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Farm to School Funding in the Child Nutrition Bill – ACT NOW!

In Feeding the Community on September 22, 2010 at 2:09 pm

ACTION ALERT
September 22, 2010

Urge Your Representative to Move Forward Now on
Farm to School Funding in the Child Nutrition Bill!

Time is running out for Congress to re-authorize the Child Nutrition Act by September 30.  The House, unable to come to agreement on how to pay for their bill is now considering simply passing the version passed by the Senate in August, and they could do so as early as tomorrow.

The Senate bill provides less support to the Farm to School Program – just $40 million vs. the $50 million included in the House bill.  The most bitter pill, however, is that the Senate bill uses cuts in food stamps to pay for the improvements to school meal programs.

This is likely our last and best opportunity to win mandatory funding for the Farm to School program this year.   An investment in Farm to School programs will allow schools to serve fresh and healthy food produced by local and regional farmers.  That’s an investment that will pay dividends in improved child health, scholastic achievement and farm and rural economic vitality.

The Senate bill also provides a 6-cent per meal increase in school lunch reimbursements, expands school meal eligibility, and establishes stronger nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools.

Please call your Representatives and urge them to pass the
the Child Nutrition Act.

CALL TODAY!

It’s easy to call. Go to Congress.org and type in your zip code.  Click on your Representative’s name, and then on the contact tab for their Washington DC office phone number.  You can also call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Representative’s office: 202-224-3121. Once connected ask to speak to the aid responsible for child nutrition.  If unavailable, leave a voice message.  Be sure to leave your name and phone number.

The message is simple. “I am a constituent of Representative ___________ and I am calling to ask him/her to vote yest to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act that includes a strong Farm to School program.  Tell him/her that mandatory funding for Farm to School programs is a wise investment in our children and our local and regional farm economy.

Background

If funded, the Farm to School Program would offer competitive grants to schools or non-profit organizations to develop purchasing relationships with local farmers, plan seasonal menus, start school gardens, develop hands-on nutrition education, and provide solutions to infrastructure problems including storage, transportation, food preparation, and technical training.

Farm to School grant program was authorized in the 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act, but USDA has never requested any funding for the program.  Congress now has an opportunity to fund this important program when it reauthorizes the Child Nutrition Act in 2010.

  • Farm to School initiatives around the country have demonstrated that Farm to School is a win-win-win for children, schools, local communities and farmers — providing abundant reasons why this initiative should be available to schools throughout the country.
  • The choice of healthier produce options in the school cafeteria through Farm to School results in children consuming more fruits and vegetables, leading to lifelong improvements in their diets.
  • Schools report a 3 to 16 percent increase in school meal participation when farm-fresh food is served, bringing more school lunch funds to the schools.
  • Working creatively with local producers, some schools have found ways to save money while supporting local agriculture by purchasing locally.
  • The transaction from Farm to School keeps dollars in the local economy, strengthening local economies and creating jobs.
  • Schools provide an important new market opportunity for small and mid-sized family farmers and ranchers.

The Fall Harvest Season Brings Tasty Events!

In Edible Events, Feeding the Community on September 14, 2010 at 8:26 am

Singer Farms Naturals garlic drying at their eco-barn

The autumn harvest season is already under way and with it come several events including festivals, fund raisers, and dinners all celebrating our local bounty! Here are just some of the many cool food happenings happening this fall:

September 23

Are you a garlic lover? If so you will not want to miss this special evening celebrating one of the most naturally fortified foods around. Long used for its nutritional and medicinal qualities, this evening will showcase passionate organic garlic grower Tom Szulist from Singer Farm Naturals. Tom grows more than 20 varieties of garlic and plans on adding 30 more varieties for harvest next year. Experience, taste, learn all things garlic! Presented by the Lexington Cooperative Market, all proceeds support the Northeast Organic Farmers Association of New York. Tickets are only $5 and the event takes place at the gorgeous kitchens of Artisan Kitchens & Baths at 200 Amherst Street from 6:30pm-8:30pm.

