7/5/16

Meet the Team for our 5th Season of Arcadia Farm Camp!



Every day this week our energetic Farm Camp Team (Farmers Christal, Beth, Kate, Jack, Ina, Thea, and Katie) is getting ready for camp-- they are excited to meet our first set of Farm Campers this coming Monday!

We’re excited for Farm Campers to explore, play, and discover the farm with our dynamic staff! Thus, we would like you to meet the Farm Camp Manager, Counselors, and Interns who are making Arcadia Farm Camp 2016 so amazing.

Our passionate Farm Education Director, Morgan Maloney, leads Arcadia's Farm & Nutrition Education Programs throughout the year and dives into Farm Camp each summer. Morgan is looking forward to this historic 5th season of Arcadia Farm Camp!

Christal Blackwell
Farm Camp Manager
Christal is originally from North Carolina, but grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. After completing undergrad degree in Georgia she joined AmeriCorps and moved to Miami where she served two years with City Year as a Literacy Interventionist at a middle school and as Team Leader at a high school. She recently finished my last semester of graduate studies in Community and Social Change at the University of Miami. Last summer she had the privilege of working as a summer farm camp counselor in Nevada. This summer she is looking forward to continuing to explore her passion for health, food and children as the Farm Camp Manager!
Spirit Veggie: Carrot! Because she loves the unseen process of root veggies.

Beth Blauser
Farm Camp Counselor
Elizabeth is excited to join the team at Arcadia Farm Camp!  She is a bilingual teacher in Maryland public schools and resides in Arlington, Virginia.  When not in the classroom, she accompanies her students on outdoor education trips.  Elizabeth is also a world traveler and loves working with diverse groups of students.  Come roll up your sleeves and get ready for a lot dirt and a lot of fun!
Spirit Veggie: Red leaf lettuce! Because it’s used in her favorite Korean dishes.

Kate Breinman
Farm Camp Counselor
Kate could not be more excited to be joining the Arcadia Farm Camp team! Before graduating from the University of Virginia, Kate worked with a team that helped connect low-income families to the local Farmer’s Market through children’s programming. The Power of Produce program offered nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, taste tests and $2 in market tokens to spend on fresh produce. She spent the last two years teaching 3rd grade as a Teach for America corps member in the Mississippi Delta. Her time living in a low-income community and food desert opened her eyes to the challenges these families face in trying to secure healthy options. Kate looks forward to connecting her experience in elementary education with her passion for sustainable agriculture.
Spirit Veggie: Broccoli! Because it looks like a beautiful bouquet.

Jack Colelli
Farm Camp Intern
Jack Colelli is excited to join Arcadia this summer as a Farm Camp Intern! On the farm he will be assisting counselors and staff in daily programming and activities with counselors while also conducting personal camper interviews and gathering valuable feedback about Farm Camp.  Jack is a rising junior at Tufts University studying economics and environmental studies with a concentration in food systems.  Last summer he worked with campers as a farm staff counselor at a summer camp in North Carolina.  Jack is passionate about food and agriculture and enjoys spending time in the outdoors. Spirit Veggie: Endive!

Ina Descartes
Farm Camp Counselor
Ina has recently earned her Master’s in Arts Management from GMU, and has a background in art history, as well as arts & crafts for children. She is looking forward Farm Camp this summer as she has always had a deep passion for eating healthy, organic food, but also preserving nature, having compassion for all living beings, and looking at the bigger picture of how our eating habits influence our environment. By combining her artistic skills with hands on farm work, she wants to encourage fun learning experiences for all campers, and make sure that kids develop a sense of affinity and curiosity for the outdoors. Spirit Veggie: Cabbage! It’s versatile and a nutritious food in her home country of Germany.

Thea Klein-Mayer
Farm Camp Counselor
Thea comes to Farm Camp from the rural Virginia, where she ran programs in local food advocacy and education for The Highland Center, a nonprofit based in Highland County. While she misses the cool mountain air (and lovely friends she made there), she’s happy to be back in the DC area where she was born and raised. Prior to her work at the Highland Center, Thea was completed a fellowship in sustainable agriculture at the Allegheny Mountain School. She graduated with a degree in Environmental Science from Northwestern University and was closely involved with sustainability initiatives there, including founding a student-run garden and maintaining on-campus recycling programs.
Spirit Veggie: Beets and Brussels Sprouts! Because, simply, they are delicious.  

