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Local Food. For the People, By the People.
Updated: 2 hours 57 min ago

Introducing our Farm Camp Counselors!

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 13:50
Hello, campers and families, we would like you to meet the Farm Camp Counselors and Interns who are making Arcadia Farm Camp 2015 possible. They’re quite a talented and enthusiastic group!


Starting with our passionate Farm Education Director, Morgan Maloney. She leads the farm education programs throughout the year and puts on her “Camp Director” farmer cap for the summer!  Morgan is looking forward to seeing the many returning budding farmers and garden-based chefs faces this summer, as well as those young farm-lovers who are new to the wonders of Farm Camp.
For the past week, our electric team of Counselors (Farmers Leah, Luis, Maggie, Paul, and Stefanie) has spent their days preparing to create a positive and interactive Farm Camp experience for our campers. Our Interns, Ina and Maggie, are delighted to support the work of the Counselors to help make this environment of farming food and fun even more spectacular. 

We’re excited for Farm Campers to explore, play, and discover the farm with our dynamic staff!


Leah Hindel is thrilled to be joining the Arcadia Team as a Farm Camp Counselor this summer! Her passion for the environment formed when she was a camper and her previous experience as a camp counselor has prepared her to teach Farm Campers about food, nature, and sustainability. Originally from Charlotte, NC, Leah just graduated from Kenyon College with a bachelor’s in International Studies and Environmental Studies. Leah devoted her undergraduate studies to learning about issues of food and sustainability on a global level while her free time was spent volunteering on local farms and advocating for local food systems as the leader of a sustainable agriculture-focused student organization. If she were a vegetable, she would be a sweet potato! Leah thinks environmental education plays a huge role in strengthening local food systems and cannot wait to farm, cook, and play with Farm Campers!
Luis Francia grew up in the South Island of New Zealand where he was surrounded by sustainability. This fostered his love of the environment, which has stuck with him to this day. He spent a short time living in Peru and Costa Rica where he was able to learn to confidently speak Spanish through emersion. He is excited to see smiling faces that are eager to learn and have fun at the farm. If he could be any fruit, he would be a kiwifruit, for obvious reasons.

Maggie Bowman-Jones is a recent graduate of University of Virginia. Her minor in Environmental Science, as well as her goal to become the world’s best babysitter, led her to Arcadia Farm, where she plans to help kids understand vegetables and farming! She hopes to come away from the summer having guided campers’ interest in farming, cooking, sustainability, and friendship. If she were a vegetable, she would most certainly be a beet. Not only do they boast epic nutritional value, but their fabulous pigmentation is enough to turn anyone’s head!

Paul Burgess developed an interest in food and food culture while attending VCU for anthropology.   Having witnessed different approaches to food access and cultivation at home, and while doing limited field work abroad, he decided to expand his interests by becoming chef.   Paul would like to learn how to better understand and explain sustainable food and its great potential and also how to effectively cultivate it.   His spirit veggie is an eggplant who wishes he was a tomato.Stefanie Rhodes is a Mississippi Native with a master’s degree in public health from Drexel University. As a graduate student at the Drexel University School of Public Health, she helped develop and implement a food access program in North Philadelphia and conducted qualitative research on community violence and mental health systems.  Stefanie has a passion for health education and is looking forward to utilizing her public health background to educate the Arcadia campers about healthy eating and food exploration. If Stefanie were a vegetable, she would be asparagus.
Ina Enatsu is very excited to contribute to the Farm Camp as an Evaluation Intern! She is passionate about evaluations, and believes that evaluations will help to make the Farm Camp better each year. Originally from Japan, she just graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, with a focus in Nutrition, Global Health and the Environment. Ina has extensive knowledge on Evaluation and Sustainable Agriculture, and has volunteered at Soup kitchens and other nutritional programs. Ina thinks the camp will be a great way for campers to learn from counselors, other campers and the nature! Welcome all!

Maggie Johnston is an Arcadia Farm Camp Intern. On the farm, she will be helping out the counselors as well as the campers. Behind the scenes she will be posting updates on camp activities on social media sites. She is an environmental science student in her senior year at the University of Mary Washington, and is passionate about sustainable agriculture and working with children! In her spare time she enjoys reading, swing dancing, and Irish music.


Beer and Chocolate

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 11:05
I love my job. I LOVE my job. Yes, it's fabulous bringing fresh, healthy vegetables to the community, teaching folks how to cook a delicious, simple meal, and participating on panels around town. But, the BEST jobs mix business with pleasure, and recently I got to do both in the name of Arcadia.

Now, I love beer. And I love chocolate. But, mix beer AND chocolate?! It never crossed my mind before! However, on January 21st, folks in the know showed me that combining artisan beer and fine chocolate is an overlooked taste treat! As part of Arcadia's series of Master Courses, chocolatier Jane Morris of  J Chocolatier and beer expert Greg Engert of Bluejacket teamed up to provide a guided tasting of 6 chocolates and 6 beers.