September 25

If you are a reader of Edible Buffalo then you most certainly didn’t miss our Farm to School series featuring the Giving Garden at Union Pleasant Elementary School in Hamburg. One of the first outdoor classrooms at a local elementary school, the Giving Garden has transformed the student community at this school. Spear headed by two ambitious moms, Jean Marie Gunner and Stacy Furlong, their efforts have turned a wellness project into a full-fledged non-profit organization, S.O.L.E. (Seeds of Living Education) which consults with other schools across the region to build their own community school gardens. Tonight they celebrate the Giving Garden with their first annual Harvest Dinner Under the Stars fund raiser. There will be no shortage of local food, wine, and entertainment featuring Bobby Militello’s jazz band. Tickets for the fund raiser are $100 per plate. The event will take place under the stars at Memorial Park in Hamburg. For tickets or more information, please contact Jean Gunner at jeanmarie1016@msn.com.

October 8 & 9

If you care about healthy food, food access, food security, and all things that relate to food and the environment, then you don’t want to miss The World on Your Plate conference happening at Daemen College this weekend. Featuring numerous workshops, panel discussions, a market featuring some of the best the region has to offer in local products, and two outstanding women keynote presenters, ecologist, author, and cancer survivor Dr. Sandra Steingraber and Anna Lappe, author of the renowned book Diet for a Hot Planet. Open to the public, tickets for the conference are only $25 if you pre-register here.

October 16

Trattoria Aroma has made quite a name for itself as being a leader when it comes to sourcing their ingredients from local farmers. Winner of this year’s Buffalo Spree Best of WNY award as best restaurant featuring local ingredients, Trattoria Aroma has taken it one step further by offering their customers the ultimate authentic farm-to-table experience with their exclusive dinners at Oles Family Farm. With the success of their summer dinners, Trattoria Aroma added a fall dinner to their schedule. The tickets are $125 and include transportation from the restaurant to the farm, private wine tasting, a farm tour, tractor rides, a multi-course dinner, live music, and bonfire! Make your reservation by calling 716-881-7592. Space is limited for this dinner so call today!

2010 NOFA-NY Conference Enthuses Young Aspiring Farmer

In Community Supported Agriculture, Edible Events, Feeding the Community, From the Land on January 30, 2010 at 10:09 am

This past weekend, January 22-24, was a whirlwind of learning, networking, and celebrating for me. A young aspiring organic farmer, I attended the NOFA-NY Winter Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. The conference title, Circles of Caring, was a fitting description of the atmosphere there. The farmers attending were the type of people who care about their neighbors and the community. They realize that the quality of their product (whether vegetables, dairy, meat, maple syrup, or something else) affects the wellbeing and health of their customers. They are aware of the daunting forces of the industrial food system, and they work hard to bring an alternative to their community. It was a pleasure to meet, listen to, and talk with many of them.
I left my house in Tonawanda at 4am on Friday, making it just in time for the start of an all day workshop tailored for beginning farmers. Walking in I was curious to see who these beginning farmers would be. It turned out that many people in the room had similar stories to share. There were those with no prior agricultural experience, who had decided that it was time for a career change. There were many who had grown up on a family farm, and were now feeling drawn back to help or reinvent their family’s operations. There were a good number of people who had been apprenticing on farms for a number of years, and felt it was time to start something of their own. These farmers were from all walks of life; some young, middle-aged, with land, money, without land, experienced, inexperienced, single, or with families. Discontent with the industrial food system, and eager to make a better life in a nurturing community, we attended this conference. For me in particular it was great to be back around like-minded young people pursing sustainable farming.

In the beginning farmers workshop we met four different farming couples and spent the day talking about their successes, failures, ideas, and wisdom to share. That evening I heard Sandra Steingraber, author of Living Downstream, give a keynote address. She spoke of organic farming as the solution to a history of abuse from agricultural chemicals. Sandra and many of the people in her community have felt the direct impacts of toxins in their environment though various cancers and birth defects. She spoke against the idea that the “dose makes the poison”. There is no safe threshold for a toxic chemical. It may not out rightly kill you at low levels, but that does not mean it isn’t damaging your body. Furthermore a chemical, such as an insecticide, will alter in the environment, mix with other chemicals, and cause unforeseen damage. Certain people are genetically predisposed to be more responsive to toxins than others, and will be affected more often. Sandra talked of the importance of the timing of chemical exposure. Humans are especially vulnerable before and right after birth. Many children are born prematurely or with defects due to agricultural chemicals in their blood. Besides the environmental costs, the health care costs of agricultural toxin exposure are enormous. Sandra prompted that we can reclaim safe living environments, and cease using those chemicals by farming organically.

