1/13/12

Meet Tom - Mobile Market School Educator

We just hired Tom Flanagan as our Mobile Market School Educator! Tom's going to be coordinating educational visits to schools by our Mobile Market, and putting on local food throw-downs in school cafeterias across the District.  Here's some more about Tom:

What past experiences have prepared you for this position?
I've had all sorts of jobs so far in my life -- you name it, and I've done it. I've worked at a coffee shop, a driving range, a nonprofit, and a soup kitchen; I've worked as a landscaper, a mechanic, a carpenter, and a baker; I've done marketing, organizing, teaching, and mopping. Now, as I step into this position with Arcadia, I can see how each of these unique experiences is going to contribute to the success of this program.

Recent experiences that I'll be drawing on most heavily include working with kids in the KIPP schools tending a small garden of edibles (with some minor success), and working with volunteers at Miriam's Kitchen to produce healthy meals for DC's homeless population.

What’s your favorite healthy recipe?
I have an adaptation of a lentil soup recipe that I stole from a food blog a few years back. It uses french beluga lentils that maintain their shape a bit more than the green lentils you usually see. Using some of my homemade canned tomatoes and adding in a stiff green toward to the end makes this a very clean tasting, healthy and hearty meal, perfect for a cold winter night (if we ever have those again!).

Tom doing some serious canning. 
That's what we like to see in an Arcadian.
If you were a vegetable, what would you be?
I'd probably be an apple, because I go best with either peanut butter or cheese, but not at the same time. Does that make sense?

What about this position are you most excited for?
I'm most excited to be working with kids, helping them find food they like and learning from them what makes food appealing to people of all ages. But I'm most excited for the opportunity to work with a small and highly motivated team, building a program that will get kids psyched up to eat their local veggies!

What’s your favorite season for growing produce and why?
I love the early spring farmers markets - all the good strong leafy greens, the spicy arugula, the sweet strawberries, the pencil-thin asparagus, the tart rhubarb... So much goodness happens in the first few months of the growing season. Second favorite, of course, is tomato season. Because tomatoes!

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