Giving back is a big passion of ours, and one of the ways we do this is through our Take What You Need Community Solidarity Plot! With help from volunteers from the community, we have built sturdier plots that will be home to several vegetables and herbs for our surrounding neighbors to take and enjoy!
Did you know that Future harvest has compiled an excellent list of Black-owned and operated farms in the Chesapeake area? They are working towards a much more just and equitable farm and food system. Supporting local food sources is so important to our farmers and communities! We can all help each other grow!
Click here to take a peek and support one of the many farms featured on this growing list.
We here at Downtown Greens cannot believe we have already made our way into the new year! 2020 was a long year, but this has only made us more excited heading into 2021. We have an exciting month ahead of us and talked all about it in our January Newsletter. We are officially ready to begin construction on our basement to transform it into a fully equipped educational kitchen and multipurpose space! We also discussed our new community outreach internship opportunity and share a few dates like our next Mushroom Workshop and continued volunteer hours.
Check it out here!
The Fredericksburg area is fortunate to have a huge amount of civil servants, military personnel, postal workers, and other federal employees not only serving at a national level, but integrated in our communities. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) provides an easy but powerful way for federal employees to donate to and volunteer with nonprofits registered in the area that support health and human services.
As we face new and persistent environmental challenges, many Fredericksburg residents are able to bring a unique, local, regional, national and international perspective to meeting them. Locally, the Central Virginia Battlefield Trust, Downtown Greens, and Friends of the Rappahanock directly try to address and reverse the causes of environmental degradation; other organizations such as Loisann’s Hope House, Micah Ecumenical Ministries, the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic, Thurman Brisben Center, and others address many of the second and tertiary effects of environmental degradation including climate refugees, housing transiency, and a host of public health concerns.
The CFC provides a simple way to finance these organizations' efforts and, hopefully, provide a bridge for federal employees to lend their skills, experience, and perspective to empower and strengthen local organizations and communities.
If you are a federal employee or retiree the CFC official solicitation period ends January 15. It’s easy to pledge your support. Go to cfcgiving.opm.gov and enter the number of the charity you wish to support.
The directory of CFC participating nonprofits has more than 5,000 entries, all of which have passionate missions, but only 13 of them are local to 22401. By supporting a local nonprofit, you can rest assured that your dollars are making a direct impact on your community. Thank you to those who have already, and who are planning to choose a local charity to support through a donation or pledged volunteer hours. Your support for our local nonprofits is essential to the health and wellness of the community that we all love. #givelocal
Fredericksburg Charities and their CFC numbers
Brad Smith is the president of the Board of Directors of Downtown Greens.
As winter enters full swing, a lot of our plants, even the weeds, have called it quits for the season, but not henbit!
Henbit, or ‘Lamium amplexicaule’, is a nutritious wild edible that thrives in the cooler temps. A member of the lamiaceae family, henbit shows up in the fall and sticks around through the spring until summer's hotter temperatures kill it off. Because it is in the mint family it can be a hardy spreader.
As weeds go, this one is easy to pull, but stop before tossing it into the compost! Native to Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa, henbit was brought to the colonies as a popular fodder for, you guessed it, chickens, and despite its popularity with hens, it is actually a tasty and very nutritional addition to the human diet as well!
Henbit is chock full of iron, minerals, and antioxidants. The leaves, stems, and flowers can be enjoyed raw or added to soups and stir frys. Despite being in the mint family, henbit does not taste minty but instead has a mild herbaceous flavor that pairs well with chickweed, wintercress, and wild garlic (which conveniently grows the same time of year).
With weeds like henbit, we (and the chickens) will be able to enjoy fresh greenery from our yards all winter long!
Janet Douberly is Program Coordinator at Downtown Greens. She writes a monthly feature called "Growing and Crawling Downtown" in Front Porch Fredericksburg. If you’d like to learn more about things growing and crawling in Fredericksburg, check out Downtown Greens on Facebook and Instagram.