Sign up for updates

From the Arcadia Blog

Subscribe to From the Arcadia Blog feed
Local Food. For the People, By the People.
Updated: 53 min 12 sec ago

It's a Wrap!

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 15:58

It's a wrap on Farm Camp 2017! As we wind down our final week of camp we are so grateful for everyone who makes this experience possible. Thank you to all the parents, guest educators, counselors, staff, fruits, vegetables and campers!!!
We hope that everyone will continue to try local fruits and vegetables and connect with the farms in their area. See you next summer!

Small Chefs 2 Begins!

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:25

We are beginning our last week of Farm Camp with a great group of campers, lots of fresh vegetables, and fantastic guest educators. We would like to extend a huge thank you to Alison from Big Bear Café in D.C. who did an incredible workshop with our camp. She taught us about making sourdough, june and kombucha and everyone got to bring some dough and june starter home!


For our last week we will be introducing Heather Johnson, Arcadia's full time Education Director. 

x
Heather oversees Arcadia’s education programs which include Farm Camp, Farm Field Trips, Farm in the Classroom and Mobile Market School Programs. She develops and helps maintain Arcadia’s educational garden, known as the Groundhog Garden. Heather has a master’s degree in Education from Wheelock College in Boston, MA and over the past two decades, she has dedicated her career to providing hands-on, interactive experiences that promote deep exploration and collaboration in authentic environments. While with the Children’s Museum of Richmond, VA, Heather worked closely with communities in need and recognized how little access these communities had to fresh, affordable produce. She wants to work with Arcadia to combat this issue. As families spend less time outside and have less access to nature, she relishes the opportunity to get kids outside to discover the simple yet extraordinary wonders of the garden and the delicious rewards that await.
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know our team! 







Overheard at Small Chefs 1

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 15:42




Small Chefs 1 is coming to a close. We have had a wonderful week of delicious food, farm work and educational activities. As always, here are some of our favorite 'overheard at camp' moments:

While preparing a bed to plant squash a camper came up with a weeding spell: "Weeds weeds weeds come up weeds just come up if you don't come up we'll pull you up"

"Are your chickens for sale?" "No" "Awwwww but I love them"

When I asked to take a photo of a camper with their plate of eggs: "You can have some they are amazing!"

During the blind taste test --
Beets: "it tastes sweet and fruity. I would put it in a salad"
Okra: "okra is so good!"
Parsley: "It tastes really frizzy. Kind of like mint. It might be parsley"

"Oooooh that tickles!" - while holding some wriggly worms during a soil learning activities

"I just want to put it in my mouth now" - while smelling Jonathan Bardzik's Farm-Fresh Fried Rice

"Bees are our friends. They give us honey and are just eating their breakfast... It might look like the bee is coming to sting you but they are just flying around looking for a flower to pollinate"

We had a blast at our tortilla fiesta today!



Thank you to Jennifer and Sophie for coming to teach us about natural herbal fixes to chef injuries! All of our campers went home with an incredible (and easy to make) plantain salve made by Jennifer. 



See you next week for our last week of Farm Camp 2017!






x

Chef Jonathan Bardzik Visits!

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 19:37

Extra special Wednesday blog post for our extra special friend Jonathan Bardzik! 

We are so grateful that he shared his love for vegetables, expertise in farm to table food, and enthusiasm for creativity with our camp. Here are some of our takeaways from Jonathan's visit. 

Chef Jonathan Bardzik's cooking rules:
1. It should be fun!
2. It should taste GOOD! If it doesn't taste good, try something else.
3. It doesn't have to be hard
4. Let what looks fresh from the farm help you plan your menu - don't limit yourself by having a recipe in mind first
5. I believe that you can enjoy "special food" (like oysters) any time, any place, no matter who you are/how old you are. All food, all knowledge, and all experience should be available to everyone. 

Our kids were eager to help make and help eat the fantastic dishes Jonathan prepared today. Our menu of farm-fresh fried rice, tomato dill vinaigrette, and quick cucumber ginger cilantro pickles had our campers trying new vegetables, spices, and cooking techniques. Quite well received! 


Many campers left asking about where to find more recipes from chef Jonathan. Here are a few ways to access his entertaining and healthy recipes:
He has 250+ recipes available for free on his website - www.jonathanbardzik.comHis Youtube channel (Jonathan Bardzik) has recipe tutorials and a playlist for All America Selections filmed on Arcadia's farm! - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPdoN9Zz0wZTWESCKRhnpCoWIsUY_ro98  
One more huge thank you to Jonathan Bardzik!!!!!!!! Your recipes left us eager to learn more about healthy, farm fresh eating and ready to lick our plates clean...

Small Chefs 1 Assemble!

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 15:22

Small Chefs 1 is off to a delicious start. From quick pickling to scrambling veggies and eggs, these small chefs are blowing us out of the water with their kitchen skills, patience, and creativity. We can't wait for our workshop tomorrow with fantastic chef, storyteller and educator Jonathan Bardzik.

This week we will introduce Ivy and Emily:



xIvy Assiter is excited to be serving as Camp Manager to this year’s Arcadia Farm Camp. She recently moved to Virginia from Orlando, FL where she spent her time inhabiting many different roles in the local food scene. She is most proud of her position as SNAP Coordinator at two separate farmer’s markets where she was able to work closely with her community, and foster relationships between shoppers and farmers. Ivy knows how summer camps in an outdoor setting can impact a child’s development; she has attended and worked, as well as managed, outdoor experience camps for a total of ten years. Her love for local food, food accessibility, and the outdoors brought her to Arcadia, and she can’t wait to see what this summer has in store! She’s really looking forward to having the okra from this upcoming growing season!





Emily is interning with Arcadia this summer through the Tisch Summer Fellows Program at Tufts University. She has always loved working with kids and is a big fan of outdoor exploration, experiential education and good food. Emily has worked on multiple organic farms in France and was a substitute teacher at La Puerta de Los Niños in New Mexico. She is always looking for ways to share and cultivate her love for the outdoors and healthy eating and is so excited to work with a program like Arcadia! If turned into a vegetable she would probably be a roasted pumpkin, sweet potato, or brussel sprout. 