Katie Landry
Farm Camp Counselor
Katie, a rising Junior at the University of Maryland, is a community health major where she spends the majority of her coursework on how the social and built environment impacts our health. She also was a Farm Field Trip volunteer this last spring here at Arcadia and is looking forward to seeing students again from the DC and Northern Virginia areas.  Katie is a Spoken Word poet performing around DC as means for introducing difficult conversations to inspire change. This summer, she is excited to pass on culinary secrets from working in her parent’s Italian restaurant in Chicago. Spirit Veggie: Snap Pea!


6/22/16

Why Arcadia Calls Woodlawn Home

We sometimes get this question: why is Arcadia Farm headquartered on such a fancy site, Woodlawn-Pope-Leighey?

The short answer: Woodlawn has been home to people and organizations dedicated to progressing social justice since 1846 – and Arcadia is proud to continue that tradition.

Here’s the long answer: Woodlawn used to be part of Mount Vernon (it was called Dogue Run Farm back then). George Washington gave 2,000 acres to his granddaughter Nelly as a wedding present, and she had the mansion built on the hill around 1805. They called it Woodlawn Plantation because of all the trees.

And Woodlawn, like most of the rest of the South, was a slave plantation. We know from property records there were 90 enslaved people on the property and 10 paid laborers.

But they could never grow enough to food to feed everyone who lived there. The land had been exhausted by tobacco decades before. So the family put the plantation up for sale in 1840.

The mansion sat unoccupied for six years. Finally, in 1846, there was a buyer – a Pennsylvania timber company looking for old growth wood to build massive Clipper ships.

The timber merchants were Quakers and, significantly, abolitionists. And they had a plan. After taking the trees they wanted, they established Woodlawn as a farming community with one goal: to prove to the rest of the South that you didn’t need slave labor to have a profitable farm. They did this 20 years before the Civil War, and just eight miles south of one of the largest slave trade firms in the South, Franklin and Armistead on Duke Street in Alexandria.

They sold farm plots to other Quakers, to Irish and German immigrants, and to free African-American families. They established an integrated school in the mansion and an integrated militia to protect the town. For the first time in the history of the property, Woodlawn made a profit as a farm – without slavery.

When Arcadia Farm was established in 2010, we didn’t know this history. It was just a cool place to grow food that was close to the people we wanted to serve. But as we’ve learned more, we’ve been struck by the thread of food, agriculture, and social justice that ties us to the property. The courageous townspeople of Woodlawn – Black and White, native-born and immigrant  used the food system to help bring about racial equality. And Arcadia is now working to bring equality back to the food system, on the same land as those visionaries.

We encourage you to visit Woodlawn and Pope-Leighey whenever you have a chance. In addition to the tours of the historic homes, Woodlawn hosts special events and activities throughout the year. There are two upcoming opportunities in July. 

Woodlawn was once home to a famous turn-of-the-century playwright (and member of the Woodlawn Farmers Club) Paul Kester. On July 12, that theater tradition continues! Enjoy a live theater presentation of the classic “Casablanca” by the Picnic Theater outside under the stars! You can bring a picnic or buy food onsite. Learn more and buy your tickets HERE

If you are feeling stressed, mark your calendar for 4 pm on July 31, in honor of National Coloring Book Day! Bring your own crayons and pick up a Pope-Leighey coloring book on site. Pack your yoga mat and join us for a relaxing yoga session on the lawn of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece! 

Cob Pizza Oven Master Course - July 10

Imagine a pizza cooked in your own backyard  cheese bubbling, crust crackling. Or a roasted chicken, or a platter of just-harvested vegetables (from Arcadia Farm!) simmering away for hours, snug in an efficient cob oven. Now stop imagining and make it so! We are going to show you how in this two-part master course!

First, join Arcadia Veteran Farmer Reserve Member Isaac "Zeek" Lee and Team Arcadia for a pizza-oven building Master Course. We'll build it together, then send you home with the materials list and instructions (and Zeek's contact information in case you just want him to build it for you). Then part duex: when it's cured and ready to fire up, you'll come back to the farm for a twilight BYOB pizza party! We'll provide the dough and veggie toppings, we'll teach you how to use the oven,  and we'll all marvel at how good something so simple can taste when it's made by hand and tradition.

Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/outdoor-oven-building-master-course-tickets-26157281132

6/21/16

Check out our New Tractor!

