Eating Greener: Future Harvest CASA Aims for Healthier Farms, People and Animals

Dena Leibman, Executive Director, Future Harvest CASA. Photo by Linda Wang.

Dena Leibman, Executive Director, Future Harvest CASA. Photo by Linda Wang.

By Lani Furbank | Photography by Linda Wang

Early in Dena Leibman’s career she believed that farming and environmentalism didn’t mix. “I had this naïve ‘farmers are the enemy’ kind of approach. To me, wilderness was sacred,” she recalls.

Her career had been built on work with the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, the National Wildlife Federation and the Environmental Protection Agency and was all rooted in protecting nature. It wasn’t until she took a job with the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program that she began to understand how farmers could make land and water stewardship a priority.

“That job just changed my life. I learned about sustainable agriculture and it introduced me to the realities of farming. My black-and-white views became a whole lot grayer,” she says.

Dena now has her own farm—primarily a retreat center for nonprofits—which led her to Future Harvest CASA (Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture).

“When we bought the farm, I went to every single Future Harvest CASA field education event I could go to,” she says. “And I learned a lot about what I didn’t want to do.” Eventually she became the nonprofit’s executive director, a role she’s held for the past five years.

Future Harvest CASA’s mission is to advance agriculture that is profitable, protects land and water and strengthens communities.

“That’s our core mission,” she says. “It’s not that easy, but it’s doable, and farmers prove it all the time.”

This year, the organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary and launching a major education campaign. We sat down with Dena to discuss her life as a farmer, her work at Future Harvest and the Go Grass-fed Campaign.

Dena in her kitchen at her farm. Photo by Linda Wang.

Dena in her kitchen at her farm. Photo by Linda Wang.

Once you had your own land, did your understanding and appreciation of farming change?

Oh my god, yes! If they haven’t been raised on a farm, people go into farming with this bright-eyed look, no matter how much you take them by the collar to shake them and say, “It’s really hard, do your homework, look at the markets.” They just want to go do it. I was just like them, even though I knew better.

We built the hoop house and it was in perfect order. I planted a lot of kale, and I grew it and I harvested it. I get to the Takoma Park Co-Op and their buyer gives me $45 for something I had spent hours and hours and hours on. I realized there’s certainly no profit in the way I was doing that. I talk to farmers day in and day out. You have to just love it, you have to be a great marketer and you have to have help if you’re going to make your living off of farming. I have little patience for people who think it’s easy.

How does Future Harvest support farmers?

We do education, community building and advocacy on behalf of sustainable agriculture in the Chesapeake region. Our field school runs field education events—either expert-led or farmer-to-farmer—teaching innovations in marketing as well as sustainable production. The beginner farmer training program is 10 years old, and it started with just a couple farmers in Baltimore County saying “We’re running out of farmers.” Now, I would say we’ve graduated about 300 graduates. A lot of them start farming and then give it up, but what’s happening is that the people who really are meant to be farmers, they persevere and they figure it out. We also give startup grants to low-income farmers, and I would say about 20% of this year’s and last year’s class are farmers of color. Our annual January conference launches our programming every year and about 650 people come, from farmers from all over the region to food advocates. It has production workshops, social justice workshops, regenerative agriculture workshops, marketing workshops. There’s something for everyone.

What is the Go Grass-fed Campaign?

The goal of the Go Grass-fed Campaign is to step up both supply and demand for grass-fed meat and dairy, which to be successful will take consumers being complete partners with farmers. Consumers can’t demand anything from farmers for which they’re not willing to help maintain a robust market. We are “farmer first,” so in this campaign we’ll educate consumers with the farmer in mind.

Several years ago, we published the Amazing Grazing Directory, listing all the producers of grass-fed meat and dairy products in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. In the last edition, the number of producers tripled and we realized that there was increasing competition for those farmers. We knew that we could help step up demand for grass-fed products, so we wrote a grant proposal to the USDA, and we got it.