Overheard at Seasonal Eaters

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 13:24

Hello and happy Thursday! We have explored many aspects of seasonal eating and cooking this week. From blind taste tests to squeezing cabbages to make sauerkraut, these seasonal eaters have been actively learning about sustainable food from farm to chef to table. 

A big thank you to our horticulture friends at Mount Vernon who brought a beautiful 4 month old Hog Island lamb, to Dylan for a fantastic fermentation workshop, and to Rosemary for her expertise on vermiculture and composting. 

The coolcumbers hold up a thank you card they made for Farmer Dylan
Some our favorite quotes from this week include...

"What did you try for the first time today?"
"Salad, onion, tomato, hummus, dressing, cucumber"
"What did you think?"
"AWESOME!"

"I make salads and they're the best because I make them"

"After our buzzing bees water game we saw a bee with knee buckets pollinating in the garden!"

While harvesting basil: 
"I've never tried pesto before"
"pesto is soo good!" "you're going to love it" "pasta with pesto is perfection" "one time I snuck with my sister and ate a whole bowl of pesto"

Blind taste test (spoiler alert! we served parsley, beet, okra and parsnip)
An older camper: "That's the first time I've had beets in my life. No joke. Those are actually good! I'm going to have beets tomorrow or tonight"
A younger camper: "I know this one!! Okra! We eat it at home in an Ethiopian dish with fish and chicken"

"The salsa is out of this world!"    
"Salsa, like guacamole without the avocado."

"What are you excited to make today?" "I've tasted butter and I want to try new things, so I'm excited to make salsa and pesto and sauerkraut."
"I can't wait until we pet the sheep. That is the best part."



Welcome Seasonal Eaters!!

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 15:23

Hello and welcome to all of our Seasonal Eaters!! 

We've got a creative bunch this week. The composting cornsnakes, farm wolves "aooooooooou", coolcumbers, zombie zucchinis, and happy harvesters have jumped right into a week of edible exploration. These campers have been harvesting, making seasonal menus (with dinner items such as a chinese stir-fried eggplant with sautéed okra served with a tangy beet and radish salad topped with a wood sorrel garnish), learning knife skills, and making pollinator smoothies on our bike powered blender. 

This Tuesday we'll be highlighting Emma and Robel.


Emma Tober is one of our camp counselors at Arcadia Farm Camp this summer. Emma was introduced to the world of sustainable agriculture and the magic of growing your own food while studying Health Science at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. During her time at VCU she was an intern for the Office of Sustainability where she was involved in numerous environmental projects on campus and volunteered with VCU’s community gardens and food pantry. Emma has developed a passion for community health and empowering youth to live and lead healthy lives regardless of their background. After graduating last May, Emma spent a year serving in a 2nd grade classroom as a tutor and mentor with AmeriCorps in Washington D.C. Emma has always enjoyed working with and inspiring youth and is excited to inspire and learn from others while growing, cooking and eating fresh, delicious food at farm camp this summer!






Robel just graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Public Health and Nutrition. He studied Permaculture Design which gave him the skills to apply principles of sustainability, biodiversity, and environmental health to farming and gardening. He is passionate about health and fitness. He loves to stay active and make nourishing meals. His favorite hobbies are training jiu jitsu, rock climbing, biking, running, and enjoying the great outdoors. He has experience working for Whole Foods Market and several local organic farms. 








Overheard at Farm Creatures Camp

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 20:20


This week we explored farm creatures big and small. Hissing cockroaches and a Nubian goat were two favorites. A big thank you to the guest educators who came to Arcadia's Hilltop Farm this week to share their expertise on goats and bugs. 

Some of our favorite quotes from campers this week include...

"Garlic is like candy to me" -said while drinking self-made garlic water

"The 82-eyed Camouflager and the 3 eyed Slurper like to slurp up nectar, and eat rice. They went to see the Emoji Movie in theaters! They split one piece of candy. They fly to the movies and it takes two days because they cary so much popcorn. They like to pollinate and eat corn— its their favorite food! The End.” -a short pollination story written by a camper and our camp director

"I have ten instincts and they all say don't trust the ice. Right instincts?" -before our "frozen overalls" water game for the day

We've had a wonderful week exploring the world of farm creatures with some fantastic campers. Thanks again to all the people who make this camp possible!

Farm Creatures Has Started!

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 14:52



Hello and welcome to week two of Arcadia's Farm Camp - Farm Creatures! Our week has started swimmingly with a box turtle spotting under the grape arbor, many bug races, and time spent caring for our hens.

We're going to continue our Tuesday tradition by introducing two of our fantastic Farm Camp counselors: Talia and Dani. 


Talia Schmitt is an Environmental Community Health major at the College of William & Mary. In 2013, she co-founded an environmental education program, Eco-Schools Leadership Initiative (ESLI) where high school and college students educate elementary school students about the environment (www.eslileaders.org). On campus, Talia works as a Dining Sustainability Intern and is involved in a project bringing produce from a local farm back to the college’s cafeteria. Some of Talia’s favorite farm & food memories include eating asparagus right from the ground, and viewing the bright blue artichoke flower for the first time! She can’t wait to embark on the exploratory and tasty adventure of farm camp with some eager campers! 




Dani is a Farm Camp Counselor at Arcadia Farm. She recently graduated from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where she developed a passion for both community outreach and sustainable agriculture. She took many courses focused on sustainable agriculture, and worked with many community farms and gardens. In addition to sustainable agriculture, Dani loves exploring, cooking and being outdoors – and she is so excited about sharing her passions with the campers!




Overheard at Young Farmers Camp

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 16:14


We're wrapping up our first week of Farm Camp already! Here is a glimpse of what some of our campers have been saying...



When describing what Lamb's Ears SHOULD be called: "Puppy Belly"

While touching the potting clay in our "seed balls" activity: "this feels like touching clouds"

Looking through the compost pile: "I spy an invertebrate!"

Camp Director pun: "What did the mom cow say to the baby cow? You gotta go to bed it's PASTURE bed time"

On a bug catching excursion: "Guard my Harlequin Beatles!!"