Thank you, to everyone who supported Arcadia's Spring2Action Day of Giving in April. We raised almost $25,000 to purchase a tractor and training equipment for use in our Veteran Farmer Program.

We ended up purchasing a beautiful, new to us, John Deere 5303 with a front end loader. The tractor is big enough to work the soil and pull our implements, but small enough to fit into our smaller fields and serve a variety of purposes. We're really happy with the tractor and are already training the Veterans how to maintain and safely operate the tractor and equipment.

4/14/16

All we need is a tractor!

We've got the land. We've got the farm trainers.
We've got the veterans. Now all we need... 

is a tractor.  
There’s something special happening at Arcadia Farm at Woodlawn. Twelve military veterans, some fresh from combat, are training to become farmers in Arcadia's Veteran Farmer Program. Some grew up on farms. Others are seeking to create a new life, doing work that feels good and contributes to the health of the land and our people.
These 12 veterans served our country proudly. Now they want to serve again – as farmers growing nutritious food, for all of us.   

The Veteran Farmer Program is a multilayered, hands-on educational program that prepares military veterans for new careers in agriculture. The VFP trains veterans through two programs – the Veteran Farm Fellowship and Veteran Farmer Reserve Program – on land that George Washington cultivated when he retired from the Army after the Revolutionary War.



How You Can Help
The veterans in the VFP have almost everything they need to succeed in agriculture – the ability to plan, adapt, and manage crises; the ability to rise to a physical challenge; and work until the task is complete. Veterans are entrepreneurial, independent, self-reliant, and leaders. 
But what they do need is agricultural equipment to make their training program complete, so when they leave Arcadia they will be skilled and ready for farms of their own. 
We're raising $20,000 to purchase training equipment and tools for the Veteran Farmer Program. The equipment includes a tractor, farming implements for use with the tractor, farm tools, and other supplies. The Veteran Farmers will learn how to safely use and maintain the tractor and equipment that goes with it. Any additional funds raised will be used to purchase other equipment, tools, and training supplies for the Veteran Farmer Program.    
Please help these dedicated veterans by contributing to the equipment fund today. Then come out to the farm to meet them in person!
If you’re interested in helping to fundraise for the Veteran Farmer Program, please contact Matt Mulder at Matt@Arcadiafood.org.
To learn more, visit the Veteran Farmer Program page on our website

3/25/16

I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together

Remember that song from The Carol Burnett Show?  She'd come out at show's end in her beautiful gown, designed by Bob Mackie, and sing that to the audience.  I feel like humming that song now, as my last day after four years with Arcadia draws near.  At times, Market days were just like Carol's comic skits--so hilarious that I laughed until I cried at my coworkers' and customers' silliness.  Other times were bittersweet, such as listening to seniors' stories of how our presence made such a difference in their lives.  "I wouldn't be eating this well if it weren't for you in our neighborhood," one told me.

I loved driving the big green bus, talking to folks, doing cooking demonstrations and turning people on to new vegetables. I wrote a cookbook, perfected my Kale Salad Show, spoke on panels regarding food insecurity, and joined advisory groups for WIC and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Best of all, I spread my message that eating healthy needn't be expensive, time consuming nor difficult.

Such satisfaction I've gotten from customers telling me that they loved the recipes.  Best of all, one regular told me "you've totally changed the way that I feed my baby!  I thought that I had to buy baby food in jars, but now I know that I can prepare it myself!"

I have been sort of the "Market Momma" to our customers.  I've held an elderly woman as she cried about her mother's recent death and occupied children with stories and drawing so that their harried moms can shop in peace.  I've reassured exhausted parents of newborns that life gets easier as the child grows older, been a source of comfort for distressed college students, and looked after my "Arcadia kids" (my coworkers), making sure that they are eating and staying hydrated. Now it's time to move on and combine this love of culinary education with my love of women and babies.  I will be a birth and postpartum doula.  The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before during and just after birth.  I am focusing on postpartum care, emphasizing the importance of good nutrition as a foundation of healthy parenting, self-care and breastfeeding.  In other words, I will be a Professional Nana!

Four years ago at the Rooting DC conference, I first laid eyes on Benjamin Bartley, the brains behind the Mobile Market big green bus and asked about the position as Market Assistant.  Ironically, nearly four years to the day, I decided that it was time to let go.  It's been a magical and, at times, a literally bumpy ride.  Arcadia, thanks for the memories and thanks for letting me be an integral part of your growth.  I'll never forget ya.  "Seems we just got started, and before you know it, comes the time we have to say 'so long'."

