While living in D.C. it’s hard to avoid the booming food community that surrounds us. There are numerous restaurants and food trucks to satisfy our hunger cravings, and websites (like Spoon) that give you a break down of all the foodie havens around the city.
Like everyone else I do enjoy these resources, but I think its important to take notice of the other ways that you can become involved in the food community. Let’s turn the spotlight onto the local farms that grow the delicious foods that we eat around D.C. Below are a list of ways to become more involved in the D.C. farm community, from shopping to volunteering.
Go to your farmers market
This one may seem like an obvious one, but you would be surprised how many people don’t realize there is a market right around the corner from them. Summer is coming to a close, but most farmers markets stay open until the end of fall. Not only are these markets a great way to check off your grocery list, but they also allow you to meet some of the farmers and learn more about their work.
For GW students, the Foggy Bottom market is right next to the metro stop, and they take GWorld. They are open from 3pm-7pm on Wednesdays, and will be around until November 25th. For those who are willing to go off campus here is a list of markets in the area, and their operating hours. So roll out of bed Sunday morning, grab a coffee, and take a stroll through some of D.C.’s farmers markets.
I know we all have a few hours of the day that we binge watch Netflix (I know… I do it too), but if you are feeling up for it there are several local organizations all about food that you can volunteer with.
- Common Good City Farm: A model for a community-based urban food system, Common Good City Farm aims to “grow food, educate, and help low-income DC community members meet their food needs.” Gardens throughout the city help people learn to grow their own food and to make healthy choices while building better community bonds. If you click here you can see the many ways you can become involved with the organization.
- Neighborhood Farm Initiative: Similar to Common Good City Farm, Neighborhood Farm Initiative focuses on urban farming. Yet again they have volunteer options such as a “Healthy Happy Hour” where you help garden. They also have internship opportunities, for all those interested! Click here to find out more.
- dcgreens: Similar to the other two, but another option, dcgreens hopes to educate the younger generation about food. You can lead cooking demos to 3rd-8th grade classrooms, work on a local farm, and work with a local school garden. Click here to find out more.
This is a very small list; so take the time to do your own personal research depending on your preferences!
Sign up for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
CSA is amazing and a time saver. As much as I love food, sometimes it gets old going to the grocery store and trying to decide what to make for dinner. As a member to CSA, you pay a flat fee and claim part of a farm’s harvest. So depending on the farm, monthly or weekly, you will receive a box of in season produce either at your door or a set pick-up location.
Some farms have pickup locations near schools, farmers markets, or stores so make sure to check where the produce is being delivered. Some CSAs even include meat, bread, and eggs, making it almost unnecessary to go to the grocery store. Here is an up-to-date list of farms that are participating in CSA, prices, produce, and pickup locations (one of which is the farmers market right here in Foggy Bottom!)
GW’s GroW Community (formerly the Food Justice Alliance) co-hosts a CSA on campus. They partner with the Lancaster Farm Co-op to bring Certified Organic produce to the campus. Click here to sign up and find out more information. A heads up, the Fall season sign ups will close towards the end of October.
Of course D.C. is a great city to explore new cuisines, but take advantage of these opportunities to gain a new perspective on our food culture!