Local Foods Connection Blog

Local foods, hunger relief, sustainable agriculture

The season is underway! May 26, 2009

Hi everybody – It’s Caroline here.  My apologies for the two weeks since posting last.  Now that warm weather is here and the CSA season is gearing up, it’s been busy to say the least.

I know that Laura has been overworked and underhelped in the LFC office.  And still, she’s done an amazing job setting up our latest LFC season – matching 40-some local families with CSA shares from Scattergood, Local Harvest, Oak Hill Acres, and more of our friends.  Wow!

In other news, the Iowa City Farmers Market is underway.  I stopped by the market on Wednesday night to pick up my first share from Local Harvest and was delighted to see the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp loaded with shoppers.  I was also delighted to tear into the lettuce and bok choy in our CSA share.  One huge stir fry and one huge salad later, we’ve pretty much eaten through our first week’s share.  It was divine!

We stopped at Saturday’s market to pick up a Miller’s peach pie and an Iowa City Farmers Market t-shirt and the market was just as busy.  Considering dropping by the t-shirt booth to support the Friends of the Farmers Market.  Even better, consider donating your time to this growing group.  Email the group here if you’re willing to donate some time.  Read more about volunteer opportunities here.

If you’re a supporter of local foods, please remember that groups like Local Foods Connection and Friends of the Farmers Market don’t happen without your support.  Consider donating some of your time and energy to strengthen our local food system.  You won’t regret it!

Happy eating,


MORE volunteer opportunities! April 4, 2009

Local Foods Connection and Friends of the Iowa City Farmers Market Need You!

1. Volunteer to Read a Book or Watch a Movie

Local Foods Connection offers its clients opportunities to participate in educational activities to learn more about nutrition, food and farming. The activities in which our clients can participate include:

  • visit a farm
  • keep a two-week food journal
  • visit a farmers market
  • grow a plant in a garden or flower pot
  • volunteer in the community
  • send a thank you card to a farmer
  • take a cooking class
  • share a recipe
  • share their food with a neighbor or friend
  • create art
  • read books and watch movies

For every activity clients complete, they earn points. With those points they can shop in our small kitchenware store. Items in our inventory include pots and pans, canning equipment, strainers, serving utensils, knives and cutting boards.

If a client reads a book or watches a movie, she has a choice to either write a review or take a quiz. We are looking for volunteers to read books and watch movies off of our recommended reading list and write a quiz. Some book titles are:

  • Four titles by Dr. Andrew Weil: Natural Health, Natural Medicine. Eating Well for Optimum Health. The Healthy Kitchen. Healthy Aging.
  • By Dr. Mehmet Oz: You: The Owners Manual
  • By Rochelle Davis & David Joachim: Fresh Choices: More Than 100 Easy Recipes for Pure Food When You Can’t Buy 100% Organic
  • By Peter Menzel: Hungry Planet: What the World Eats
  • By Joan Dye Gussow: This Organic Life
  • By Barbara Kingsolver: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Some movie titles are:

  • By Cynthia Vagnetti: Voice of Iowa Farm Women
  • By Taggart Siegel: The Real Dirt on Farmer John
  • By: Chris Beford: The Organic Opportunity
  • By The Iowa Learning Farm: Conservation DVD set
  • By Morgan Spurlock: Supersize Me
  • By Chris Bedford: What Will We Eat
  • By Chris Bedford: Food For the Future

More instructions will be given to volunteers when they contact us via email.

2. From Meggan Fisher: The Friends of the Iowa City Farmers Market (FFM) are currently planning a “Rumpus Fun-Raiser” Mercer Aquatic Center, April 17th from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.to benefit the Iowa City Farmers Market Kids Day (September 12th). This kid-centered event will include pizza; bake sale; educational stations on farming, nutrition, and conservation; bounce house (and other toys); live music; and a mini-market. Kids Day was a huge hit with the community last year and brought in lots of good business for our vendors. The message was clear that everyone wanted to see Kids Day happen again this year. We’d like to accommodate the increased crowd and bring in additional features. To do that, we’ll need to raise some more money.

We have a lot of work to do in the next couple of weeks to make this happen. I would like to invite you to join the new “Friends of the Market,” a volunteer pool for the Iowa City Farmers Market. There are lots of little jobs to do, almost all of which can be done on your own time. If you are interested in helping us out, please contact Meggan Fisher. Please spread the word about this event and attend with your friends and family.

I would also like to encourage everyone to consider joining the FFM for the 2009 market season. Below is a list of the activities we foresee the FFM doing. If you are interested in being kept up to date on the activities of this group, please respond to be added to my email distribution list. Although we will have periodic meetings, attendance is not requisite to join the FFM.

What will The Friends do?

  • Help plan fundraisers for the market
  • Regular promotions and advertising
  • Finding and securing sponsorship for the market
  • Monthly newsletter and weekly e-newsletter
  • Website work
  • Develop new Farmers Market cookbook, and other new merchandise
  • Assess the success of the market
  • Provide hands on assistance at the market
  • And much more!

Volunteers could choose to participate once, or volunteer regularly throughout the season. We are also looking into the possibility of transforming this group into a separate non-profit foundation. The market is so important to this community. Volunteering your time is a great way to help grow this market. I welcome general input on the direction and operation of the market. Please pass this information on to anyone else you think may have an interest in joining in the discussion.

Meggan Fisher
Email Meggan here.


Goings on around town this weekend June 3, 2008

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, head out to Meggar’s Farm on Saturday, June 7th for the 2008 Earth Expo and Exodus Music Festival. This year’s event features musical acts Public Property, The Nikki Lunden Trio, Skye Cielita Carrasco, The Puritanicals, and The Gglitch, among others.

The goals of this year’s Earth Expo are:

  • To continue to promote local businesses and organizations which contribute to our goal of greener lifestyle.
  • To educate and excite the community about living a “greener” lifestyle and lessoning the carbon footprint.
  • To build a strong future by making environmentalism a fun and valued part of people’s lives.

Check out the Earth Expo and Exodus Music Festival web sites for details and directions.

The Iowa Arts Festival is also happening this weekend in downtown Iowa City (June 6-8). You can link to the full event schedule here.

And, of course, don’t forget about the Iowa City Farmers Market on Saturday mornings (and Wednesday evenings) throughout the summer in the Chauncey Swan parking ramp.

So pray for sunshine and have some fun this weekend!