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Archive for the ‘Food & Restaurant’ Category

Well what have I been up to lately?? I have to say its been a crazy 2 months but filled with lots of good people. I have had the pleasure to get to know the deep dark secrets (ok, not really) of the On The Fly catering and vending company based in DC. How you may ask?  My wonderful, enthusiastic friend Tinisi Paelay has started up his own IT business in the past year, Otivus Solutions. Supplying top-notch IT services including executive computer systems, we get to work closely with OTF and their wonderful employees. With a young, bright team, the behind the scenes is filled with much love and passion to keep this ever-so-green company afloat.

Haven’t heard of OTF?? Aaha…have you ever noticed the green little karts (not a misspelled word, that’s what they call them) zooming around quietly around DC??? Well take notice next time; they are fully electric vending karts that are strategically placed throughout the best DC hotspots! They offer the same kind of food, but 10x better than traditional ugly, gas-guzzling – mystery – meat vendors around the Mall. All karts are fully equipped with natural beef hotdogs, local empanadas, organic and local sweet treats as well as our fellow neighbors, Honest Tea, plus lots more.

Michel Heitstuman is the CEO at OTF along with co-founder Christopher Lynch and VP marketing director (all around superman) Todd Cavaluzzi. These guys know how to start up and handle a business. I almost forgot to mention the kafes throughout DC as well. You can check one out in Farragut North metro station as well as Corcoran and Phillips galleries, all offering even more fresh local sandwiches and entrees. I have tried lots and I can say for myself they aren’t kidding around when they say “fresh. local. fun.”

For more on On The Fly, check them out!!

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ontheflydc

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ontheflydc

otf

ontheflycart

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So I have been a pretty busy recently with various projects ranging from my Argentina photo book (look here!), to working on computers for my friend’s IT company….But what I really enjoy lately is making things by myself, whether it be small craft projects, new clothing, or new recipes. 

RAIN BARREL
I already have my garden growing and I see some budding on the tomato and squash plants! VERY exciting! I have compost in action and the last thing I had to do to complete the outdoor project was to make a rain barrel catcher. Now you can surely purchase these barrels to attach to your gutter that has an attachable hose at the bottle, so it is as easy as 1-2-3 to water your plants. Check out these here. But they are quite expensive and plus for us, our gutter was far away from any plants we needed to water, so I made my own!

I purchased a cheap $10 plastic bin (like the compost one) with a lid. Then I purchased a gutter attachment that curves – see here, for another $10. Cut what you need off the existing gutter, attach the piece and curve it into the barrel. Easy as that! All for $20!

rainbarrel

What is left to do now is to cut a hole in the lid and stick the attachment in – this is so bugs don’t start feeding off the water…
When you want to water your plants, take a simple watering can and scoop up the water and take it where you need! After all this rain, it has been completely full for weeks – one step to save lots of water! 🙂

NEW(OLD) Skirt!
Next on the to do list I had was to make new clothes out of old. I am not amazing at sewing what-so-ever, actually I am pretty awful :/ but I wanted to try. So I took all the clothes out of my closet that I was going to sell but instead figured out how I can reuse them all together. So below is what I made out of 2 shirts…

Front

Side

So it’s not perfect, but hey, it is salvaging old clothes and one skirt less that I would otherwise buy… 🙂
I have been inspired by these few sites that are amazing! Check them out – anyone who wants to not buy new clothes, but would like to up-cycle their existing wardrobe…

Crafting a Greener World – sewing but as well as other home, craft projects…catch them on Twitter! @CAGW
Transforming a men’s shirt into a skirt … CraftGossip– This one is for a young girl, but Clever Girl has it figured out for woman.. I love them all and already got dad’s shirt to do my own! 

GOLDFISH!
I made my own Goldfish! Ok well in the end it was Goldcircles…I didn’t have any cookie cutters to make cool shapes but check it out!

GoldCircles

You can spot the few attempted “goldfish” I tried to make by hand. It was a simple recipe I found on Yumsugar, with only a few ingredients. VERY tasty! Better than the unknown ingredients found in store-bought goldfish…

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[Reporting from Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, MD, Saturday, May 16th. Baltimore’s School Food Service Director, Tony Geraci interviews Author Michael Pollen….]

“We need your help on this type of ‘Food’ Michelle Obama is growing….” Discovery Channel’s attempt to get Michael Pollen’s help on figuring out what all this hype is with Michelle Obama planting just plain old fruits and vegetables. Come on people! It is just recognizing the fact that our nation needs more fruits and veggies!! Remember, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants”. Michael Pollen’s motto. He was asked by interviewer Tony Geraci how he came about this, Pollen’s response was, he wanted it to be broken down in simple terms to get our attention. Eat food, but not too much of it, but wait, processed foods shouldn’t be included, sooo, mostly plants! It makes perfect sense, well he said he got some heat on both ends of the spectrum: from the vegetarians and the meat eaters.