2/4/16

Meet the Next Generation of Farmers: The Arcadia Veteran Farmer Reserve!









From left to right: Bruce, Tom, Evans, Tor, Laron, Erica, Training Director Anita, Allison,Clifton,Kat and Chuck

Arcadia is delighted to introduce you to our first class of Veteran Farmer Reservists! These marvelous people are training on Arcadia Farm at Woodlawn-Pope-Leighey throughout the year for new careers in agriculture. They came to us from all four services -- the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy -- and all stages of their careers -- retired, reserve, and transitioning out of active duty. 

We spent last weekend with them knee deep in snow on our farm and hunkering down over spreadsheets and crop plans inside Woodlawn mansion. It is the first of 12 intensive weekend workshops where our trainees will get a deep dive into the world of sustainable farming -- from starting seeds and cultivation and irrigation to running a successful farm business. Right now they are doing their homework: figuring out the budget and crop plan for a hypothetical 50-member CSA that does two drops a week. Most weekends include visits to farms in the region to investigate the full range of business models open to them, and to hear from farmers -- many veterans themselves -- about the challenges and rewards of the work.

Training Director Anita Adalja discusses plans for the expanded farm fields at Woodlawn-Pope-Leighy, two more acres of sustainably grown veggies this season and 18 more to play with as we grow! 

   Our veteran Reservists will also join us for two weeks of on-farm work during the growing season to get a feel for the demanding day-to-day rhythms of farming. We're more than sure they a
re up to it. As one veteran explained: "I was in Fallujah for six months in 130 degree heat wearing 50 lbs of armor. I think I can manage."
Laron, Erica, Clifton, Bruce, Evans on the farm. JuJu snuck in, too.

The weekend was full of great discussion, high spirits, great food from our Culinary Educator JuJu Harris, and the git-er-done attitude that characterizes so many who have served in the military. Plus, they cleaned our farm tools. Oh, and they also vacuumed the Underwood Room in which we convened. And they did the dishes.  
Anita responds to a question from Alliy in the Underwood Room. It is named after Oscar Underwood, a Woodlawn resident whom John F. Kennedy wrote about in "Profiles in Courage."
"House of Cards"' Frank Underwood is named after Oscar, but he is a very different kind of cat.

The Veteran Reserve program is a mix of hands-on farm work, classroom training, and farm visits. Here, Gary Matteson of the Farm Credit Council and Farmer Veteran Coalition talks about farm finances.  
In no particular order, please say hello to the first Arcadia Veteran Farmer Reservists! 



Tor Peery has been in Virginia for the last four years, but originally hails from Upstate New York. He is a Marine Corps Infantry Officer, with over 8 years of active duty service. During that time he has deployed as an Assistant UN Food Distribution Position Security Commander with Battalion Landing Team - 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines (3/2), 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit to Haiti in support of (ISO) Operation Unified Response; as a Team Commander with the Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group to the Republic of Georgia ISO of the Georgia Deployment Program-International Security Assistance Force; as 3rd Platoon Commander, Kilo Company, 3/2 to Musa Qala, Helmand Province, Afghanistan ISO Operation Enduring Freedom; and was selected to be an Instructor at the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School.
He wants to learn how to farm because it’s in his blood. He grew up on a non-functional farm surrounded by nothing but rich fields filled with everything from corn to cattle. When he was younger he worked on neighbors’ farms and I hated it; he dreamt of the day when he could one day get out of his small town and see the rest of the world. But as he saw more of the world he began to miss the country life. He quickly realized it wasn’t the farming he hated; it was that he farmed someone else’s land for their benefit and had to follow their rules and practices, even if he himself didn’t believe in them. The road to recovery following his combat related injuries has been long and difficult, but the saving grace has been his wife and son. He wants to give them the life that they deserve, one that he didn’t have when he was young. It was for that reason that he and his wife decided to move back to her family’s farm in Upstate NY. In addition to his family, it is the farm that has given him hope; it reinvigorates and rejuvenates him in more ways than can ever be described; more than any type of treatment ever could or probably ever will. He is also learning how to be a bladesmith, artistic blacksmith and play the baritone ukulele (because it takes a big man to play a little guitar!).



