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2/8/11

Why I Helped Launch Richmond's Newest Farmers Market


Some of you might have noticed this week that my twitter topics switched from green building to helping launch a new farmers market. Here is my story.

I have been involved with the Center For Rural Culture for years - as a vendor, workshop instructor, and enthusiast, therefore getting to know well their then-Executive Director Lisa Dearden. I watched her run around all over Virginia promoting sustainability, local food, and create renowned workshops to teach urban enthusiasts about canning and raising chickens, and farmers about technology.



Earlier this month, Mrs. Dearden asked to see the organization's accounting, and when she was refused, again, she then called them on it publicly.  A month later no one has publicly seen the books, no concrete plans for this organization have materialized, the board locked the doors on Mrs. Dearden and another employee, Mrs. Hopkins, so they then could not continue their jobs (and Mrs. Hopkins position was grant funded!).

About fifty farming families still have not heard word as to whether the CRC market will continue. No public announcements have been made or responded to other than vague responses ending with, "Please reserve judgment until all facts are known."

This is when farmers do their critical yearly planning. They can not wait to see how the CRC sees fit to determine their family's fate.

This affects OVER FIFTY FARM FAMILIES, of which The Goochland Farmers Market provided 25% to 100% of their family's income.

So I did not hesitate a SECOND in throwing my support into Mrs. Dearden's new venture, ChiknEGG - Educational Go Getters.  The new farmers market, My Goochland Market, will be located in a pastoral setting just five minutes from Richmond's Short Pump!
www.ChiknEGG.com

I am pleased to announce that not only will there be a farmers market made up of familiar and beloved farms, volunteers, and prior staff, but that the educational mission will not only continue, but will expand.

The advisory board we are assembling will involve people state-wide whose professions include farmers, extension agents, technology and, yes, ACCOUNTING. I am proud I can have a voice and input in this venture on things that might help Virginia, Virginia farmers, school children, our community. I'm excited to have an opportunity to meet new people who want to learn more about urban livestock, canning, and preserving rural culture and land!

We hope to see you there and join us as we eat well, hike it off, and learn more about local farms, better eating, and preserving the beauty and resource that is our beloved Virginia.  Every moment farmers lose income, hence lose their land, is a moment and resource we can not easily recover and restore for our community's future.

Related:

Why We Not Only Need To Have Prime Agricultural Zoning, But Need To Viligantly Protect It

Back links / history on the controversy:

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