“Grass Finish“. Pollen is a meat eater but he says he only consumes “grass finish” meat. I thought this was very interesting. He explained that a lot of times in Whole Foods and other natural stores, “grass fed” may not mean just that. Like for instance, he visited a chicken farm in California where they named the meat “free range” but in reality, 30,000 chickens are stuffed inside a closed pen with only 2 doors on either side of the space. Of course they aren’t going to go outside, all of their food and water is INside, they have never seen OUTside before, so they don’t venture out there. But because they have “access” to outside, they allow to say “free range” chicken. And same goes to beef, it may be called “grass fed” when only a couple months out of their lives they have grass, then they finish with grain and corn to beef them up before they are slaughtered. This is all very interesting because the FDA has loose restrictions on what is allowed under the terms of “Free Range” and “All natural”. So the next time you are in the super market, try to look for “pastured raised” chickens, this means they live outside. And talk to your butcher about where your meat comes from. Most likely at the farmers market, meat sellers will be willing to talk to you about their process. 

Educate our Kids. Tony Geraci is Baltimore Schools Food Service Director. He started this year the Great Kids Farm. With greenhouses and chickens, Tony teaches the kids how food is grown by showing them. His mission is to bring kids back to understanding where our food comes from. It is a chance for kids to take part in growing their own fruits and vegetables. Plant it, watch it grow, then eat it. How fun is that! By this, more fresh fruits and vegetables will be available in the lunch room, while less “chicken” nuggets and processed foods will be served. He was explaining how lots of the products out in schools have “fruit flavors” disguised in a can or bottle. He shouted “No wonder our kids are confused! Aluminum cans and bottles are calling themselves “apples” and nutritional. What happened to a plan old apple?!” Tony believes if we teach our kids how to eat in school then it can set up for future consumers of the next generation. Education is key on the future of our agricultural system. 

ReEstablish our system. Our tax dollars goes towards subsidizing only 5 products: Corn, Rice, Soy, Cotton and Wheat. Notice I didn’t mention a fruit or a nutritional vegetable. So our money is going towards millions of tons of corn which is then turned into cheap food for us and our cattle. This only creates health problems as cattle are not suppose to eat corn, so then our tax dollars are spent on medicating the cows to make them not sick. The average American eats 9 ounces of meat a day…We eat what the cow eats. So beef packed with anti-biotics, corn and God knows what else then makes US sick. In 2006, 3 out of every 5 American’s are over weight. According to the UN, in 2000, the number of people suffering for OVER nutrition – 1 billion, surpassed the number suffering to malnutrition – 800 million. That is a lot of healthcare we need to cover and could be less if we concentrate on bringing back less processed foods into our Western diet. That means tell our government that we want more money towards farmers who are growing fruits and vegetables. Start LOCAL, check out what your city or state legislators are doing to support local farms. Together, lets REestablish our food system….

Check out Washington Posts article on Tony Geraci and his plan to grow kid’s school lunches. 

and of course Michael Pollen’s website for his books and next stop on his tour.

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It is a way to connect to people – on a more personal, green way: Green Drinks! How else do people meet and greet but only after a few drinks in them… That is why hundreds, maybe even thousands of people have taken it upon themselves to establish hundreds of venues for Green Drinks throughout not only the States but the world. The purpose is to establish a conversation about what green things are happening in your area: whether it is a business,a group or just individuals. Come together and share your experiences on how to be more green in your life!

Next week, Wednesday May 20th Green Drinks is at Redwood in Bethesda, MD and at Growlers Brewery in Gaithersburg, MD! For more information check out Greendrinks.org for your local chapter! Cheers!

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Ahhh the sun is out and it is warming up! That means lots of fresh food!! All you have to do is attend one of the many farmer’s markets in the area to get the freshest of fresh MD produce! Here are the ones in my area of Rockville, MD:

Gaithersburg: on the corner of Fulks Corner Ave. and Rt. 355. I can ride by bike up to this small vendor area right past Old Town Gaithersburg, where about 3-7 farmers have their tents set up every Thursday starting June 5th, 2 pm to 6 pm

Kentlands: 301 Main St. At the main pavilion, farmers come every Saturday starting May 2nd, 10 am to 2 pm

Olney: Rt 108 and Spartan Rd. in front of the old movie theater. Lots of craft vendors, live music and unique ethic foods. Every Sunday 9 am to 1 pm Starting May 10th