 Allison Mulligan (she prefers Alliy) grew up in Dayton, Ohio after moving there from the New York/New Jersey area. A navy veteran, was stationed in sunny San Diego, California for 4 years. Spent her tour on an Amphibious Assault Ship (USS Pearl Harbor LSD-52) and a Guided Missile Destroyer (USS Decatur DDG-73) as a Boatswain's Mate, one of the oldest rates in the navy. All of her deployments were to Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Her favorite memory were being in charge of flight operations. After her discharge, Alliy went on to attend culinary school where she gained a better appreciation for food. What attracted her to this program is the opportunity to be trained in a job that not many people do any more or recognize the importance of it. Alliy's favorite veggie? BEETS! She loves the fact that they are naturally sweet and very versatile; from pasta, to chips, to even drinks, the possibilities are endless! This girl has a sweet tooth so she does enjoy baking. She also has a smile that can brighten the room!




My name is Evans Kofi Appiah, I am from Alexandria, Virginia, but I originally come from Ghana. I joined the Army about six years ago and I am an honorably discharged US Army Sergeant.  
My first duty station was Fort Riley Kansas, where I deployed to Iraq in 2010 for 12 months. My military occupation specialty was a Utility Equipment Repairer, and my goal was to do ten years in the Army. As my long term goal, I also wanted to get a Bachelor’s Degree and buy a house before getting out of the Army. Getting out of the Army after five years was not something I anticipated. My ten- year plan that I had scheduled was affected when I got hurt. I started thinking of what benefits I could use to adjust to civilian life when I finally separated. I was not sure if my skills could translate into a civilian job, and I was deeply concerned about how my family needs would be met without a new skill. In my search for a new skill, a manager at Veterans Curation Program informed me about Arcadia, and I jumped at this opportunity to learn a new skill and restore my dream of being my own boss. I had a keen interest in farming as a kid and I loved to plant my favorite vegetable, tomatoes, because it formed the base of every food I liked. As an adult, my ultimate goal is to feed the world and retire on a farm.


Chuck Christianson is Maryland born and raised. He has devoted the last 35 years to service in the United States Army on both active duty and reserve status. His active duty career has been almost entirely within Special Operations. He has supervised and led military units at home and abroad on multiple real world missions during peacetime and wartime. The last 5 years of service has been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda . This is where Chuck excelled with some of the most unique challenges of his career. Serving as a liaison and advocating for the wounded, ill and injured of the Special Operations Community and their families. Building relationships and networks between the patients, medical staff, administrators, charities and commanders in order to serve and achieve the best possible outcome for all. Chuck is passionate about the outdoors and enjoys spending time hiking and biking when away from work. His goal is to transition into sustainable organic community-based farming. Additionally, to include a program for veterans would be the best of both his desire to serve and to farm.


Bruce Salter is a military brat. He was born at the old DeWitt Army hospital on Fort Belvoir; his early years were spent here in Northern Virginia, which he considers home. Bruce is a 22 year veteran of the United States Air Force, both Active Duty and Air National Guard. His assignments included operational and staff tours, both in the United States and abroad. Bruce currently works as a program analyst conducting long-range planning for Air National Guard federal and state missions. An outdoor enthusiast, his hobbies include whitewater kayaking and hiking. Farming appeals to him because of the challenges it presents as well as the rewards, like helping to keep him physically active and outdoors. His favorite vegetable is kale because it is so resilient, easy to grow, and so full of goodness.

Kat Cole was born in Tucson, Arizona and has never spent more than 5 consecutive years in one place. When she joined the Army, her recruiter tried to talk her into becoming a UAV operator, but she insisted that she wanted a job in which she could learn a foreign language and work with people, not machines - and thus ended up a linguist and  interrogator.  Nearing completion of her 5 year initial term of service, an injury  stymied her prospects for career advancement as a soldier so she re-upped as an Army Civilian specializing in Intelligence.  She served with NATO elements in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq, followed by 5 years in the Pacific.  She was then drafted to a staff job and is rounding out her career by serving as a liaison officer to another agency.
She has no idea exactly why she was called to farming, but believes that after 20 years of serving her country, the next 20 should be spent in service of the land.  This will be her third season volunteering with Arcadia.
Kat doesn't have a favorite fruit or vegetable, but has been known to tear up when she talks about the first organic peach she tasted (at Arcadia) and she loves snacking on warm summer tomatoes straight off the vine.


