what's new

December Events

Posted on
November 21, 2022

Save the date for these upcoming LEAP events.

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Redesigning Hurt Park Community Garden

Posted on
September 26, 2022

Team of Hurt Park neighbors and gardeners dreams about how this garden might best serve its community.

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It's National Farmers Market Week

Posted on
August 8, 2022

Help us celebrate National Farmers Market Week with a fundraiser on August 10 and a celebration on August 13.

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A Healthy Roanoke Needs You

Posted on
May 26, 2022

This is what success looks like: From January to April 2022, total sales at LEAP markets (our farmers markets, mobile market, Farm Share, and online marketplace) were up 46 percent over 2021. But sometimes success can be tricky....

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Thank You!

Posted on
February 7, 2022

As 2021 draws to a close, LEAP wants to say a huge thank you to everyone who has shopped at a market, purchased a farm share, made a donation, or supported LEAP in any way. As a nonprofit, we depend on the generosity of our community in order to thrive.

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Help a Garden Network Grow

Posted on
February 7, 2022

Across the Roanoke region, there are beautiful spaces, side lots, donated land, tended beds -- all manner of places designated as community gardens.

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The Cost of Food

Posted on
November 21, 2022

What are the hidden costs of the conventional food system?

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The Power of a Network

Posted on
November 21, 2022

What is Virginia Fresh Match? How does it connect to LEAP? Here's a quick explainer.

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New Life for 'Ugly' Produce

Posted on
September 26, 2022

Processing local, in-season produce extends its shelf life, reduces food waste, and creates more nutritious meals for everyone.

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Learn More About Local Food

Posted on
February 7, 2022

What grows in our region? What do the terms "artisan" or "naturally grown" mean? What is a CAFO? There's a wealth of information about local, sustainable food. Here are a few resources to help you dig in to this complex topic.

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Why Eat Local?

Posted on
February 7, 2022

What is "local food" and why should you go out of your way to eat it? These are foundational questions to the work LEAP does. Read on for an explanation of how local food promotes healthier people, more resilient communities, and stronger economies.

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Soil Health is Your Health

Posted on
January 27, 2022

As an inspirational farmer used to tell me, "healthy soil, makes healthy plants, makes healthy people."

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Build Back Better and keep building to improve school meals

The Roanoke Times
December 2021
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Prescribing tomatoes and carrots could help some Americans eat better

Politico
September 2021
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Governor Northam applauds LEAP Mobile Market in providing affordable fresh groceries

WSET 13
September 2021
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Grown Here at Home: Botetourt County farm raising money for food justice

WDBJ7
August 2021
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Roanoke Partnership Launches New Farm to School Program Featuring Locally Grown Produce

Roanoke Star
January 2021
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Food Justice: What is it and how can we fix it

WSLS
October 2020
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More locally-grown food heading to schools in the Star City

WSLS
October 2020
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LEAP and VA Cooperative Extension Receive Farm to School Grant to Get Fresh Food to Roanoke City Students

Roanoke Star
October 2020
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Pure Farmland (TM) Awards $100,000 to Local Gardens and Farms

Inside NOVA
October 2020
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Helping to provide food to families affected by the pandemic

WFIR
July 2020
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Roanoke-based LEAP shifts online to provide local food

WVTF / Radio IQ
June 2020
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Shifting Landscapes for Our Local Farmers

Valley Business Front
May 2020
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Feeling freer at the farmers market

Roanoke Times
May 2020
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Farmers markets switch to online orders and drive-thru pickup

WFXR
April 2020
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Kitchen Spotlight: Spice Titan

Posted on
September 26, 2022
by
Christina Nifong

In 2021, Matt Rose had some time on his hands. He made the most of it by starting a new business of top-quality seasoning blends. Meet Spice Titan.

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Vendor Profile: Wingstem Farm

Posted on
February 7, 2022
by
Volunteer Layla Khoury-Hanold
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Intern Spotlight: Sophie Bartholomaus

Posted on
February 7, 2022
by
LEAP Marketing and Communications Manager Christina Nifong
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Farmer Feature: Singing Spring Farm

Posted on
January 25, 2022
by
Layla Khoury-Hanold

When husband-and-wife farmers Adam Taylor and Elizabeth Spellman were looking for farmland, access to a spring was a priority. Having lived in coal country in West Virginia, they lacked access to drinkable water and drove an hour one-way to fill-up and stockpile spring water. “We love spring water,” the pair effuse. “It’s the best you can drink.”

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Farmer Feature: Bramble Hollow Farm

Posted on
January 25, 2022
by
Layla Khoury-Hanold

To hear Anna and Brent Wills tell their story, you’d think they were accidental farmers. And they kind of were. But 17 years later, after pouring their passion and dedication into raising layer chickens and heritage breed pastured poultry and pork at Bramble Hollow Farm, and being one of the original vendors of the Grandin Village Farmers Market, being farmers is very much a part of their identity.

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Vendor Spotlight: Folklore Ferments

Posted on
November 5, 2021
by
Layla Khoury-Hanold

It’s always nice to be invited back, isn’t it? Such was the case for Andrew Kingery of Folklore Ferments, who, one Saturday in June was called to fill in for the bread vendor at LEAP’s Grandin Village market. Market goers couldn’t get enough of his sourdough boules and baguettes and requested that Kingery return.

