Food Hub delivers fresh fruit to area schools

barrywoodNelson County farmer Barry Wood, owner of Wood Ridge Farm, is now growing his watermelons for area school children.

Thanks to the Local Food Hub, a non-profit distributor of locally grown food bankrolled by Coran Capshaw, John Grisham, the DMB's Carter Beauford and other high-rollers, some area school children have jumped on the eat-local bandwagon.

On Monday, August 31, the Hub made its first delivery of fresh fruit for snacks to Greer Elementary, which included 125 pounds of peaches, 72 pints of blackberries, and 72 pints of raspberries, enough for two days of snacks for 530 children. The following day, the Hub served up 375 pounds of fresh peaches and 450 pounds of ripe watermelon to Clark, Johnson, and Jackson-Via, enough for 800 children to enjoy a morning snack.

Remarkably, all the food was grown within 30 miles of Charlottesville. The peaches and the berries, which were picked the morning they were delivered, came from Afton's Critzer Family Farm, which has been operating for five generations. The watermelon came from another multi-generational family farm, Wood Ridge Farm in Nelson County. Current owner Barry Wood has been farming there for ten years now, growing no-spray corn, galia melons, cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkins come late September.

Of course, all this local food doesn't come cheap, but thanks to a USDA Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Snack Program Grant that Greer, Clark, Johnson, and Jackson-Via received this year, locally-grown goodies will replace store-bought snacks for as long as the growing season permits.

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