Summer garden party!
Summer garden party!
CFI Newsletter, August 2023  
Shifting Seasons
Suddenly it’s September! Here in Appalachian Ohio, the end of August brings gorgeous cool evenings and mornings with warm days in between, music from a whole choir of singing insects, gold and purple wildflowers galore, and abundant garden produce.
Part of August’s whirlwind is also bidding farewell to our summer crew and welcoming our 2023-2024 crew!  We’re incredibly grateful for the amazing AmeriCorps crew that was part of our team this summer – huge thank you to Oliver, Izzy, Mary, and Sarah for hauling tons of produce and sharing much joy.  And we're also very excited to welcome Amy Fugikawa as our new Community Gardens Coordinator (part-time staff), Anthony Warner as our new Food Access Coordinator COMCorps member, and to welcome back Lucy Peloso for her second year of service with CFI as our  COMCorps Garden Education Coordinator. We asked Amy, Anthony, and Lucy the following questions, and shared their responses below so you can learn a little more about these good people. 
  1. What drew you to join the CFI team? 
  2. What is one of your favorite food related memories?
  3. What is something you're looking forward to during the next year?
  4. If you were a fruit or vegetable, what fruit/veggie would you be? 
  1. I was drawn to service at CFI because I wanted the opportunity to give back to the local communities that had always welcomed me during my time as a student in Southeast Ohio.
  2. One of my favorite food related memories is getting to taste the strawberries my dad and I would plant and harvest each summer when I was a child.
  3. I look forward to getting to know everyone I am going to get to meet throughout my year of service.
  4. If I were a fruit or vegetable, I would be an asparagus because, like me, asparagus is tall and thin 
  1. I love the holistic approach CFI takes to addressing food justice, particularly the emphasis we have on community connections. I love how all our programs weave together. I also love the opportunities for gardening and garden education with kids!
  2. When I lived in Bethel, Alaska for a year of service there were so many opportunities to harvest and enjoy local and native Alaskan foods. I loved picking berries on the tundra with my friends and snacking on them as we picked buckets and buckets full. It was a very peaceful time. We then would freeze the berries to enjoy in the winter and use them in different treats to share with our neighbors. I still remember the smell of the tundra and taste of the bittersweet berries!
  3. I am looking forward to continuing to develop relationships with the community and particularly our partners at the schools with our school garden programs.
  4. I'd probably be a fruit, maybe a peach or cherry.  I feel like those fruits are ones that are not the most basic or bold, however they are very sweet and always a delightful treat which I think that resonates with me. Peaches and cherries always make people smile and I hope to make people smile too :)
  1. Southside’s garden community has been my happy place for the past nine years. I am loving getting to know the Hope Drive, Eastside and Nelsonville gardening community, the CFI staff, interns, VISTAs and COMCorps members and all of the work they do!
  2. Sharing what I grow makes me happy. I also love being part of a community that shares a salmon dip seasoned with dill harvested from our gardens, pickles they made from cucumbers we sowed and harvested together, their favorite heirloom tomato and a new way they have discovered to enjoy carrot tops, green beans or a surplus of summer squash. 
  3. Every year I look forward to harvesting volunteer arugula. This fall I am excited to collaborate with community gardeners to construct cold frames and season extension hoops. CFI’s  seed and plant start giveaway is a great way to welcome Spring!
  4. Any sort of root vegetable

Join Us!  Gather in the Garden 2023
Mark your calendars for September 23, from 3pm-5pm and plan to join us for our annual community-wide Gathering in the Garden!  This year the party will take place at the Eastside Community Garden (off East Park Drive behind the Holiday Inn).  All are invited to attend!  You can look forward to garden tours, live music by the Muskie Bucket String Band, activities for kids of all ages, lawn games, art, and refreshments.  Please bring your blanket or lawn chairs plus your family or friends, and enjoy a relaxed afternoon celebrating the harvest season with CFI.  
There is no charge for admission but attendees are encouraged to make a donation to support CFI’s programs. 
Thank you to Visit Athens County, Ohio’s Winding Road, and Kokosing Solar for their sponsorship of this event.  Additional sponsorships are available!  Interested businesses or individuals should please reach out to CFI Executive Director Maribeth Saleem-Tanner
Thank You to Our New Sponsors!
Thank you to LCDM Corp, Integrated Services for Behavioral Health, and Kokosing Solar for their recent sponsorship of CFI!  Becoming a sponsor is easy and an awesome way to help grow and share the harvest!  Learn more HERE
What Came Up in August
August was abuzz with extra opportunities for growing and sharing together! 
We celebrated National Farmers Market Week with the Athens Farmers Market by having a special kid-friendly recipe demo, and enjoyed tabling again this year at the OhioHealth Heritage Health Fair during Parade of the Hills in Nelsonville.  Thank you to all who came out, and to CFI VISTA Drew Ogg and dietetic intern Izzy Horning, who shared recipes and samples of cucumber and melon with Tajin – a simple “recipe” that has been met with rave reviews so far! 
We also got to share a Build-Your-Own-Pickle-Jar Discovery Kitchen workshop at Federal Valley Resource Center – thank you to CFI Board President Adam Kody for leading! – and we’ve been busy harvesting from the plot at Rick Vest’s farm.  We even enjoyed a special visit from Denver Urban Gardens this month!  Check out snapshots of these events below!

Get your Garlic!

CFI has a limited number of garlic braids available for new memberships or membership renewals!  Sign up for a $25 membership (make a $25 donation) and receive a free beautiful garlic braid!  Become a member here and note "garlic" on the form, or reach out to Director of Outreach Susie Huser.  (Note that we can only commit to local garlic pickup/delivery.) 
What Else?
Donation Station is at the Athens Farmers Market  every Saturday, and we happily accept produce from your garden or purchased at market! See us at the NEW MARKET LOCATION at the Athens Community Center.   
There's always more happening at CFI than we have room to share here.  Be sure to follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Looking for different ways to help the CFI garden grow? Visit our website for information about our programming and to see how you can get involved. 
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