Farm to Table Buy Local Staff Spread Holiday Cheer

Farm to Table Buy Local partnered with local gardening guru Doug Oster to bring cheer to residents of the Allegheny County Housing Authority this Holiday season. Doug Oster and staff from Farm to Table Buy Local delivered fresh herbs, treats and donated ornaments to the residents of thirteen affordable housing and senior high-rise buildings. Over 800 herbs were supplied by Bidwell Training Center-Drew Mathieson Greenhouse

Erin Hart, Executive Director of Farm to Table Buy Local, stated, “It is important for us to recognize the recipients of the food deliveries we’ve been making during the pandemic. Without their graciousness to receive we could not continue our work.”

Doug Oster:

“On one of our first stops, we visited Blanox Manor and when a friend heard we were coming, asked mayor Tony Gross to stop by. He was so happy to see us and our boxes of herbs that he called his friends in the building to be sure everyone knew what we had. In no time there was a group of residents, led by Jimmy (a chef), sitting and talking with us and spreading the word throughout the building about what was happening. The look on Jimmy’s face, holding a few herbs is priceless.

That sense of community was echoed at all the other locations, which was wonderful to see. It’s the amazing fragrance of basil that made many smile, but you sure can’t go wrong with red velvet cupcakes either! There was something for everyone. I know I can speak for Seppi and Bernadette when I say we got so much more out of this, than the residents received. It just felt good.”

Seppi Grugan:

“We visited thirteen senior housing communities to give residents gifts of potted herbs and holiday decorations. At each building we visited, the first residents who we met contacted their friends and neighbors to let them know that we were there. It was heartwarming to witness the strength of each community. We talked with many residents about what dishes they would use the herbs in, and ended up getting a lot of cooking inspiration ourselves. My favorite part of the holiday visits, however, was getting to spend some time with people who I have been delivering food to for the last two years, but have not have real opportunities to socialize with before. What a Merry Christmas!”

Bernadette Hurst-Hartman:

“I had a great time participating in this event. It was good to see the enthusiasm for receiving the plants, and the decorations. I loved hearing how the people talked about how they would use the herbs for various dishes in the future. This event was definitely in the spirit of joy of the season. I am so glad that I was able to be a part of this event.”  

Farm to Table Buy Local is a 501c3, non-profit launched in May, 2018 to promote locally grown agriculture and improve access to fresh, healthy food. We serve the 30 counties of Western Pennsylvania. We’re the Western PA chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local, a national direct-to-consumer marketing campaign. Farm to Table/Buy Fresh Buy Local is the region’s premier farm-to-consumer brand. We promote real, healthy local products through our print publications, on-line blog & local food guide and through the Buy Fresh Buy Local brand campaign. Farm to Table organizes and sponsors educational events at schools, affordable housing communities, farmers markets, county fairs, corporations, social service agencies and for the general public. We promote healthy, local, real food through Food Coordination efforts in communities throughout the region. Eating locally grown food benefits both our physical health and also our local environmental and economic health. The Heinz Endowments has supported our mission through grant awards since 2018.