Surprising food news is coming to your mailbox

I heard from the Piedmont Environmental Council this week that the 2010 Buy Fresh Buy Local guide is about to hit the mail stream. To which I say, Woo hoo! The BFBL guide has become a staple of the local food scene, with its listings of farms and markets, and it gets better every year.

I checked out the PDF version on the BFBL website, and quickly learned a few new things about my favorite subject (that is, things I can eat that grow around here). First of all, my home county of Nelson has a farmer’s market I didn’t know about—Wednesdays, 3-7pm in Lovingston. Fab!

Even bigger news: A short article in the guide informs me that one local farm is getting into the grain and legume business. Brian and Mihr Walden own Steadfast Farm in Albemarle and are already selling beef at City Market. But the ace in their sleeves is 10 acres of wheat. They’ve got plans to expand into beans, lentils, barley, oats and canola, and they’re selling CSA shares for those kinds of crops.

A grain, legume and oilseed share! I love it! This has been a major hole in our local food offering; all summer long you can skip the produce aisle in the grocery store completely, but you still have to go to the bean and oil sections. Here are my official good wishes to the Waldens. Now if someone would grow local pepper and mine local salt, we might be able to cut our grocery trips down to a couple per year.

If you live in Albemarle, Charlottesville or Greene, you’ll find the new guide in your mailbox soon. Read carefully; it’s full of surprises.

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