Roses and raspberries, Jan. 1

December 31, 2013 

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    Send your suggests for Roses (or raspberries if you prefer) to editor@newsobserver.com. Please include your name, address and phone number.

Roses from reader Jackie Helvey to Margaret Gifford, who founded the nonprofit Farmer Foodshare and is now moving to New York.

Farmer Foodshare connects people who grow food with people who need food, while building healthy community food systems and enhancing community economic development.

Since mid-2009 its donation stations have brokered over 140,000 pounds of food from 16 farmers’ markets for 22 agencies and institutions that serve the hungry and malnourished in seven counties, according to the group’s website.

Gifford grew up in South Carolina, where her parents showed her how to grow tomatoes in the backyard. “After trying her hand (unsuccessfully) at feeding her family from her North Carolina garden, she’s very glad she knows people who are experts at growing great healthy and delicious vegetables,” the website says. “Margaret is inspired every day by the innovation and commitment of the farmers, volunteers and friends of Farmer Foodshare. She is crazy about farmers markets and always knows where to find the first local asparagus of the season.”

A lot of people are crazy about Gifford, and her energy and inspiration will be missed. Farmer Foodshare has provided thousands of pounds of fresh food from local area farmers' markets for low- income families, working with organizations like the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, Helvey writes.

Learn how you can help at farmerfoodshare.org

Roses from reader Maureen Dolan Rosen to the generous donors to the Timberlyne Shelter Cooking Group.

“Whenever I have overdosed on NPR and CNN, hearing terrible things about the state of our world, I remind myself that I am lucky enough to live in a town with an extraordinary number of kind and generous people,” she writes.

“The Timberlyne Shelter Cooking group would like to thank all of the people who donated new socks to our group so that we could have Christmas gifts for the shelter guests as we served our usual fourth Sunday lunch on Dec. 22. We received socks from Timberlyne neighborhood residents, from the Chapel Hill Shakespeare Group, from Dental Power, Inc., and from our own group of amazing cooks. The smallest kindness can sometimes make the biggest difference: thanks to you all.”

Roses to the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau and “Goodnight Carolina” authors for their collaboration on adapting the book into a printed map and tour guide brochure as well as an App that offers visitors a new way to explore our communities.

Fans of the local children’s book, Goodnight Carolina-- a love story for Tar Heels of all ages--written by Tar Heels Missy Julian –Fox, Elaine O’Neil and Marie Myers Lloyd, now have a new way to tour Orange County. Like the book, Goodnight Carolina brochure/ map and App spotlight the uniqueness of Chapel Hill and the surrounding towns of Carrboro and Hillsborough in a warm and playful manner. Landmarks and legends spring to life in the rhythm and cadence of words and pictures.

“In addition to giving families a suggested tour of Orange County, the Goodnight Carolina materials offer an instructive way to learn about our rich history,” says Laurie Paolicelli, director of the Visitors Bureau.

Pick up the map at the Visitors Center; UNC Visitors Center. Enjoy.

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