This Wednesday, October 24, Harrisonburg and the greater Shenandoah Valley will join the country in celebrating the second annual Food Day. Food Day is a national movement advocating for healthy, sustainable, and affordable food while highlighting local products and the farmers who produce them.
Food Day focuses on six principles through which to reform our food culture:
1. Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
2. Support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness
3. Expand access to food and alleviate hunger
4. Protect the environment and animals by reforming factory farms
5. Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids
6. Support fair conditions for food and farm workers
Throughout the Shenandoah Valley, coordinators of Food Day are organizing events and educational opportunities. The headlining event in downtown Harrisonburg is the Farm-to-Table Breakfast, held from 7-9 am this Wednesday, October 24. The breakfast will be hosted at Clementine, with a menu planned and prepared by Chef Jeff Minnick that features local ingredients from the Harrisonburg Farmers Market and the Friendly City Food Co-op:
Scrambled Eggs with Colby Cheese
Sweet Corn Johnnycakes with Concord Grape Syrup
Pumpkin Pancakes with Whipped Cream
Yukon Gold Potato and Butternut Squash Hash
Red Chili Sauce
Tickets are $8.00 each, with all proceeds benefiting the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, or ticket price may be substituted with the donation of a farm tool to benefit the Valley Crop Mob. Find out where to purchase tickets.
Throughout the week, restaurants and shops in downtown Harrisonburg will be featuring local dishes, special promotions, food and drink tastings, and food-related events. Among these offerings are a three-course harvest dinner at the Little Grill Collective, a tap take-over featuring Virginia beers and ciders at Billy Jack’s Wing & Draft Shack, Local Night featuring local food and live music at the Artful Dodger, a sale on local food products at the Friendly City Food Co-op, food and drink tastings at All Things Virginia and Ten Thousand Villages, and appetizer specials at the Blue Nile and the Local Chop and Grill House. Learn more about these events.
James Madison University and its student organizations and academic departments will also be promoting the six Food Day priorities throughout the week with speakers, film screenings, discussion panels, informational sessions, food sampling, and live music. Learn more about these events.
With so many ways to get involved, Food Day will provide the opportunity for community members of all ages to learn more about their local food scene, develop relationships with their local food producers, and become empowered to make smart, healthy choices about their food.
The Shenandoah Valley has a number of coordinators helping to organize and promote local events for Food Day, including Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, Friendly City Food Co-op, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local, Clementine, Harrisonburg Farmers Market, Valley Crop Mob, Rockingham County Economic Development & Tourism, James Madison University, and Mary Baldwin College.
Nicole Martorana is the Editor of the Do Downtown blog and the Promotions Manager for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.