The workshops that I attended on Saturday were eye opening for me. At 8am I attended a workshop on permaculture that was geared toward farmers. I have to admit that permaculture tends to get me rather excited. For those of you who haven’t heard of permaculture, unfortunately it is rather challenging to define. I like to think of it as a way of using the landscape to meet human needs while at the same time increasing ecosystem health. In permaculture you look at and analyze the systems on your land (such as vegetation patterns, water systems, and soil), and look to see how they can better meet your needs, and improve the overall functioning of the entire landscape. Ethan Roland, of Appleseed Permaculture, spoke about various ways that farmers can utilize permaculture principles. Ethan spoke of increasing soil organic matter through rotational grazing. He explained a method to restore functioning in compacted soils through keyline plowing. The keyline plow tears a slit a couple feet into the ground allowing for water penetration, and root growth into the soil and subsoil. With the aid of oxygen this process jumpstarts microbial activity.  Ethan talked of managing water systems in ways that maximize groundwater retention through ponds, wetlands, and rainwater catchments. One thing that I really appreciate is that permaculture principles are mindful of climate instability, and potential crop failure. Relying on a few types of crops leaves you more vulnerable to scarcity if one crop fails.  You can plan for increased food security by planting a myriad of crops, trees, berries, annuals, shrubs, fiber crops, fuel crops, and grains. I came away from the talk having made an incredible new friend, Emma Brinkman (fellow aspiring farmer and permaculture enthusiast), and excited to put some of these ideas into action.

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Behind the Scenes at the Food Bank of WNY

In Feeding the Community on January 14, 2010 at 12:10 pm

The warehouse at the Food Bank of WNY

A few weeks ago the local fire department was hosting a holiday food drive. I received a flyer in the mail asking me to leave a bag of non-perishables out that would be collected for the Food Bank of Western New York.  Of course I had completely forgotten about it the day that I heard the sirens of the fire truck coming toward my house. I rushed to the pantry to pull out some cans of diced tomatoes I kept on hand. I felt a surge of good feelings as I put my cans out, and thought of the wonderful smells of simmering tomatoes (pasta sauce, chili, etc) that would greet the recipient of my donation. I wondered for a moment what journey my cans would take, but I had faith that the people of the Food Bank would safely bring the food to those in need.

Most of us have heard of the Food Bank of Western New York, but I bet few of us know what actually happens there. When I think of a food bank I have a vague impression of cans of food being transferred from donation bins, and ultimately ending up as some needy person’s dinner. But what exactly goes on at the Food Bank, where does donated food come from, where does it go, and who receives it? This morning Lisa Tucker and I got a behind the scenes look at the happenings at the WNY Food Bank.

After a donation is picked up it, along with its fellow donated items, makes a short drive to 91 Holt St in Buffalo. Hopefully the driver has been there before, because if you don’t know the exact location of the Food Bank it’s easy to miss. The truck then backs up to the loading dock of a 50, 610 square foot warehouse. The loading dock is a busy place, people are taking calls, filling orders, organizing, and picking up orders. Along one wall are stacks of orders waiting to be shipped out. On the opposite side is a wall of coolers containing perishable baked goods, produce, and dairy.  Forklifts zoom around moving pallets of goods. Although food drive items are an important part of donations, the majority of food comes from food manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. In addition, grants allow the Food Bank to purchase food.

Wayne, Food Bank employee and ruler of 'Wayne's World'

The food drive items then make their way to the back of the warehouse to be sorted. The sorting room is lovingly referred to as Wayne’s World, named after the Food Bank employee Wayne, who is in charge of sorting through the donation bins.  Wayne is sort of a sorting expert, and is in charge of instructing others how to do it properly. If your donation has passed muster (it is edible for humans, not expired, not obviously defective, not on the list of recalls), then it moves into a bin of similar items to be stacked in the warehouse. You would be surprised the sort of things that end up in donation bins that are not edible for humans. As we talked with Wayne, I could see broken dog biscuits that had somehow ended up in the mix.

The main section of the warehouse is filled with stacks of canned, boxed, and bottled non-perishables. There is also an 18,000 square foot freezer containing frozen perishables. My donation has made it into the Food Bank, but now what? We wait for a call from a local service agency. These include soup kitchens, food pantries, and emergency shelters in Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, and Cattaraugus counties. The Food Bank does not directly deal with individuals, but is rather a bridge between available food sources, and agencies serving the needy. Over 400 member agencies have access to the list of available food. They place an order, it is filled, moved to the loading area, and is picked up. Once the donations have made it to the service agencies, the food is distributed to people in need.