After our beekeeping lesson: "I have a business plan for the bees...have them sting the cockroaches"

We have heard shrieks of laughter during our water games; inquisitive questions when Farmer Katherine came to discuss crop rotation, seasonal harvesting, and proper washing techniques; hushed excitement when Farmer LaRon gave a lesson on beekeeping (including a demonstration with the bee smoker); and "ooo this is good"s when they try our farm fresh cooking creations for the first time. And don't forget the wide eyes we see when they hold a warm egg or feel the soft feathers of our hens.

A huge thanks to everyone who made this amazing first week possible!





Welcome Back to Farm Camp!

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 16:39



This summer we're kicking off Farm Camp with some of our newest Young Farmers!! Throughout the next five weeks we will be highlighting our incredible camp counselors - with backgrounds from soil specialization to education - and the wonderful campers who are harvesting, cooking, and creating in our Groundhog Garden. To get us rolling we would love to introduce Sarah, whose campers this week have an affinity for weeding: who knew?!



Sarah has been working in environmental education and conservation for 5 years now. From nature centers in Fredericksburg, VA and Montpelier, VT to the mountains of Taos, New Mexico and the forests of Paraguay, many experiences have led her to Farm Camp with Arcadia. She loves working with kids and the creative energy they provide and hopes to learn new ways to spark their interest in locally sourced, healthy eating while at Arcadia. Her favorite vegetable is zucchini because ZOODLES!






On Learning and Getting Things Done

Mon, 05/29/2017 - 16:10

By Jenna Barufka  My entire experience at Arcadia will be encapsulated in a sum total of seven days. This seems impossible to me, considering that I feel overwhelmed with new information. I went into my internship with Arcadia completely blind. I had barely even gardened before. In retrospect, I have no idea what I thought farming was going to be like. I suppose I thought it would be simpler. I thought there would be fewer pieces to consider. Having spent the past twelve years of my life in school, I expected a similarly regimented process of learning and getting things done; be told the facts and apply them, be told rules and follow them. But farming is filled with an uncertainty I’ve never really had to deal with before. We have things we know to be true, of course, about the plants and the insects that eat them and the weeds that grow by them. But we also have a million things that we can only guess at, like how much it will rain and when, and whether or not we’ll be able to stop mice from eating our seeds. Farming is predicting, observing, compensating, waiting, hoping.
The more I learn about farming, however, the more it becomes incredibly clear to me that I know nothing about farming. Each time we embark on a new task, Katherine explains to me and the other volunteers what we are doing and why. I feel as though there must be always one millions things flying through her head. The other day, as she explained how to transplant squash seedlings into landscape fabric, she told us that “they don’t like the fabric worrying against their stems.” Perhaps this is common sense to some people, but it is something I would have never, never thought about. In fact, to even consider that there is a certain way the stems of golden glory squash like to be treated is so far from my average train of thought that it, despite seeming so simple, feels revolutionary. I’m not getting my questions answered, I’m being informed that there were questions to have in the first place. It’s not, Oh, I’ve always wondering what the stems of plants felt about rubbing against landscape fabric, it’s, The stems of plants care if they touch landscape fabric? And what’s landscape fabric? I feel as though all my life I have just assumed that certain things are as simple as they seem; seeds fall, plants grow, etc. Now I am unlearning.

In fact, a large part of my experience at Arcadia has been unlearning. There are some things you have to unlearn if you want to be of any use at all. Unlearn a fear of bugs. Unlearn hesitancy to get dirty. Unlearn infrequent water drinking. In the best way possible, seven days at Arcadia has been a process of forgetting; forgetting the simple way I thought about farming, forgetting the limited way I thought about learning, forgetting the structured way I thought about working and getting things done. It’s been a satisfying personal experience, not only because it allowed me to meet a lot of interesting people and doing rewarding work, but also because it gave me a foundational understanding of something I had no concept of before. It’s only a beginning, but I at least now have somewhere to begin. And, if nothing else, I have gained an incredible, incredible amount of respect for good food and good people who work in the heat.

Spring2Action April 5th and Help Arcadia Train and Incubate New Veteran Farmers

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 15:53
The military has an adage: Train as you fight, so you are physically and mentally prepared for whatever comes. At Arcadia, we want to follow the same principle:  Train as you farm.
Arcadia Farm is scrappy and productive, but needs more equipment and better infrastructure so our veteran farmers get the best, most realistic training possible.
Help our veterans train as they will farm, in their next act as veteran-farmers growing healthy food for a healthy nation. Donate to Arcadia on April 5th to help us reach our goal of $30,000 to build the farming infrastructure needed to train and incubate veterans as they begin new careers as farmers. 
Visit https://spring2action.razoo.com/story/Arcadia-Food to make your tax-deductible to donation today. 
Our 2017 Spring2Action Goal is to raise $30,000 to drill and well and make other farming infrastructure improvements, like fences, equipment, and utilities, to Arcadia Farm.  

Meet our Veteran Farmers!

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 15:52
There is a slow-moving crisis in agriculture. The United States needs 700,000 new farmers to take up the plough over the next 20 years to replace the farmers aging out of the profession. In the last two years, America has produced just about 1,200 new farmers.

At the same time, the U.S. military created more than 200,000 new military veterans every year. And if there is one thing that’s true, it’s this: they are about the only Americans tough enough to be farmers. Because let’s face it – a tough day farming can’t be too much worse than a hard day at boot camp.

So last year, on land that George Washington once cultivated, we trained 12 military veterans in the art, science and business of farming. They learned a lot, but they taught us more – about discipline and grit, teamwork and esprit de corps. We emerged smarter, tougher, and better.

And now we have the pleasure of introducing you to 2017 training class of veterans.  They are 19-strong, from all four services, half men and half women, with 23 combat deployments between them – 17 in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are helicopter pilots and explosives experts; logisticians and computer experts; mechanics, infantry and intelligence experts. Active duty, Reserve, and retired, and one just returned from Afghanistan this month – they are all seeking a new life cultivating the land they joined the military to protect and served.  (One Navy civilian has joined us for the training too for a total of 20 trainees).