Greg introduced each beer, listing its ingredients and the particular way that it had been brewed. We all sniffed our taste glasses appreciatively. Mexican Radio, a sweet stout, was flavored with ancho chili and cinnamon. Aged Burning Bush, brewed with a whole bush of lemon bergamot was delicious with "cedar, herbaceous notes, and less residual sugar." My favorite – Aged Parish Fair, made with fresh tangerines and aged in Sauternes barrels – brought a high note to an otherwise freezing, winter night.

Jane's Guide to Chocolate Tasting showed me that there is another way to eat chocolate besides mindlessly devouring it during a Game of Thrones marathon. Good chocolate – obviously not the stuff I've been eating – should be savored. She instructed us to breathe in the chocolate's aroma, break the piece in two, listen to its "snap", chew it slowly, let the chocolate melt in our mouth, and then taste it again. Wow. Yes, Jane, I see what you mean. Taking my time did make a difference in my enjoyment of each sample. But then again, Jane's chocolates are DIVINE so you want to make each piece last. Valrhona Dulcey White Chocolate was slightly caramel colored due to the cooked milk (ooh, creamy). Dark chocolate was perfect with the little sliver of candied orange peel that it graced. And I have a date with myself to run down to J Chocolatier and purchase a dozen Lavender and Vanilla Bean Truffles. Hmmm, maybe I'll have to stop in at Blue Jacket for a Parish Fair on my way home.

Making groceries by JuJu Harris

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 09:59

Every region has its vernacular. In Jackson, MS, “making groceries” means going grocery shopping.  “Ice potatoes” are white potatoes, “light” bread is white bread. As in the DC area, Jackson residents with lower income have a hard time accessing affordable nutritious food. In these communities, sweet rolls, jugs of corn syrup sweetened “drink” and chips greet customers as they enter the store.  Vegetables, while decently priced, are often over- or under-ripe.  Conversely, the same chain store in the more affluent part of town is more brightly lit, and a fresher, more varied selection of vegetable and fruits are placed prominently at the store’s entrance.  Those with access to transportation shop at Walmart, the nation’s largest acceptor of SNAP benefits.  State and public school employees are paid once a month, so title loans are a common way for people to make ends meet.
About $120 million worth of produce is grown in Mississippi, half of that in sweet potatoes. Yet $8.5 billion is spent on imported food, much of it low quality, processed food. However, 1.3 million acres of fertile farmland lie fallow, while the demand for fresh food far outstrips the supply. Mississippi ranks number one in the nation in hunger and obesity. 1 in 3 Mississippi women will die of heart disease.  While unemployment is approximately 6 percent, the medical field is one of the largest employers in the area, focused mainly on addressing diet-related disease.  
Fortunately, a collaborative of agencies and individuals has formed to address these issues.  LIFT (Locally Invested Food Trade) is committed to providing Jackson residents a true opportunity to earn a living while living a healthy life.  Farmers, landowners, social service agents, restauranteurs, culinary and health educators share ideas that will encompass youth involvement, soil conservation and mentorship.  In the works are a food hub which will coordinate supply to make it economically viable for farmers.  A “food innovation center” will house a grocery store front and food incubator kitchen, and act as a workforce training center in culinary education and hospitality. An onsite clinic, staffed by students in a Culinary Medicine program, will provide nutritional counseling to store customers and real life experience to the students. 
“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture of their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits. “  This quote, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speak, is the final slide of my Kale Salad Show Tour Power Point.  Those of us who work towards providing our neighbors with improved food access and affordability, gainful employment, and a sustainable, viable economy and environment embody this. That way, folks can be guaranteed that they’ll find fresh, beautiful food when they stop off on their way home from work to “make groceries.”  

How to Buy A Cow -- by JuJu Harris

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 09:19
"If she's big and pretty, ain't nothing sucking on her.  She ain't working.  Folks who don't know cattle come to auction, and they want the biggest, fattest cow they see.  But if she doesn't have a big bag, she hasn't had a baby recently."  So said Will Welles, manager of a 100-acre farm near Jackson, MS.  Raised on a farm where his Daddy still has 80 head of Angus, Will cares for hogs, goats, sheep and cattle.  He also passes his knowledge on to his own sons, ages 6 and 8.  "Every year I give them a pig to raise.  Then they can sell it or slaughter it.  You've got to start them working young to teach them responsibility."  As a 9-year old, Will was injured while roping a bull.  "My gramma told me to leave it be, but I thought I could handle it by myself."  The bull charged the horse, which staggered and fell, entangling Will's arm in the rope.  He extends a strong, brown arm to show me the scar on his wrist.  "I broke all these bones in my hand."
Will also drives to a Louisiana slaughterhouse every other week with a load of animals, a 7-hour trip.  He tunes up the rig every three trips.  "A man needs to be a Renaissance man.  He needs to know carpentry, be a mechanic, dose the animals, and manage everything."  The passion that he feels for his work is evident, as he tenderly lifts a sickly lamb or explains the savings he's made by buying feed directly from corn growers."I've been a firefighter and a paramedic.  I've been to college.  But I always come back to farming."

