Monday, March 22, 2010

Workshop in Lexington

Thursday, March 25 - Growth Opportunities for the Local and Regional Food Economy, 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Washington & Lee’s Elrod Commons Room 214. The workshops will include information about the following topics:

Growth Opportunities for the Local and Regional Food Economy

Emerging Institutional and Regional Markets

Financing Growth for Community Farm and Food Enterprises

A Perspective from a Local Farm and Food Entrepreneur and Business Owner

Networking Opportunity

Up-to-date information and an excellent networking opportunity for farm and food entrepreneurs and business owners. For more information and to register contact Eric S. Bendfeldt, Extension Specialist, Virginia Cooperative Extension: Phone (540) 432-6029 Cell (540) 383-5393 Fax (540) 432-6251


Sunday, March 21, 2010

2010 Botetourt Farmers' Market Season Starting

Hello to all. It's time to let you all know that the market will start up gradually at Ikenberry's in Daleville. You can expect to start seeing farmer/vendors on the porch in early April, or even through the end of March if the weather is nice.

Naturally, there isn't much produce available yet, but there should be eggs, baked goods, canned goods, and soap.

We are having a big Market "kick-off" on May the 1st. It will take place on that morning at the Ikenberry's 230 year-old cabin on one of the farms where they grow apples and pumpkins. We are hoping that the apple trees will be in bloom.

Farmer/Vendors, including all three Botetourt County wineries will be there with goods to sell and/or contact information and lists of available goods for sale.

Tickets for the event are $5.00. You can contact a farmer in the group or stop in at Ikenberry's. There will be a band: Grass Monkey. Dogtown Pizza will be there.

This is a lovely setting for a laid-back celebration of Spring from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

This year, we hope that the Botetourt Farmers' Market will grow. The Ikenberry's are building us a permanent roofed market structure at the store and we'll continue our 8 a.m. - (roughly) 1 p.m. schedule starting May 7th and through the market season.

We hope to see you there.  By the way, we are accepting vendor applications from farmers in Botetourt County and locations up to 50 miles from our boundaries.  We require contact information and a membership fee of $10.00 ANNUALLY for the privilege of selling at the market.  Our vendors must be producers, rather than re-sellers and certify that any non-food items have been produced on their farms or at their homes with locally produced materials.

We've purposely kept the cost low for the farmers and do not charge any weekly fees for participation.  You'll find a link to the application on this blog and on our BFF website.  Alternatively, if you stop in at Ikenberry's someone can direct you to a contact to request a paper copy of the Vendor application.  We also welcome community non-producer members who are interested in promoting and supporting the market.

Come join us if you are interested in healthy, locally produced food.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chesapeake Bay-Friendly Horse Farm Project Seminar

Friday, March 26, 2010; 9am - 2:30pm

Registration from 9am - 9:30am

Virginia Horse Center, 487 Maury River Road, Lexington, VA 24450

$10 (includes lunch, refreshments, and materials)

Please send registration form (below) and a check for $10/person to

Mountain SWCD

PO Box 310

Warm Springs, VA 24484

This event is cosponsored by the Mountain, Mountain Castles, and Natural Bridge SWCD and the Upper James River RC&D

Pre-registration is required; closing date for registration is March 18, 2010

$1 refund if you bring your own mug for drinks!


From the South: I-81 North to Exit 191. Proceed on I-64 West 1/2 mile to Exit 55. Turn right on Route 11 North, and immediately left on Route 39 West. The Virginia Horse Center is one mile ahead on the left.


Name(s): _________________________________________ Date: / /

Address: __________________________________________________________

City: ______________________ State: _____ Zip Code: _____________

Phone: ( ) - Email: ___________________________________

County: ______________________________ # of people attending: ________

Friday, March 5, 2010

Meet the Farmer TV

You can access the series by clicking here.

This is an informative series made in Virginia for farmers and consumers.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Field to Fork: Meet and Greet

March 13th from 1-3 pm

Catawba Community Center

Growers/producers are invited to showcase their goods to the Catawba Community and to area chefs.

There is no cost to attend.

Catawba Landcare and the Catawba Sustainability Center have partnered to host the Field Fork: Meet and Greet on March 13th from 1-3 pm.