But first we want to thank the generous sponsors who making this training program possible: The Grace Communications Foundation, Boeing, Prince Charitable Trusts, Northrop Grumman, ClearedJobs.net, Neighborhood Restaurant Group, and BAE Systems.

It is now my pleasure to introduce you to the 2017 Arcadia Veteran Reserve. We will have the honor of working with them every month during their 12 training weekends in 2017.

Alvin, USMC: “I hope to become an innovator in the farming industry by blending time tested techniques with modern technology. I want to grow a variety of vegetables and hopefully have some type of livestock. If there is anything I've gained while in the Marine Corps it’s (will power), I now know I have the mental and physical perseverance to handle any mission.”
Yash, US Army: “To work in nature, work with hands, save the planet, eat healthy. (Military service serves me with) discipline and working with hands.”

Marcus, US Army: “I want to start several working farms and several community gardens. The community gardens will consist of edible produce, while the working farms will consist of edible produce, egg production, ornamental plants, houseplants, shrubbery, etc. I have already started working with several community organizations in New Orleans to start gardens and have initiated conversation with a co-op in North Carolina with plans to do the same. “

Lindsey, US Army: “Growing food in an environmentally responsible way is something I would love to learn more about. I would like to be able to use farming as a way to give back to the community and to help support my family. My military experience gave me the ability to work well under pressure and to do my job efficiently while paying attention to detail.”

Antoinette, US Army: The Mission Continues Fellow: “I would not only like to be able to provide a healthy, sustainable life for my family but also to help others, especially those living in ‘food deserts,’ to have the ability to provide for their families. My ‘retirement goal’ has been to open a residential treatment farm for at-risk youth (I was able to begin a business plan while in school) where I can provide a safe and productive environment to children to grow and learn a practical vocation.”

Joel, US Navy: “I'd like to have a small farm where I grow my own food (vegetables, berries, fruits, and herbs) and raise some livestock for my wife and I while also producing extra to either give to friends/family/charities or sell at a food stand or farmers market…I've read a large number of articles and news stories, and watched different documentaries that talk about the importance of farmers and I understand how important a healthy food supply is to the country. I want to be able to teach my grandchildren about farming and growing their own food.”

Joe, US Army: “I have always admired farmers since growing up in the Midwest, KC Missouri. I like the independence involved, and the honorable service they provide. I help a friend who grows corn, winter wheat, and soy beans. I'd like to get enough land to grow these crops, but also get into growing hops for resale in Virginia. Hard work, self-drive, mission accomplishment. I love the idea that I could work for myself, driven by my goals.”

Tyree, US Army: “I would like to own a farm, grow organic foods. I would like to provide jobs and give back to the local community. (Military service taught me) dedication and commitment to completing task. No matter how hard they may be.”

Matthew, US Army: “I have a great family history of military members within in my ancestry but a true theme that reoccurs after our service is that my family have become farmers in different sizes from large cattle and tobacco farmers to personal gardens that provide for the family. Many of those farms are self-sustaining homesteads. I am hoping to have a 50-acre farm with horses, bees, and possibly some cattle looking to provide a peace in my heart that makes me a productive member of my community.”

Amanda, US Army: “The last several years I have kept a vegetable garden and started beekeeping this past year. I love having my hands in the soil and seeing the progress of something that started as a seed growing into something I can eat. I really enjoy beekeeping and learning about the bees and from the bees. I have always liked being outside and learning about nature. The last several years I have spent in an office environment and have realized that this type of work is not for me. I like feeling like I am contributing to something larger than myself and keeping honey bees and growing vegetables provides more satisfaction than generating endless reports that someone may or may not read.

I'd eventually like to own my own small-scale farm, with chickens, honeybees, vegetables, and possibly goats, but before I take that plunge, I need to learn how to farm. My military service has given me a better understanding of what it means to be loyal and dedicated. Knowing how to complete a mission and having people (or plants and animals) depend on you for success gives me the drive to keep going.”

Lori, Army National Guard: “My husband and I are both veterans. We deployed back to back to Afghanistan. He is set for another deployment soon. We are currently looking at a property in Maine that is suitable for maple syrup production, mushroom farming (albeit a short season), and some flock/livestock. If we decide to go with that particular property, we would most likely do small ruminants and/or turkeys. We would also like to have at least one greenhouse for our own food production.”

Patrick, US Army: “My grandfather was a farmer, though I didn’t pursue this path early in my life. While deployed to Afghanistan, a good friend passed away. He was a farmer from Alabama. He loved to farm and all that accompanied farming. He encouraged me to start small. He assured me that I would love it. I believe raising cattle, caring for a farm is therapeutic. Although my military career consisted of many administrative duties, I have always loved field exercises, being in the outdoors and physical activities especially team building exercises. I enjoy the sense of camaraderie and the process of nurturing and completing a goal. I also have a love of animals. My daughter and I started a small garden in backyard. We grow peppers, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. We love cooking together all the food from our garden.”

Nicole, US Navy: “I am …very much into exercise and healthy eating which is fueling my passion to create an accessibility to organically grown foods. I would like to open up an urban farm and start a food co-op for disadvantaged communities.”

Shawn, US Army: “I would like to learn to farm/ranch in order to provide a Haven for other struggling Veterans where they can take refuge and receive therapy. As I am currently studying Therapeutic Recreation I have become very aware of the healing properties attributed to horticulture and other agricultural associated therapies. With the veteran initiatives put forth in the Farm Bill of 2014, I think that a community of farming veterans could be feasible. These communities or co-op could not only provide for themselves but also has the potential to provide for the community on a much larger scale. These visions cannot happen without adequate training in the trade of farming.”

Jon, US Army: “I plan to retire in Summer 2018 and return Central Kentucky. I envision buying small farm and initially working it part time. I have not settled on any particular type of farm yet... I hope to use the Veteran Reserve program to educate myself prior to retirement. I view farming as an entrepreneurial endeavor... which requires hard work, discipline, planning, organization and risk mitigation. I honed all those skills in the military and believe I can successfully apply them to farming.”

Katie, US Navy: “I feel sustainable agriculture is a must in order to pass down a promising future for the next generation. Farming is a form of land stewardship that can work towards that end for our families and our local community. Local food is important to education, I'd like to grow and/or raise as much food for my family and local community as possible. I'm interested in all facets of agriculture but have the most experience with produce.”