Praising and Braising by JuJu Harris

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 10:39
I am staying with my friend Monique while I am down here in Jackson.  Sunday morning in this household means worship at the local Catholic church.  Now, as a heathen, I usually ask my Christian friends to send me a list of what they are giving up for Lent, and I will be sure and indulge in that particular form of debauchery during the 40 days of sacrifice.  But, I am down here on my Southern Kale Salad Show Tour, and I am trying to immerse myself in the culture as much as possible. So, there I was today, sitting in the third row listening to the homily, and I started feeling Spirit stirring within me.  I'm not going to call it God, but it was something. In my heathen mind, I interpreted today's message from the perspective of my commitment to social justice and service.  From Corinthians:  "An obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it."  Pastor, wearing jeans and sandals beneath his celebratory garb, said "everyone has a vocation called by God.  Proclaim your faith and bring the good news."  He invoked the common people and heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, "People were compelled to do what they did by inner forces;  They must do what the Creator tells them to do."  I thought, "Yes.  That's why I do what I do."  Years ago I had Cook Days at my home to teach my girlfriends new recipes.  I'd send out an email with the recipe and the ingredient list and my friends would bring their children over and we'd cook all day.  The kids would play outside, the mamas would cook and take home a dish for dinner.  That way, the husbands couldn't say "you spent all day with your girlfriends, and there's nothing to eat."  I introduced them to cilantro as flavoring, to breakfast for supper, to how to tweak meals using different spices. One day I said "I wish I knew something about politics or education.  Then, I could do something positive in the community."  They said "JuJu, you know food!  You know how to teach people to make a feast using simple ingredients."  So I started doing cooking demonstrations around DC, spreading what I call my "gospel of eating well." My philosophy, my "good news,"is that healthy eating needn't be expensive, difficult or time consuming. At one point, we had 9 people in our household.  I spent $400 a month to feed us well.  "Well" meant pots of soup, huge loaves of homemade bread, and dishes of braised cheap cuts of meat and vegetables.  I've had great success teaching in DC, and now I am down here, headed for Alabama and Georgia.  As I head to Mobile tomorrow, the words of the gospel of Mark go with me: "let us go to the nearby village that I may preach there also."  Stay tuned for more from the Southern Kale Salad Show Tour.

Gratitude by JuJu Harris

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 09:59
Flying in over Jackson, MS, I expected to see green fields stretching in all directions, waterways dissecting them.  Mississippi wouldn't have been on my list of places in the first place to visit if my friend from DC didn't live here.  The South was one of those "never go there" places. Sure, I wanted to hear real Delta blues, but the legacy of Jim Crow clouded its allure.  But there I was in the Jackson Municipal Airport in the Medgar Evers Pavilion, reading about his work in the civil rights movement.  Due to his work and that of others like him, I can sit where I want to in a public restaurant, vote, and attend the university of my choice.  Last night I watched the movie Selma, and parts of it were so violent that I had to look away.  Then, I shook myself and reminded myself, "I am where I am because people didn't look away. Even when they were literally beaten down, they still looked forward because they believed in what they were doing." The public knows the names of the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, but it's the regular folks who kept going, one step at a time, supporting those who marched and attended sit-ins.  I go forward, blessing their name and their actions, grateful.

Farm Camp 2015 is where it's at!

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 11:23
Arcadia Farm Camp is truly magical. It’s a place where kids can watch vegetables grow and creatures flutter. Where they can pull a carrot from the ground or a tomato from the vine, brush the dirt off, and take a bite! Where they can discover nature in its most pristine and true form. Where, with a little nurturing and encouragement, they can explore everything on the farm that interests them.  We are excited to share with you the details of our 2015 program for Arcadia Farm Camp. View full program details here to get dates, camp themes, and registration information. We have a robust FAQs page to address the common questions we receive over the registration period. We invite you to explore them in full!

Registration opens on February 2nd.

Farm Camp 2014 was our best summer yet with a completely full roster of 120 campers over 4 weeks and 26 scholarship campers, more than ever before. Our scholarship campers are from low-income families and receive full scholarships funded by donations from Arcadia supporters. Hear the stories of our 2013 scholarship families in this video. We aim for 30 scholarships this year -- a quarter of our campers!

