Thursday, August 28, 2014

Intern Report: Emily's Summer

MAY 22, 2014

I'm loving the work that I'm doing with H2O for Life... I only wish it was a little warmer here in Minnesota. It doesn't quite feel like summer yet. You can learn all about H2O for Life on the website: Right now I'm writing curriculum (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) for students in schools across the country to investigate local water issues that are affecting their community and implement some sort of change. It will be piloted in a few Minnesota schools next academic year, and hopefully across the country the year after.

I haven't gotten out to do much exploring yet because it's been rainy and cold since I got home. This week has been nicer but I've had work every day. Hopefully this weekend I will have some time to get out and take some pictures of our lake - we have a momma loon nesting out on the little island right now. So exciting!

Both the farmer's market in the town where I live AND the farmer's market in the town where I work aren't starting up until late June. When they do open, I'll be sure to check them out, take some pictures, and talk to some people - and pass what I've found along.

JUNE 17, 2014

I hope all is well back in RVA! I heard you guys are having a heat wave today... I'm a little jealous. Mid 70's and thunderstorms here all week.

This weekend was opening weekend for three farmer's markets in my area, but it was a total wash. Thunderstorms all weekend with damaging winds & hail. Some towns have even seen tornadoes, though that's in the Southern portion of the state, far away from me!

Hopefully next weekend I'll get you some photos & info about the farmer's markets here in Minnesota. Until then, I'm sending along some photos of the wildlife & sunsets I've been enjoying in my backyard.


JULY 17, 2014

I’ve spent the past two weeks at H2O for Life working on a big interview project. The town that H2O for Life is based in takes its name from a large lake - White Bear Lake. Unfortunately, this lake is suffering from the lowest water level it has ever seen. While the lake level has dipped low in the past, a combination of drought and over-pumping from the underlying aquifer has caused a serious disruption in the ecosystem. H2O for Life has started a campaign called Race to Reduce (which you can like on Facebook here!) to encourage community members and businesses in the area to adopt water conservation strategies in their daily life.

My role in this Race to Reduce campaign is an interview project. I am meeting with mayors, Chamber of Commerce board members, environmental sustainability groups, superintendents, business owners, residents who have lived on the lake for 50+ years… the list goes on and on. Each interview provides a new and different perspective on the issue of a declining water level in White Bear Lake and the role that we can play in a solution. The interviews will be published on the H2O for Life website and the Race to Reduce Facebook page - stay tuned!
The farmer’s markets here in Minnesota are lively and fun. Minnesotans really enjoy their summers, because the winters are so long and brutally cold. Live music, cooking demonstrations, lots of food vendors, but also a lot of non-food vendors as well. Crafts, soaps, and paintings have all been featured at one point or another. The kids play an interesting role in the farmer’s markets out here, because instead of being entertained at a craft station, the kids run their own stand. At one farmer’s market, kids taught market-goers how to create a simple fruit salad. At another, the kids instructed others on the creation of a simple rubber band bracelet. It was so fun to see kids empowered and confident at a venue as large as a farmer’s market.

My time in Minnesota is almost up! I’m heading out on the evening of July 30…. in a car….. all the way to New Jersey. One week at the beach and then back to Richmond. I’m enjoying my final weeks kayaking on the lake in front of my house, exploring local waterfalls, and of course, riding horses. Can’t wait to be back in Virginia!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Byrd House Market Weekly Update!

 Weekly Update

Byrd House Farmers Market - Your Mid-Week Market!
New neighbors spotted enjoying Byrd House Farmers Market fare!

Looking for a particular vendor?
Check the Market Map 
Looking for a particular food?
Use our Product Search


Some of the choice items at today's market:

Eggs, chicken, beef, pork (free range, pastured, locally processed)

Fingerling potatoes, watermelons, cantelopes, sungold tomatoes, roma tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, summer squash, zucchini

Lettuce leaf basil, foot-long string beans, garlic, peaches, blueberries, sausauges

Crimini, shiitake, portobello, beer bread, croissants, rye/wheat blend loaf, english muffins, fig pastry

Gluten free banana muffins, buttermilk chocolate swirl pound cake, boyfriend cookies, molasses cookies, shortbreads, cheddar/pepper loaves


SNAP @ the Market

Use Your Credit, Debit or SNAP EBT Cards!

Eat Good. Grow Great!

WBCH hosts Governor Terry McAuliffe

as he announces the creation of the state's first Children’s Cabinet and the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success.

See the Governor's Twitter post,

and Press Release and full text of Executive Order No. 21 (2014)
VSU Dietetic Internship Program at BHM
8 dietetic interns will be assisting at the market today, from start to finish. Please make them welcome! Virginia State University's Farm to Table rotation in the VSU Dietetic Internship is a unique component meant to strengthen the interns' understanding of the food supply chain, with a focus on sustainable practices, social concerns (health, food safety, equity, and environment) related to agricultural practices, and farming basics. Click the heading of this story to learn more about this program. 


Friday, August 22 @ WBCH Playground
Free, annual event with games, food, prizes!

William Byrd Community House
Growing Richmond's Kids: Smart, Strong, Self-Confident!
Ready for School. Ready for Life.

Join Our WBCH Team!

Development Director

Director of Children’s Services

Early Childhood Lead Teacher


For full position descriptions click here.

All inquiries or resume and cover letter should be directed to Shelia Givens, Executive Director, at

CARDS. You must be getting close now!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Get the Blueberries While They're HOT! (so to speak) and Convenient!

Work Downtown Richmond? Live west of there? Kids attend WBCH Summer Camp? 

Byrd House Farmers Market is a convenient place to swing by on your way home to pick up something for supper!  First time? Get directions here.

Who's at the Market this week?

Check our Market Map!

What you can pick up and make quick for supper tonight? 

Roast the mushrooms and toss with basil pesto.
Somebody made Tomato Pie this weekend... (see our Facebook page)

Never quite sure how to use herbs or spices (or both!?!). This site has great ideas and actual information...



Our Blueberry Mint Angel Food Yum
 looks something like this... 

I made a really yummy dessert for a friend's family reunion this weekend.

My fruit salad plan was thwarted by procrastination and a watermelon filled with seeds, so I stormed my own brain to come up with this idea based on ingredients available at farmers markets, RIPE and DELICIOUS right now, no cooking necessary! Several tortured seconds later, I "eureka'd!" Click here that I may give you the first dessert I ever made in a parking lot.