Archive for the ‘Organizations’ Category

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Code Green: Lincoln Heights

On Saturday, July 28th, from 10am-3pm Healthy Affordable Food For All (HAFA), DC Food For All, and the Green Scheme are teaming up to host a Community Brainstorm and Garden Build in the Lincoln Heights community in Ward 7. Just follow the sounds of wheels turning and music bumpin’ to 400 50th Street 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

Over a year later, working towards a Food Policy Council

[Cross-posted on the Bread for the City blog] This past week Bread for the City was awarded a grant from Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States for the DC Food System Organizing Workgroup. This grant will provide the resources and support needed to build upon the almost a year and a half of work by [...]

Food Forests and Renewable Power – A Great Combination

Imagine a forest that is open to all, providing food and sanctuary, right in the middle of Washington.  While it might sound like a fairy tale, Ecolocity D.C. is developing a miniature version in the Pleasant Plains neighborhood and hopes to expand this vision throughout the city. While the sun powers the growth of the [...]

Growing Gardeners with Rooftop Workshops

We’re not just growing vegetables on our rooftops here at Bread for the City. We’re growing gardeners.

Some of our clients have never really seen a garden before, let alone worked in one themselves. Many people, however, have fond memories of gardening in their youth (as part of family and community traditions), but no longer have access to green space these days. For all, our rooftop gardens are an opportunity to learn about food at its source, and to develop some capacity for growing it ourselves.

So in addition to our daily open hours (Monday through Thursday, 9-11am), we’re also conducting gardening workshops to learn and practice together. In these workshops, a mix of staff, volunteers and clients learn how to make their own containers, how to plant them, and facts about different herbs. We learn the science behind the plants and then we our hands dirty. Participants also enjoy lunch prepared with fresh ingredients grown right there in the garden. At the end of the workshops, clients receive both produce and potted plants to take home for their own budding gardens!

Brenden Armstrong, a local professional horticulturist, has been joining us to share best practices and ideas for how to grow vegetables and herbs in containers. Here’s what Brenden says about the class:

During the first class clients had the opportunity to plant basil, tomato, and pepper plants. For the second class they planted more herbs including thyme, oregano, lavender, and mint.

All of these plants were chosen because they are easy to grow both within and outside of the home, and they also provide good yields. Most herbs will supply plenty throughout the year when harvested correctly; basil, for instance, can be harvested every few weeks. Tomatoes and peppers can also be grown easily and grow enough that a couple of plants will suffice for each person in the household.

Throughout the workshops we emphasized the opportunities to use materials around clients’ homes to reduce the costs of gardening. We talked about how you can make everyday items such as yogurt cups and plastic juice jugs into containers for growing vegetables and herbs.
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Brainfood Community MVPs

Food advocates these days don’t have it easy.   There’s plenty written on the ways that poverty, access, and obesity influence what we eat — now fair food activists are exploring what resources, approaches, and strategies are successfully changing how we eat.  Just last month, a UNC-based study found that simply improving access to supermarkets in [...]

Strawberries & Salad Greens 2011

A Spring Harvest Celebration in D.C. Schools

“Salad greens! Salad greens!” was the surprising, yet endearing chant heard loud and clear in the cafeteria of Bancroft Elementary of the Mount Pleasant neighborhood at DC Farm to School Network’s 2nd annual Strawberries & Salad Greens event on May 25, 2011.

Strawberries and salad greens from farms of the mid-Atlantic region were incorporated into the lunch menufor the day in all 123 DCPS elementary, middle, high schools and educational campuses. Other schools in the city to participate included Friendship Public Charter Schools, CentroNia/D.C. Bilingual PCS, E.W. Stokes PCS, Cesar Chavez PCS (all campuses), Yu Ying PCS, Washington Jesuit Academy, Next Step Public Charter School, and The SEED School.

33 cafeterias across the city also featured a “Where Food Comes From” table. Educational materials provided for those tables included a map and pictures of the farmers who harvested the plants, packets of seeds to grow the plants, and a strawberry and salad green plant to discuss with the kids the process of how part of their lunch was planted, grown, and then harvested.

Festive stickers with the Strawberries & Salad Greens logo were also provided to all students, which they wore proudly on shirts, hands, and even foreheads, as they munched and commented on the special additions to their school lunch: How does it taste? Sweet! Do you know where strawberries come from? The farm! A garden! What do you think these seeds need to grow? Water! Sun! Love! What do you eat strawberries in? Smoothies! Cake! Salad!

Strawberries & Salad Greens is just one example of how DC Farm to School Network is helping introduce fresh produce to kids and create an interest in tasting and learning about where nutritious food comes from.

For more information on upcoming DC Farm to School Network events, please visit

Barn Dancin’ for Beet Street Garden

House party/barn dance/potluck to celebrate the first year of Beet Street Gardens and donate to raise a (small) barn for the garden at Bruce House, a program of Sasha Bruce Youthworks! The actual (quite small) barn raising (definition here) will be raised by volunteers in the spring, just before the planting season.

The party is Saturday, December 11th at 1412 Parkwood Pl NW. Potluck dinner at 7:00. Contra, two-step, square dancing, fire pit, and good company ’till late.

$10 suggested donation. No one turned away. All proceeds go to Beet Street.

There will be a fire pit on the porch, a keg of beer, and a pot of mulled wine. We will have Gabe Popkin calling dances and old timey tunes from local musicians.

All are welcome. RSVP here.