The Food Bank of Western New York helps serve an incredible 97,000 people a month, 39% of whom are children, and 11% are seniors.  We asked our tour guide, Polla Milligan, if there has been an increase in the number of needy people with the downturn in the economy.  She replied that the numbers in the city have remained constant, while there is an increase in suburban families using the resources of the Food Bank.

Polla Milligan in the Food Bank's Community Kitchen

The Food Bank isn’t just a warehouse. It’s a group of dedicated people working to educate the public about hunger here in WNY, and the importance of healthy eating. To spread the message of proper nutrition, Polla Milligan heads out to local schools with her unique puppet show. Puppets really get the kid’s attention, and are a non-intimidating way to tell children that they should pay more attention to what they eat. Polla empowers children by making them aware of the food agencies where they and their families can get access to healthy food.

The Food Bank furthermore educates the public by offering cooking workshops at their spacious community test kitchen. The Good Cookin’ class for adults focuses on menu planning, budgeting, basic meal prep skills, and nutrition. The Kids in the Kitchen Program teaches kids how to prepare simple snacks and meals. This program has recently partnered with their Garden Project, so children can have the experience of harvesting and preparing fresh food.

Leaving the Food Bank earlier today, I was impressed with what I had seen. The volume of food that they distribute is remarkable, and their mission is admirable. I found myself pondering two things that I had heard. First, while we tend to think of donating food during the holidays, people are hungry year round. The summer is an especially low donation time for the Food Bank. Second the amount of fresh produce being donated has declined sharply in the past five years. It is hard to promote healthy eating, when you don’t have the ingredients to make it happen.  Since summer is when fresh produce is at its peak, it only makes sense that more partnerships with local farms will help the Food Bank to further its mission.

The Food Bank hosts a number of fund raising events throughout the year. Coming up this February 4th is the Sweet Charity event, offering dessert, champagne, wine tasting, a silent auction and more. It will be held at Asbury Hall at 341 Delaware Ave, Buffalo. The Food Bank also welcomes donations and volunteers.

posted by Caitlin Henzler

Elmwood Wintermarket Opens for the Season

In Edible Events, Feeding the Community on December 14, 2009 at 8:26 am

The Elmwood Wintermarket began this Saturday December 12th at the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church at the corner of Elmwood and Lafayette.  Following a few days of stormy winter weather, only five vendors had braved the snow and ice to set up stands when I arrived a little after 11am.

As I walked in, I was warmly welcomed by George Kappelt of Flavor Farm who enthusiastically began telling me about his products. On his table lay small packets of ground hot peppers: red chilies, green chilies, and a yellow blend with habanero for those looking for an extra kick. George explained to me the difficulty of drying peppers in the Northeast’s moist climate. To get around this he first dries the peppers whole in a dehydrator, grinds them up, puts them in the oven on low for another hour to remove any excess moisture, and finally puts them through his spice grinder.

Among the other items at the Flavor Farm table were packets of microgreens, small greens with big flavor, with varieties such as red mustard, sorrel, hon tsai tai, and a salad blend. Believing in the importance of procuring nutrients from the soil, George grows his microgreens in earth filled seed trays under fluorescent lights in his home. George also sells Hot Chocolates, bite size Merckens milk chocolate with Flavor Farm’s red chili flakes mixed in. The Hot Chocolates were a great combination, sweet and smooth with heat coming through at the end.

While talking with George I met Jamelleh, a local farmer’s market regular. Originally from New York City, she enjoys exploring Western New York’s agricultural scene, attending markets and visiting farms in the area. She was looking forward to her purchase of red mustard microgreens, having never tried them before.

Among the other vendors at the market was Painted Meadow Farm. Despite a snowy hour and half drive, the farmer had made it to the market with her chicken, duck, rabbit, and heritage turkeys. Her multicolored eggs were in high demand. It was only 11:30 and she was nearly sold out. I purchased a combo pack of four turkey, four chicken and four duck eggs, which I look forward to using in my Christmas baking.

New to the market this year, Dave and Donna of Gourmet Sorbet were serving up two soups made with ingredients from local farms. They also make sorbet year-round, but in the winter months they plan on enticing marker goers with their hot soup. The menu changes weekly, but this week I was able to sample both of their soups and I particularly enjoyed an Asian inspired cabbage soup with sweet, sour, and gingery elements.