Our Farm Camp staff, made up of four incredible Farm Camp Counselors and one Farm Education Intern, creates a fun and lively environment which allows Farm Campers to flourish. Ninety percent of Farm Camp parents said that after attending their children understand where food comes from and that food production is part of the natural cycles of the earth.

Here are a few snippets of what Farm Camp Parents from last summer had to say about their child’s experience: “She has a new appreciation for vegetables, which really exceeded our expectations.” – Young Farmers, Farm Camp Parent 2014

“They felt that the knowledge of farming that they gained was their favorite part of camp. From planting to picking to smelling mint and leaves that feel like fur, to finding out about honey being "bee barf" and seed balls.” - Farm Creatures, Farm Camp Parent 2014

“My son gained a deeper appreciation of seasonal foods and really enjoyed the food preparation.” – Seasonal Eaters, Farm Camp Parent 2014

We're making a few changes this year to make Farm Camp even more spectacular. We are again offering round-trip transportation from Old Town Alexandria to Arcadia Farm, and we’re extending the hours for this service. To better accommodate busy parents, drop off will be at 8:00 am and pick up at 4:30 pm. See full details on the website.

Early Bird Registration is discounted for those who sign up by February 23, 2015, and we also offer sibling and multi-week discounts. See our Fees and Discounts page for more details.

Every week of camp includes Farming, Food, and Fun, but each week also has a special theme with activities designed around that farm topic. Our theme weeks were so well loved last summer that we decided to keep them! However, we have made the themes more focused and specific to better suite the curiosities of our campers. They are described in depth on the website. Farm Camp 2014 weekly themes are:
  1. (July 6-10) Young Farmers: for the budding farmer and environmentalist.
  2. (July 13-17): Farm Creatures: for the animal and insect fanatic.
  3. (July 20-24): Seasonal Eaters: for the lover of seasonal cooking and eating,
  4. (July 27-31): Small Chefs: for the rising cook and with an eye for veggies. 

    All Farm Campers learn to tend to the vegetables, care for the chickens, harvest produce right from the farm for making snacks, and enjoy independent play guided by their interests around the farm.               
Come out and see us! Attend our free Farm Camp Open House on Saturday, April 25th  from 1-3pm. Your budding farmers will get to explore Arcadia Farm and all the learning spaces we utilize during Camp. Look for the registration link on our Facebook page soon.

In the meantime, head over to our Farm Camp page and our FAQ page to learn more!

“In addition to the lessons about sustainable food production, we were happily surprised by our campers' growing interest in eating healthy and being a part of making a well-balanced meal at home.” – Farm Camp Parent 2014

Chilly Days = Soup

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 10:49
I woke up this morning to the sweet sound of rain falling outside.  Hmmm, I thought, the perfect day for making soup!  Butternut, my favorite squash, is plentiful, sweet, and easy to cook.  Here's a lovely, filling soup, delicious with a grilled cheese sandwich and a green salad. Pureeing the soup means you don't have to be fussy with dicing the vegetables. Just get them roughly the same size. 


Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving1 medium yellow onion, diced large1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and diced into 1 - 2 inch squares*2 pears, peeled and diced to 1 inch squares1 pear, peeled, cut in half, core removedSalt and pepper, to tasteA pinch each of cayenne and cumin1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt

In a medium pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until translucent, 6 minutes. Add squash, diced pear, halved pear, and 4 cups water; season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until squash is soft, 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove the whole pear from the pot and dice it.In batches, fill a blender halfway with soup and yogurt. Puree in batches.  Caution: don’t use the blender top while pureeing hot liquids.  Instead, drape a clean cloth over the top while pureeing the vegetables with the yogurt. Season with salt and pepper, cayenne and cumin.  Serve topped with the reserved diced pear.

*If you have a microwave, use it to make peeling the butternut squash easier. Microwave the whole squash for one minute at a time. Between 1 and 3 minutes, you'll find the peel beginning to cook and much easier to separate from the flesh. Be careful -- it will be hot. Let it cool a little first. -- JuJu Harris

Lazy Day Dinner

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 09:47

I got up this morning, knowing that it was gonna be another humid scorcher.  I gave myself thumbs up to making an easy dinner so I'd be out of the kitchen and free to goof off around the house as much as possible.  Out came the can opener, knife, cutting board and a few ingredients, and in 10 minutes I was checking my Facebook while eating a bowl of granola, yogurt and peaches.  Dinner was in the fridge, ready for the hungry hoard to descend upon it later, and I was ready for a day of puttering.  This recipe is a great picnic or potluck dish, and gets even better as it sits.  Be sure to use fresh basil.  Serve with mozarella cheese slices and ciabatta. -- JuJu Harris 

Black Bean, Corn and Red Onion Salad

4 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained2 cups cooked corn, rinsed and drained (fresh or canned)1 red onion, finely chopped3 large tomatoes, diced or 2 cups whole cherry tomatoes1 cup basil leaves, rinsed and coarsely choppedsalt and pepper, to taste¼ fresh or pickled jalapeno, finely minced½ cup olive or canola oil¼ - ½ cup balsamic or rice vinegar
Gently stir all ingredients in a serving bowl.  Chill or serve at room temperature.  Serves 8-12.