This is a free community event and is open to public.

During the event producers will be given the opportunity to say a few words about their business to the community and to chefs interested in buying local food.

Producers are encouraged to bring photos, brochures, and samples (if available) of your farm offerings.

There will be lots of time allocated for networking and meeting the community.

In addition:

Joshua Smith Chef for Local Roots Cafe will be there preparing cuts of locally grown beef.

Beth Barnett-Boebell, a nutritionist and owner of Fresh Palate, will speak on the health of benefits of local and organic food.

Information will also be provided regarding:

•New VT EarthWorks - a business incubator accelerating agriculture and natural resource business

•New farmers market at the Catawba Valley General Store

•New Roanoke Valley Locavore Directory (

•2010 NRV Local Food Directory

To reserve a spot for your business or to get more information, please contact Christy Gabbard at or by phone at (540) 558-8010.

Reservations for a table are required and will be accepted until March 10th.


Please help us spread the word . . .

If members of your community have an interest in developing a renewable energy or energy efficiency project and are interested in applying for the USDA Rural Development REAP Grant, this is the right workshop at the right time . . .


In conjunction with its partners, USDA Rural Development and Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability (VA FAIRS) is offering workshops on the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP offers a 25% cost share for installation/replacement of products that will increase energy efficiency or will generate renewable energy. Funds are offered as grants, loans or grant/loan combination. These one day intensive workshops will give the attendee a basic understanding of this valuable program and how to apply for funding.

Workshops will be offered during the month of March at six (6) locations around the state:

March 15 – Danville

March 16 – Exmore

March 17 – Richmond

March 23 – Wytheville

March 24 – Front Royal

March 25 – Fredericksburg

For more information (location and timeframe) and to register, please visit or contact Brenda Fleming (804) 290-1155

Please share this announcement with others.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Value Added Niche Marketing for Goats & Sheep

March 9, 2010, 6:00 PM - Sheep & Goats Value Added/Niche Marketing Workshop,

USDA-ARS Soil Lab Conf. Room, 1224 Airport Rd. Beaver, WV. West Virginia

University Extension Service. For more information contact David Richmond,

WVU Extension Service at (304) 255-9321 or

Farm Food Voices DC 2010

A Local Foods Feast for Congress

Springtime is the time for planting seeds. While farmers across the country will begin this process, they are also coming together in DC to plant a different kind of seed in the minds and hearts of their legislators: the seeds that lead to a bountiful harvest of access to local foods. The National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA) is hosting its fourth annual Small Farm and Ranch Grassroots Lobby Day and Legislative Reception on March 10, 2010. As our farmers cultivate the land for a rich yield in the future, so must we build and cultivate relationships with our legislators so that we are represented in the halls of Congress. Farmers, restaurateurs, chefs and consumers will spend the morning meeting with legislators and staffers to discuss the importance of having our laws reflect our right to access local foods from the producers we choose. In the early evening, we will all gather to serve our legislators and their staffers a local foods feast prepared by the regions best chefs and caterers.

Local restaurants and caterers will join with our nations farmers to highlight the beauty and bounty of America’s farms. While we are emphasizing and are predominately showcasing local foods, we are also grateful to have products, (in the past usually only available from overseas, such as olive oil and charcuterie) from small farms around the nation.

Legislators need to know where good food comes from. This is an opportunity for them to make the connection that will help our farming freedom thrive and continue giving us access to healthy, safe food. We hope that the foods you contribute and prepare inspires them to stand up for our country’s small farmers.

In previous years, it has greatly impressed our legislators and their aides to have farmers and producers literally standing behind their products. We hope that each of you are able to send someone to represent your farm, product or restaurant. It is through encounters such as these that we will begin to harvest, from our Legislators, and indeed our culture, a loyalty to local foods. And they will begin to realize that the safest food system is through neighbor-to-neighbor food transactions.

Once again, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will emcee the event with a great line-up of speakers.

We look forward to working with you! Please contact us if you’d like to contribute food, your talents or for any additional details and information. Contact info below.

Please check our website for additional details <>

Below is a link to pictures and a write up of last year’s event.

Eric: 352-283-9740

Liz: 301-807-5063

Many thanks,

Liz Reitzig, Secretary

National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association