June 2019 Newsletter

Jun 13, 2019 by

Abundance is upon us!
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Cherry Preservation Night this Thursday

Cherry season is here! These especially delicious seasonal fruits are also one of the most difficult to process. A little help and community of local food lovers goes a long way to lighten the load.

Come check out the LEAP Kitchen space on Thursday, June 6th between 3-7pm! We will have cherry pitters, stock pots, and canning pots available for your use. This is a great opportunity to check out the space for your future food preservation projects.

We will have Kim from Cooperative Extension available from 3-5pm to answer any of your burning questions about preserving the local bounty all season long!

More details on the Facebook event page. Please RSVP – this event will not take place if RSVPs are not received.

Zucchinis and Bellinis at Grandin Market 6/15

Join us at the Grandin Village Farmers Market on Saturday, June 15 to enjoy a brunch cocktail while you shop from your local farmers and food vendors! Have a true brunch experience by purchasing a meal from our prepared food vendors and bakers, or find inspiration among our local farmer’s tables for you own homemade brunch ingredients.

We are delighted to feature our friends from Local Roots, who will be serving brunch-style drinks available for $5 each! You are encouraged to bring your own reusable cup; compostable cups will also be available. So bring a friend and enjoy sipping a mimosa while you shop for the best local produce and foods in town! And thanks to bloom | restaurant & wine bar for the delicious drinks last month – they were a hit!

Grandin Market Sprouts continues June 22

The Grandin Village Farmers Market will be continuing our kids program, Market Sprouts, at the June 22 Grandin Village Farmers Market! Thanks to Roanoke Community Garden Association for helping put together the program for last month, where kids learned about seeds, tasted yummy local produce, and planted some seeds to take home and watch grow!

Participating children will receive $2 in market bucks to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at market of their choosing. Bring the family to market and learn about your food, farming, and your local food community!

Patchwork Family Farm Field-to-Fork Summer Farm Dinner

Saturday, June 22, 2019, 5:00 – 9:00 PM
Tickets $65 each

Get your seat at the table! This five-course farm-to-table dining experience will take your taste buds on a culinary rove while celebrating the springtime bounty and welcoming summer favorites. The menu*will feature vegetables fresh from the field, alongside our favorite Floyd food products from bakers, dairies, and more. Enjoy a memorable evening of peak season local food in a unique outdoor setting, presented by Patchwork Family Farm and Driftwood. A behind-the-scenes walking tour of the farm and live music will round out your farm-to-table experience that will benefit LEAP!

Join us for a film screening and discussion!

We hope to see you at the Grandin Theatre on Wednesday, July 10 from 7:15 to 9:30 for a FREE screening of the documentary Farmers For America:

The average age of the U.S. farmer has reached 60. Half of America’s farmland will change ownership in the next 15 years. Our nation faces a little-known agricultural crisis on an unprecedented scale. Against all odds, this is the story of an eclectic mix of young people- military veterans, bright-eyed idealists, and multi-generational farmers who are accepting the virtuous challenge of feeding us all.

This free community screening is hosted by LEAP with a panel discussion to follow, moderated by LEAP and containing local farmers and community leaders. Thanks to Apple Ridge FarmBlue Ridge Land ConservancyRoanoke CollegeRoanoke OutsideVirginia Association for Biological Farming, and Virginia Cooperative Extension for making this screening and discussion possible. More details at the Facebook event pageand Grandin Theatre website.

LEAP Kitchen member update

Lots of great activity to report of late at the LEAP Kitchen!
We’re thrilled to announce Queen’s Vegan Café now offers their frozen Royal Patties/Southwest Black Bean Burgers at the Roanoke Co+Op! Stock your freezer for a summer’s worth of cookouts, and while you’re perusing the Co+Op, look for Zen Pepper Co. hot sauces and Storied Goods granola, also made locally at the LEAP Kitchen!
One of our anchor tenants, Hanu Truck, have been so successful that they’ve outgrown our shared commissary; they’ve graduated out of our program and signed a lease on their own dedicated kitchen! Congratulations to Pat and Jess – if you haven’t yet, try a delicious noodle bowl or other treat at their new location at 4054 Franklin Rd. SW.
Lastly, we have had a whole bunch of fantastic new member businesses join our ranks in the last couple months. Keep a lookout for big things from the following food purveyors:
Boba Park
Coeus Research
Dumas Hotel Legacy, Inc.
Lemon B’s
Little Llama Café
Peace and Harmony Farm
Peggy’s Catering
Smokin’ Pig BBQ
(You can view a full list of our members and alumni on our website)

Market data snapshot

If you visited the Grandin Village or West End Farmers Markets towards the end of last month, you may have been asked to answer a couple brief questions about your shopping habits (thanks to our awesome volunteer Danyell Rollf!). We use the data we collect at market to learn valuable information about our customers and our markets’ overall impact, and so that we can communicate the significant economic and social benefits that our markets offers the community. Since so many of you were generous enough to share this information with us, in the interest of transparency, we thought we’d share some of the more notable findings with you.

85% of shoppers at the Grandin Village Farmers Market on 5/25 said the market was their primary motivation for visiting Grandin Village. 69% of respondents shop at the Grandin market either every week or every other week. Age distribution of shoppers was as follows: (18-25: 3%; 26-35: 23%; 36-45: 24%; 46-55: 13%; 56-65: 20%; 66+: 16%). Our estimated customer count for the day was 546.

At the West End Farmers Market on 5/28, quality/freshness was the most-commonly cited “favorite thing about the market” (23%), followed by Healthy Food Incentives (e.g. SNAP Double) (19%). The most common suggestions to improve the market were “different/expanded hours/days of operation” and “more variety” (tie, 24%each). Items that customers would purchase if they were offered included cheese (14%), mushrooms (13%), ready-to-eat meals and fish (tie, 10% each). We counted approximately 106 customers for the day.

If you’d like to learn more about the data we collect, how we use it, provide additional feedback or get more background about any of this information, or would like to volunteer to collect data yourself at a market, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Thank you to all respondents!

Brunch drinks, kids programs, & as always, the freshest food around!
See above for upcoming special events, but come see us every Saturday to stock up on the bounty of early summer, starts for your garden, baked goods, prepared foods, and oh-so-much more!
 Follow GVFM on Facebook!
Fresh Food in the West End
The West End is thriving, with tons of great new vendors in the past few weeks! Come stock up on delectable baked goodies, salsa & tamales, crafts, and of course plenty of local veggies, fruits, eggs, meats, packaged goods and more for your mid-week re-stock.
 Follow WEFM on Facebook!
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 maureen@LEAPforlocalfood.org.

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