Harvest of the Month-CCS Nutrition Staff -Thank You!

From Top Left Clockwise: Sandra Vasquez & Christina Connell, CCS Nutrition Coordinators; Teresa Snow & Wanda Marsh with CSG Garden Coordinator Jennifer Esser at Venable Elementary; Patricia Shull & Doris Thomas at Burnley-Moran Elementary; and, Jamie Hayslett at Clark Elementary are just a few of the dedicated individuals going the extra mile to get fresh snacks for our youth. Here they are showing off our January poster where the harvest was Pink Lady Apples! Thank you!

Over the next few months, City Schoolyard Garden has the pleasure of partnering with the staff at Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) in launching our new Harvest of the Month: Garden to Table Snack Program. We are so happy to have their support and hard work with this program, where each month brings students at all six of Charlottesville's elementary schools a seasonal, fresh, healthy snack and accompanying educational programs.

Because of the breadth and collaborative nature of the program, Harvest of the Month takes a lot of coordination across schools and across staffing at each school - involving school administrators, teachers, nutrition coordinators, and kitchen staff. We would like to take this time to especially recognize all of those involved in the preparation and distribution of the monthly snack.

Read more about this exciting partnership with Charlottesville City Schools on our blog.

Welcome Sam, our Newest AMI Fellow!

On January 7th, Sam Taggart joined the CSG staff as the newest Allegheny Mountain Institute (AMI) Fellow.  As an AMI fellow, Sam has spent 6 months living and learning on the AMI Farm in Highland, Virginia. While on the farm, she was immersed in holistic agricultural practices, learning to grow, harvest, and process vegetables; care for quite a lot of chickens and bees; all the while building leadership in health advocacy and traditional homesteading skills.  After six months of experiential learning, Sam and seven other fellows were placed in local non-profits spanning the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  We are so happy to say that Sam was placed here with us at CSG.

Sam’s placement at CSG seems it could not be a better fit.  From the moment she walked in the door, her smile and enthusiasm have been broad and mountainous.  She brings a fun, light-hearted tone that makes smiling contagious.  At the same time, Sam is most thoughtful.  She is quick to engage, quick to learn, and, all these powers combined, she is just so easy to work with and we are all excited to have her join the CSG team.

Get the full scope on Sam and a bit of her incredible background on our blog.  Also, check out the blog she wrote for the Allegheny Mountain Institute about the experience of the past month with CSG.  


CSG Garden Corner

Join us for tips about planting, pruning and harvesting in your garden.

February 2015: 
Protecting the Soil

by Samantha Taggart


The key to a flourishing garden is in the soil. Sprouts, fruits, and seeds – these all begin with healthy, fertile soil. Soil is the medium for life’s support system. Yet just like the fruits, flowers, and vegetables in our gardens, soil needs protection and care.

Read Sam's blog to get the full scoop on how to protect your soil all year long.

Harvest now: winter greens
What to do now: start
planning your garden for spring, keep those winter greens covered, start germinating seeds indoors

Also, check out what's going on in the City Schoolyard Garden at Greenbrier.

CSG sends out a hearty thank you to each and every one of the individuals, businesses and foundations that support the work we do to engage youth in nature, enhance academic learning, and cultivate the skills for healthy living. We can only thrive with your partnerships! 


This month's Cultivar column is dedicated to our many Harvest of the Month (HoM) partners. It's wonderful to think of all the hands & hearts working to bring fresh snacks to Charlottesville youth. Thank you!


In addition to the folks in the Charlottesville City School's nutrition department and kitchens, Jim Henderson, Assistant Superintendent, has been significant in launching HoM! CCS principals & secretaries have also been key and CCS has printed over 1650 HoM backpack flyers.   

Additional partners include: 
Thomas Jefferson Health District & Move2Health in administering the grant and printing posters.
Local Food Hub in sourcing local products and working with growers.
rock paper scissors in designing our beautiful posters and flyers - with artwork by Whitney McDermott.
Black Bear Composting & Rebecca's Natural Foods in providing composting supplies and logistics.
Martha Jefferson Hospital in proving funds to support the project.
UVA Curry School in conducting evaluation and helping with project implementation.

Golden Trowel Award 2014
Jim Tolbert

We couldn't let Jim Tolbert retire from his role with Charlottesville Neighborhood Development Services without awarding him a coveted CSG Golden Trowel Award. Over the past two years, Mr. Tolbert has been an incredible advocate for our seven neighborhood gardens and made it possible to keep them growing. We will miss you Jim and wish you and your family the best in Georgia!

Stay tuned in May for our 2014/2015 Golden Trowel winners!

In the great spirit of Golden Apple Awards given to teachers who excel, CSG awards Golden Trowels to our exceptional partners, donors and volunteers!

The Harvest Continues at Venable Elementary School

While many gardens slow way down for the winter – resting like a hibernating bear during the coldest months of the year – things are still kickin’ in the City Schoolyard Garden at Venable Elementary! Right on into February, Garden Coordinator, Jennifer Esser, and students are continuing to harvest lettuce, arugula, daikon radishes, kale, bok choi, collards, parsley, and other herbs! It’s incredible!  Check out out blog for more pictures of their harvest.

Tidbits & Dates to Remember

Spring Volunteer Orientation & Workday on Sunday, March 22nd, 2:00-4:00pm
Twice a year CSG hosts a training for parents, teachers, and community members interested in participating as a volunteer.  For more information about volunteering and the orientation visit our site here.

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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