Don't miss this Giving Tuesday opportunity!
Don't miss this Giving Tuesday opportunity!
CFI Newsletter, November 2022  
Gathering and Sharing: A Note From Maribeth
This time of year, as we approach the holiday season, it’s easy to remember that food is not only physical fuel--it’s also a connection to the earth, a way we care for our friends, nourishment for our bodies, and a meaningful expression of our values and traditions. 
This season, we truly thank each and every one of you who have been part of CFI this year, as a participant, partner, volunteer, donor, or advocate. Thank you for believing in the power of food, in the right of all people to be nourished, in the value of working together. Thank you for coming through over and over again with your time, talent, support, and resources to be part of this beautiful, wildly idealistic, hardworking community of people committed to growing and sharing the harvest. Across communities, cultures, and time, food and gratitude are deeply linked. 
From our families to yours, we wish you a season full of the joy of gathering around a table and sharing a meal.

With gratitude,
Maribeth Saleem-Tanner
Executive Director, Community Food Initiatives 
Giving Tuesday
Do YOU love gathering around a table with friends and sharing food?  That experience is a key part of our Discovery Kitchen program at CFI, and this year your Giving Tuesday donations to CFI will support these important workshops and events. We asked our awesome Food Access Coordinator COMCorps member Sam to tell us all about the program and they said, “Discovery Kitchen's central goal is to connect people to creative ways they can use local food and to make seasonal eating more accessible. We want to teach people about local staples and their versatility. More than that, it's about bringing the joy of cooking to the people we live and work with in the community.”
When you donate to CFI through Global Giving on Giving Tuesday this year, your gift will have an even greater impact -- Global Giving has $1.2 million dollars in matching funds available for donations made through their platform ON TUESDAY. 
Your donations will help us facilitate more in-person experiences full of fun, education, experimentation, fresh local food, community, and as Sam stated — joy!  We’re very excited to be back at the table with events like group meals, cooking demonstrations/workshops, and educational workshops, all of which were greatly reduced in 2020.  So set a reminder on your phone or mark it on your calendar and support the joy of gathering and sharing food for Giving Tuesday on November 29th!
Share the Joy of Food
Fermentation Workshop
Many thanks to CFI Board President and experienced fermentation guru Adam Kody for leading an outstanding Fermentation 101 workshop in early November!  Registration was maxed out quickly, and all participants got to take home a jar of kraut-to-be made with local cabbage. In response to the popularity of this event, we’re in the process of scheduling future fermentation workshops.  Watch social media for announcements regarding date, time, and registration!  And congratulations to our amazing COMCorps members Sam Alexander and Raya Abner for coordinating workshops as our community continues to gain interest and confidence in returning to in-person events.
Nelsonville Garden Developments!
Exciting work continues in the Nelsonville Community Garden! Enormous gratitude goes to a crew of volunteer COMCorps members and OU students who helped lay cardboard, mulch, and compost to prep another area for spring planting and serve as a sheet mulching demonstration plot.  This demonstration plot is one of several different plots planned and prepped that will support opportunities for community engagement and education. Stay tuned as we continue to develop this special garden space.   
School Gardens Presentation at Columbus Conference
Last month Director of Garden Programs Molly Gassaway and school garden volunteer extraordinaire Laura Bennett were invited to present at the annual School Gardens of Ohio Conference in Columbus. Educators, administrators, and school garden champions from all over the state came together to share experiences and a common enthusiasm for the importance of school gardens.  Gassaway and Bennett spoke to a full room about "Pollinator Gardens for the Youngest Learners," sharing their experiences of both starting and maintaining pollinator gardens.  Attendees had the opportunity to "dig in" to the topic and got their hands dirty with hands-on activities making pollinator garden crafts and experiential learning lessons for preK students.  
Nourishing Networks at Federal Valley Resource Center
Nourishing Networks workshops support communities to come together to discuss their unique challenges and resources for food access. This month, CFI was grateful for the chance to partner with the Federal Valley Resource Center to host Nourishing Networks in Stewart, with the support of Sisters Health Foundation.  Over the course of two meetings, 40 unique participants came together over a delicious meal catered by local restaurant (and Sprouts sponsor) Parks Place Kitchen. The discussions resulted in plans for a community-led awareness campaign to promote existing resources such as Blessing Boxes and the FVRC food pantry, and inspired the formation of a group of volunteers who will work to develop a community garden area at the center. We look forward to supporting these and other projects in the coming months! It was amazing to be in a room full of passionate people, diverse voices, and inspiring ideas of how neighbors can come together and support each other to increase well-being and connection for everyone. 
We are also excited to share that Nourishing Networks is part of the Washington County, Ohio Creating Healthy Communities Coalition projects for 2023. We’re looking forward to supporting our neighbors in Washington County to organize discussions that will help inform the food policy at the local level. Thank you to the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio for their support of this and other CFI partnerships in Washington County through their Community Connections grant program.
Thank You From Veggie Van
Enormous thanks to all of you for another successful and inspiring Veggie Van season!  In 2022, Ivan and the Veggie Van team served 1,316 people in Glouster, Coolville, Nelsonville, Amesville, and Albany, including delivery of 320 food bags sponsored by Rural Action’s Local Food For All campaign this past spring.  Thank you!  In addition to sharing fresh produce, we had the joy of sharing recipes, samples, flower bouquets, seeds, and plant starts with you all, and LOVED talking with you about your dinner and garden plans!  Thank you for being an amazing and supporting community.   
Share the Harvest at Kindred Market!
CFI is the Common Cents recipient at Kindred Market for the October to December quarter!  Stop by Kindred, support a local business, and show CFI a little love when you check out!
What Else?
Donation Station is at the Athens Farmers Market  every Saturday, and we happily accept produce from your home garden or produce purchased at market! See us at the NEW MARKET LOCATION at the Community Center starting in November! 
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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