictured below).
With the help of food safety experts from Produce Safety Alliance and Virginia Tech's Fresh Produce Food Safety team, including Dr. Laura Strawn, Amber Vallotton, and Joell Eifert, we are pleased to congratulate the graduates of our Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course. Local Food Hub will host additional trainings in 2017, which will be open to farms outside of our network, thereby deepening the understanding of and precision in executing these important food safety standards among more Virginia farms. 

Imperfect Apples Make for Perfect Juices, and Kombucha!

You've likely heard about "seconds" produce or "ugly fruit" when discussing food waste in our country. Retailers often reject produce that grows a little funny, like a crooked carrot with a long tail, or is asymmetrical, like a misshapen tomato, or has a minor discoloring, like an apple with a bruise. Our grocery stores are full of beautiful, shiny fruits and vegetables that are perfect in shape and color. But what happens to the ones that don't make the superficial cut, yet are just as nutritious and delicious as their better looking friends? 

In Virginia, ugly apples are making their way into delicious, healthy juices and kombucha.
Misfit Juicery, one of our newest buyers in Washington, D.C., is taking advantage of produce unfit for the wholesale market and cold-pressing it into a variety of tasty juices, like apple, lemon, and mint, or carrot, apple, tumeric, and lemon. The company seeks to reimagine the way we engage with food by creating a purpose for food we often overlook or throw away. Local Food Hub is sourcing apple seconds from Saunders Brothers Orchard in Nelson County, not only reducing food waste but also creating additional market outlets and revenue streams for our partner farms. 

You can find Misfit juice in retail shops throughout the DC area, and can schedule tastings, catering, or cocktail parties! Learn more here, and check out a recent article by Vogue Magazine!
Meanwhile, our friend Barefoot Bucha has brewed a limited release seasonal kombucha, created in partnership with Local Food Hub. Autumn Apple also features "seconds" apples from Nelson County, taking advantage of misshapen, bruised, and "ugly" apples that are not suitable for the wholesale market. The kombucha is available for purchase at Greenwood Gourmet Grocery in Crozet, Rebecca's Natural Food in Charlottesville, and Union Market and Ellwood Thompson's in Richmond, with proceeds benefiting Local Food Hub. Refreshingly crisp, Autumn Apple is the perfect fall treat! 

Local Food Hub Board of Directors

Local Food Hub is fortunate to have a diverse 14-member Board of Directors. The Board seeks to advance Local Food Hub's mission and convey it to the public, and conducts organizational planning and provides strategic direction. Members include representation from our partner farms, buyers, community partners, and local food system experts. Please join us in welcoming our newest board members:
  • Steve Bowers, Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Apex Clean Energy
  • Anna Payne Fife, Senior Manager for Board, Executive and Strategic Initiatives, Share Our Strength 
  • Stasia Greenewalt, Faculty Member, Mountaintop Montessori School
  • Martha Hodgkins, Communications Director, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture 
You can get to know all of our board members here. 

A special thanks to outgoing Board Member and Local Food Hub partner producer, Jane Hammond of Spring Gate Farm in Greene County. Jane (pictured below, in a high tunnel on her farm with beautiful kale!), has served on our Board for a number of years and provided valuable input as a farmer, community member, and activist. We thank her for all of her hard work and dedication!

Exciting Events from our Partners

Slow Smoke BBQ Competition and Local Food Celebration at Highland Orchard Farm, November 6
Highland Orchard Farm in Albemarle County is hosting a slow smoke competition, featuring brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, and smoked duck, all from local sources. The competition will serve as entertainment and there will be live music. Proceeds will benefit Local Food Hub. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Caromont Farm Hosts Hungarian-Style Farm Dinner and Food Class,
November 12-13

Our partner farm, Caromont Farm of Albemarle County, will host a cooking class and food discussion on November 12, followed by a four-course Hungarian-style meal on November 13. The class will be led by up-and-coming chef Luke Feltz, and will give you a sneak peak of the dinner he will prepare the following evening. Partial proceeds from both events will benefit Caromont Farm's efforts to establish a farm therapy service area dedicated to offering unique opportunities for individuals with special needs to connect with nature, animals, and their community. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here

Above photo courtesy of Kristen Finn.
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. 
Copyright © 2016 Local Food Hub, All rights reserved.

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