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May 24, 2011 | posted in Partners by seedlingprojects

Roadside Food Projects

Roadside Food Projects was founded in 2010 in Washington, DC to grow innovative food initiatives. We are committed to authentic projects that further our vision for community development and create a more inclusive and dynamic food system. Roadside Food Projects identifies exciting opportunities across the gastronomic landscape. We provide our partners with sustainable strategies, technical support and creative resources that transform projects into successful ventures. Together, our diverse initiatives forge a comprehensive vision for a new future of food.

May 20, 2011 | posted in Blog by seedlingprojects

Lunch for Today, Food for the Future

Hand-decorated bay leaves, a wheat berry salad with arugula and apples, local fresh flowers, family style serving platters, and farmer-hosts at each table –together these created the “Lunch on the Quad”, which brought to life the working solutions to our food system in Washington D.C.

The Future of Food conference, put on by the Washington Post Live, brought together a diverse group of stakeholders in the food movement, including CEOs, activists, policymakers, students and organization leaders, to talk about the solutions needed to fix our current food system. The Future of Food was a day-long conference with four panel discussions, speeches by industry leaders Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Patrick Holden (Sustainable Food Trust), and a rousing keynote by His Royal Highness Prince Charles. Seedling Projects collaborated with Bon Appetit Management Company and D.C. non-profits, with the generous support of Kaiser Permanente, to produce a lunch that continued the conversations sparked by the panelists and speakers over a family-style meal.

So, it’s just lunch right? At some level, lunch is always a meal falling approximately in the middle of the day. But each element of the “Lunch on the Quad”, which occurred inside two of Georgetown’s most beautiful rooms, the Copley Lounge and Riggs Library, carried meaning and intention. The intention to show how to eat a delicious meal that directly supports local farmers and is healthful and affordable (~ $10 person for a four-course meal). This intention combined with the lunch keynote by White House Chef Sam Kass and Blue Hill at Stone Barns Chef Dan Barber created lunch more powerful than just your everyday PB&Js.

Hand-decorated bay leaves. The children from E.W. Stokes public charter school and Martha’s Table donated their youthful artistic talents to decorate 350 bay leaves that sprang to life at each place setting. The leaf decoration, coordinated by Farm to Desk D.C. coordinator Peter Nalli, was integrated into a lesson on herbs. Our first group of artists hails from the E.W. Stokes public charter school, the pilot school of the Farm to Desk program which integrates food and ecology into lessons on math and english. The Farm to Desk program teaches healthy eating habits through an integrated food curriculum, a dining hall serving from-scratch food, and a thriving organic garden at the school, in addition to a growing online wiki of lesson content that aligns food curriculum with core learning standards. Our second group of artists came from Martha’s Table, a shelter in D.C. that recently replaced much of its canned food with freshly-cooked meals, adding emphasis to healthy food in their programs. Both organizations are pioneering the integration of fresh food and education into these children’s lifestyles.

A wheat berry salad with arugula and apples. Prepared and served by Bon Appetit Management Company, this meal showcased the best local farms and food producers, all within 150 miles of Washington D.C. Sourced through FRESHFARM Markets, which organizes eleven farmers’ markets in the D.C. area, these family farmers provided all the ingredients for the lunch, including spring flower honey from Bon Appetit’s own Jay Keller and watermelon puree from young Allesandra Bergmark of Even’ Star Organic Farm in Maryland. From these local ingredients, Bon Appetit Management Company cooked a meal centered around healthful whole grains and vegetables. Bon Appetit, leaders in sustainable food service with over 400 university, museum and corporate cafes, championed the meal with careful preparation, creative recipes and graceful service. The result was a delicious reflection of the D.C. region.

Family-style serving platters. In an experience concepted and designed by the architects and graphic designers at BCV Architects and Amy Barboro Design, we served each dish family style. This communal dining experience sat renowned activists and policymakers among students and farmers, passing platters of spring asparagus and mesclun greens as the conversation and ideas flowed naturally from the morning to afternoon conference sessions. Students in D.C. Central Kitchen’s “Fresh Start” program, a job training program for those overcoming addiction, incarceration and homelessness, served the platters and added additional local flair to the organizations involved.

Local fresh flowers. Local florist Sidra Flowers arranged each of the centerpiece bouquets. Sidra sources from local organic gardens, whether the backyard or farm. The fresh flowers in each bouquet bloomed life into each room.

Farmer-hosts at each table. Local farmers hosted each of the tables, travelling sometime two hours that morning to proudly represent their growing region. Interspersed amongst the other conference attendees, these farmers supplied not only the rhubarb and kale, but also a valuable farmer’s perspective to each table. The farms represented included Big City Farms in Baltimore, MD, Gun Powder Bison Ranch in Monktown, MD, and Wade’s Mill in Raphine, VA, among others.

In a special moment immediately preceding the lunch, Prince Charles met with one member from each organization and company collaborating on the lunch. These lucky champions of the sustainable food movement included Sarah Weiner (Seedling Projects), Hans Baldauf (BCV Architects), Jay Keller (Bon Appetit Management Company), Gwen Perkins (DC Central Kitchen), Jim Crawford (Tuscarona Growers Cooperative), Sam Kass (White House Chef) and Dan Barber (Blue Hill at Stone Barns). The special recognition for those producing lunch highlighted our renewed commitment to creating a food system that values the people working on the ground every day, from farmers to chefs, to community nonprofits.

- Gavin Crynes

Photos by Nikki Kahn and Tracy Woodward of the Washington Post

May 11, 2011 | posted in Projects by admin

Good Food Awards

San Francisco, CA
January 2013
Photo Galleries
Awards Ceremony 2012
Marketplace 2012
Good Food Awards 2012

Photography by Marc Fiorito of Gamma Nine Photography

May 10, 2011 | posted in Press by seedlingprojects

US School Tries to Build Healthier Food Culture

An elementary school in Washington, D.C., has launched an innovative program to provide a more healthful food culture for its students.
In a third grade mathematics class at E.W. Stokes Public Charter School, 8- and 9-year-old students are learning a basic math concept; how to create combinations, which in this case includes items like spinach and eggplant.

“We just incorporated food into different types of combinations,” says their teacher, Hannah Chen. “Like with the pizza, they had two types of toppings that the kids can provide and figuring out the different combinations using those toppings.”

This year the school started a special program to weave food topics into its third-grade math and English curricula. Designed in partnership with Seedling Projects, a non-profit environmental group based in San Francisco, California, the program is called Farm to Desk.

Full article by June Soh of Voice of America

| posted in Past Projects Projects by seedlingprojects

Future of Food

Washington, D.C.
May 4, 2011
More Information
View a video of the Lunch

Photography by Nikki Hahn and Tracy Woodward of the Washington Post