Join the Arcadia Farm Team… many hands making light work!

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 09:11

By Katie Wolffe, Farm Team Member and author of www.theharvestparty.com

One of the best things about Arcadia Farm is that there is always something to do. Tomatoes need to be tied up and things need to be planted, picked or pruned. There is always weeding. At Arcadia there is only one part-time farmer to tackle all these tasks. 

Enter the Farm Team, at 22 members and counting! 

BEFORE 

This group of dedicated volunteers has elected to spend (most of) their Sunday evenings doing farm tasks*. I joined a little over a month ago. We meet for about three hours and then gather for an impromptu potluck of garden snacks. We receive instruction from Arcadia's farmer, Peggy, but there isn't professional farmer in the team. There is, however, a fair amount gardening knowledge to be shared. This last week included a mechanic, a restaurant manager, a nurse, a climate policy worker, an emergency preparedness worker, and a former tutor to the children of the Jordanian royal family. While it's not the typical DC style networking, the conversation sure is good. (Truth be told, at least 2 new jobs have been procured by Farm Team members directly from their networking at the farm… in less than a month!) 
* Farm Team members also volunteer Mondays and Wednesdays in the morning and work alongside farmer Peggy -- great if you are interested in learning more about growing food, as you've got the source at your finger tips -- and some drop in when they can on their own to weed, water, or do whatever needs doing. *



AFTER! 
Most of our farm team volunteers started out at a Saturday volunteer day and then expressed interest in doing something more. That's how I started. While I am not quite ambitious enough to want to have a farm that MAKES money for me, one day I would love to have a larger piece of land that I can coax a years worth of food out of for a small family. My time at Arcadia allows me to learn farming skills and tricks that come from real honest to goodness farmers. 
The Sunday night farm team is always looking for a few more hands. Contact FarmTeam@arcadiafood.org if you want to join the fun. 


Trellising tomatoes, potluck snacks… and hanging out in the gazebo till night falls on the farm. 




Meet our Farm Camp 2014 Counselors

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 23:00
We’d like to you meet the amazing counselors who are making Arcadia’s 2014 Farm Camp possible. They’re quite a talented and enthusiastic group!
For the past two weeks, Brittany, Jeyna, Liz and Rosario have spent 9-10 hours a day preparing and creating a positive and interactive food camp experience for Arcadia’s campers.  We're so grateful for all of their hard work!
Read on to virtually meet each of them!

Brittany Owen  

What experiences have prepared you for this position?I have worked with children from a variety of backgrounds and developmental needs as an attendant, tutor, volunteer, and sister. My family also has quite the suburban farming project, with chickens, goats, rabbits, and garden crops.  As a child, my favorite things were animals, being outside, and learning – and they still are! I’m excited to share that enthusiasm with young learners.
What are you hoping to learn as a Farm Education Intern at Arcadia?I want to explore first-hand the different kind of learning styles among children, especially in a space that allows them to engage with the environment on their own level. I am interested in how a successful nonprofit works on the ground level.  I also wouldn’t mind picking up a few tricks about sustainability to bring back to my family’s plot!
If you were a vegetable, what would you be?Mustard – it has a surprising amount of zing to it!



Jeyna Diallo
What experiences have prepared you for this position?
I was a counselor at Woodlawn Stables Summer Camp for a season, which prepared me for educating kids in an outdoor camp setting. Also, I'm an Environmental Studies major so I've learned a lot about sustainable agriculture practices and how important they are for both humans and the planet. Growing vegetables in my own garden and working to get my brother and sister excited about healthy eating has also prepared me for this job.
What are you hoping to learn as a Farm Camp Counselor at Arcadia?Throughout the four weeks of camp, I'm hoping to learn more about putting sustainable agriculture methods into practice and the best strategies to get kids excited about sustainable farming, cooking, and eating.
If you were a vegetable, what would you be?I would be a cucumber because then I could wrap my tendrils around a trellis and climb super high! 
Liz FabisWhat experiences have prepared you for this position?I first became interested in sustainable farming while earning my bachelor's degree in environmental studies. Visiting idyllic farmsteads during field trips spurred me to take a summer job at an organic farm in Ohio, where I quickly learned the dirty, grueling reality of working the land. More recently, I've been volunteering as an field trip facilitator at Common Good City Farm, a Washington, DC-based farm with a very similar mission to Arcadia.
What are you hoping to learn as a Farm Education Intern at Arcadia?I'm excited to share my passion for gardening, farming, and healthy foods with children. In return, observing how children interact and learn from nature is fascinating to me as an educator. I am currently pursuing a Master's in Landscape Design from George Washington University, so I'm hoping that this position will yield insights into how to create landscapes that not only beautiful and functional, but also serve as learning tools to foster environmental knowledge and appreciation.
If you were a vegetable, what would you be?I'd have to say a tomato. Like tomatoes, I absolutely can't tolerate the cold, and as with many recipes involving tomatoes, I am often quite cheesy.

