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Community Food Initiatives works to ensure everyone in Appalachia Ohio has access to healthy, local food.

We've been growing and sharing the harvest since 1992. 

With your help we can make a difference. Learn more about our programs and get involved.


The first week in July, CFI planned an organic pest and disease control workshop with Associate Professor of Environmental and Plant Biology, Art Trese. We met at the W. State St. Plant Biology Gardens, which grows food for the weekly plant sale at OU. As we met outside the gardens, we all noticed the dark ominous sky in the distance—in front of a bright sky, clouds churned together, forming shapes like smoke rising. A storm was definitely heading towards us.

In honor of my final edition of A + F, I’m going to take it back to where my love for food and cooking began. It’s a pretty regular story: I watched my mom do it. I was always welcome in our kitchen during meal preparation to help when I wanted, or to just watch while keeping her company. Everyone in my family cooks pretty well, but most often my mom took the reins. I would usually take off my shoes and sit cross legged on the kitchen table with my back against the wall, just taking it all in. One of my favorite parts of this was having little tastes of what everyone would soon enjoy at mealtime. She seemed fearless in the kitchen, trying out various flavors and ingredients, combining staples and fresh items, just like we do here at A + F! I didn’t realize how much I had absorbed until I began having to cook for myself as an adult.

Continuing the theme of family, gardening, and putting food on the table it is important to remember dad on his day as well. My dad worked long, hard hours when I was growing up. Running the family heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration business meant unpredictable schedules and tiring work. It also kept him busy during the warmest months of the year which of course includes prime gardening season. But that didn’t keep him from diving into the garden and getting his hands dirty on something other than the oil and grime of a cooling unit on its last legs. It allowed for an escape, for quiet moments working the earth that were a welcome alternative to the stress of being self-employed and the expectations of him being available 24/7 for his customers.

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