Goats in the garden!
October 2016
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Virginia Farm to School Week with CSG

City Schoolyard Garden celebrated Virginia Farm to School week with Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) and Local Food Hub this year October 3-7.  Students from each of our school gardens participated in various fun activities, including a Farm to School, locally-sourced lunch menu from the CCS Nutrition Department!

“Alice” the Goat from Casa Alma made a guest appearance at Jackson-Via Elementary and Burnley-Moran Elementary and goats from Caromont Farms also visited students at Clark Elementary.  The students learned about how goats live and eat, and even sampled goat cheese! Additionally, chickens from Casa Alma visited with students at Johnson Elementary School.  The students loved being able to feed and hold the chickens!

Thirty-five students from Buford Middle School had a chance to meet Farmer Renard Turner of Vanguard Ranch in Louisa County. They learned so much about organic farming and taking care of farm animals. 

To learn more about our fun-filled week and see some pictures of our students in action, read our blog post!

Fall Harvest Festival and Veggie Cook-off at Buford Middle School
From left to right: Emily Axelbaum, Family and Consumer Science teacher Marcy Wisbauer, and Shantell Bingham help prepare the students to show off their delicious dishes at Buford's Veggie Cook-Off. 

During the first week of school, the students of Ms. Marcy Wisbauer's Family and Consumer Science class at Buford Middle School worked to create four stellar recipes using one secret ingredient: sweet peppers! The two favorite dishes, Sweet Pepper Pasta Salad and Stuffed Sweet Pepper Soup, competed in this years Veggie Cook-Off. Ms. Wisbauer's student selected the team name J and the Gr8 Belles (creatively representing the eight girls and one boy on the team). 

At the competition, the students at Buford voted and selected the Sweet Pepper Pasta Salad as their favorite dish. The winning dish was then prepared by Whole Foods and served at the Fall Harvest Festival on September 23rd!

During our 7th Annual Harvest Festival, students were helping to host the event by providing muscle for event set up, garden tours, a garden scavenger hunt and a bike-powered water pump to help water our plants! Thanks everyone! Other activities included face painting, adding to our mural, and making apple cider.

CSG would like to thank Buford Middle School, and the Buford PTO for helping organize this event. And a shout out to PB&J Fund and Whole Foods for support with the Veggie Cook-Off. We would also like to extend thanks to the Korner Restaurant, Whole Foods, Sticks Kebab ShopEveryday Café, Albemarle Baking Company, Vintage Virginia Appleworks, Local Food Hub and Saunders Brothers for the delicious food they provided for this event! A big thanks also to our photographer, Rick Harden, Black Bear Composting for helping us take care of our waste sustainably, 101.3 Jamz for the music, and our 40+ volunteers!

Every year, the Harvest Festival brings the Charlottesville community together, and our Seventh Annual Harvest Festival was no exception. Thanks for coming out, everyone!

Read our full article here!

CSG Garden Corner
Join us for tips about planting, pruning and harvesting in your garden.
October 2016
10 Tips for Tending your Fall Garden

Autumn is finally here, and Charlottesville is showing it's beautiful fall colors. But fall soon leads to cold weather, and it's important to make sure your garden is in good shape to prepare for the chilly months ahead. We found 10 useful tips from A Healthy Life for Me to help you prep your garden this month to set it up for success come winter!

1. Remove any old plants from your garden beds, and clean up the foliage that has fallen on top.
2. Mulch your garden beds with straw, grass, or leaves. These will help fertilize your soil come spring time!
3. Collect and store your flower bulbs (bulbs must be stored between 35 and 45 degrees).
4. Mow your lawn and spread corn gluten meal to prevent crabgrass.
5. Collect, shred, and compost leaves.
6. Drain the gasoline from your mower.
7. Cut back roses to 10-12 inches and remove foliage to prevent bugs and diseases from harming your plant over the winter.
8. Cover tender or hybrid roses with leaves or straw to protect them against the winter chill.
9. Bring in terra-cotta, ceramic, or plastic pots; they may burst under freezing temperatures!
10. Clean and oil your tools before putting them away for the season. 

For more gardening information and bonus tips, check out A Healthy Life for Me's blog post and home page!


Hats off to the many partners and businesses supporting the 7th Annual Fall Harvest Festival!

A special thank you to the Charlottesville City Schools Administration and School Board for your financial contribution for the 2016/2017 school year. Your partnership and donation are keeping youth engaged with nature!

Partner Spotlight:
Local Food Hub

Partnership is critical to any community based organization and CSG is fortunate to have a long-time partner in Local Food Hub. Local Food Hub was one of CSG's earliest advocates and now is one of our most valued partners! Local Food Hub grew out of a community need for a connection between small farmers and the demand for locally-sourced food. The organization puts a strong emphasis on food access for the local community, as well as providing a fair wage for local farmers. They have created an incredibly robust local food system, with 250 accounts purchasing produce from over 80 local growers!