Brittany, USMC: “My long-term dream is settle onto a farm or vineyard where I can implement sustainable farming practices. My family on both sides farmed to sustain themselves with food and financial resources. They had a lot of pride in their work and land. I think my military service will give me the leadership skills and discipline it takes to maintain a farm. I think my unique experiences in research will allow me to grow a farm in new ways, and maintain the flexibility need for growth.”

Debra, US Army: “My grandmother came to this county from the Bahama Islands in the 1920's. She taught me the importance of growing our own food in our yard. It is my heart's desire to own a small farm, where I and others can garden and enjoy the Organic fruits, veggies, herbs & spices at the Farm Café. There would also be an area with natural soaps/creams, space to provide psychoeducational groups and other therapeutic services to women & teenage girls who are struggling with Women's Issues and want to connect with Mother Nature.”

Tanya, US Army: “I would like to live and work on a farm. I would like to learn about planting sustainable foods and plants.”

Faye, USAF: “I am building a home in Suffolk, VA on (7 acres) with plans of growing many of my own vegetables and herbs. I would also like to help other urban farmers who are currently growing on a small scale and having issues. My husband and I have thought about a little truck stand to bring locally grown products to Hampton Roads areas that have minimal access to fresh products.”

Arleya, US Navy civilian: “The community I grew up in had very little access to fresh foods. Unfortunately, years and years later, it's still that way today. And frankly, it's a health crisis. I'd like to be a solution to that. I want to produce and provide fresh foods for that community, and also teach members of the community about nutrition and how to grow their own small gardens. I've been looking at land that comes available, but I need more knowledge and a better plan to execute the idea. I want to do something on a large scale. While my experience is in the typical vegetables and herbs, I'm also interested in growing hops and participating in the growing craft brewing industry.”

Help Arcadia Train and Incubate New Veteran Farmers

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 15:41
Support Arcadia's Veteran Farmer Program and Spring2Action on April 5th!
The military has an adage: Train as you fight, so you are physically and mentally prepared for whatever comes. At Arcadia, we want to follow the same principle:  Train as you farm.

Arcadia Farm is scrappy and productive, but needs more equipment and better infrastructure so our veteran farmers get the best, most realistic training possible.
Help our veterans train as they will farm, in their next act as veteran-farmers growing healthy food for a healthy nation. Donate to Arcadia on April 5th to help us reach our goal of $30,000 to build the farming infrastructure needed to train and incubate veterans as they begin new careers as farmers. 
Visit https://spring2action.razoo.com/story/Arcadia-Food to make your tax-deductible to donation today. 
Our 2017 Spring2Action Goal is to raise $30,000 to drill and well and make other farming infrastructure improvements, like fences, equipment, and utilities, to Arcadia Farm.  

Meet our Veteran Farmers!

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 14:52
There is a slow-moving crisis in agriculture. The United States needs 700,000 new farmers to take up the plough over the next 20 years to replace the farmers aging out of the profession. In the last two years, America has produced just about 1,200 new farmers.

At the same time, the U.S. military created more than 200,000 new military veterans every year. And if there is one thing that’s true, it’s this: they are about the only Americans tough enough to be farmers. Because let’s face it – a tough day farming can’t be too much worse than a hard day at boot camp.

So last year, on land that George Washington once cultivated, we trained 12 military veterans in the art, science and business of farming. They learned a lot, but they taught us more – about discipline and grit, teamwork and esprit de corps. We emerged smarter, tougher, and better.

And now we have the pleasure of introducing you to 2017 training class of veterans.  They are 19-strong, from all four services, half men and half women, with 23 combat deployments between them -- 17 in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are helicopter pilots and explosives experts; logisticians and computer experts; mechanics, infantry and intelligence experts. Active duty, Reserve, and retired, and one just returned from Afghanistan this month -- they are all seeking a new life cultivating the land they joined the military to protect and served.  (One Navy civilian has joined us for the training too for a total of 20 trainees).

And now we have the pleasure of introducing you to 2017 training class of veterans.  They are 19-strong, from all four services, half men and half women, with 23 combat deployments between them -- 17 in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are helicopter pilots and explosives experts; logisticians and computer experts; mechanics, infantry and intelligence experts. Active duty, Reserve, and retired, and one just returned from Afghanistan this month -- they are all seeking a new life cultivating the land they joined the military to protect and served.  (One Navy civilian has joined us for the training too for a total of 20 trainees).

But first we want to thank the generous sponsors who making this training program possible: The Grace Communications Foundation, Boeing, Prince Charitable Trusts, Northrop Grumman, ClearedJobs.net, Neighborhood Restaurant Group, and new to the group of funders, BAE.
It is now my pleasure to introduce you to the 2017 Arcadia Veteran Reserve. We will have the honor of working with them every month during their 12 training weekends in 2017.

Alvin, USMC: “I hope to become an innovator in the farming industry by blending time tested techniques with modern technology. I want to grow a variety of vegetables and hopefully have some type of livestock. If there is anything I've gained while in the Marine Corps it’s (will power), I now know I have the mental and physical perseverance to handle any mission.”
Yash, US Army: “To work in nature, work with hands, save the planet, eat healthy. (Military service serves me with) discipline and working with hands.”

Marcus, US Army: “I want to start several working farms and several community gardens. The community gardens will consist of edible produce, while the working farms will consist of edible produce, egg production, ornamental plants, houseplants, shrubbery, etc. I have already started working with several community organizations in New Orleans to start gardens and have initiated conversation with a co-op in North Carolina with plans to do the same. “

Lindsay, US Army: “Growing food in an environmentally responsible way is something I would love to learn more about. I would like to be able to use farming as a way to give back to the community and to help support my family. My military experience gave me the ability to work well under pressure and to do my job efficiently while paying attention to detail.”

Antoinette, US Army: The Mission Continues Fellow: “I would not only like to be able to provide a healthy, sustainable life for my family but also to help others, especially those living in ‘food deserts,’ to have the ability to provide for their families. My ‘retirement goal’ has been to open a residential treatment farm for at-risk youth (I was able to begin a business plan while in school) where I can provide a safe and productive environment to children to grow and learn a practical vocation.”

