Monthly Archives: May 2011

Volunteer Day at Neighborhood Farm Initiative, June 4th

Sign-up to join us for a day in the dirt volunteering with the Neighborhood Farm Initiative. We will meet there June 4 at 9am and work in the garden until about 12:30-1. We will enjoy a pot-luck lunch and one another’s company. Please email kathryn at slowfooddc.org to rsvp. Wear clothes appropriate for working in the garden and don’t forget water and sunscreen.

Directions to the Fort Totten garden:
To get to the garden from the Fort Totten metro station, turn left (north) and walk up the sidewalk past where the buses stop.  Across from the parking lot and after some trees, you’ll see a paved path going up over a slight hill on your left (going north), take that path across a field and you’ll see us at the top of the hill!

If you google-map 100 Gallatin Street NE, you’ll see the field from the satellite view and the path that connects Gallatin street to the metro stop.

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Great School Food+Team Building= WINNING!

May is usually a great month for me; it’s my birthday, the weather is nice and comfortable, great produce is out from the farms and we begin to stock up on bulk production to take us into, yes, winter. Thus far, this May has been no different from last year. I celebrated a great birthday with great company and great food (at Tokyo Underground), the weather is amazing, and we just began making our big batches of tomato sauce this week for the first stages of freezing for fall and winter.

We also got a great visit this week from the folks at CentroNia Public charter schools. The chef and food service director came by our school to check us and talk shop.

It’s very hard for chefs, food service providers, etc to get time to visit others, to compare notes, to actually not be in reaction mode and work on making progress. But when they do, great things usually come of it. In our case, we came to a great plan. And I’m going to tell you about it!

CentrNia is a group of schools focusing on a Hispanic population in the Columbia Heights section of Washington, D.C. The chef there, also a female!, works with her kitchen staff of 5 to create breakfast and lunch programs that are delicious, healthy, and culturally comforting to those she feeds. She takes time to work, teach, and demo, just like I do, with her staff and her students to better educate them. She also works with a younger age group, starting at 3 years of age.

I have also overseen an operation with a daycare center. Let me tell you, feeding kids that early is a golden opportunity, as Jamie Oliver will tell you, to capture their palates, capture their association with food, health, and pure delicious tastes, to make them get the connection of how amazing food, real food, is. And when they have it, it’s theirs, it’s yours, and as long as you keep them on that track, their palates will PREFER that food to fast food. Chef Beatriz does just that and it’s something I commend her for.

But other than all of that work we do to feed kids better food, we came up with something a bit better……….cross training. No kitchen functions without acting as a team and the more the team players know how to help out the other players, the better your team is at …..WINNING! So, as Beatriz and I chatted we talked about our staff and how it would be great to have them kitchen swap. Have my big guys go over to her school and work with the Hispanic woman making tortillas from scratch; have them really understand a great salsa recipe. Then, have her folks over to our school and check out how we cook our collard greens, how we make panko breadcrumbs, and how we make our version of ranch dressing. It’s about the kids but it’s also about the staff. And without a great, strong, and open minded staff, you can’t make kids meals better and better. You can’t teach someone to care but you can sure teach someone when they have passion. I look forward to next month when we continue the learning and education of not just the children we feed, but the minds and hearts we work along side with everyday. Cheers!

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May 21: DC urban farm bike tour and workshops

Hello, DC food lovers. Did you know that there are folks growing food right in your own town? Ever wanted to learn about composting or where you might volunteer at an urban farm or community garden in our nation’s capital? Well, break out your bikes (and helmets, ahem) and come see for yourself during the (rescheduled, due to rain) DC Urban Farms Bike Tour, featuring tours of each space and workshops on farming/community gardening topics for interested community members. There will be five — yes, five — stops around the District. It’s going to be GREAT!

Here’s the schedule:

9:00am: Pray for sunshine….