Kristen Suokko, the Executive Director of Local Food Hub, says that they strive to "get to a place where having the choice of fresh and local food is the norm, not the exception, for everyone in the community." 

CSG and Local Food Hub (LFH) work closely together to host our Harvest of the Month program with Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) Nutrition department. Each month, CSG's Program Coordinator, Kim Nguyen, works with Lisa Reeder at LFH and Carlton Jones at CCS to source the featured crop from area growers, ensure we have the right quantity for 2,500+ youth who will receive the snack and invest the time and energy to prep and deliver the product to those excited students.

Local Food Hub is also a part of the Charlottesville Food Justice Network, and helps CSG provide children with healthy produce through our Harvest of the Month program. They help host the innovative Fresh Farmacy Program, and partner with the PB & J Fund and Virginia Farm to School week. Read about these partnerships and find out more about this incredible organization on our Local Food Hub blog post!

*all pictures from Local Food Hub website

Board Profile:
Kristen Rabourdin & Neal Halvorson-Taylor

(pictured from left to right: Kristen Rabourdin and fellow board member, Cate Whittington)
This month, we are so excited to learn more about two of our fantastic board members, Kristen Rabourdin and Neal-Halvorson Taylor!

Kristen is the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Team Leader at Whole Foods Market in Charlottesville, a dedicated member of the Food Justice Network, and an integral part of our CSG team! She became interested in CSG through our partnership at Whole Foods, and her involvement has taken off from there.

Neal is the Senior Advisor for Sustainability at the Morven Farm at the University of Virginia, which manages the wonderful Morven Kitchen Garden. Neal has had a passion for gardens and sustainability since a young age! His commitment to food justice and to expanding our local food system help keep our CSG board motivated to achieve our mission.

(pictured from left to right: Neal Halvorson-Taylor and fellow board member, Katie Reid Shevlin)
We had the chance to interview Kristen and Neal and talk about their past experiences with gardening and healthy food, their passions, and their favorite part of being involved with CSG. Here's a taste of our conversation: 

What are your dreams for CSG in the future?
Neal: My dreams for CSG are tied to the wider local food system, its health and resilience, and its mission to provide locally grown produce to the whole community. 
Kristen: That the CSG model can be implemented in every city throughout the United States . Imagine a whole country of children inspired with the confidence and knowledge to change their world for the better.

Both Kristen and Neal are fierce advocates for ensuring healthy food access for and participate with the Charlottesville Food Justice Network

 Read more here at our recent blog post about Kristen & Neal and find out who would be a carrot and who a potato!
Recent CSG Awards
Thanks to our partners at Albemarle Garden Club, City Schoolyard Garden was recently surprised to receive an Award from the Garden Club of America! The award was a Zone VII Civic Improvement Commendation. Letters of support were written by CSG partners Albemarle Garden Club, Piedmont Master Gardeners and the Charlottesville City School Board Chair, Amy Laufer. 

CSG was also chosen for inclusion in the Good Food Organization Guide as one of the Top Ten Good Food Organizations in Virginia by the James Beard Foundation and Food Tank.  The James Beard Foundation's mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. The Food Tank works toward sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and pushing for food system change. We are honored to get recognition from these two organizations for helping to contribute to their missions.

We are so thrilled and thankful to see our hard work be recognized by the community! 

[Top imagine includes Melinda Frierson (left) and Carol Carter (right) with CSG Executive Director, Jeanette Abi-Nader receiving the Civic Improvement Commendation. Bottom image from the Good Food Organization Guide.]

Tidbits & Dates to Remember

Are you excited about the City Schoolyard Garden at Jackson-Via Elementary?
The garden and garden program is in an amazing outdoor learning space for Jackson-Via students. City Schoolyard Garden is opening applications for a Garden Coordinator at Jackson-Via for the 2016/2017 academic year. This is a fun and dynamic opportunity to continue to build the garden program while cultivating the love of gardening and healthy living skills for all Jackson-Via youth. The paid, part-time GC consultant position is responsible for maintaining a vibrant garden, engaging youth in the garden through classes and/or after-school garden clubs and acting as a liaison between the school, CSG and the community. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. For the full application and/or more information regarding the position, contact CSG’s Program Coordinator, Kim Nguyen at kim@cityschoolyardgarden.org or 434.260.3532.

City Schoolyard Garden is so thankful for the generous support provided by the Charlottesville community. If you are passionate about our cause, please consider donating! Donors have a choice to make a single donation, or set up monthly recurring donations. To donate to City Schoolyard Garden, visit our donation page!

For fun updates, photos and stories, be sure to like us on Facebook!

Click on the apple to donate or send a check to our address below. Thank you!

P.O. Box 5285, Charlottesville, VA 22905
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