Joel, US Navy: “I'd like to have a small farm where I grow my own food (vegetables, berries, fruits, and herbs) and raise some livestock for my wife and I while also producing extra to either give to friends/family/charities or sell at a food stand or farmers market…I've read a large number of articles and news stories, and watched different documentaries that talk about the importance of farmers and I understand how important a healthy food supply is to the country. I want to be able to teach my grandchildren about farming and growing their own food.”

Joe, US Army: “I have always admired farmers since growing up in the Midwest, KC Missouri. I like the independence involved, and the honorable service they provide. I help a friend who grows corn, winter wheat, and soy beans. I'd like to get enough land to grow these crops, but also get into growing hops for resale in Virginia. Hard work, self-drive, mission accomplishment. I love the idea that I could work for myself, driven by my goals.”

Tyree, US Army: “I would like to own a farm, grow organic foods. I would like to provide jobs and give back to the local community. (Military service taught me) dedication and commitment to completing task. No matter how hard they may be.”

Matthew, US Army: “I have a great family history of military members within in my ancestry but a true theme that reoccurs after our service is that my family have become farmers in different sizes from large cattle and tobacco farmers to personal gardens that provide for the family. Many of those farms are self-sustaining homesteads. I am hoping to have a 50-acre farm with horses, bees, and possibly some cattle looking to provide a peace in my heart that makes me a productive member of my community.”

Amanda, US Army: “The last several years I have kept a vegetable garden and started beekeeping this past year. I love having my hands in the soil and seeing the progress of something that started as a seed growing into something I can eat. I really enjoy beekeeping and learning about the bees and from the bees. I have always liked being outside and learning about nature. The last several years I have spent in an office environment and have realized that this type of work is not for me. I like feeling like I am contributing to something larger than myself and keeping honey bees and growing vegetables provides more satisfaction than generating endless reports that someone may or may not read.
I'd eventually like to own my own small-scale farm, with chickens, honeybees, vegetables, and possibly goats, but before I take that plunge, I need to learn how to farm. My military service has given me a better understanding of what it means to be loyal and dedicated. Knowing how to complete a mission and having people (or plants and animals) depend on you for success gives me the drive to keep going.”

Lori, Army National Guard: “My husband and I are both veterans. We deployed back to back to Afghanistan. He is set for another deployment soon. We are currently looking at a property in Maine that is suitable for maple syrup production, mushroom farming (albeit a short season), and some flock/livestock. If we decide to go with that particular property, we would most likely do small ruminants and/or turkeys. We would also like to have at least one greenhouse for our own food production.”

Patrick, US Army: “My grandfather was a farmer, though I didn’t pursue this path early in my life. While deployed to Afghanistan, a good friend passed away. He was a farmer from Alabama. He loved to farm and all that accompanied farming. He encouraged me to start small. He assured me that I would love it. I believe raising cattle, caring for a farm is therapeutic. Although my military career consisted of many administrative duties, I have always loved field exercises, being in the outdoors and physical activities especially team building exercises. I enjoy the sense of camaraderie and the process of nurturing and completing a goal. I also have a love of animals. My daughter and I started a small garden in backyard. We grow peppers, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. We love cooking together all the food from our garden.”

Nicole, US Navy: “I am …very much into exercise and healthy eating which is fueling my passion to create an accessibility to organically grown foods. I would like to open up an urban farm and start a food co-op for disadvantaged communities.”

Shawn, US Army: “I would like to learn to farm/ranch in order to provide a Haven for other struggling Veterans where they can take refuge and receive therapy. As I am currently studying Therapeutic Recreation I have become very aware of the healing properties attributed to horticulture and other agricultural associated therapies. With the veteran initiatives put forth in the Farm Bill of 2014, I think that a community of farming veterans could be feasible. These communities or co-op could not only provide for themselves but also has the potential to provide for the community on a much larger scale. These visions cannot happen without adequate training in the trade of farming.”

Jon, US Army: “I plan to retire in Summer 2018 and return Central Kentucky. I envision buying small farm and initially working it part time. I have not settled on any particular type of farm yet... I hope to use the Veteran Reserve program to educate myself prior to retirement. I view farming as an entrepreneurial endeavor... which requires hard work, discipline, planning, organization and risk mitigation. I honed all those skills in the military and believe I can successfully apply them to farming.”

Katie, US Navy: “I feel sustainable agriculture is a must in order to pass down a promising future for the next generation. Farming is a form of land stewardship that can work towards that end for our families and our local community. Local food is important to education, I'd like to grow and/or raise as much food for my family and local community as possible. I'm interested in all facets of agriculture but have the most experience with produce.”

Brittany, USMC: “My long-term dream is settle onto a farm or vineyard where I can implement sustainable farming practices. My family on both sides farmed to sustain themselves with food and financial resources. They had a lot of pride in their work and land. I think my military service will give me the leadership skills and discipline it takes to maintain a farm. I think my unique experiences in research will allow me to grow a farm in new ways, and maintain the flexibility need for growth.”

Debra, US Army: “My grandmother came to this county from the Bahama Islands in the 1920's. She taught me the importance of growing our own food in our yard. It is my heart's desire to own a small farm, where I and others can garden and enjoy the Organic fruits, veggies, herbs & spices at the Farm Café. There would also be an area with natural soaps/creams, space to provide psychoeducational groups and other therapeutic services to women & teenage girls who are struggling with Women's Issues and want to connect with Mother Nature.”

Tanya, US Army: “I would like to live and work on a farm. I would like to learn about planting sustainable foods and plants.”

Faye, USAF: “I am building a home in Suffolk, VA on (7 acres) with plans of growing many of my own vegetables and herbs. I would also like to help other urban farmers who are currently growing on a small scale and having issues. My husband and I have thought about a little truck stand to bring locally grown products to Hampton Roads areas that have minimal access to fresh products.”