1:00: meet at the Neighborhood Farm Initiative site @ Mamie D. Lee Community Garden
100 Gallatin Street, NE (near Fort Totten metro station)
1:00-1:45: Neighborhood Farm Initiative

1:45-2:30: Biking: head toward Washington Youth Garden
(The National Arboretum, enter through R Street near 24th St, NE)
2:30-3:15: Washington Youth Garden

3:15-3:45: Biking: hear toward The Farm at Walker Jones
New Jersey & K Street, NW
3:45-4:15: Walker Jones (w/ Vinnie Bevivino of Seed & Cycle)

4:15-4:30: Biking: head to City Blossoms’ Marion Street Intergenerational Garden
1517 Marion Street, NW (Shaw neighborhood)
4:30-5:00: Marion Street garden

5:00-5:15: head to Common Good City Farm
V Street, between 2nd and 4th Streets, NW (Ledroit Park)
5:15-5:45: Common Good

5:45: Biking: head to Big Bear Cafe
1700 1st Street, NW
6:00: Happy hour @ Big Bear (featuring Arcadia’s Farmer Mo with a word on the Greenhorns MidAtlantic chapter)

….
Notes:

1. If you’re not a cyclist, all sites are relatively accessible by public transportation.

2. The sites will all have water, so bring your water bottles. I’m working on getting some snacks donated, but I’d advise those of you with similarly ravenous appetites to bring a little something to nibble on. And don’t forget your helmet and a sturdy bike lock.

3. Please RSVP to ibberoo2@gmail.com (or sign up directly on the event’s facebook page) so we know how many folks to expect.

4. This event is a make-up of the planned 16 April urban farm bike tour that was rained out.

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Support “Eat Local First” week: July 9-16, 2011

From July 9 to 16, 2011, you can enjoy an array of events that celebrate the local food movement. From an urban foraging adventure, to vegan/raw non-cooking demonstrations and a rocking farm-to-street party, Think Local First DC aims to inspire restaurants and consumers to source food locally whenever possible.

July 9-16: Eat Local First Restaurant Week
Independent restaurants across DC will offer specials on dishes with ingredients sourced from local farms. Savor local meats, seafood, cheeses, breads, herbs, produce and other locally-grown products.

July 9: Tour of Arcadia: Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture

July 10: Local Lamb Roast at Local 16

July 14: Raw Non-Cook-Off at FRESHFARM Market by the White House

July 15: Eat from the Street-Urban Foraging Adventure

July 15: Edible Garden Tour

July 16: Farm-to-Street Block Party

Find out more and donate to the kickstarter campaign here.

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DC foodies can be food educators on May 25….

Are you interested in child health, local food, and farm to school? Are you enthusiastic and enjoy working with kids? If so, the D.C. Farm to School Network invites you to volunteer during our upcoming Strawberries & Salad Greens event on May 25, 2011. Schools in Washington, DC will serve local berries and greens in their school meals on that day, and we’re looking for dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers to engage students in school cafeterias at “Where Food Comes From” educational tables.

For more information about the event itself, visit http://www.strawberries-salad.blogspot.com. Learn more about volunteering at a “Where Foods Come From” table in a school in this Table Volunteer One-Pager. Still have questions? Read these Table Volunteer FAQ’s. If you’re interested in volunteering at a table, fill out this Table Volunteer Form. For more information about this volunteer opportunity, email Nora White at nora@dcfarmtoschool.org.

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Bison and Beef Farm Tour and Dinner, June 18

Update: This event is now SOLD OUT. Please check out some of our other great events!

Saturday, June 18

2pm Gunpowder Bison & Trading Co.
1270 Monkton Road
Monkton, MD 21111

4pm Roseda Beef
Roseda Farm
15317 Carroll Road
Monkton, MD 21111

Description:
Join us while we explore two local farms, Gunpowder Bison Trading Co. and Roseda Beef. Learn how both farms raise the animals in an environmentally-conscious way.  The afternoon will kick off at 2pm with a tour of the Gunpowder Bison Trading Ranch, then we’ll head to nearby Roseda Beef where we’ll enjoy a hayride tour, barbeque dinner in a barn, and a campfire with s’mores.  This event is family-friendly.  If you are interested in carpooling, or have any questions, please email jenna_at_slowfooddc.org (replace the _at_ with @).

