Welcome Morgan, New Farm Education Manager

Morgan Maloney is Arcadia's new Farm Education Manager. While Morgan is no stranger to many at Arcadia (she was a farm education intern last Fall), here's your chance to learn a little more about why we're so excited to have her as part of the team.  

What experiences have prepared you for this position?
A combination of experience in both out-of-the-classroom education and volunteer coordination has helped to prepare me for this position. During my three-year tenure with the Appalachia Service Project I guided hundreds of volunteers through home repairs for low-income families. I also designed and led evening programs aimed at educating youth and adults about Appalachian poverty. Teaching people of all ages how to use a circular saw for the first time is quite a thrilling experience! Most recently, I was a Farm Education Intern at Arcadia. In this role I taught elementary students during our 2012 fall field trip season and honed my farm-based education skills under
the tutelage of Liz Whitehurst, a truly inspiring educator. My contagious passion for food justice has been the common thread throughout all of these experiences, and continues to serve me in this new position.

What is most exciting to you about your new job as Education Manager at Arcadia?
That is a rather difficult question because I’m ecstatic about every part of my new position. I hail from the DC metro area so I’m most looking forward to playing an active role in affecting the food landscape of an area I love through youth education!
I’m eager to have new groups out to the farm this spring and fall for Field Trips. We have expanded the program to three days a week which allows us to continue our existing partnerships with schools in D.C. and Virginia and to create additional opportunities for students to learn about healthy foods. For similar reasons, I’m looking forward to leading a successful second year of Farm Camp this summer. We have doubled in size since our pilot year which means twice as many young minds to inspire!
I’m also excited to work with a passionate and diverse team of interns. The impact that this group of aspiring farmers and educators can have on our education programs is truly amazing. Together we’ll experience creative collaborations, share delicious foods, and assist one another in active learning.

What are some of your goals for the 2013 season?
During the 2013 season I aim to strengthen our education programs across the board. This means bringing more children out to the farm, connecting with more schools through educational Mobile Market visits, and continuing to provide innovative, farm-based curriculum. I want to be intentional about having the greatest impact on the lives of children in the areas we serve. This will involve in-classroom follow up lessons and learning evaluations that will guide our program improvements. In order to accomplish these goals we have excellent new, as well as seasoned, farm educators who are ready to play a significant role in this growth.
I would also like to build our Get Growing! Workshops into a model for adult education on sustainable food and agriculture practices within the region. Our expert workshop instructors have knowledge to help affect changes that will sustain our food system and the environment for future generations.

If you were a vegetable, what would you be?
My go-to answer for this question, which I get asked more often than is probably normal, is a Carrot. I’m a red-head so I feel a natural connection to this delicious vegetable. Plus, carrots can surprise you and grow in such interesting ways when hidden under the soil. Pulling up a carrot that has twisted together with its neighbor is one of the most delightful harvest discoveries. 

The Arcadia team would like to wish Liz Whitehurst the best of luck in her new job as the On-Farm Initiative Program Director at the Angelic Organics Learning Center in Caledonia, IL. Thank you, Liz, for all of your hard work, and good luck!  


Planning Your Garden Workshop coming up!

Grey February days always get me a little down.  It's hard to get myself moving and motivated to go outside to face a world that's bitter cold and dreary.  It's times like this that I turn to the prospect of spring to keep me going, and there's only one place that it's perpetually spring: inside the pages of the seed catalogs that flood my mailbox every winter. 

Of course, I want to grow everything in my garden, but even my giddy, excited winter self knows that that's not practical for the space that I have and the time that I have to devote to it.  So, I take the time to plan things out methodically and practically to ensure that I'll have a productive and manageable space.

I'm incredibly excited to be teaching the Planning Your Garden workshop in just a few short weeks.  I'll be talking about everything that you need to know to get started in gardening, whether this is your first year or you've been at it for a few years and want to take your growing to the next level.  We'll discuss everything from picking and preparing the right sight to choosing the right crops to grow in your space and how to maximize your space to some of the the challenges and pitfall you might come across and strategies for dealing with them.  Make sure to bring any and all questions so that we can help troubleshoot them!

Register now to reserve your spot!


Become a Volunteer Farm Educator at Arcadia

"Watching kids see a carrot pulled from the ground for the first time is something special. Their eyes light up and and you can almost witness the synapses in their brain fire. Before your very eyes, their schema for a carrot has changed. That's pretty awesome." - Volunteer Farm Educator

Arcadia Farm field trips are full of aha! moments: when a child sees a pumpkin on the vine for the first time, when kids try radishes - and actually like them, when a teachers gets a great idea for his school garden. Volunteer Farm Educators are a key part of making it all happen.

They help monitor the space, provide instruction and supervision, and assist with general garden maintenance. We provide training for volunteers who can commit to one Wednesday, Thursday or Friday each week from 9:30am to 2:30 per week from April 1st to June 15. The full volunteer position description is here.

Helping kids discover where their food comes from is pretty magical and we happen to think it has long-term impacts, like healthier lifestyles and a healthier environment. If you want to get involved, email info@arcadiafood.org with your resume and a note describing your interest. We'd love to have your help!


Calling all early birds: Register now for Arcadia Farm Camp

Warmer months may seem far away, but we're already excited about a summer full of food, farming and fun: Registration for the 2013 season of Arcadia Farm Camp opens today! This year, we're even offering an Early Bird discount to campers who complete registration on or before March 15, so sign up now!

We're already busy planning a jam-packed schedule full of hands-on activities. There's tried and true activities, like building bug houses and making squish squash pasta, plus new ideas to try, like a food miles relay race and solar oven cooking. (101 Gardening Projects for Kids is one of our favorite resources for fun kids stuff.) We'll be working with our new Farm Director Stephen to find the right projects for young farmers and we're definitely recruiting chefs for some tasty seasonal cooking demos - email liz@arcadiafood.org if you know a chef who wants to stop by!

Plus, we're already accepting donations to the Arcadia Farm Camp Scholarship Fund. If you think it's important for all kids to have the opportunity to discover where their food comes from, head over to our scholarship fund page to learn more.