Columbia Heights marketplace opens

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The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace opened Saturday, June 5, with a kickoff that hit more than a few hallmarks of a community event. The market, which debuted its regular time of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in its home at 14th Street and Park Road NW, brought together individuals of different political stripes, shoppers of varied tastes, and members of several generations.

Eight sellers offered everything from strawberries and garlic scapes to bratwurst and blue cheese, with some sunflowers, wine vinegar, garden-ready plants, and French pastries as well. Not only did mayoral race foes Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray stand on the same stage, but nearly the whole City Council (as well as the Ward One representative to the school board, Dotti Wade Love) turned up to make an appearance or sent volunteers to collect signatures get them on the ballot. A gravely-voiced resident who had lived on Kenyon Street for 55 years stood yards away from a pint-sized poet who had barely been walking for five. Dance and music, from performers of every age in between, rounded out the entertainment.

Click over to the full article, including video and a photo slide show.

D.C. Vegetarian Cooking Group to hold farmers market brunch

brunch spread

The D.C. Vegetarian Cooking Group has announced that it will put local fare at the center of its June event. Jack Zahora, who heads the group that meets once a month for a pot luck meal or restaurant outing, is encouraging the members to shop at an area farmers market the weekend of June 5, whip up dishes based on the ingredients they purchase, and show them off at a brunch on June 6. The event will take place at the grill-equipped Columbia Heights home of one of the members.

This event comes at an opportune time, as the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace is slated to open that weekend, and the home-hosted brunch is becoming all the rage  in D.C.

Zahora, a D.C.-based journalist, has given a preview of the spread. He plans to make a vegetable frittata, baked mostachioli, mimosas, and grilled tomato sandwiches. Other items on the menu include vegan quinoa salad with vegetables, Belgian waffles, and sorbet.

D.C. Vegetarian Cooking Group Farmers Market Brunch

June 6, 1 p.m.

Columbia Heights

For more information, go to the group’s website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed. To join the group and find out the particulars of the brunch location, email Jack Zahora.

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

Valentine’s Day film fest loves local foods

Nora Pouillon selects veggies at a farmers market.

Washington D.C.’s FRESHFARM Markets’ new year started with good news: A mini documentary about the organization would be part of Yachad‘s Our City Film Festival slated for February 14 at D.C.’s Goethe Institute. Not only that, but the film would appear alongside “Nora!” featuring a restaurateur who embraces local and organic food.

“I’m thrilled to have a film about FRESHFARM Markets and to document in some way how the markets were created and what vision was behind it,” said FRESHFARM co-director and co-founder Ann Yonkers.

Yachad, which mobilizes the Washington-area Jewish community to repair and rebuild lower-income neighborhoods, selected 14 films for the third annual festival and divided them into four categories—Our Body, Our Mind, Our Heart, and Our Soul. “FRESHFARM Markets” will appear in the body category and is, of course, about FRESHFARM and its nine producer-only markets in the D.C. area. Their markets include such favorites as the Dupont Circle farmers market and the farmers market at the White House.

Read the whole story…

Local foods for couch potatoes

(This is cross-posted from my Examiner.com site.)

For a practice that is supposed to reduce food miles, eating locally can sure take a lot of footwork. Finding that one particular ingredient or a farmers market within a short distance can prove difficult. Luckily, the Internet can step in to do that work for you! Here are two sites that allow even the biggest homebody foodie or most busy Washingtonian to go local or sustainable. Continue reading

Farmers Markets 101: How to find a market near you

One farmers market found - a few hundred to go!

Savoring that just-picked flavor. Supporting the local economy. Making a direct connection to the people who grow your food. Reasons for shopping at farmers markets are as rich and abundant as the farm-fresh produce they sell.

If you are reading this article, chances are good that you already have a reason, and now want to find a market nearby your home or work place. Or perhaps you shop regularly at a farmers market, but would like to sample a new one.

Luckily, you have over 220 farmers markets to choose from in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Several online resources offer ways to sort through them to find a market that fits your needs and location.

Each listing below includes location, day, time, and contact information for each market. Note that the information is always changing, so I recommend calling or emailing first before heading to a new destination.

Still not sure where to find a farmers market? Email me.

Hey, readers – this is a re-post from my Examiner.com site.

Organic agriculture, James Beard Awards, sourdough, and a new “examiner”

What a week!

On Monday, May 4, sustainable foodies triumphed at the 2009 James Beard Awards. Among the winners of these Oscars of the gourmet world are Michael Pollan (for his “eaters’ manifesto” In Defense of Food) and Dan Barber (for his chefing, which gives a whole new meaning to local ingredients).

Then organic farming got a $50 million boost as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (a.k.a. EQIP). The USDA will use these funds to support certified organic producers and those transitioning to organic practices.

Next came a more personally positive story when a Hopkins writing classmate published a wonderful tale of fermentation and family in the Post.

In another YaD-level bit of news, this blog writer got set up as the DC farmers market examiner for (you guessed it) examiner.com–not the newspaper, but an online publication with all kinds of useful, insider information… and completely useless procrastination reading (you’ll have to be the judge of where my info falls) . More on my farmers market scooping soon.

Rainy day at the farmers’ market

Transplants2Farmers market on a rainy daywet apples

Sunday’s rain started early, and by 10 a.m., there was little doubt: this was a dismal day for outdoor activities. Yet the farmers still showed up at the farmers’ market in Takoma Park, and shoppers made it worth their while. The market on Carroll Ave. has become essential for many of us, it seems, and we’re determined to buy.

For me, it was surely worth it. I got all my important staples for the coming week (bread, greens, potatoes, apples, cider, free-range blue eggs), along with a few fun extras like garlic greens and peppercress. Luckily, aside from a soggy egg carton, everything made it home safe.

Now I have my bounty, and the knowledge that I did my small part to support local foods and sustainable growing practices. Viva la famers’ market!