Archive for the ‘Farmers’ Category

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DC Food Future Agenda: get out your highlighter

Cross posted from Yeah, check it out.

Here’s a sneak peak at what HAFA has in store for DC Food Future next Saturday, December 8. Expect blog posts all next week describing the sessions and activities in more detail. Register here and donate to keep the event free and accessible for all.

DC Food Future Summit, December 8th

Healthy and Affordable Food for All is planning a mega-event for community members, organizers, foodies, workers, policy wonks and everyone in between. Stay tuned for details or email us at to get involved.

Food Day – Lot’s of Exciting Events

Reminder! Healthy and Affordable Food for All invites you to :

All Hands on Summit Advisory Space Meeting
TONIGHT – October 22, 2012
Center for Green Urbanism
3938 Benning Rd. NE

Bustin’ Loose Food Justice Party

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="427" caption="Tashira Halyard, Mac Gaskins, Gail Taylor and Xavier Brown"][/caption]

On Saturday, July 17th, a community of gardeners, community organizers, and activists came together to host a BBQ, speak out, and dance party to raise funds for urban agriculture projects in DC. More than 40 people supported this effort by joining in the discussion and sharing their own stories and visions for a more just food system. The event was hosted by Heal Our Hood, Three Part Harmony Farm and SPARC-DC, and supported by several Healthy Affordable Food for All staffers.

Check out this video by Zachari Curtis (HAFA) & Judy Hawkins of It Is What It Is Mobile Talk Show:

Here’s what Gail Taylor of Three Part Harmony Farm had to say on their blog:

Following a relaxed meal with beers, burgers and grilled veggies, representatives of different groups talked about their efforts for Food Justice, about the challenges they are facing, and their visions for the future of urban agriculture in the district. The speakers were Tashira Halyard of Heal Our Hood, an organization that was created in 2008 to respond to food and health disparities in low-income communities in Washington, D.C.; JJ Heyward, a gardener and community organizer, Gail Taylor of Three Part Harmony Farm; and Xavier Brown, a master gardener and the Green Scheme‘s Director of Urban Agriculture.

Heal our Hood’s primary goal is to eradicate food deserts (areas with limited access to healthy foods) through community organizing, social justice initiatives, nutritional education, and community gardening. The Green Scheme is an organization designed to educate people of diverse cultural backgrounds about their role in the environmental movement. Zachari Curtis added additional information about the history of agriculture in Washington, DC.

If you’d like to host an event that helps people learn and celebrate their food system, contact us at

National Black Agriculture Awareness Week and other Mouthfuls

Black Agricultural Awareness Week is about recognizing, educating, and celebrating the contribution of African Americans, and People of African Descent, to agriculture in our everyday lives.

My Grandfather, Our Garden

[Cross-posted from Bread for the City's story bank. Tell your story of food and family now!]

I loved my grandfather, James Madison. He ran a tobacco and dairy farm. I spent most of my summers on his farm. We would wake up around 5:00 in the morning, and I would help him bring the cows up from the lower grazing pastures to the milking bays. We would feed the hogs and check the chicken coops for eggs to eat at breakfast. While Granddaddy milked the cow, we would eat breakfast with the milk and eggs. The milk was so fresh my grandmother had to blow the creamy butter away from the rim of the pitcher so that the butter in the milk would not go into our cereal bowls. No pasteurization or preservatives, and, no surprise, we never got sick or had an allergic reaction to all that freshness.

I was sixteen years old before I had a birthday in my home town of Pittsburgh, PA. When I got off the big Greyhound bus each summer in Appomattox, VA, my grandfather would say, “Here comes my city grandson, down to the country to see how real men earn a living.” He would tease me, “Farming is hard work, and city boys do not know anything about working hard.” Then he would laugh with his big, boisterous laugh.

My grandfather was also a very religious, God-fearing man. When the sun started to get a bit hot and I started to fade, he would quote scripture (Genesis 2:15):

“AND the Lord took the man (Adam), and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”

My Garden of Eden is now located at 1525 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC. While working in Bread for the City’s Rooftop Garden this spring and summer, I swear I could feel my grandfather’s presence at times. One day this nice, warm, melancholy feeling came over me, and it was so strong that I started tearing up. I had to get control of my emotions before someone thought that I was crazy. I could hear my grandfather’s voice telling me “farming is hard work, but I prepared you for this very day.” That hot summer day set me up for a healthy make over.

From that moment on, my whole being changed! I made an appointment with BFC’s nutritionist, Sharon, so that I could take advantage of these fresh vegetables that I was harvesting from the Rooftop Garden. Sharon set me up with a good nutritious diet along with correct portion sizes. I lost twenty five pounds, my blood pressure got back to normal levels, and the exercise from riding my bike down to BFC and working in the garden made me feel one hundred percent better. Needless to say, Doctor Randi in the health care clinic was proud of me.

BFC’s Rooftop Garden was not only good for my health, but also my soul! BFC helped me take better care of myself, so I can be a blessing to others in my community. It reconnected me with the teachings of my childhood, that we need to fight for each other and fight for the earth, to be able to take care of each other and stay on our land. I’m glad for my Garden of Eden — a place where more people have the support to be whole people, together in community.

Want to share your own story? Go to Bread for the City’s story bank to share your traditions, memories, hopes and wonders.

Announcing D.C. Farm to School Week – Oct. 3-7, 2011!

What’s a child’s first reaction to a bright orange roasted sweet potato on her cafeteria tray? “Weird!” or “What’s that?!” But take that child to a nearby farm and show her how sweet potatoes are grown; or bring a local chef into her classroom to make a delicious sweet potato dish. Then what? That sweet potato in her school meal is gone before you know it!

The D.C. Farm to School Network is pleased to announce that the third annual D.C. Farm to School Week will take place October 3-7, 2011 in schools across Washington, DC! The week will get students excited about local food and where it comes from. Schools will feature seasonal, local foods in their school meals, and engage students in hands-on food education.

New Ward 7 Farmers Market

More options for healthy, affordable, fresh produce are coming east of the Anacostia River! On Saturday, September 3rd, a new Farmers Market will launch in the Parkside-Kenilworth neighborhood of Ward 7. This will be just the third currently operational market east of the River and will run from Labor Day through Thanksgiving. The Parkside-Kenilworth Farmers [...]