Editors' pick

Eat Local First Week

Food festival

Editorial Review

Celebrate Eat Local First Week

by Stephanie Merry
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It turns out the food possibilities in Mount Pleasant extend far beyond the menus of Tonic and Radius Pizza. Urban explorers who go on Saturday's Back Road Foraging Tour, part of Eat Local First Week, will wander into the woods to find that the neighborhood's edibles include wineberries, walnuts and dandelions.

The week-long celebration of sustainable, locally grown food runs through Saturday. Other events include a lesson in community-supported agriculture, a tour of the city's urban vegetable gardens, a tutorial on vegan cooking and the chance to sip on "foraged" cocktails at the Gibson. Here's a rundown of some of the highlights.


The CSA Movement in Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday nights, you'll often see a line of people stretching down P Street, sifting through baskets of herbs and bok choy delivered from one of the many farms that participate in community-supported agriculture programs (also known as farm shares). Get a tutorial on how the programs work - and why they provide a perfect excuse to figure out what the heck to do with mustard greens - at 6 p.m. tonight at Busboys and Poets. It's free.


Local Sourcing with Ris
Here's a good reason to show up late to work: Ris Lacoste, former 1789 chef, who now owns Ris, is paying a visit to Busboys and Poets from 8-10 a.m. July 14. Lacoste will talk about her career and her emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients. The event is part of the monthly Triple Bottom Line Business Breakfast series. http://triplebottomlinebusiness.eventbrite.com/ for ticketing information. $10-$25.

Vegan Food Demonstration
Even omnivores have to admit that the all-veggie offerings at Java Green and Cafe Green are pretty tasty. Jimmy Cooney, who manages both restaurants, will pay a visit to the farmer's market by the White House and offer a few lessons on making dishes with locally grown, in-season vegetables. 3:30-4:30 p.m. FreshFarm Market, 810 Vermont Ave. NW. Free.


Edible Urban Garden Tour
This tour aims to prove that city dwelling and farming are not mutually exclusive. The self-guided jaunt begins at Old City Green, the oasis of greenery near the Convention Center, and continues on to a handful of private homes and public gardens. Visitors will also get a chance to sneak a peek at the rooftop garden at Bread for the City and the fruit trees at Common Good City Farm. After the tour, head back to Old City Green for a community gathering, complete with a seasonal cocktail. 5 to 8 p.m., Old City Green, 902 N St. NW. www.loulies.com/edible-urban-garden-tour for tickets. $10.

Back Road Foraging Tour
"Wildman" Steve Brill leads a tour that looks at edible foods that might just be growing along your daily bus commute. The 90-minute tour and discussion culminates with a treat courtesy of Pleasant Pops, made of fruits and herbs collected in D.C. 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Meet in the park at 16th Street and Columbia Road NW. eatlocalfirstdc.eventbrite.com/ for ticket information. $15.

The Foraged Cocktail
If you prefer appreciating the fruits of someone else's foraging, head to the Gibson for beverages concocted with foraged wineberries and other found edibles. The ticket price covers the cost of cocktails. 7 p.m. http://eatlocalfirstdc.eventbrite.com/ for ticket information. $60.


Farm-to-Street Party
Eat Local First Week ends on a raucous note with a family-friendly festival that promises loads of locally grown food, not to mention local craft beer and wine. There will also be a pie-eating contest, dunking booth (you might just need it) and live music. Noon to 5 p.m. V Street between 13th and 14th streets NW. http://eatlocalfirstdc.eventbrite.com/ for ticket information. $15, includes two food tickets.