September 2018 Newsletter

Oct 1, 2018 by

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Enjoy the peak-season abundance while it lasts, but start planning for the cooler months to come

Winter Farm Share registration now open!

Looking for an easy, convenient way to eat fresh, healthy foods and support local farmers and food producers, even during the leaner winter months to come? Join LEAP’s 2018 Winter Farm Share!

LEAP aggregates local produce (~60% of share), eggs (~10%), meat, dairy, bread, canned goods (value-added goods ~30% of weekly share), and more from trusted farmers within 100 miles of Roanoke. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available.

Winter Farm Share members then pick up their curated box of fresh, seasonal food every Tuesday between 3 and 6 PM from the pick-up location at the West End Farmers Market (1210 Patterson Ave. SW, Roanoke). We’ll send a weekly email newsletter to remind Farm Share members about pick-up and to tell you what’s in the share that week.

The Winter Farm Share is 7 weeks (October 30 through December 18, with one built-in vacation day), and the cost is $285 (average $40/week). SNAPshare: All shares are *half price* with your SNAP/EBT Card!

All shares are filled on “first paid — first served” basis. Reserve your shares now, before we fill up! We will have a waiting list, as needed. Register on our website, or contact Farm Share Coordinator Kelly Key ( Deadline to register is September 28.

Harvest Fest at Grandin Village Farmers Market

Come celebrate the bounty of local food at Grandin Village Farmers Market Harvest Fest! We’ll have a wide variety of apple varieties available for tasting, winter squash display and educational info/recipes, vendors will have storage crops and more available for sale, live music, a working apple press, corn shucker, and grain mill, and…

Our Harvest Fest contest is to recognize those of you who work diligently throughout the season to preserve the bounty of the year for the oncoming slower season. Please bring one jar, or similar quantity, of local food that you have “put up” into our contest. Judges will score based on creativity, flavor, and how much of the product is made with local ingredients.

To Enter:
Drop of your entry with your name, number, email, product name and ingredients noting which ones are local (include farmer names or your own if it’s from your garden if possible)! You can drop of your entries at any LEAP Farmers Market up until the 22nd, or on the 22nd before 10am! Prizes include gift certificates to local businesses.

This is your opportunity to show off all your hard work and celebrate the 2018 growing season with your local farmers! Check out the event and share with your friends on Facebook.

Welcome Sam Hedges to the LEAP family!

We’re thrilled to have Sam join our team as Program Grant Manager! When Sam graduated college, he didn’t know how to cook a pot of rice. He was an adult by the time he realized that an onion is a root. In the decade following his formal education, he has learned a lot about food. Sam has worked as a baker, line cook, commercial farmer, market manager, farm volunteer, food writer, and as a board member and director of an Arkansas-based local foods non-profit. He loves food for its tangible nature and believes in it as the ultimate unifier in polarizing times. He loves hearing about people’s personal histories with food and agriculture and is interested in the long tradition of agriculture in Virginia. When he isn’t trying to discover a new way to eat eggplant, Sam enjoys camping with his wife and dog and watching movies at the Grandin Theatre. If you see Sam around, please make him feel welcome! You can contact him at

Card reader machine update

You may have heard that a major provider of software and card reader machines that allow farmers markets around the county to accept EBT cards and SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps) cancelled their contract with the USDA, and as a result, thousands of markets were at risk of no longer accepting these benefits that so many in our community rely on. Not to worry! At LEAP, we take our commitment to making healthy food affordable to everyone very seriously, and we’re happy to report we have some new technology in place to ensure that everyone can access the quality food they deserve.

If you’re a regular shopper, you might have noticed our spiffy new card reader machines at all LEAP farmers markets. Beyond the improved functionality and efficiency on our end, for shoppers, the new machines offer a couple new added benefits: We now accept credit cards, Apple Pay, and Freedom First debit cards at all our markets!

We’re working with our networks of markets within the Blue Ridge region, and around the Commonwealth through the Virginia Fresh Match nutrition incentive network, to ensure that all farmers markets have the technology and capacity needed not just to accept SNAP benefits, but indeed to DOUBLE those benefits dollar-for-dollar for fresh fruits and vegetables! These incentives help low-income consumers afford more healthy food, local farmers gain new customers and make more money, and more food dollars stay in the local economy.

Celebrate the Harvest!
See above for information about our upcoming Harvest Fest on September 22 (and how to get recognized for your local food preservation prowess), but you can celebrate the local bounty every Saturday, as our vendors are flush with the colors and flavors of late summer!
 Follow GVFM on Facebook!
Fresh Food in the West End
The West End is the best end for your mid-week re-stock of ‘maters, ‘taters, salsa, meat, baked goods, and much more! Plus, look out for Dancin’ Dee’s hand-crafted leather accessories, who will be joining us every other week.
 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

Donate to LEAP
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Copyright © 2018 LEAP for Local Food, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you support local food in the Roanoke Valley and LEAP’s mission to develop a sustainable, local food system which includes LEAP’s community markets (Grandin Village and West End).

Our mailing address is:

LEAP for Local Food

PO Box 3249

RoanokeVA 24015

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