At Hens Honey Bee Farm of North Tonawanda I picked up some raw organic native wildflower honey. Geri Hens has a variety of liquid, cream, comb and flavored honey. She mentioned that today’s Wintermarket had an unusually small turnout of vendors. Normally there are farmers with bread and baked goods, winter produce, soup and prepared foods, local beef, meat, honey, and wine. She anticipates that next week will have a better turnout. The Elmwood Wintermarket will be running Saturdays from 9am-1pm from now until mid-May. It is located downstairs in the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church at the corner of Elmwood and Lafayette.

posted by Caitlin Henzler

Fresh Produce Just Became More Accessible to Residents of Buffalo’s West Side

In Feeding the Community, Urban Ag on September 13, 2009 at 8:58 am

Purple_Pole_Bean
Curbside Croft, one of Buffalo’s flourishing west side urban farms, just announced they are now able to accept EBT and food stamps as payment! This is great news as everyone deserves access to fresh healthy foods.

They are harvesting a variety of vegetables and herbs right now including heirloom tomatoes! Here is a list of what is available:

Giant Musselburgh leeks

A variety of heirloom tomatoes: Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Cherokee Purple, St. Pierre, Flame, Favorita

A variety of heirloom carrots: st. valery, shin kudora, lunar white

Tomatillo

Summer squash

Zucchini

Cucumber

Yellow hot pepper

Broccoli florets

Red malabar spinach

White eggplant

Coriander

Basil – 4 varieties

Bronze fennel

Daikon seedpods – great salad addition

Chard

Nasturtium

Kale

Collards

Red orach

Pole beans – green and purple podded

New Zealand spinach

Curbside Croft is located on the corner of West Ave. & Vermont Street. They open for business on Tues and Thurs 4pm-6pm and Saturdays 10am-12pm.

Fredonia Graduate Finds Passion and Success in Running the Fredonia Farmers Market

In Feeding the Community on August 25, 2009 at 11:21 am

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Senior year is a tough time for many college students. It’s a year riddled with difficult decisions waiting to be made and the end to what many people call “the best years of my life.” As a result, most students go on to a job they don’t care much about, thinking only about their college loans.

Heidi Frame, a recent SUNY Fredonia graduate, is an exception to this general principle. She found a position she is truly passionate about—running the Fredonia Farmer’s Market.

This is not Heidi’s first encounter with local food. Her passion for the self-sustaining community came through a course offered at Fredonia, titled Sustainability in America. The class gave her a great respect for farmers, especially after taking a field trip to local farm and CSA Gong Garden. After the class, she became involved in running Earth Week programs on campus that advocated eating locally, and even sat on a panel with other members of the community for an event.

The farmer’s market had an open position, and Heidi was recommended to fill it by professor Christina Jarvis. The previous coordinators, Susan Mackay and Barbara Sam, founded the Fredonia Farmer’s Market about five years ago and are still very active in its running. Heidi brings a new, fresh outlook to events planning, but still has her ideas approved by Market Manager Barbara Sam before putting them into action.

Heidi has taken it upon herself to make each Saturday unique. Each market runs from 8am-1pm, but from 10:30-12:30 there is a special program. These include concerts from local musicians, crafts for kids, bike sales and lectures. There have also been cooking with produce demonstrations from local restaurant The White Inn and a Pet Appreciation Day. While each weekend is different, Heidi is working to promote August 29 as a bigger event.

The Awareness Fair that will be held on this day is due in part to the recycling containers that were donated in Fredonia. This is also the first weekend after classes at SUNY Fredonia begin, and Heidi is looking to attract the student population out to the Barker Commons, getting them involved in the community. In a way, it is a sort of celebration that the students are back in town. Activities for the day include a concert by student Ned Campbell, crafts for kids and a visit by local artist Aaron Walters who will show how he uses beach trash to make art. The Fredonia campus has made immense progress in terms of recycling, and this, Heidi hopes, will spread that awareness and enthusiasm to the community. Fredonia is already a very conscious community, and for those who are very active in recycling, this event will serve as a renewal of enthusiasm for sustainability.

Although Heidi’s position is only considered part time, she is obviously putting in many more hours. On top of the events planning, she calls each vendor every week to find out who will be there, collects the weekly fee, updates the facebook page and writes the press releases. Every Saturday, she is at the commons at 7 am to help the farmers set up for the market, and stays late to help them clean up. Heidi has also worked hard to bring new vendors to the market, and a full market has 22 vendors.

