9/1/16

Fall Harvest Dinner at Arcadia Farm!

What do these 9 chefs have in common? 


Big talent. Big hearts. And a commitment to veterans and to farmers. 
Come see what they get up to on Oct. 9, 2016 
at Arcadia Farm. 

9 chefs
9 dishes

One of them is pie. 
So much pie.

buy tickets here -- and while you're at it, throw in one for a veteran.

Will Morris

Keith Cabot

Rebecca Clerget

John Critchley

Hamilton Johnson

Haidar Karoum

Harper McClure

Jesse Miller 

and 

Zack Mills


with cocktails by 
Duane Sylvestre


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'."