Local arugula for a global cure

Wow. It’s been a month since I posted. In that time, I led a Shabbat event about global hunger, finished that enlightening cleanse, sat in on my first farmers market board meeting, interviewed for an article on farmers markets in a major progressive publication, and–just yesterday–put on a brunch fundraiser with locally-sourced foods.

I have a lot of catching up to do! For now, though, I’ll just say THANK YOU to the 18 folks who came out to the brunch, and the others who gave remotely (I owe you guys apple-cinnamon pancakes!). …And I’ll tell you that my donation thermometer is bubbling with happiness about my reaching 100+ percent of my goal. …And I’ll post the menu to the brunch.

Thanks again, everyone!

Black River Café Brunch

Menu

Hashbrowns

Twin Springs Farm potatoes and onions

Pancakes

  • Mixed Berry-Chocolate Chip (Many Hands Organic Farm raspberries, Frog Eye Farm blueberries)

  • Apple-cinnamon (Twin Springs apples)

  • Strawberry-Banana (Virginia strawberries) – gluten/dairy-free available

Scrambled Eggs

Local veggies and Smith Meadows eggs

  • Tomato-Basil-Arugula-Provolone

  • Summer Squash-Chard-Cheddar

  • Spring Onion-Asparagus-Arugula

Yogurt and Fruit

Keswick Creamery yogurt, local fruit, bananas, local honey

TO DRINK:

Orange Juice Mimosas

Coffee (fair trade and organic, with grass-fed cow milk)

Teas

Crossroads update: Going the extra mile (or 10)!

Ellen and Rhea kick booty

The Crossroads spirit was with me on Sunday. At 6 a.m., I headed down to the starting line of Washington D.C.’s Marine Corps Marathon decked out in my Crossroads Farmers Market shirt and fortified by a well-wishing card from the market’s director. (For anyone interested, my tummy was fortified by some organic coffee and a PB & J on sprouted grain bread–what I’ve found to be an excellent pre-race snack).

I went into this knowing that the campaign to rejuvenate the Crossroads’ Fresh Checks program for low-income shoppers through writing articles about it and running 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) had not actually reached its goal. My attempt at a charitable and world-healing act–an act of tikkun olam–had raised awareness and monetarily netted just shy of $700 ($698 to be exact) in donations. My goal was $1,000, but I was pretty sure I had reached my limit. The market managers had sent the ask to their supporters and shoppers, too, so together we had tried the best we could. Continue reading

Yes, we kale! Er, can.

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The Marine Corps Marathon 10K is seven days away, and I’m still fundraising.

This morning, I headed to the Takoma Park Farmers Market with the goal of drumming up some donations in addition to doing my usual shopping. I expected to make my plug, hand out my fliers, and just hope people would go to the website or send in a check to make a contribution to the Crossroads Farmers Market.

Then, as I was finishing my spiel, one woman bundled up against the cold just about cut me off. “So can I just give you a donation?” she said impatiently. I shut  my mouth and nodded. Then she handed me a $5 bill–less than the checks and PayPal funds we’d been seeing, but enough for a Fresh Check for a family’s week of groceries. Of course! I thought.

In the next few minutes, I got yet more cash. One donor was a man without a coat, wearing faded sweat pants. He was trying to catch a bus trundling closer to us every minute. Yet he took the time to fish a dollar out of his pocket and present it for the cause. If I’d stayed for another hour or two, I could have filled a hat or even quart basket.

I couldn’t stay longer because I had to scoot off to work for this announcement, but I’d learned something for the next time: Community support can come not only in chunks of money over the internet from your network of friends, but can come from total strangers in small but numerous packages.

So as James and Holly Hammond’s “Obama kale” from Waterpenny Farm reminds us, yes, the community kale! Er, can.

With that in mind, I went off and ran eight miles today–farther than I’ve ever run, and almost two miles beyond what I’ll have to do next Sunday.

Thank you to everyone who has given!

Seven miles down, many veggies to go

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I’m at it again–asking friends and family to support the Crossroads Farmers Market. Before you read on, consider the photo you see above. This is a (slightly out of focus) example of elote loco, the wacky corn-on-the-cob snack you can’t find at any farmers market but the Crossroads. Behind that, you’ve got some truly fine-looking (and actually in-focus) zucchini. I just thought this yummy combo might help you envision how fun and healthy this market is.

And now, here’s the little update I sent out today:

Hello, everyone! I have good news. I ran seven miles this morning–a personal record–and this afternoon, the Crossroads Farmers Market received a $100 donation. More good stuff: Some of you have already given to support Fresh Checks, allowing low-income shoppers to buy more fruits and veggies, and modeling how communities can come together.

Unfortunately, I still have a ways to go to reach my $1,000 goal by the time of the Marine Corps Marathon 10K. If you’ve mentioned wanting to give, now’s the time! You can make a contribution via PayPal on the Crossroads site or send a check through mail or through me! Now’s also a good time to send this along to friends 🙂

If you didn’t receive my first email, or want a reminder of what this is all about, check out the message below [Blog readers, see the previous post].

As we’ve seen from the organic garden at the White House and the farmers market nearby, progressive food efforts in DC get noticed. Please consider making this another small but inspiring example. Thanks for your support!

Rhea

Running for Fresh Checks

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Dear Reader:

This week, I sent the message below to friends and family to raise funds for a cause I believe in. That cause just so happens to relate to food! Check it out, and give if you can.

Hello, friends! I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the new, fresh nip in the air.

I’m writing to ask for a little help. Recent chilly mornings and evenings have found me running, with the goal of completing my first 10K race on October 25. This is a bit of a challenge, given that my average run before this clocked in around 3 miles and this is more than double that!  (The run is part of the Marine Corps Marathon. Somehow this is very different from triathlons!)

I’m doing this to inspire others to do something new, too–to learn about and support a matching funds program for low-income shoppers at the Crossroads Farmers Market.

This program is in peril, and badly needs a boost to finish out the market season.

My goal, by the day of the race, is to raise at least $1,000. That equals  a market day’s worth of “Fresh Checks” – extra funding that low income shoppers can use for fresh produce. The race is just three weeks away!

A gift of $50, $25, $10, or whatever you can manage would make a huge difference in this effort, and for a lot of people trying to eat healthy, and feed their families in a healthy way, on a limited budget.

To give, go to http://www.crossroadsproject.org and click on “Donate.”  If you’d like to pay by check, you can certainly mail one, or give it to me to pass along.

If you’d like to know more about how the program works, read on.

Continue reading