17 Portions: Food For For Thought

Hello Again, Hello…

I try not to inundate you with “stuff” — but anyone with a passion for food, compassion for our neighbors, yes, our neighbors, should take the time to go to the exhibition being put on by Longwood Honors College students and sponsored by the Town of Farmville and Longwood College of Arts and Sciences. It will be held at the Farmers Market located at 213 North Street in Farmville. The Opening will be Thursday, April 25, 5 – 8 pm. The Exhibition will be Friday, April 26, 9am – 6 pm.

Saturday, I was privileged to get a look-see at the “paper” the students put together after their semester-long fact finding mission. Some of the facts presented were unsettling reminders of the reality of hunger. A survey done in 2010 showed that over 34% of our neighbors in the Farmville area live below the poverty level which translates to a little over 66% of the school children in the Farmville area being in need of either free meals or being assisted with payment for meals. Krogers in Farmville donated over 16,000 lbs. of food last year to the FACES program in Farmville. Krogers, as most of you know, will close at the end of May . You have to wonder how the gaping hole in the established food distribution safety net will be filled.

Please, if you can, make room on your calendar to go to this exhibit. This “Food for Thought” exhibit may be the spark that inspires random acts of kindness to come together and evolve into real solutions for a very big problem that seems to be hiding in plain sight. Hope to see you there.



P.S. Go to http://www.childhungerendshere.com/home.html. When you shop at your favorite grocery store, look for ConAgra brands. ConAgra will donate a meal for every ConAgra eligible code that is entered online at the child hunger site. Brands include everything from Healthy Choice to Peter Pan. Over 300,000 children in Virginia do not get enough to eat. That is a staggering number. Thank you, Ed Greene, for passing along this site as a tool that, with a simple click of the mouse, has the capability of making such a huge difference in the lives of the children of Virginia.



…with its many false starts and pauses, pauses which I can only translate into “Mother Nature” having to take a breather from winter (did we “really” have a winter?) before hoping to inspire all of us to go out and fling seeds with gay abandon, has FINALLY arrived. Sorry, Minnesota, saw pics yesterday (14″ of the white stuff) that says, spring hasn’t arrived for you yet.

There is still a window, albeit small, to plant lettuce, swiss chard, and maybe even kale, particularly siberian kale, mind you not seeds, but plants. I have been told by several gardening friends (who get 20 gold stars for staying the course and actually started everything early) that they have a multitude of things growing in their gardens. The market STILL has broccoli plants (candidly speaking, probably too late to plant), lettuce, swiss chard, pak choi, and a host of herbs that “seem” to be tolerating the drastic changes in temperatures — chamomille, chives, dill, fennel, thyme, Basil will follow much later because if it gets chilled, it pouts. The oregano is just growing extremely slow, so it will also be making a late appearance.

This weekend, the market offerings include spinach, kale, and pretty crisp heads of lettuce. By Monday, Tuesday at the latest, there will be asparagus. There are the usual fresh Amish breads, cookies, and pies. Next week, there will be some “new” offerings to try — stay tuned.