Rosario DeFlores
What experiences have prepared me for this position? Some of the experiences I would like to share are that, I have been working in Early Childhood for more than 16 years.  And believe that, children should have different opportunities to explore nature in a safe, nurturing environment.  Also, doing activities with hands on experiences not only help them to develop their fine motor skills but also their cognitive skills.  By allowing children explore, asking them open ended questions it gives them opportunities to learn new information.  Also, being a mother is another real nurturing experience to add.

What I am hoping to learn as a Farm Education Intern at Arcadia?I am hoping to learn the different opportunities Arcadia has to offer for families with children who are eager to learn.  And also the new varieties of activities that are planned for the children during this camp experience.  I am looking forward to follow the lead of my Camp Director with the support of other educators as well as Camp Counselors and to learn from their experiences.

If I was a vegetable, I would be …!!Lettuce!! Because there are different kinds of lettuce, some are colorful, soft to eat and it is added in the majority of main meals. Lettuce is also easy to grow and does not require at lot of space to produce.

Fashionable Foodie! Meet Mobile Market Staff Member Shanelle Williams!

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 11:33


We met Shanelle through the DC Summer Youth Employment Program and were immediately impressed. This fashion design student has it all: business savvy, customer service, a big heart and yeah… she's read "The Omnivore's Dilemma," too! 
What are you most excited about for DC Summer Youth Employment Program placement at Arcadia?I am most excited to be working with Arcadia this summer for the hands on experience of working in marketing and retail. I want to start my own clothing company, and I feel that all forms of retail will be a great learning opportunity.  Also I am looking forward to working with the public, networking, and meeting new people.

What experiences have prepared you for this position?
I have volunteered with my church and Widow’s Pantry to help feed the homeless at Franklin Square downtown. I also volunteer with my neighborhood Community Garden and I helped to plant trees with Casey Trees.  These experiences have all given me a chance to work with the public and help others.

If you were a vegetable, what would you be?
If I were a vegetable, I would be corn. Corn is one of our oldest vegetables and it has so many uses. As said in The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, “corn is in everything”. Also corn is bright and not boring. It can change into many forms, and it can be where you least expect it.

Which season has the best produce, and why?

Summer has the best produce because there are so many delicious fruits that appear during this season. I feel that in the summer fruits are at their peak of perfection with taste, color and texture. Also as an added bonus my birthday is in the summer.

(Re)Meet Jeremy, Arcadia's newest addition to the Mobile Market team

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 14:51
We're excited to welcome back Jeremy, who was an Arcadia Farm intern last season.  Starting in July, he'll be behind the wheel of our second Mobile Market vehicle.  



What are you most excited about for this position (and returning to Arcadia)?

I'm looking forward to closing the loop on the farm-to-table process; I spent much of last summer interning for Arcadia Farm at Woodlawn, but didn't really get to see where the food went. I'm excited to finally see the connection between the hard work of growing food and how the Mobile Market works to increase food security in low income neighborhoods. I'm also excited about all of the learning opportunities that meeting and working with such a diverse group of customers and staff with afford.

What experiences have prepared you for this position?
 
After spending a few seasons working on small farms in Virginia and North Carolina, I started interning with Stephen at Arcadia Farm and learning about sustainable farming practices. More recently, I have been working for a DC-based online grocery store that works in a similar way to Arcadia, by way of connecting local farmers and consumers through alternate forms of food distribution.

If you were a vegetable, what would you be?

Asparagus; it takes several seasons to mature, but only last a few weeks each season. When I think of a food best enjoyed seasonally and locally, I think of asparagus.

Which season has the best produce, and why?

Summer, but more specifically, stone fruit season. There is nothing better than sweet peach juice running down your chin.

Meet Anna, our Mobile Market Fellow from Tufts University!

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 11:50
We are pleased to be hosting our fifth fellow from Tufts University this summer.  Anna will be joining the team for the next ten weeks, helping to operate our soon-to-be 18 weekly Mobile Market stops and conducting program evaluation. 


What are you most excited about for this Fellowship?

I am most excited about sharing my passion for healthy food with the communities the Mobile Market serves.  I can’t wait to learn more about the neighborhoods, and to see how the Mobile Market can most effectively serve them.