Arleya, US Navy civilian: “The community I grew up in had very little access to fresh foods. Unfortunately, years and years later, it's still that way today. And frankly, it's a health crisis. I'd like to be a solution to that. I want to produce and provide fresh foods for that community, and also teach members of the community about nutrition and how to grow their own small gardens. I've been looking at land that comes available, but I need more knowledge and a better plan to execute the idea. I want to do something on a large scale. While my experience is in the typical vegetables and herbs, I'm also interested in growing hops and participating in the growing craft brewing industry.”


<br /><div align="center" class=

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 11:10


2016 Year-End Givingto the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture
The children, veterans, and vulnerable seniors that Arcadia serves are going to need your support more than ever in the coming year.
Your tax-deductible year-end donation to Arcadia will make 2017 just as productive and effective as 2016 has been – from veteran training, field trips, and Mobile Markets, to farm camp, healthy soils and food – you are the reason Arcadia exists, and you give us the reason (and the means) to get it all done. (And if you are really feeling generous – like $5,000+ generous – let’s talk offline. One of our members is hosting a cocktail party for 20 donors with a special guest on Dec. 1. Email pam@arcadiafood.org if you are intrigued!)
Feel the impact of your donation! Please indicate which program you would like your donation to support and see examples of what make happen below. Or ask us to apply it where the funding is needed the most.

Sustainable Agriculture: Funding Goal: $25,000Support our sustainable vegetable farm! The food we grow is used in our field trip programs to make veggie lovers out of the pickiest eaters, and sold by our Mobile Market at discounted prices to families who otherwise lack access to affordable, fresh, local food.  Here’s what your gift invests in: $25 –  gardening gloves and hand tools for volunteers $75 –  a high-quality hoe for hand cultivation, the best for building healthy soil $100 – 20 crates for harvesting $1000 supports our greenhouse rain catchment system$5000 – buys 1000 feet of deer fencing to protect our crops! $10000 – Helps us dig a well on George Washington’s old Dogue Run farm. And saves Farmer Katherine from having to walk through the scary woods and all that poison ivy to irrigate via our pump! 
DONATE HERE 
 Veteran Farmer Program: Funding Goal $100,000$100 buys lunch for 20 veterans working up an appetite learning farm skills$165 buys a complete set of textbooks for a veteran farmer on scholarship$250 buys a training hive of honeybees$1000 buys trellising for 200 feet of hops plants for the new training hop yard$1995 pays the tuition for one Veteran Reserve Member’s year-long training program $22,000 pays the salary of a Veteran Farm Fellow’s year-long apprenticeship on Arcadia Farm! 




DONATE HERE 



Farm Education:  Funding Goal $32,000
Field Trips Funding Goal: $20,000$25 covers printing costs for one week of field trips$50 covers the healthy salad bar$100 buys sun hats for our little farmers $400 funds a field trip for a low-income school $800 rents a bus for a field trip to Arcadia Farm










DONATE HERE
Farm Camp Funding Goal: $12,000Arcadia’s acclaimed Farm Camp reserves one-quarter of its slots for children from low-income families who otherwise couldn’t afford to come to camp.  You can help make camp a reality for these kids! $25 funds a camp shirt for a scholarship camper $100 donation to the scholarship fund$300 fully funds a farm camp scholarship $1000 funds three farm camp scholarships with t shirts and reusable water bottles for the kiddos!








DONATE HERE
FOOD ACCESSArcadia Mobile Markets: Funding goal $60,000$10 matches the purchase of wholesome food by SNAP, WIC and Senior FMNP customers dollar for dollar up to $10 $100 matches the purchase of wholesome food by SNAP, WIC and Senior FMNP customers dollar for dollar up to $100$1000 pays for 5000 outreach fliers and coupons$6,000 matches all WIC mothers’ purchases of healthy fruits and veggies for their children from the Arcadia Mobile Market next season $7,000 matches the purchases of fruits and veggies by low-income senior citizens.

$40,000 supports our distribution network and reefer truck so we can move food from local farms to the city.
DONATE HERE
 thank you for your support! 


Arcadia Veteran Farmer Reserve Program 2017: We are accepting applications for our new class!

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 13:42

Are you a veteran looking for your next act? Not so sure cubicle life is for you? Want a new way of life that is meaningful, challenging, and rewarding? Ever thought about farming? 
The nation needs you. We are facing a slow-moving crisis in agriculture. The USDA estimates that over the next 20 years we are going to need 700,000 new farmers to replace those aging out of the profession. 
Farming is one of the hardest, most important jobs in the civilian economy. 
It requires mental and physical toughness. Grit. Discipline. Mental agility. The ability to plan, adapt, and overcome obstacles.
It's not just a career -- it's a calling. 
Sound familiar? 
No experience, no land, and not much time? No problem. 
Apply to join Arcadia's 2017 Veteran Farmer Reserve! 
https://goo.gl/forms/3xl8ymeTqZ6ZCXm53
We meet one weekend a month at Arcadia Farm, 14 miles south of Washington, D.C., just outside the gates of Fort Belvoir, for intensive cultivation and business training to prepare you for a new career in agriculture. You'll get expert instruction from working farmers, piles of interesting, vetted farming books, hands-on training on our sustainable vegetable farm just outside of Washington, D.C. Heck, we'll even teach you to drive a tractor (and give you plenty of opportunities to run it)!  

You will work alongside other veteran farm trainees who speak your language and share your experiences, drive, and discipline, on land that George Washington himself cultivated. And you'll visit, work on, and tour successful farms in the region to learn from people who are actually making a living in agriculture. Big farms, small, veggie and livestock; hydroponic greenhouses and tiny urban farms -- we do it all. Plus accounting, legal, and marketing training to make sure that you not only know how to grow food but how to have a successful business operation as well.
You will get real-life experience in farming, and you will be able to know whether this field is right for you -- before you buy land. 

planting potatoes at Hilltop Farm at Arcadia
Woodlawn Mansion, a National Trust for Historic Preservation site, is home to our farm and training classroom.
Zeek and Erica, both Army vets, learn how to transplant seedlings.
Most weekends include a one-day field trip visiting 2 or more successful local farms. Here we are at Mountview and Moutoux, helping to seed the 2016 crop, and learning how a whole-diet CSA works. 
We visited Cibola Farms for a great discussion about raising bison (and how military surplus CHUs can really help a farm out). We later visited Bright Farms, a massive hydroponic greenhouse run by an Afghan war vet.

