Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hereford sponsors UVA Food Collaborative Public Forum

Hereford is one of the many sponsors of this great upcoming event! Everyone should attend.

The UVa Food Collaborative presents “What’s On Your Plate: A Public Forum on Local Food and the Media”, on Thursday, October 7th, from 4 to 6pm at the new LEED-certified Jefferson Scholars Foundation building at 112 Clarke Court.

This free panel will feature three of today's pre-eminent food writers and thinkers: Marian Burros, food columnist, New York Times;
Tom Philpott, food editor,;
and James McWilliams, author, Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly.

The panel will be moderated by Benjamin Cohen, historian, agrarian studies scholar, and Food Collaborative coordinator. Be a part of the discussion on alternative agriculture and the media forces that are shaping our perceptions of the sustainable food movement.

A locally sourced reception, highlighting produce from Charlottesville area farms, will immediately follow the forum. The UTS Blue Route and Trolley route both stop directly in front of the building. These are the recommended access points for the event as parking is extremely limited at the Foundation building.

For directions to the Jefferson Scholars Foundation building, visit
For other information, visit

-Elizabeth Farrell

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gnocchi and Slow Food

The second session of "From garden to table Italian style" featured a special guest, Professor Cristina Della Coletta of the Italian department who artfully demonstrated how to make home-made gnocchi in the style of her native region of Veneto, Italy. The gnocchi turned out quite scrumptious with a choice of sauces: fresh tomato sauce from our own garden tomatoes or an incredible fontina cheese sauce typical of the northern region of Piedmont! Dessert was an amazing iced vegan pumpkin spiced cookie made with fresh pureed pumpkin from the garden!

Our readings and discussion covered such topics as industrial versus locally grown food and sustainability as it applies to food. Something to think about is the following quote from Carlo Petrini's "Slow Food Nation" as he defines "eco-gastronomy":
"...the raw material must be grown and produced in a sustainable way; biodiversity and local traditions of cuisine and production must be preserved even if it costs more". Think about it! Check out this website for more information:

Hereford Garden Almanac

27 September 2010

This is a weekly update on Hereford mini-farm happenings.

A lot has been done over the last week. We continued clearing the summer carnage, trying to keep the garden alive, and planting the fall garden. Thankfully, we are, as I type, getting the cool refreshing rain that we have need for the last 6 weeks.

We had a good work day Sunday. We cleared and planted, repaired the greenhouse covering, and had a lot of fun picking cotton. You should check it out. We also built an awesome raised bed for Child Development behind Taco Bell on Emmett Street. It is 7.5’ by 2.5’. There are pictures of it on the blog. It will be used by preschoolers to experience the wonders of planting things and watching them grow. The kids will plant beans indoors in cups, and then transplant them outside in the raised bed a couple of weeks. We will also plant some greens (like spinach and kale) that will last throughout the fall.

We will have a work day this Saturday from 2:30 – 5:30 to make the final preparations for the garden tour that is this Sunday, 10/3.

The bicycle garden tour is coming Sunday October 3rd so be sure to drop by for snacks and a visit from the touring group. The cycling group should be at our garden by 1:30 or so. When the tour is over, join everyone for a community time of food and fun at Slow Food.

Take good care and keep it fresh; keep it local.

-Jim Durand

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hereford's Italian Cooking Class

The Hereford short course: "From garden to table...Italian style" cooking class launched its first meeting Thursday evening. The "guest of honor" was our garden's first butternut squash of the year! With the addition of a few other squashes from Krogers, seven class members made pasta from scratch, formed ravioli and stuffed them with spiced butternut squash, made a delicious sage-butter sauce and topped the fabulous creation with fine parmesan cheese!

We enjoyed great conversation as we got to know each other:four vegetarians (two of whom are vegan) along with the rest of us carnivores! What we all have in common is a love for gardening and cooking...especially preparing fresh, local, scrumptious foods straight from the garden! We also enjoyed muffins made from one of our own pumpkins, herbs and salad additions all from the garden.

We look forward to more culinary adventures in the weeks to come!

-Elaine Durand

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Green House Fix

16 September 2010

The fall acorns are cleaning our clock. When one falls on our green house roof (which seems like once a minute) it sounds like a rifle shot. Occasionally, a glass panel has given up the ghost and left for that great greenhouse in the sky leaving behind fragments of its life spread in a mosaic tapestry across our greenhouse floor (but I wax poetic).

I have thrown a temporary fix on the roof, but it does not cover the entire roof nor represent something that is sustainable (and it looks bad too). Would anyone like to work with me to design and implement a more permanent fix. The task will involve some design work, and then my favorite passtime, a trip to the hardware store, and finally a careful building phase (careful because working around glass is hazardous).

-Jim Durand

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hereford Garden Almanac

11 September 2010

This is a weekly update on Hereford mini-farm happenings.

Just when I thought we were free and clear of our animal prowlers with all the activity that accompanies the return of the students, we caught a ground hog in the act of pigging out on our tender parsnips (they look like carrots but are pale in color and have a strong flavor that many dislike). To add insult to injury, when we chased the hog away, a squirrel come over to nibble. Arrgh! Perhaps we need to look at caging in greens like carrots, parsnips, lettuce, spinach, etc.

On Thursday, we saw the movie Fresh. It was very inspirational. It portrayed a very broken food system and presented some ways to grow and deliver fresh healthy food to peoples tables.

We are struggling to keep everything watered. The cool fall weather is upon us, but it’s still very dry

Remember that we have a work day tomorrow (Sunday, 9/12) from 2:30 – 4:30, and the first or our regular weekly meetings on Monday at 6:00 at our place.

We met with a husband and wife team who are planning a bicycle garden tour of about 5 local gardens. The Hereford Mini-Farm garden is on the tour list. They will be stopping by mid-afternoon on Sunday, 10/3. They will be at our garden for about a half hour. We can give the folks a tour, explain our philosophy, and plug our activities. This will be a great incentive to get our garden in shape.

We have been cleaning beds of their summer crops, enriching the beds with compost, and planting fall crops.

At our work day, we want to continue cleaning beds and planting a variety of fall crops such as:
• Turnips
• Kale
• Beets
• Beans
• Parsnips
• Collards
• Spinach
• Sugar Snaps
• Swiss Chard
• Water Cress

-Jim Durand