Partnering with our Farmer Friends

Grow, cook and share. These three activities anchor our mission at The Nashville Food Project. The work of all three is connected, and when done in ways that intentionally bring people together, as our organization aims to do, this work has the power to create real and lasting change in a community.

The Nashville Food Project’s work to grow, cook, and share is supported by a list of food donating partners, many of them local farmers and growers. On the blog today we want to introduce some of our farmer friends and tell you more about our partnership with each:

Bill and Mary Ruth Lane, Lookin' Up Farm

Bill and Mary Ruth Lane at Lookin’ Up Farm are longtime supporters of The Nashville Food Project. They have been donating their fresh produce to our meals program for five years, but beginning early summer 2016, we began to explore how we could better support their work and begin a true partnership.

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Now, once each month, Food Donations Coordinator Booth and a team of volunteers head out to Bon Aqua, TN to volunteer at the farm. There, Bill and Mary Ruth have a 150’ x 150’ garden, as well as many fruit trees, from which nearly all of what is grown is donated to The Nashville Food Project and other local nonprofits serving low-income communities. Booth and the volunteers help with weeding, planting and harvesting, and they bring harvested food back to The Nashville Food Project to be incorporated into our meals. Lookin’ Up supports our meals with a great variety of produce. Highlights include:

SO MUCH KOHLRABI SLAW!

SO MUCH KOHLRABI SLAW!

PEARS! We made pear butter, pear bakes, pear slices for snack, etc.

PEARS! We made pear butter, pear bakes, pear slices for snack, etc.

Greens! A favorite at several of our meal sites.

Greens! A favorite at several of our meal sites.

The Giving Garden

Started by Franklin First United Methodist Church, the folks at The Giving Garden grow food on the land that will eventually become the church’s new home. They have plenty of land to share and now have a group of dedicated volunteers who farm that land and give away 100% of what they grow to people and organizations who value fresh produce and serve people in need. We’ve helped connect their volunteers with incredible organizations to receive some of this food, and they have donated beautiful over-wintered spinach and other produce to our meals program.

Hank Delvin & Crew, Delvin Farms

This summer alone, longtime food donor Hank Delvin and the folks at Delvin Farms have donated thousands of pounds of Yukon gold potatoes, watermelons and yellow squash. As they’ve ramped up their food donations, we’ve also stepped up our support of their work. In fact, we have an upcoming opportunity for you to get involved!

We’ll be at Delvin helping out Hank and the gang later this week on Thursday, October 20th. They are swimming in green beans and told us that we could have anything that we could pick. We don’t turn down an offer like that! We’ll blanche them, roast them and incorporate them into casseroles! If you’d like to help out, please contact Booth at booth@thenashvillefoodproject.org.