Where did summer go?
Where did summer go?
CFI Newsletter, September 2021  

Where did summer go?  Suddenly mornings are cool enough to make the Hocking River steam, and if you’re out at the right time in the right place, you can see a billion spiderwebs woven between the goldenrod and asters, each one glistening.  A billion glistening connections! 
The past several months have felt like an exceptional season of sharing and connecting, and we’re already thinking about how we’ll be maintaining those connections this winter.  Below are some highlights from a very busy September, including some of our favorite pictures. 
How was your summer?  What recipes did you discover?  What are your favorite garden tips?  We’d love to hear from you.  Send us a note

Black walnuts and butternuts,

The CFI team

Nourishing Networks Update
In September and October, CFI is partnering with Ohio SNAP Ed to offer a Nourishing Networks Train the Trainer series for SNAP Ed state staff. The series trains participants to host Nourishing Networks workshops in their own communities, encouraging facilitators to welcome diverse perspectives to the table for discussions about food justice and community empowerment. It builds on the Nourishing Networks curriculum developed by the WVU Food Justice Lab and is shaped by CFI’s experiences hosting workshops and supporting community-led local food access projects in Nelsonville, Glouster, and Coolville. In reflecting on their experience in the first training session, one participant shared “I think one of my takeaways from today's discussion is to not let this topic [of food justice] get lost in the day to day...it's important to integrate these questions and discussions into the work we're doing daily.” We were energized and inspired by our discussion with the amazing SNAP-Ed staff, and look forward to continuing to share and learn together! The Train the Trainer series, including the current workshops with SNAP-Ed and upcoming training opportunities for students at Ohio University this winter, is supported by a grant from Sisters Health Foundation. 
Connecting the Dots: From Garden Plots to Plates
Staying Connected at Hope Drive
The Hope Drive Summer Garden Club was a big success this year, and we’re looking forward to a Harvest Celebration that will take place there in mid-October with fun activities like pumpkin painting and recipe sampling!  As a way to stay connected, we’re also hosting periodic distributions, sharing fresh, local food with Hope Drive residents.  Our most recent distribution was a hit!  It’s incredibly rewarding to spend time with folks in a community garden and then months later, see that they’re still excited about eating fresh, local veggies.  It has also been fun to see the relationships among Hope Drive residents that developed through the Summer Garden Club.  Gardens and good food are such amazing ways to bring people together!  
Buckeye Health Plan Distribution II
Donation Station also hosted a special distribution on September 17, Hunger Action Day, as part of our partnership with Buckeye Health Plan this season.  With the help of some amazing volunteers and our partners at Rural Action, we shared a total of about 10,000 pounds of local food through the two events, reaching at least 400 families.  We said it last month, but it has been so exciting to partner with more and more organizations that view food as medicine.  We’re also grateful for the community partners that enabled us to serve a broader area with these distributions; the first distribution took place at The Plains United Methodist Church, and the second distribution took place at Athens County Job and Family services in Millfield.
Processing During Peak Produce 
The Donation Station has been working hard on developing a network of people who can help with food processing during peak produce season, and some amazing work is happening!  Chef Dane Salabak with Ohio University and Chef Katie Mosher with Tri-County Career Center have both been a huge help this season through using Donation Station produce to teach their students about food preservation.  This alleviates pressure on our always-maxed-out storage space during summer months, reduces food waste, preserves our local harvest for later use, and teaches future generations about the connections between local food, seasonal eating, and food justice.
What Else?
Have more winter squash than you can handle?  Don't let it go to waste!  Donation Station is at the Athens Farmers Market Wednesdays and Saturdays, and we'll happily find a good home for your extras.  (We'll even help you track the pounds you donate.) 
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
Want to help the CFI garden grow? Visit our website for information about our programming and to see how you can help. Thank you! 
Ready, Set, Grow!
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