Bah-bah-bah: spring babies on a farm

Last Import - 1 of 15

Good Friday was coming up and my friend Wendy came a’calling with another field trip idea. Last time, she wanted me to join in an almost irresistible trip to collect and “process” heritage breed turkeys for Thanksgiving. But somehow I did resist the urge to go (deadlines have a way of wrecking pre-holiday slaughter plans), and I’ve been kicking … Continue reading

Let’s Hit the Highlights: 2015

Dont sit baby in corner

It’s that time of year when sentimentality reigns. It’s OK to get all weepy at a Christmas movie or the thought of being “home” in a few days — or with thanks that I’ve made it through another year as a journalist. Yes, that last one is a real thing. It was with great endurance that … Continue reading

Can I fall back now? And farmer stories you don’t want to miss!

Photos by Conni Leigh James

Just in case it snows this winter, Washington is on a dead sprint to get all its events and restaurant openings and panel discussions out of the way Right. Now. Food Day and James Beard Foundation and Stone Barns all planned their big educational events for the this month, and a million others have been … Continue reading

Urban Farming (and me) on The Kojo Show


As my food nonprofit friend put it to our little book club, I’m GONNA BE ON THE KOJO SHOW, and I’d love for you to tune in Wednesday at 1 p.m. [UPDATE: You can listen to the segment on the show at this link. Enjoy!] After listening to Food Wednesdays for as long as I’ve lived in … Continue reading

Curbing food waste (convictions) on the home front


I often come home from interviewing a farmer or a chef or an environmentalist of some stripe and find myself convicted about where my food is coming from, how I’m cooking it and its impact on the world. As a writer, I don’t necessarily have to act on these convictions. If I acted on every one … Continue reading

Small Farms Making a Living on Leased Land


This past summer, I had the pleasure of traveling across Virginia’s Piedmont region (and a little south) to capture the stories of eight farms. My photographer friend Jami McDowell traveled with me for most of them, capturing these beautiful photos (despite very real fears that she might have to deliver my baby on that last … Continue reading

Ramps + Morels + Asparagus = Spring Risotto


I was beginning to have farmers market withdrawal. We had three super busy weekends, two of them out of town, keeping me away from the Saturday markets that are now my best option. And I knew that some of my spring favorites were beginning to appear en masse. I needed to replenish some herbs that … Continue reading

Rebuilding the Foodshed, Soil & Human Health — VA Farm-to-Table Conference

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right, it’s food-and-farms conference season. It’s that time of year when production in the field slows  and farmers huddle inside event centers to discuss best practices and plot their course for the coming years. Did I mention that local farming conferences have some great local food? … Continue reading

Chefs as Catalysts for Change — Storified

Thoughtful preparations by the thoughtful Chef Jeff Witte at the Airlie Center's Harvest Dinner.

Update: In celebration of Food Day, which is today, here is a compilation of the tweets STORIFIED from Monday’s panel discussion — which went swimmingly! We learned so much from the panelists and keynote speaker Chef Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen. And, for those of you who couldn’t make it, “farm-to-table” is out — isn’t everything … Continue reading

Food, Environment & free tickets to the DC Green Festival


The Green Festival. It’s like a trade show — for goods and ideas — for the eco-minded (read: lots of free stuff). And it’s coming to DC’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21 and 22. If you’re planning to go and are also into food (Who isn’t these days?), I’ve … Continue reading