12/21/11

Farm to School Field Trip - Blue Ridge Produce!

I can't think of a better way to spend a weekday morning than travelling to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley to connect local growers with D.C. schools.  Earlier this week, eight of my favorite school food service providers and farm-to-school stakeholders from Washington, DC took a field trip out to Elkwood, VA to visit Blue Ridge Produce.  We got a first class tour of their new facility, which serves as a local food distribution "hub" for Northern Virginia and Washington, DC markets.

Jim and Mark, the co-founders of Blue Ridge, brought us up to speed with a history of the new organization and how it got started.  We began our tour in the huge warehouse and freezer space, which will be brimming with produce come spring for wholesale buyers around the region. 


We moved our way in to the (thankfully warmer) greenhouses, with thousands of square feet of space ready to grow hydroponic vegetables, herbs and greens.  The potential for the space is huge - Jim and Mark described plans for a commercial kitchen, demonstration compost operation, and sustainable farm in the works.


Many thanks to Jim, Mark, Craig and the Blue Ridge team for a wonderful and informative visit.  And thank you to Beatriz, Sofia, Lisa, Jaime, Benjamin, Jeff, and Whitney for coming on the trip.  I look forward to working with all of you to make more healthy, local food available to Washington, DC schoolkids!

1 comment:

  1. Real interesting place, and in case it's not obvious in the photos, it's humongous! The concept seems real workable, and so far seems to be
    working well. Here's to a mutually supportive collaboration!

    ReplyDelete