Summer programming announcements!
Summer programming announcements!
CFI Newsletter, June 2022  
Cultivating Diverse Gardens
Somehow suddenly we are halfway through 2022!  Just over the past month, gardens have grown from mostly-ground to mostly-green, pollinators have found the blooms in our pollinator plots, Donation Station has started to receive those baseball bat zucchini that appear overnight, lightning bugs have reinitiated their nightly displays, and strawberry season came and went, passing the torch to peaches.  

Summer is full at CFI, and every year it’s amazing to see the return of abundant produce to market, to the Chesterhill Produce Auction, and to gardens.  The harvest we share and the many hands that grow it are beautiful, with produce spanning all colors of the rainbow providing a daily reminder of the necessity and joy of diversity in a food system.  With such an awareness, all of us at CFI hope you found meaningful ways to celebrate Pride month in June!  We’re always striving to center equity, justice, and inclusion in our work, and we’re grateful you are on the journey with us as we cultivate healthier gardens.

May your flowers provide food for pollinators,

The CFI team  
Veggie Van Community Celebration
The Veggie Van teamed up with our friends at Hocking Valley Bank for a fun community celebration at the end of June!  HVB contributed delicious recipes and samples to go along with the Veggie Van's seasonal produce, and even sponsored a fun giveaway for attendees. Check out one recipe they shared and a photo from the event below. 
We were also happy to be joined by folks from the Kathryn McCoy Resource Project, who distributed hygiene products during the event.  The Kathryn McCoy Resource Project is currently seeking donations of laundry detergent to distribute at Back to School Bash. You can reach them on Facebook if you're interested in donating.  (Deadline August 1)  
We're so grateful to Hocking Valley Bank for being awesome partners in keeping Veggie Van on the road.  HVB is working with the Veggie Van team to plan a second community event later this summer, so stay tuned for details!
We love making local produce accessible in our rural communities. If you’re excited about the work, too, you can help out by donating or volunteering today! 

Donation Station Cultivation

We’re excited to announce that CFI received funding from the Food Systems Leadership Network in support of sharing the Donation Station approach to growing food security with other communities! This project will provide an introduction to the Donation Station model, a “seed kit” with helpful resources to get started and plan for long-term success, and the opportunity for small group or one on one consultation.  CFI will collaborate with the FSLN to coordinate a kickoff call open to anyone in their national network.  Intended to acknowledge the importance of the soil any project is rooted in, this seed kit and cultivation project will be a wonderful chance for CFI to share the work we’re doing while also learning from other organizations, nationwide. 
Our work to share the Donation Station model has been gaining momentum over the past several months, as we’ve had conversations with a few different organizations interested in developing a similar program.  Since March of 2022, we’ve supported the Rural Action branch in Tuscarawas County in piloting a Donation Station at the Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market, and we’ve provided initial consultation for groups in Indiana, Vermont, and Licking County, Ohio.  Empowering other communities to join the work of supporting equitable access to local, healthy food helps us work for long-term, systems-level change. 
Thank you, Visit Athens County!
We had such a fun time at the inaugural Taste of Athens County Food Festival, and in late June Boone Troyer, Visit Athens County Executive Director, delivered a donation of proceeds from that event to support CFI.  THANK YOU for being such a supportive community!   Ella Schroll and the team at Visit Athens County did an amazing job coordinating a fantastic day of celebrating local food, and we were honored and inspired to be part of it.  Thank you to Joel Prince, Visit Athens County Creative Director, for the lovely photo below! 
Summer School Gardens Workshops
Our School Gardens team has a full summer ahead!  Molly and team will be leading the following workshops in partnership with various host organizations.  Grateful for these wonderful partnerships! 

Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery, Tuesday, 7/5, 9am-noon
OVMoD Summer Discovery Camp runs July 5-9 and July 18-22, and will feature STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics) topics and activities with special guest presentations from scientists, artists, and more!  CFI's Gardens team will be the special guest on 7/5.

Goodworks Kids Discovery Club, Wednesday, 7/13, 9:15am-11am
The Goodworks Kids Discovery Club provides a summer packed full of character-building fun, learning, and action…topped off with healthy and delicious food.  They will meet each day at The Plains United Methodist Church (on the corner of Johnson Road and 682) in The Plains.  Community Food Initiatives’ Gardens team will be leading a presentation on 7/13.

Amesville Elementary Start a School Garden workshop , Friday, 7/15, 9:30am-12:30pm
We're excited to be part of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association 2022 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series This will be a great workshop for anyone wanting to inspire future generations to love nature and food.  Please join us for conversation, community, and tools to start a kid-friendly garden at your school, farm, or community site.   Participants will discuss CFI’s history of school gardening, lessons learned, and best practices for building fabulous garden education programs in small communities on a shoestring budget. There will be a tour of the rural Amesville elementary school garden to see an example of a small but effective garden set up, and time to network with others involved in educational garden spaces. Each participant will have their choice of a printed or PDF copy of our CFI School Garden Toolkit and will receive materials to complete several hands-on activities for implementation at your own site.  

Registration is $25 and includes your choice of a printed or PDF copy of the CFI School Garden Toolkit, plus all materials.  Register on the OEFFA website.

For questions please contact CFI Director of Garden Programs Molly Gassaway or OEFFA Education Programs and Events Coordinator Milo Petruziello

Little Gifts Add Up!
Of course all of us at CFI strongly encourage you to shop locally whenever possible, but we also know there might be times when you have to look elsewhere to find certain things.  If you do ever have to turn to Amazon or Kroger for your shopping needs, you can use your purchases to benefit CFI! 
There are two great resources you can tap into in order to support and contribute to our mission without any additional costs to you! Firstly, you could use Amazon Smile. Go to and shop on Amazon as you normally would and choose CFI as the organization you'd like to have Amazon donate to. After your purchase is made, Amazon donates 0.5% of your purchase cost to CFI. 
Secondly, you could use a digital Kroger account to link your Kroger Shopper's Card to their Community Rewards program. Select CFI as the organization you wish to support and save it. After that, every time you swipe your Kroger Shopper's Card it will contribute a percentage of your purchases to CFI through an annual donation.
What Else is Growing in the CFI Garden
June has been beautiful!  Here are some of our favorite recent photos.  
What Else?
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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