Rockville: Rt 28 and Monroe St. in the parking lot. Every Saturday, starting May 16th, 9 am to 1 pm and Wednesday, starting June 3rd, in front of the Regal movie theater, 11 am to 2 pm

Bethesda: Norfolk Ave and Woodmont Ave. Every Tuesday 10 am to 2:30 pm and Saturday 10 am to 2:30 pm Starting May 5th 

For more information check out MD Farmer’s Market Directory

For a great DC market, check out Eastern Market up on Capital Hill. You can’t beat this loaded craft fair/produce market with music, art, crafts, food….it is unbeatable! It is one of the oldest markets still opened, started in 1873. For produce, the indoor market is opened in the temporary East Hall Tuesday-Sunday. Outdoor farmers are lined up both on Saturday and Sunday but the great flea market filled with unique vendors is 10 am to 5 pm every Sunday. It makes a great Sunday for leisure shopping or to pick up essentials.  For more: Eastern Market 

ALSO:

Sundays at Dupont Circle every Sunday 9am to 1pm. 

Wednesdays at Foggy Bottom at I st. between New Hampshire and 24th st. 2:30 to 7pm

Thursdays at Penn Quarter at the North end of 8th st. NW, between D and E st. 3pm to 7pm

Did I not list any markets in your area? Check out Local Harvest to search your zip code for local farmer’s markets, CSAs, Co-ops and restaurants! 

And remember! It is best to start up a conversation with your local farmer, get to know him or her. Start and build a relationship to infuse quality produce coming to you. What goes into these tomatoes or peppers? Do they use any chemicals? How far do they have to travel to get to you? These are essential questions and concerns that ultimately make or break how green and how healthy the produce is you are going to consume. Be Well!

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That’s right, he is coming! If you were lucky enough to get a ticket to either the Round House Theatre this Friday, May 15th in Bethesda, MD or Saturday at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, Pollen will be there! He will be giving a lecture on his most recent book, In Defense of Food; An Eater’s Manifesto: how to get back to the roots of consuming food. He states in his book that now a days, Americans are “consuming edible food-like substances” and how the more “we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become”. That is our whole idea of what healthy is, is determined by what food corporations state on their packaging labels – “Low-Fat”, “All Natural”, “Low-Carb”: when in reality it is packed with processed substances and chemicals we can’t even pronounce. Simple stated, Pollen’s manifesto is: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” I am extremely excited to see Pollen in action, after I read both his books. They are very inspiring for anyone: the person who wants to loose weight, be healthy or just be green with what they consume. Check his books out and his website: Michael Pollen and the links to the events: 

Politics & Prose

Baltimore Green Works 

Will update about the lecture soon! 

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There are many things that interested me; photography, design, food, friends, going out: A typical 22 year old life style, right? Well yes, but I will be letting you know what I, as well as you, at any age can do to slightly reduce your impact on the environment. I am not here to critize, judge or yell, but to inform and to let the world (local area of Rockville, MD especially) that it is possible to green through your personal daily life.

In these economic hard times, wouldn’t you want to see your surrounding community thriving off your money rather than seeing it go under? Support your local grocery stores, hardware stores, cleaners, farmer, clothing boutique and so on. It will be your money being returned in your surrounding area, which will lead to a better, thriving city for you to enjoy.

My first word of advice to start realizing what your community has to offer is to pick up the local paper, check out the neighborhood news at your local grocery store: what the hell is going on in your community??? The good thing about this day in age is the abundant amount of information on the internet (I became to realize how beneficial this is from living in the stone age in Buenos Aires) that gives you an exclusive look into your community.

An outdoor concert this weekend? Farmers market the second week of May? A local crafts fair with local venders? A wine tasting?? (My favorite) These are all a few amazing, fun things you can do that I KNOW are and will be this summer in the surrounding area – if not downtown Rockville, perhaps, Olney, Gaithersburg or continue our way downtown through Bethesda and Friendship heights to of course D.C., which will be hard NOT to find out what’s going on there. 

What I will be researching are mostly my interests, but also plainly what is going on in this area through these categories: 

~Arts & Entertainment: Local and green events 

~Night Life: Who says you can’t be green when going out??

~Food & Restaurants: Eat Local, Eat Organic

~Businesses & Shopping: How to be a social, economic and environmental conscious shopper

~Home: Tips to make your home greener

~Green News from resources like http://www.coopamerica.com

~Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: USE LESS!

~Green Deign: What is happening in the green design world??

Now of course, I will try as hard to find out each of these categories the most GREEN possible, but I believe it is important to become engage with your local community what ever that may be, enjoy the things you love around you, near you, to put money back into your neighborhood.

 

My Friend Sarah and I at Butler's Orchard 2007

My Friend Sarah and I at Butler's Orchard 2007

http://www.butlersorchard.com

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