What experiences have prepared you for this position?

I grew up in town in Maine densely populated with farms and agriculture. Farming is in my blood! As a community health major at Tufts University, I feel I have a solid academic understanding of disparities in health outcomes due to unequal access to food. I am excited to put my classroom-based knowledge into action! Additionally, I work to alleviate some of the barriers to food access in Boston’s neighborhoods, including helping to improve transportation, and increasing knowledge about healthy cooking. I hope to bring these experiences with me to Arcadia.

If you were a vegetable, what would you be?

I would be rainbow chard, because I’m resilient, hearty, and colorful!

Which season has the best produce, and why?

Spring! Fiddleheads and snap peas and rhubarb! All fleeting, so you have to act fast.

Meet Farmer Lauren!

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 14:42

Say howdy to Lauren Young,  Arcadia's new  farm manager! While Farm Director Stephen Corrigan works on Arcadia's second production farm (more on that in a future post) Lauren has tackled our headquarters farm at Woodlawn. She comes to Arcadia from the USDA's organic research program and will be doing some cool stuff in our fields. An animal lover (see above), we anticipate her reign to usher in a new era of peace and cooperation with our resident groundhogs and squirrels.

What most excites you about joining Arcadia?

Several things excite me about joining Arcadia, but I will limit it to three.  
First, I am very excited to be working with and learning from (in no particular order): Stephen, Morgan, Ben, Pam, Matt, JuJu, Janet, and all of the very enthusiastic and hard-working volunteers.  

Second, I am excited about drawing on my past experiences to help further Arcadia's mission.

Third, I think Arcadia's commitment and approach to food and cooking education is very exciting and unique.  Not only does Arcadia grow, source, and transport food to people that need it, they are also committed to ensuring that the food will be enjoyed through cooking education for adults and farm camp for children.          
What have you done in the past that's prepared you for this work?
I have been involved with sustainable agriculture research in one way or another for about ten years.  I have degrees in Environmental Science and Ecology.
My high school had an Agriculture and Horticulture program and we even had a "Bring Your Tractor to School Day."  Understanding where food comes from and the hard work that goes into it was very intuitive for my community and me.  It was not until college, when I took classes in Environmental Science and Biology, that I realized how disconnected people can be from their food system.  I found it amazing that folks could be concerned about their environment and what lives there yet know so little about the land use that comprises about half of the land area of the US, agriculture.
If you were a vegetable, what would you be? Coffee is actually a fruit, but I think I would be coffee because I am usually well caffeinated.  
Which season has the best produce, and why?I like all of the seasons.  I cannot pick one.  I love spring asparagus; tomatoes and cantaloupe in the summer; apples and squash in the fall; and red cabbage and citrus in the winter. I like the challenge of having a lot of something around and then figuring out the ways I am going to use it. By the time I have had enough of it, something else has come along.  

Meet Janet: Park Ranger turned Mobile Market Operator

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 09:35
We're excited to be expanding our Mobile Market team this year to include Janet Hofman.  She'll be helping to increase our capacity to ten weekly market stops per week. She's a great addition to the team, with a wide range of experiences. 
What most excites you about joining Arcadia?I am most excited about meeting new people and teaching them about the variety of food that is grown locally, right in our own region.

What have you done in the past that's prepared you for this work?When I was a Park Ranger, my main job was to develop and present a variety of programs to our visitors, educating them about our resources and, more importantly, hoping to inspire them to appreciate and care for our environment.
I think my passion for food and the farm-to-table process began when I became a vegetarian and, for the first time, was really aware of what my food was and where it came from. That passion has grown over the years while working in various restaurants, a retail food market, taking culinary classes, and traveling. I'm pretty sure my cooking has improved during these journeys as well!
If you were a vegetable, what would you be? I would like to be a watermelon radish because it is vibrant and spicy.
Which season has the best produce, and why?Although I enjoy being creative with root veggies in the winter, I am always longing for more fruit and delicious tomatoes!  So, I'll have to say summer.  As a kid, I always looked forward to going up north in Michigan to pick wild blueberries. 

Spring2Action Facebook and Twitter Contests

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 22:18
Arcadia is announcing a two new contests to support our Spring2Action Campaign to Launch a 2nd Mobile Market. Both contests will end at 11:59 PM on April 9th, 2014.

Facebook Contest
Prize: Two tickets to Arcadia's Spring Farm Dinner on June 8th, 2014 at Woodlawn Estate in Alexandria, VA. If you are unable to attend the Spring farm Dinner, you may transfer your tickets, or exchange them for 2 tickets to an available Arcadia Master Course.

How to Enter: Enter at Arcadia's Facebook Page by posting a comment to the original contest post. We appreciate, but do not require shares of the original post.