Although this wasn’t Heidi’s original goal, it suits her well, and she is learning that she likes this sort of social role. Plans always change depending on what comes along, but she thinks that the Fredonia Farmer’s Market may serve as a stepping stone to running a bigger market. She is still going ahead with her original plan—she will be starting grad school at Fredonia in the fall for English Literature, and eventually pursuing a PhD in order to become an English professor. Also in the fall she will be a Teacher’s Assistant, teaching a class of unruly freshman the finer points of English Comp.

For Heidi, running the market is a way for her to help bring food and food making back to the family endeavor. It is a way for her to connect to the people who are the backbone of the community; those that she believes have the most honorable profession. It is also a way for her to connect the farmers to the community, especially the student population. Heidi has become a valuable asset to the Fredonia community so quickly after graduation, it is truly admirable.

posted by Ashley Zengerski

Massachusetts Avenue Project’s Mobile Market is Officially Launched!

In Feeding the Community on July 21, 2009 at 6:42 pm

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Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to go down to see the launch of Massachusett’s Avenue Project’s Mobile Market – a fresh food mobile that will tour the city’s neighborhoods throughout the growing season.   The launch happened at Jericho Ministries on Barton St. on the city’s west side. 

The goal of this ‘farmers market on wheels’ is to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to residents in area’s of the city where access to such foods is limited or non-existent.   A lot of the food being sold is grown right at MAP’s Growing Green Garden on Massachusetts Avenue.  In addition, they have relationships with some area farmers who also provide produce for the market, so there is always a good supply and plenty of variety to choose from.

Check out this great video the Buffalo News produced that provides interviews with Diane Picard, MAP’s Executive Director along with other staff and kids who participate in MAP’s summer program.

American Farmland Trust Announces “Best Farmers Market” Contest – Vote for Your Favorite Market Today!

In Edible Events, Feeding the Community on June 11, 2009 at 10:57 am

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This summer American Farmland Trust is supporting farmers markets across the nation with a national farmers market contest. This is part of their campaign to help spread the No Farms No Food® message and promote local farms and food across the country. Farmers market customers across the nation will be able to cast their votes for America’s Favorite Farmers Markets in order to support their community market. This will be a fantastic marketing opportunity for any farmers market participating. Whether you get the most votes or not, you will be able to rally support for your market and, hopefully get some extra press this summer. They want farmers market customers in every state to have the opportunity to vote and we need to get farmers market managers in our area to enroll in the contest.

In this unique three-month campaign, we will ask Americans across the county to show support for their farmers market by voting in our America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest! The three top markets: one small, one medium, and one large, will win a free No Farms No Food® tote bag giveaway for their market customers. Customers will be able to vote starting June 1st once farmers markets across the country have had the opportunity to enroll in the contest. Customers will enter their zip code, which will pull-up the farmers markets in their area. American Farmland Trust will be helping to promote the contest in your area and will be conducting outreach nationally. They will also be putting together a marketing toolbox to help market managers get the word out about the contest in their community.

Take two simple steps to make sure your farmers market customers will be able to vote for America’s Favorite Farmers Markets this summer.

1. Read more about the Vote for America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest.

2. Market managers can opt-in to the contest by clicking here.

Flapjacks for the Farm – March 7, 2009

In Edible Events, Feeding the Community, Urban Ag on February 20, 2009 at 4:46 pm

flapjack

 

If you believe in urban agriculture, enjoy pancakes or just have cabin fever and need to get out of the house – this is an event you don’t want to miss!  The industrious youth who work for and participate in Massachusetts Avenue Project’s Growing Green program are putting on a pancake breakfast to help raise money for their beloved urban farm.  Join them on March 7 for an all-you-can-eat  pancake extravaganza!  There will be two sittings, one at 9am and another at 11am at the Trinity Church on Delaware Avenue near West Tupper.  You can purchase tickets through their website.

Now more than ever, urban agriculture plays a vital part in the growth, revitalization and stability of low-income urban neighborhoods.  Buffalo is no exception.  The Massachusetts Avenue Project has been a leader in this movement with its Growing Green program that runs the successful urban farm at 382 Massachusetts Avenue in Buffalo.  Over the last several years, the Growing Green farm has successfully grown a variety of vegetable crops on its 3 vacant lot size farm which serves the neighborhood it surrounds and trains local youth in agriculture, providing them with lifelong skills.

So if you have a passion for food, agriculture, helping youth or just love pancakes, please come support Flapjacks for the Farm!

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