Welcome to our new crew!
Welcome to our new crew!
CFI Newsletter, August 2022  
Late Summer Abundance

It's suddenly September!  Gather with friends any late afternoon here in Appalachian Ohio, and cicadas will be singing with such enthusiasm that you have to raise your voice to have a conversation.  Goldenrod and ironweed provide a last bit of food for pollinators before the growing season slows, and we’re planting fall and cover crops.  With gardens giving their last hoorah, summer festivals, and a new school year, August is definitely a whirlwind at CFI.  
Part of August’s buzz is also welcoming our new crew!  New COMCorps volunteers join the team as the new school year begins, and we ask them to hit the ground running.  We're so excited to welcome this new powerhouse COMCorps trio, and are pleased to introduce Lucy Peloso, Garden Education Coordinator, and Sam Alexander, Food Access Coordinator, as our new COMCorps members.  We are also thrilled to welcome Raya Abner to her THIRD year as our Community Gardens Coordinator! 
Here’s a little more about these good people: 
Raya recently graduated from Ohio University with a degree in English, a minor in psychology, and a certificate in diversity studies. Coming to Athens from Cincinnati, she fell in love with the Athens community and food justice after an internship at United Campus Ministry.  Raya is still looking to learn more about sustainable gardening and our local food system, and continues to work on becoming an "official" Athens townie. She is most passionate about books, coffee, cats, and astrology.
Sam was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where they discovered a passion for food and serving their community. After completing an undergraduate internship with CFI, Sam graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from Ohio University in May 2022. They are passionate about building community resilience and connecting people with each other through a love of tasty, nutritious food. Outside of CFI, you can find Sam listening to public radio, playing bass guitar, and browsing at a record store.
Lucy was born and raised in Canton, Ohio. After graduating with a biology degree from John Carroll University she moved up to Bethel, Alaska to complete a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest and AmeriCorps. She served at a small, rural college supporting students through wellness, tutoring, and community building. This opportunity allowed her to learn about the importance of culture in food gathering and preparation, along with our relationships to the ecosystems around us. She is excited to be returning to Ohio with a passion for learning about sustainable food systems and living in a way that is connected to the environment and local community. Lucy enjoys reading, writing, crafts, music, and being curious about the world around her!
Please be sure to chat with them when you see them out and about!  

With all the delight of a cool August morning,
The CFI team
What's Growing In Our Gardens
Gardens have been growing and we’re tickled to have opportunities to share and celebrate these spaces!  Below you’ll find photos of the start of a gorgeous mural by Passionworks on the Eastside Community Garden shed, our end-of-summer-Garden-Club party at Hope Drive, and photos from a visit the Southeast Ohio OEFFA chapter made to Vest Berries, where Rick and Terry Vest have graciously allowed us to use some space to grow food for Donation Station. 
Speaking of celebrating, save the date to join us in the garden!  On September 24th we'll have a community celebration at the Eastside Community Garden to celebrate the harvest season, 30 years of growing and sharing the harvest, and completion of the shed mural.  Mark your calendars and stay tuned for additional details! 
Taking CFI on the Road
CFI has been out and about this month!  We're grateful to our partners and neighboring communities for welcoming us to the following (fun!) special events: 
  • Washington County Resource Fair: Maribeth and Ivan set up the Veggie Van farmstand and also shared CFI information at this resource fair by GoPacks and Family & Children First Council of Washington County in Marietta, Ohio.  Thank you to Maribeth for expanding our network eastward! 
  • Nelsonville Parade of the Hills: Maribeth shared recipes and CFI information at the OhioHealth Heritage Health Fair during Nelsonville's annual Parade of the Hills festival. 
  • Ohio University Community Engagement Fair: Jessica, Susie, Sam, and Kari (one of our wonderful Dietetic Interns this summer) recruited volunteers and shared recipes and CFI information with students of all ages at this campus event.   
  • Athens Skate Jam: Ivan, Raya, Lucy, Sam, Kari, and Grayson (one of our incoming student interns) shared recipes, set up the Veggie Van farmstand, recruited volunteers, and shared CFI information. 
Athens County Equitable Food System Brochures
Over the course of the last 3 months, CFI has brainstormed and created beautiful brochures that promote Athens County as the unique and thriving local food system that it is! These brochures highlight the community gardens, Athens Farmers Market, the Veggie Van and the Appalachian Accessible Food Network. After months in the making, they have been printed and are now on display in 7 locations around our region! We are so happy and proud to see this project come to fruition, and very grateful to the folks at Visit Athens County for the grant that funded the work. Check out a preview of the brochures below, and stop by any of these locations sometime soon to pick one up before they run out! 
The Wild Ramp:
555 14th St W, Huntington, WV 25704

The Hills Market Downtown:
95 N Grant Ave, Columbus, OH 43215

Earth Candy Farmacy:
722 6th St, Portsmouth, OH 45662

McClure's Family Restaurant:
356 E Main St, Pomeroy, OH 45769

McClure's Family Restaurant:
218 General Hartinger Pkwy, Middleport, OH 45760

McClure's Family Restaurant:
820 Jackson Pike, Gallipolis, OH 45631

Local Matters (a wonderful nonprofit):
633 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43206

Thank You, Sponsors! 
We are so grateful for our community of support.  Special thank you to the following folks for recent financial contributions! 
  • United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley: Silver Veggie Van Sponsor
  • Beads and Things: Bronze Community Gardens Sponsor
  • Modern Woodmen of America: Matched all donations up to $2,500 in August
  • Sisters Health Foundation: As part of their 25th anniversary celebration, Sisters Health Foundation made a financialspecial grant in response to a community nomination to recognize CFI's "work in improving the health and well-being of people in Athens County."
  • Athens Crop Hunger Walk: Part of the funds from this annual community fundraiser will benefit CFI this year!  Register here!  
What Else?
COMING SOON!  CFI is celebrating 30 years of growing and sharing the harvest this year, and we are going to be collecting YOUR stories!  Stay tuned for an invitation to chat with us.  Already have a story in mind?  Feel free to reach out
Donation Station is at the Athens Farmers Market  every Wednesday and Saturday, and we happily accept produce from your home garden or produce purchased at market! 
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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