Mission Continues is one of our partners, and gifted us with a greenhouse kit and 60 volunteers to get it built in one day (more or less).

A winter visit to a year-round farm in Fairfax, Whitehall -- also run by a veteran. 
Our trainees get hands on experience on our farm. Here, Marine vet Tor, preps drip tape for irrigation. 
Veteran Farm Fellow Laron and Reservist Ally (also a Mission Continues Fellow) enjoy a dinner thrown in their honor at Arcadia farm. 
Our tractor! And Virginia's Secretary of Veteran Affairs John Harvey -- a great friend to the program who helped us raise funds for it! 

 You will work alongside other veteran farm trainees who speak your language and share your experiences, drive, and discipline, on land that George Washington himself cultivated. And you'll visit, work on, and tour successful farms in the region to learn from people who are actually making a living in agriculture. Big farms, small, veggie and livestock; hydroponic greenhouses and tiny urban farms -- we do it all. Plus accounting, legal, and marketing training to make sure that you not only know how to grow food but how to have a successful business operation as well.
You will get real-life experience in farming, and you will be able to know whether this field is right for you -- before you buy land. 
Fill out an application, and find out if farming is for you! 
https://goo.gl/forms/3xl8ymeTqZ6ZCXm53
Anticipated 2017 Dates (please be available for both days, every weekend):
Jan. 28/29
Feb. 25/26
March 25/26
April 29/30
May 20/21
June 24/25
July 29/30
Aug 26/27
Sept 23/24
Oct 28/29
Nov 18/19
December 16/17
With gratitude to our sponsors who make the 2017 Veteran Farmer Program possible:
Boeing
Grace Communications Foundation
Prince Charitable Trusts
Neighborhood Restaurant Group
ClearedJobs.Net





Oct. 16 -- the Annual FALL FUNTACULAR!

Thu, 10/06/2016 - 18:21
It's a whole lot of FUN with a Little Bit of 'Tacular! And entrance is freeeeeeeeeeeee! 

Register here so we know how many homemade apple cider donuts to fry! 
https://www.eventbrite.com/myevent?eid=28054529854

October 16, 2016 1 - 5 pm at Arcadia Farm at Woodlawn Pope-Leighey
9000 Richmond Highway
Alexandria VA 22309

Join us for the last hurrah of the growing season, the family friendly fall fest FUNTACULAR! Apple bobbing, sack-racing, chicken-cheering, cake walking good times! Cider! Donuts! Bring a picnic, lounge about on the lawn of Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House and make yourself and your kids some fall memories! Admission is free; food, drink and pumpkins are extra!

Live music will be provided by Drive TFC (www.drivetfc.com), and other acts to be announced as we get closer to the date. Wear your dancing shoes, or just kick off your shoes and go barefoot.

This is the anti-bouncy house, pro-farm and good clean fun autumn festival you've been longing for, with rosy-cheeked kids, a real working farm, and no admission fee (or long, snaking line of cars to get in). 

Come on down to the farm! 











You won't believe the menu we have in store for you.

Wed, 10/05/2016 - 10:12
We have a handful of tickets available for the Arcadia Fall Harvest Dinner on Oct. 9. 
One of the truly wonderful parts of the dinner is watching these chefs -- all of whom are profoundly talented -- collaborate to prepare a five-course meal for our guests and supporters. So come on out to the farm on Sunday! (but buy a ticket here first!). You'll feast on an unbelievable spread, your wine glass will never be empty if we can help it, you'll be waited on hand and foot by cheerful plaid-clad volunteers, and best of all you'll be helping 13 military veterans become farmers!  
But first, to whet your appetite... some photos from last year. 























How can you possibly pass this up? 
all photos (donated!) by the talented Molly M. Peterson
Oct. 9, 2016 Arcadia Fall Harvest Dinner to benefit theVeteran Farmer Program
MENU
Cocktails by Duane Sylvestre & Jamie MacBain-Canapes by Vermilion 
Smoked Salmon with Caviar cream
Roasted butternut squash with crispy dal
Oysters courtesy of Rappahannock River Oysters -
Chef Jesse Miller of Bar PilarYuzu and Mescal-cured Salmon.Salmon Chips, Ginger-Lime emulsion, Black Rice, Fermented Chilis, Nori, Rice Crisps, Candied Ginger, Cilantro 
Chef Haidar Karoum, formerly of Proof, Estadio & Doi MoiKorean Sweet Potato Noodles with Maitake MushroomsAutumn Vegetables
Chef Hamilton Johnson of HoneysuckleHeritage Quail stuffed with Fall SquashBrussels Sprouts with Rabbit Bacon
Chef Harper McClure of BraboGrilled Spanish OctopusYuzu Kosho, Kohlrabi Slaw, Shiro Dashi Emulsion

Chef Keith Cabot of Evening Star CafeGrilled BrassicaCured Spanish Mackerel, Pine Nuts, Black GarlicSmoked GoatRed Kuri Squash, Pepitos, Yogurt, Mint
Chef Zachary Mills of Wit & Wisdom Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, Gochujang BBQ, Pickled CabbageBrown Butter Miso Grits
Chef John Critchley of Brine"Lamb & Clams"House-Made Merguez, Harissa, Clams, Country Bread
Chef William Morris of Vermilion Grilled Sobrebarriga with chimichurriConfit Fingerlings, Roasted Peppers, and Onions
Chef Rebecca Clerget of Dog Tag Bakery Assorted Pies and Sweet Treats




Pages

From the Arcadia Blog

  • It's a Wrap!

    It's a wrap on Farm Camp 2017! As we wind down our final week of camp we are so grateful for everyone who makes this experience possible. Thank you to all the parents, guest educators, counselors, staff, fruits, vegetables and...

  • Small Chefs 2 Begins!

    We are beginning our last week of Farm Camp with a great group of campers, lots of fresh vegetables, and fantastic guest educators. We would like to extend a huge thank you to Alison from Big Bear Café in D.C....

Visit the Blog »

Stay Connected