The Virginia Food Heritage Project is a collaborative, community-based project that envisions a greater understanding and documentation of our food heritage to enhance our regional sustainability and resilience. VFHP seeks to build knowledge about heritage place-based foods, and to create future opportunities for economic development and community-building in and through our agricultural future.
This is a unique effort in Virginia. The initial focus is conducting a pilot project, with funding from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, in the city of Charlottesville and surrounding counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson. Ideally the project will grow and be replicated in other regions in the state.
The project is housed within the Institute of Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia. The steering committee members represent numerous local governments, not-for-profits, and institutions (see below).
The core activity of the project is to gather, document and publish information on four aspects of our food heritage:
- Identify at-risk, threatened and endangered place-based heritage foods, seeds, and animal breeds unique to the central Piedmont;
- Identify and map heritage food and agricultural sites, such as mills and graineries, canneries, butcheries and cideries;
- Identify heritage food production areas, such as areas where specific crops were traditionally grown; and
- Record and collect personal stories and memories of culturally significant food and agriculture practices – including written and audio-visual documentation (“Food Heritage StoryCorps”).
VFHP’s Community Advisory Partners are:
- Tim Beatley–UVa Department of Urban and Environmental Planning
- Judy Berger–Jefferson Area Board of Aging
- Billie Campbell–Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission
- Tanya Denckla Cobb–UVa Institute for Environmental Negotiation
- Paul Freedman–UVa Food Collaborative
- Joanie Freeman–Healthy Food Coalition
- Christine Gyovai–Blue Ridge Permaculture Network and Central Appalachian Food Heritage Project
- Sue Ellen Johnson–Piedmont Environmental Council
- Michael LaChance– Nelson County Cooperative Extension
- Jeff McCormack–Saving Our Seeds
- Cat McCue– Communications Specialist
- Judy Mickelson–Fluvanna County Historical Society
- Michelle Rehme–Morven Heritage Garden
- David Robishaw–Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Jamie Ross–Agee Films
- Marie Schacht–Morven Heritage Garden
- Leni Sorensen–Culinary Historian
- Susan Stimart– Economic Development Facilitator, Albemarle County
- John Thompson–Fluvanna County Cooperative Extension
- UVa Academic Community Engagement Grant
- UVa School of Architecture
See this blog post on “Open Roads” for an interview with Tanya Denckla Cobb about the project.
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Institute for Environmental Negotiation
P.O. Box 400179
[2015 Ivy Road, Ste 422]
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4179
Phone: (434) 924-1970
Fax (434) 924-0231