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Vendor Spotlight: Rivenwood Gardens

Posted on
November 5, 2021
by
Layla Khoury-Hanold

Photo courtesy Rivenwood Gardens By Layla Khoury-Hanold Between the two of them, farmers Christine Mann and Corey Hamza have experience farming in California, Oregon, and New Zealand, but it took moving to Franklin County to find a farm to call their own. This year, Rivenwood Gardens made their Grandin Village Farmers Market debut, and the couple have made Virginia home. Initially, the pair looked for land on the West Coast, but it was too expensive (to say nothing of the challenges with irrigation).

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Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

If you've been visiting the farmers markets lately, you've likely got some beets in your fridge. It's a great time to roast them and stir them into a dish of November's abundant greens. Dinner doesn't get any tastier -- or much easier.

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Delicata Squash Cassoulet

Delicata squash is one of the most approachable winter squashes. No need to peel. Easy to cut in half. Smaller to handle than some of its cousins. This vegan version of the classic French comfort food should satisfy your taste buds and your belly.

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Spaghetti Squash With Kale and Chickpeas

Of all the winter squashes, LEAP's Marketing and Communications Director Christina Nifong finds spaghetti squash to be the hardest to love. Spaghetti squash doesn't really taste like squash -- or spaghetti! What if we stop trying to make this healthy veggie into something it isn't and simply embrace the flavor and texture it offers? Here's a recipe that does just that.

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Zucchini Feta Pancakes

When stacks of zucchini start piling up on farmers' tables, LEAP's Marketing and Communications Director Christina Nifong reaches for this easy, delicious meal. Shred some squash, toss in a little feta, crack a few eggs, and there you go -- dinner.

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Classic Stuffed Peppers

Peppers are everywhere in late summer. Why not make them the star of your meal? LEAP's Marketing and Communications Director Christina Nifong has tried many stuffed pepper recipes; she likes how this one roasts the peppers before stuffing them. Feel free to make this recipe your own. Try stuffing with tofu rather than ground beef. Swap out the type of cheese. Definitely bring on your homemade marinara if you've got some!

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No-Cream Fettuccine Alfredo

Instead of cream, this recipe uses hummus to make the alfredo sauce. Sounds weird, right? LEAP Food Hub Manager Kyra Crawford LOVES it. Adapt this recipe to whatever vegetables you have in the fridge.

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Sauteed Baby Turnips with Greens

This recipe was shared with us by LEAP Kitchen member and market vendor Theresa Allen of Peace & Harmony Farm. It's a great choice for early spring when turnips -- and their greens -- are most tender, sweet, and tasty.

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Citrus Tahini Dressing

When the greens and the herbs and the salad fixings are at their finest, not just any salad dressing will do. Here's a new discovery by Director of Marketing and Communications Christina Nifong. She's loves the little bit of sweet and the little bit of smooth that this dressing brings to the table.

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Maple Cider Vinaigrette

The greens are plentiful every spring, as are radishes and sprouts and broccoli. What we all need are delicious dressings to top our seasonal salads. Here is a keeper, from LEAP Kitchen Manager Jeff Bland.

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Bistro Salad with Roasted Vegetables

LEAP Director of Programs Kelly Key reaches for this recipe in early spring when root vegetables are still the season's staples but fresh greens and eggs are finding their way to market. Top it with locally raised bacon to shift this dish from side show to main attraction.

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Turnips Anna Livia

This tasty twist on the French classic Pommes Anna is a delicious way to eat one of our area's most bountiful winter crops. Turnips never tasted so good!

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Asparagus and Greens Soup

When you look for asparagus soup recipes, nearly all of them are pureed. Not this one. This recipe, a favorite of LEAP's Marketing Director Christina Nifong, is hearty and delicious and not too complicated.

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Green Souffle Omelette

LEAP's newest team member, Administrative Services Manager Laura Weatherford Burns, is a brunch fan. So when we asked what to make from the plentiful eggs and abundant greens of April, she pointed us to this recipe. Feel free to substitute other greens for the spinach or other cheeses as your taste buds guide you.

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Curried Parsnip and Apple Soup

Try this tasty vegan soup for a warm-up on a cold winter's night.

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Winter Squash Soup

LEAP Kitchen Manager Jeff Bland has been making this recipe for more than 20 years. In addition to the squash, the onions, broth, cream, and honey can all be sourced locally.

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Roasted Cauliflower

This recipe couldn't be more simple -- or tastier. Stir it together for a quick side or toss it atop a grain bowl.

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Ginger Scallion Ramen Noodles

When the farmers are harvesting garlic and ginger and scallions, this recipe is the one to reach for. It's simple, delicious, and lets those fresh flavors shine.

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Colcannon (Irish potatoes and cabbage)

If you aren’t familiar with this Irish dish, it might just become your new favorite way to eat cabbage. (See the notes for a turnip version, as well.) This is tasty comfort food all the way, sure to warm you on a cold winter’s night.

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