Rules:
- One entry per person
- You must be over 18 to enter the contest
- Comments must be made before 11:59 PM on 4/9/2014
- You may enter both the Facebook and the Twitter contests

Legal Stuff:- You do not need to donate to the campaign to enter the drawing, but we'd like it if you did. - This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, facebook.- By entering, you release Facebook of all liability for this contest.
Winner Announcement: Winners will be selected by random drawing and announced on Facebook by 5 PM on April 10, 2014.
Twitter Contest
Prize: Two tickets to Arcadia's Spring Farm Dinner on June 8th, 2014 at Woodlawn Estate in Alexandria, VA. If you are unable to attend the Spring farm Dinner, you may transfer your tickets, or exchange them for 2 tickets to an available Arcadia Master Course.

How to Enter: Enter by retweeting the original contest tweet from @ArcadiaFood. Only retweets of Arcadia's original contest tweet will count toward entry. Include @ArcadiaFood in your retweet so we can track your entry.  

Rules:
- One entry per person
- You must be over 18 to enter the contest
- Retweet must occur before 11:59 PM on 4/9/2014
- You may enter both the Facebook and the Twitter contests

Legal Stuff:- You do not need to donate to the campaign to enter the drawing, but we'd like it if you did. - This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter.- By entering, you release Twitter of all liability for this contest.
Winner Announcement: Winners will be selected by random drawing and announced on Twitter by 5 PM on April 10, 2014.
Please contact Info@ArcadiaFood.org with any questions.

Help Arcadia Launch a Second Mobile Market!

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 10:43
Arcadia is participating in Spring2Action's Day of Giving on April 9, 2014, and we're trying to raise $30,000 to grow our Mobile Market program, and purchase, and outfit, a second Mobile Market vehicle. The new vehicle will support ongoing Market activities through transportation and distribution, and will help us to increase our number of Market stops. You can schedule your donation to support out campaign today HERE.       
  

Over the past two season's, Arcadia's Mobile Market has increased access to fresh, sustainable, healthy, local foods in the DC area's underserved neighborhoods. We've sold over $110,000 of food in those communities, with over $40,000 in sales to households receiving SNAP, WIC, Seniors FMNP, and other nutrition benefits. We are able to keep our food affordable by working directly with farmers and producers, and by accepting, and doubling nutrition benefits through our Bonus Bucks program. In 2014, we're expanding our number of weekly Market stops to 10. We would love to continue to grow this program to meet the need and demand, but we need a second vehicle, and we need your help to make that happen. All contributions made to our Spring2Action campaign are tax deductible, and will support the Mobile Market program. Schedule your donation today, or make sure to give on April 9th. And don't forget to ask your friends to do the same.      


Looking for another way to support the Mobile Market? Order a copy of the Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook, and receive an incredible cookbook with delicious seasonal recipes, while supporting the Mobile Market program and helping us provide free cookbooks to our low-income customers.
We'd like to thank Bon Appetit Management Company for their support of the Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook, and Inova and Wholesome Wave for their ongoing support of the Bonus Bucks program.

The "Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook" by JuJu Harris is Now Available!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 14:41
Arcadia is proud to announce that the Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook by JuJu Harris is now available for sale online, and will be available on the Mobile Market during the upcoming market season.

The Cookbook costs $20 (with a $5.60 priority shipping fee when ordered online).

Order your copy now by clicking HERE.

2014 Outstanding in the Field Dinner Information

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 09:33
Arcadia is honored to be associated for the fourth year with Outstanding in the Field's nationwide tour in September. Chef Kyle Bailey and Chef Tiffany MacIsaac -- the talented and award-winning chefs behind Birch & Barley, Bluejacket, GBD, and Buzz -- will once again be cooking in the field.

But there's a change of meadows: After three gorgeous years at our home base at Woodlawn Mansion in Alexandria,  Outstanding in the Field wanted to showcase another great farm. So our dinner this year will be held in Middleburg at Hunger Run farm.

Our farm director Stephen Corrigan recently moved to Hunger Run where we have started a larger and more intensive vegetable production program to meet the rapidly growing appetite of our Mobile Market customers for local, sustainably grown fresh fruits and vegetables. It's an exciting project, as Arcadia is putting another old farm back into production.

Never fear: We continue to farm, host dinners, and hold field trips and events at Arcadia at Woodlawn! It's our home base, and we are deeply connected to the progressive agricultural and social history there -- a history we are proud to be adding to as a mission-oriented non-profit organization.

Keep an eye out for our soon-to-be-announced Annual Spring Farm Dinner at Arcadia at Woodlawn! As always, Arcadia Members get first crack at the tickets. It sells out quickly, so don't hesitate when we make those tickets live!

To learn more about the September dinner in Middleburg click HERE.






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