Erica G. Wright currently resides in Springfield Virginia her husband Ken (also active duty military) and 13 year old daughter Micheala. She also has an 11-year-old son Bradley who resides in New Hampshire with his father. Erica was raised in Farmington New Hampshire and has had a love of nature and animals from a young age. Often times Erica would bring home stray or injured animals. Erica served in the US Army for 6 years as a 68R/ Food Inspection Specialist, For the last 3 years of service she served as the Branch and  later District Training NCO for her command at the rank of SPECIALIST.
 Erica and her husband's dream is to own a farm in Kentucky after he retires from the military. The farm would provide the opportunity to be self sufficient while providing fresh healthy food for the family as well as providing additional income. She likes the Arcadia program because it provides her the opportunity to learn more about farming and get a head start on the dream as her husband finishes his career.
Her  favorite vegetable is Zucchini because she make a mean Zucchini Bread!  She also remembers growing up with her mother making breaded fried Zucchini. Her favorite hobby is art of all kinds -- she is generally a crafty person, very hands on when it comes to learning although she learns from various methods. Drawing, Painting often top the list.

Clifton "Tiny" Hoffler currently resides in Greenbelt, Maryland originally from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Clifton is a retired Staff Sergeant who has served in the United States Army for over 21 years in the Military Police Corps. Clifton’s combat tours include Desert Storm/Shield and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Arcadia’s program is one part of his goal to become an urban farm-to-table chef. Stratford University Culinary Arts Degree will complete the mission within the next 18 months.

Tom Snowdy is in the US Navy. Tom is currently raising a small flock of broiler chickens in his Maryland backyard (he keeps the rooster in his basement so as not to annoy the neighbors). He  plans to build a 100-acre livestock farm and grow all their feed on his own land.



Luke McCullock is a recent transplant to DC, originally from Vermont. He was an Army engineer for 9 years with deployments in 2010 and 2014, the later wrapping up just in time to make it into the Veteran Farmer Program 2016 class. He is interested in pursuing urban aquaponic gardening and hoping to expand from there. Both of his parents grew up on farms in New England and are a little skeptical of city farming, but they are coming around. He studied Sociology at the University of Mary Washington, and the helicopter flight program at the Community College of Baltimore County.

Lt. Cdr. Chris Papavasiliou grew up in Bowie, MD where he graduated from Bowie High School. Following high school, he attended Villanova University on an NROTC Scholarship, where he received a B.A. in Human Services in 2002.
 Chris is a Navy Intelligence Officer and has been in the Navy for 13 years on both active duty and in a reserve status.  Chris has served in Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the senior Intelligence Officer for Task-Force 134.
 He also served as the Tactical Analysis Team Chief for three years at the United States Embassy in Nassau, The Bahamas where he worked closely with Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT).  He supported the counter illicit trafficking mission
In Nassau for three years and subsequently served at the Office of Naval Intelligence’s Counter Narcotics Division for one year.
 In March 2015, Chris took an opportunity with United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and currently serves as the Chief of Joint Operations, where he leads a team of analysts focused on counter-terrorism, military capabilities, and targeting efforts.  He is also a critical liaison to USAFRICOM’s Joint Reserve Intelligence Support Element. 
 Chris is also enrolled in a Master of Tourism Administration Program at George Washington University where his focus is sustainable destination management.
 Chris married his wife, Gail, in September 2013. They have two sons, Dylan (13 years old) and Atlas (5 months old).
 Chris is interested in farming as he and Gail are planning to develop, own, and operate a small eco-resort on Andros Island in The Bahamas.  Their vision is to have a co-located farm adjacent to the resort that will feed the guests and intimately expose them to the farm-to-table concept. 




Laron on the farm last fall. Photo by Tim Peterson
Laron Murrell –  Laron joined Arcadia full-time in October as our first Veteran Farm Fellow. A two-tour Iraq war veteran, Laron plans to put his family farm in North Carolina back into sustainable vegetable production after he completes his training program with Arcadia. He told the group after a visit home this winter to eastern North Carolina, he saw with new eyes how vital it is for him to go back to raise nutritious food for his community. He has already been approached by a landowner to take over an established farm. We’ll be working with him to develop a business plan to ensure his success, for his own well-being and that of his community. Read more about Laron here

 The Arcadia Veteran Farmer Program is funded in part by generous grants from the USDA Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program, Grace Communications Foundation, the Claneil Foundation, the Rumsfeld Foundation, the Prince Charitable Trusts, and the Neighborhood Restaurant Group.