We’ll be partnering with Chipotle in a number of ways during the upcoming months - keep your eyes and ears peeled. But for starters, Chipotle gift cards were recently featured in the gift bags given away at the Summer Brunch fundraiser to benefit Arcadia's D.C. Farm to School Network. And, we just received free meal cards to give to all our wonderful volunteers who brave the heat and help out on the farm. Stay tuned for more details about the other exciting ways we’ll partner in the future, and we’ll close with an enthusiastic thank you Chipotle!
On Monday July 18th, Arcadia staff gathered to bond and celebrate the early summer harvest. Farmer Mo and Farm Intern Beverly contributed beautiful and tasty carrots, beans, tomatoes, eggplant, and basil galore - straight from Arcadia’s farm. Mobile Market Manager Benjamin shared his cheese expertise and showcased his impressive pizza-making skills. The rest of us provided refreshments and very healthy appetites.
Don’t you wish you were on Arcadia’s staff? Well, you can do the next best thing - every Monday and Saturday we take volunteers out at the Arcadia Farm in Alexandria, VA. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
There’s a lot of activity underway as we retrofit our school bus. Among other developments, we’re building custom shelving for the produce, developing an electrical system for the refrigerators and freezers, and weighing our options for the exterior’s facelift (have any ideas? Send them to benjamin[at]arcadiafood[dot]org).
Most exciting is our partnership with DC Biofuels to run the engine on a blend of diesel and locally sourced vegetable oil. We had James Peeples, Senior Vice President of DC Biofuels, check out the bus this week and it looks like our engine is still in great shape. I can already smell the savory scent of fryer oil! Except not really – we’ll be running on a blend that burns clean. Plus, fryer oil may not pair well with the smell of freshly picked produce …
September - tomatoes! October - sweet potatoes! November - kale! We are excited to announce a new D.C. Farm to School Network program for the upcoming school year. Participating D.C. schools will familiarize students with seasonal, local produce - a different produce item each month. Our goal will be to educate and excite students about local fruits and veggies, so they’ll be more likely to eat them when they show up on their cafeteria trays. The program will also foster lasting partnerships between local farms and D.C. schools.
Here’s how it will work - each month will have a designated local fruit or vegetable. Let’s say it’s November, and the featured food is kale. School meals in November will include a local kale dish, which could be as simple as baked kale chips. Schools in D.C. will feature kale in their school gardens. Students participating in field trips to Arcadia’s educational farm will learn about growing and harvesting kale. Chef demonstrations, both on the farm and in schools, will feature healthy kale recipes. Taste tests in school cafeterias will expose students to a few different ways kale can be prepared. Download-able kale-themed lesson plans and worksheets will engage kids in the classroom, in line with D.C. curriculum standards. Keep your eye out for more information and for the launch of this exciting new program!
In the meantime, we need your help coming up with a creative name for the program! What should we call this monthly seasonal produce spotlight? Comment below, email anna[at]dcfarmtoschool[dot]org with ideas, or tweet ideas to us @dcfarmtoschool!
The Summer Brunch Soiree this past Saturday was a fantastic success, and we are so honored that the proceeds were to benefit the D.C. Farm to School Network at Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture. Only Becca and Cori Sue, also known as the Bitches who Brunch, could organize such an incredible fundraiser event. We want to extend an enormous thank you to them for choosing the D.C. Farm to School Network to benefit from the proceeds, and we look forward to working together in the future.
Thank all of the attendees for your support as well, to Ris for providing the wonderful food and staff for the event, to the volunteers who helped ready the space for the big day, and to all of the event’s sponsors. Find a picture medley from the event here!
Photo from readysetdc.com of the D.C. Farm to School Network table at the Summer Brunch Soiree.