August 2017 Newsletter

Aug 3, 2017 by

Plenty more than peak season produce to get excited about in August

While we hope you all are able to revel in the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies available at LEAP markets this month, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate the peak of the season beyond just shopping at the farmers market and eating delicious, local, seasonal fare. Check out what else is happening in the local food world and come celebrate summer with us!

Join us as we celebrate National Farmers Market Week!
To highlight the important role local farmers markets play in the nation’s food system, the USDA is sponsoring its annual week-long celebration of farmers markets, and LEAP is hosting two events as part of the festivities:

In early spring, LEAP hosted a series of Farmer Listening Sessions, where we heard from local food producers about challenges to farm viability and brainstormed about potential solutions. One idea that surfaced repeatedly was the need to better educate consumers about the true value of local food. To that end, LEAP and Virginia Cooperative Extension are facilitating a new Consumer Education Action Team. Building on our ‘Dig Local’ brand, we’ll be working on projects to broaden the base of informed consumers in the Roanoke Valley and beyond. Proposed projects include aggregating useful information pertaining to local agriculture in a user-friendly platform, allowing local farmers to build the narrative around their work and increase farm visibility, and connecting farmers with chefs and restaurant managers who can in turn convey the value of their local suppliers to restaurant-goers. If you’d like to get involved, our next meeting will be at Grandin CoLab on Monday, August 8 from 5:30 to 7:30. Please feel free to e-mail for more information.

Reserve your place at the table for the Heritage Chicken Shindig

Bramble Hollow Farm, Local Roots Restaurant, and LEAP are overjoyed to partner with farmer, butcher, chef and author Meredith Leigh to bring her expertise about heritage breeds to our area. Leigh is a frequent presenter at the Mother Earth News Fair and Virginia Association of Biological Farming, and author of the book The Ethical Meat Handbook: Complete Home Butchery, Charcuterie, and Cooking for the Conscious Omnivore. This August 16-17, Leigh will be presenting at the Local Roots Heritage Chicken Shindig Extravaganza Dinner as well as the event Inspired Cooking with Heritage Breeds at the LEAP Kitchen.  
     The Wednesday evening dinner at Local Roots Restaurant features a four-course meal showcasing New Hampshire Red chickens that were bred, hatched, grown and processed at Bramble Hollow Farm in Bedford County, Virginia.
    The next day at the LEAP Kitchen, the cooking workshop Inspired Cooking with Heritage Poultry will focus on how to properly prepare a heritage breed chicken and how cooking these birds is different from using industrial breeds. The class will be great for home cooks, chefs, farmers and backyard chicken enthusiasts alike. Additionally, both the Shindig and Inspired Cooking event will discuss the importance of how an animal’s life effects the eating experience.
To reserve a seat at the Local Roots Heritage Chicken Shindig Extravaganza Dinner on Wednesday, August 16, please contact Local Roots Restaurant at (540) 206-2610.

     To register for the limited-seating event Inspired Cooking With Heritage Poultry on Thursday, August 17 from 4pm-8pm, please call Anna Wills at (540) 947.0337 or e-mail

Additional Cooking and Canning Classes at The Kitchen
There’s an abundance of additional opportunities to hone your meal-prep prowess this month. If you’ve been to food-focused community events in the past few months, you’ve likely met our wonderful AmeriCorps State member, Tim Saunders. Tim will be leading a series of three FREE Sunday cooking courses focusing on seasonal ingredients. At the first class, from 4-6pm on Sunday, 8/13, Tim will lead the group in creating a 100% local pizza, including a gluten-free cauliflower crust, a basic pesto topping, and the easiest way to process tomatoes. The following two Sundays, 8/20 and 8/27, Tim will be collaborating with other guest instructors on two other local, seasonal dishes that you’re sure to love.
And on August 31, Virginia Cooperative Extension – Roanoke and the Roanoke Community Garden Association will be co-hosting their monthly From Garden to Grace class at The Kitchen. This month’s class deals with canning and preserving – come learn how to can your bounty for later use. This class will fill up FAST, so please RSVP here to claim your space!
Savor the season!
Come take advantage of the glut of fresh fruits and veggies (including our Tomato Festival on 8/12!), plus meat, eggs, dairy, baked goods, artisan crafts and much more, every Saturday from 8-noon.
Fresh Food in the West End
Need a mid-week restock on fresh foods? Fresh foods from Roanoke, Floyd, Franklin County and more every Tuesday 3-6pm behind Freedom First. Like all LEAP markets, SNAP benefits are accepted and doubled.
Become a LEAP Community Partner! Support LEAP and snag some great deals at the Community Markets. LEAP Partnerships are open to businesses- let LEAP help promote the great work you do in the community!

Buy a LEAP Market Gift Certificate for a longtime market-goer or to introduce a friend to the market.

Want to volunteer with LEAP?  LEAP runs on community support. Let us know if you have a special skill you’d love to share!

Have a question? Email Maureen at

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