To register go to:
http://bisonbeef.eventbrite.com/

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‘Queen of the Sun’ to pollinate awareness of honeybee crisis

Director Taggart Siegel will introduce his award-winning  documentary ‘Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?’ at a special screening 7 PM May 10 in the Byrd Auditorium  at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC). The event is co-sponsored by Fresh and Local CSA, a Shepherdstown biodynamic farm that advocates for the natural world, and The Locavore Project – WV, an initiative to raise awareness of area farms. The event is hosted by  NCTC’s Community Lecture series and was made possible through the Herculean efforts of NCTC’s Mark Madison.

Portland-based Taggart Siegel’s documentary is an in-depth investigation to discover the causes and solutions behind Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon where honeybees vanish from their hives, and never return. Queen of The Sun follows the voices and visions of beekeepers, philosophers, and scientists from around the world, struggling for the survival of the bees.

Queen of The Sun emphasizes the biodynamic and organic communities that have deep and profound insights into the long-term issues that have brought about the recent collapse.

Bees have provided humans with honey, wax and pollination for our food for over 10,000 years. Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian scientist who, in 1923, predicted that within 100 years, “The mechanization of beekeeping and industrialization will eventually destroy beekeeping.”

 

“It’s not just honeybees that are affected by whatever is destroying hives, of course,” says Fresh and Local CSA farmer Logan Balliett. “Native pollinator’s, the ones that co-evolved with New World food plants are also dying out. Some 40% of our food supply requires pollination. This is getting serious.”

 

Queen of The Sun takes a journey around the world to uncover the compelling perspectives concerning the complex problems bees are facing such as malnutrition, pesticides, genetically modified crops, migratory beekeeping, parasites, pathogens, and lack of genetic diversity from excessive queen breeding.  The film elegantly finds practical solutions and discovers the deep link between bees survival and our own.

Beekeeper Gunther Hauk of Floyd Virginia calls the crisis, “More important even than global warming. We could call it Colony Collapse of the human being too.” Hauk also likes to say as often as possible “Steiner was right, Steiner was right!”

Recently, the U.N. released a study confirming that bee decline is a global issue. “Of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.” The head of the U.N. Environmental Programme warns. “The writing is on the wall. We have to do something to ensure pollination for future generations.”

Bees are the engines that keep the earth in bloom. Queen of The Sun presents the bee crisis as a global wake-up call and illuminates a growing movement of beekeepers, community activists and scientists who are committed to renewing a culture in balance with nature.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

An independent filmmaker since the mid-1980’s, Taggart Siegel is best known as the director of the 2006 grass roots hit The Real Dirt on Farmer John. This critically acclaimed feature documentary about a maverick visionary farmer, won 31 international film festivals awards and was released theatrically around the world. Siegel is also known for his award-winning films The Split Horn: Life of a Hmong Shaman in America, Between Two Worlds and Blue Collar and Buddha, which capture the struggle of refugees in America. He is the co-founder of Collective Eye, Inc., a non-profit media production and distribution organization based in Portland, Oregon and San Francisco.

About the co-sponsors

More information on Fresh and Local CSA is at www.freshandlocalcsa.com.

More information on The Locavore Project – WV is at tinyurl.com/locavore-WV

 

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EcoFriendly Dinner at Dino, June 5

EcoFriendly Dinner at Dino, June 5, 6:30pm
3435 Connecticut Avenue, Washington DC 20008
Cost: $65/members, $70/non-members

Join us for a Tuscan family-style feast prepared by chef/owner Dean Gold of Dino and featuring meats from EcoFriendly Foods. EcoFriendly Foods will also speak about the importance of ethically-raised meats and how eaters can improve their food systems. A wine flight and beverage specials will be available to accompany the meal for an additional charge.

Menu:
Trotter Tots
Testa Crostini

Primo
Pappardelle al Sugo

Grigliata Misto ~ Mixed grill
Rosticciana ~ Tuscan style pork spare ribs

Rosticciana d’Agnello ~ Tuscan style lamb breast ribs

Tuscan Bacon

Salsiccia

Seasonal Dessert

Register for the event here:
http://dino.eventbrite.com

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