NFI’s Film Screening – A Huge Success!

August 29, 2009

Author: Neighborhood Farm Initiative

Category: General News

We held our first large fundraiser this week, and everyone we’ve talked to seemed to have had as much fun as we did! Over 120 people, plus a team of 20+ volunteers spent the first part of Thursday evening eating home-made finger-food and enjoying home-brewed beer and mead. Wandering around the crowded outdoor lobby of the Letelier Theater in Georgetown, I was excited about not only the sheer number of people in attendance, but at the amount of networking and organizing I witnessed throughout the crowd. It seemed everyone in attendance had something to learn, and something to offer to others.

The food, drink, and mingling was followed by a showing of the short film “Food Justice: A Growing Movement,” a ten minute film about how an understanding of Food Justice has led to an expansion of community agriculture in San Fransisco.

This was followed by an awe-inspiring 30-minute work-in-progress screening of the locally-filmed documentary “A Community of Gardeners,” which explores the vital role of seven urban community gardens in Washington, D.C. The audience got a special sneak preview of the film, documenting four of the seven featured community gardens. The film is scheduled to be released in entirety in Spring 2010. The screening was followed by a Q & A with the filmmaker, Cintia Cabib. It was clear from the questions and conversations following the film that the audience was full of community gardeners and organizers, with true passion for their work. To learn more about the film, visit

The local fare and home-made treats included hors d’oeuvres such as Gazpacho made from fresh organic heirloom tomatoes, and roasted cherry tomato Crostini with Ricotta cheese, and desserts like Vegan Avocado/Cayenne/Chocolate Cupcakes, and fresh Peach Cobbler with ice cream! The produce for the evening was donated by vendors at area farmers’ markets, and the gourmet treats were prepared Wednesday evening by a team of 15+ volunteers who gathered at Jamie and Bea’s house and cooked late into the night. The bar included a selection of home-brewed beers and meads, made by four local home-brewers.

We owe many thanks to the dozens of volunteers who put in countless hours making this event a huge success, and of course all of you who attended who really brought the event to life!!

Volunteer Katie Rehwaldt (program director of Operation Green Plant American the Beautiful Fund – our fiscal sponsor), and her sister, volunteer head Chef Helen Rehwaldt, admire boxes of local hot and sweet peppers.

Having lots of extra tomatoes, we decided to combine our Wednesday Evening Cooking night with a short and sweet ExtravaCANza Workshop!

With some love and fresh herbs and spices, hundreds of cherry tomatoes and dozens of beautiful eggplants were transformed into delicious toppings for crostini!

Chef Helen and fellow Volunteer KT put the final garnishes on these trays of Roasted Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Crostini!

As the crowd grew, they were entertained by local musicians; Gabe Popkin, Julia Friend and Scott Prouty.

Event organizers and NFI volunteer staff (Left to Right): Jessica Mackow – Intern, Josh Wenz – Education Specialist, Bea Trickett – Program Director, Jamie Moorby – Volunteer Coordinator, and Katie Rehwaldt – on staff at our parent organization, America The Beautiful Fund.

Neighborhood Farm Initiative would like to thank:

~Local Food Project at Airlie, for sponsoring this event as part of the Local Food Film Series
~Cintia Cabib, for providing use of “A Community of Gardeners” and programming support

~Rona Leff, Terrell Holloway, and the Letelier Theater, for programming support

~Mike Marini, our projectionist
~Media That Matters Film Festival, a project of Arts Engine, Inc., for providing use of “Food Justice: A Growing Movement”

~Katie Rehwaldt at America The Beautiful Fund, for programming support

~Chefs Trey Massey and Helen Rehwaldt, for menu development and support
~Guy Schaffer, for vegan cupcakes
~Harold Stone, for freshly brewed red ale
~Aaron Lavallee and Morgan Pinnell, for freshly brewed hefeweizen

~Sera Baghdadi, for freshly brewed mead

~Per Hoel and Rich Dinerman, for technical support

~Robert Mackow, MD, for Virginia wine donations
~Gabe Popkin, Julia Friend, and Scott Prouty, for music
~Vrinda Manglik for taking photos

Atwater’s Belvedere Square Market, for baguettes
~The Farm at Sunnyside, for food donations

~The Vendors of the Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market, for food donations
~Mike Tabor of Licking Creek Bend Farm, for food donations
~Glut Food Co-op, for food donations

~The Vendors of the Silver Spring Farmers’ Market, for food donations

~Through the Kitchen Door, for allowing us to perform their gleaning

~FRESHFARM Markets, for connecting us with farmers’ market gleaners

~DC Central Kitchen & Miriam’s Kitchen, for their generosity

~Chix, for compostable cups
~Marsha Weiner at Food Muse Media, for programming support

~Maddy Beckwith at FRESHFARM Markets, for programming support

~Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op, for food donations

~P Street Whole Foods Market, for lemonade

~Giant Food Supermarkets, for supplies

~Safeway, for supplies

And a huge Thank You to ALL of our dozens of volunteers who have donated their time and efforts to make the Neighborhood Farm Initiative a success!

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