Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Elementary Schools get their first deliveries of Local Food Hub Produce!

The Local Food Hub is now working with the City of Charlottesville Public Schools and Albemarle County Public Schools to get more local, fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables into the hands of our children.

Three City schools and one County school received the USDA Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Snack Program Grant this year and are therefore able to provide better snack options to their students.

On Monday, August 31, the Local Food Hub made its first delivery of local fruit to Greer Elementary in Albemarle County, Virginia. This week’s delivery consisted of approximately 125 pounds of fresh peaches, 72 pints of fresh blackberries, and 72 ½ pints of fresh raspberries, in order to serve more than 530 children each of the two days they will serve the snack.

On Tuesday, September 1, the Local Food Hub made its first delivery of local fruit to three City of Charlottesville elementary schools: Clark, Johnson, and Jackson-Via. These three schools will receive approximately 375 pounds of fresh peaches and 450 pounds of ripe watermelon, which will serve over 800 children their morning snack.

All of this fruit was grown within 30 miles of the City of Charlottesville by Partner Producers of the Local Food Hub - and it reached more than 1300 children in our local schools!

The peaches and the berries come from Critzer Family Farm, in Afton, Virginia and were picked the morning of delivery - you don't get fresher than that! Critzer Family Farm has been an active farm and orchard for five generations. Offering some of the best “pick your own” strawberries in the spring and early summer, it’s apparent that having families on their farm is one of the most important factors in what they do.

Whitney Critzer and his wife, Rosemary relish in the fact that what they do brings families together. Not only are their blackberries huge, juicy and bursting with flavor; their peaches delicious, tree-ripened and tasty, but they take pride in showing how working the land can help heal a soul. The Critzers, with the help of Berdy, their devoted staff member, value mentoring the kids that work on their farm. They want to help kids grow up with a sense of integrity and an understanding of the value of hard work.

Barry Wood of Nelson County grew the watermelon on his farm, Wood Ridge. His family has farmed in Nelson County for multiple generations. Barry has been farming successfully for almost 10 years, after moving back to his family homestead. With more than 10 acres planted, Barry grows delicious no-spray corn, galia melons, cantaloupe, watermelon and will have piles of huge pumpkins come late September.