Arcadia Fall Interns Visit Radix Farm!

“When I started this farm three years ago, I didn’t know much about greens,” said Radix Farmowner and grower, Kristin Carbone. This seemed highly unlikely to those of us from Arcadia who were visiting Radix for the day – especially as we looked out on beautiful, long rows of senposai, broccoli rabe and mustards. But Kristin did start Radix from scratch in 2009, and we had come for the day to learn about the ins and outs of farming her land in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Oh, and to put in a little farmhand work, too!

As Kristin talked with us that morning, we learned that Radix is a two-acre farm which was part of a larger surrounding area cropped intensively with soy and corn. Since acquiring the land, Kristin has focused on organic farming practices at Radix including crop diversity, covercropping, farmscaping to restore the health of the soil and the surrounding environment. In 2010, Radix offered its first CSA. Kristin sells some of her produce directly to chefs and restaurant owners and has also teamed up with Arcadia for past Mobile Market sales!

After lots of questions, armyworm squashing and in-field greens tasting, we got down to work! Arcadia interns Morgan, Lacey and Amanda along with Education Manager Liz harvested parsley and basil and then moved on to digging up the sweet potatoes! At Radix, we learned that Kristin transplants her sweet potatoes into rows covered with reusable black landscape fabric instead of the black plastic liners used at many farms. Before harvesting the sweet potatoes, we trimmed back the sweet potato greens and then rolled up ground cover and loosened the surrounding soil. Our final reward was digging up sweet potatoes which were bright orange, beautiful and a perfect food to pull from the earth on a crisp September morning.

Our hard morning’s work concluded with a well-earned lunch amongst crates of sweet potatoes. Thanks so much for hosting us for the day Kristin! As an intern, it was great to learn about new practices in sustainable agriculture—especially from a farm with a CSA model. If you’re interested in learning more about Kristin, Radix or their CSA, visit the farm’s blog at http://radixfarm.wordpress.com/.


Help us out at Snallygaster!

Arcadia is looking for help at Snallygaster, an enormous celebration of craft beer! The event is on Saturday, October 13 from 1-5pm at The Yards Park (located at 3rd and Water St. SE) and feature the finest beer and food from the Neighborhood Restaurant Group. All the proceeds will benefit Arcadia.

We need your help! We're looking for volunteers to help out at the kid's tent and the admission tent. BONUS! All volunteers receive an awesome Snallygaster t-shirt. Plus, it will be Farmer Mo's last day with Arcadia, so help send her out!

If you are interested, email volunteer@arcadiafood.org and let us know:
  • TIME you would like to volunteer (9-1, 1-6 or ALL DAY) and
  • which station you are interested in (Tickets or Kids Area).
It's going to be awesome! Hope to see you there. Can't make it to the event, but want to support Arcadia? Head to our website for more information.


The Last Tomato Hurrah

As a gardener and foodie, I anxiously await the first ripe tomato of the season.  Months later, I then wistfully and reverently consume that last, luscious orb which my vines produce.  A ripe tomato is incomparable in its perfect balance of sweetness, acidity and juiciness.  A sprinkle of salt or not?  Your choice -- either way, it's ambrosia.

My love affair with tomatoes continues this week in the guise of fried green tomatoes.  They've been available at the Mobile Market of recent since tomatoes are nearing the end of their season -- we'll be taking out our tomato plants soon to plant more fall crops, so it's time to salvage whatever tomatoes are still on the vine.

Dipped in buttermilk, covered with a mix of cornmeal and flour, and paired with grits, sausage and toast, these crunchy discs make a most excellent breakfast-dinner.  Last night I put on a Patsy Cline CD, and channeled my inner Southern Cook.  The only thing missing is a beehive hairdo; I've already got a frilly apron.

Fried Green Tomatoes

4 green tomatoes
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup each corn meal and flour mixed with
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste

Slice and salt the tomatoes, and lay them on a paper towel to drain for 20 minutes.  Pat dry.  Heat oil in a frying pan.  Dip the tomatoes in the buttermilk and dredge in the cornmeal/flour mixture.  Fry until crispy golden on each side.  Order up!