For the producer-facing part of it, we partnered with the Mountains-to-Bay Grazing Alliance. They, along with Future Harvest, are doing production workshops. Then there’s the consumer-facing part. The Maryland Farmers Market Association and Central Farm Markets will be doing meat tastings in the fall. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is putting on this big Burgers and Brews event and it’s going to be featuring grass-fed beef. A filmmaker is producing a film that will explain all the virtues of going grass-fed. Plus the new Amazing Grazing Directory, which we’re putting together. We’re going on all cylinders here.

Why should consumers care if their meat is grass-fed?

We’re distilling it down into three things: It’s good for you, it’s good for the planet and it’s good for farmers and animals. For you, there’s less fat, fewer calories, more omega-3 fatty acids, more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), more protein. They say it’s linked to decreased risk of cancer, diabetes, some types of immune system disorders and cardiovascular diseases. For the planet, it increases the health of the soil and improves water quality. The stable soil system maintains more water, and thus prevents polluted runoff. It can store carbon from the atmosphere. This is the kind of farming that mimics nature and works with nature, and it’s just a beautiful way to farm. It’s better for farmers because they don’t get locked into importing a lot of grain or growing a lot of grain. They can have self-sustaining pastures. As for animal welfare, they’re out on pasture, they’re grazing on delicious forage, very nutritious for animals. The meat is more flavorful; everything’s more flavorful in this kind of system.

What is the best way to support the grass-fed industry?

It’s saying “I pledge to spend a minimum of 80% of my meat budget on locally produced grass-fed meat and dairy.” It sounds doable, doesn’t it? I would hope that people eat less meat and the meat they eat is raised on pasture. Can we feed everybody through pasture-raised meat if they eat less? Yes.

How to Enjoy the Cherry Blossom Season in DC

“Hanami” like a pro: Our tips, an event round-up & a cheery cherry Cosmo recipe!

By Thomas Martin, Edible DC Contributor

The Tidal Basin full bloom. Photo by Hannah Hudson.

The Tidal Basin full bloom. Photo by Hannah Hudson.

The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival is peak outdoor time, with stunning rosy vistas of trees are transformed into clouds. And DC doesn’t disappoint locals and tourists with ample opportunities for hanami, the Japanese word for cherry blossom viewing. Although the stars of the celebration are the flowering trees, this annual festival encourages us to welcome spring with arms wide open and remember the international spirit of goodwill that spurred Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to give 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the United States in 1912.

The Tidal Basin is a classic destination—though to beat the crowds, you might want to come very early in the morning or late in the evening. You could even arrange a yozakura, or a nighttime hanami celebration, with your friends.

So, how to enjoy? We’ve got ideas.

Build an all local picnic basket and think pink!

Here are some food and drink items we love that you might incorporate into your hanami picnic basket: 

Astro Doughnuts
This beloved spot for fried chicken doughnut sandwiches is bringing back their iconic cherry blossom doughnut on March 18, featuring a cream cheese glaze and a decadent filling of cherry jam. (Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, 1308 G St NW)

Courtesy of Scott Suchman

Courtesy of Scott Suchman

Bullfrog Bagels
Maintaining three locations around the District, Bullfrog Bagels offers a variety of bagels that are hand-rolled, boiled, and baked on the premises. (Bullfrog Bagels, 317 7th St SE, 1341 H St NE, 2800 10th St NE)

Capital Kombucha
Capital Kombucha’s special-edition cherry blossom kombucha is made with cherry purée, rose water, and honey, and makes for a satisfyingly cool beverage to finish off a picnic on a warm spring day. (Capital Kombucha drinks can be found in Trader Joe’s, Yes! Organic Market, Sweetgreen, and elsewhere.)

Photo by Hannah Hudson

Photo by Hannah Hudson

JRINK
Always dedicated to promoting seasonal flavors, JRINK will release “Spring Me Up”, a hibiscus almond milk, this spring to help you celebrate hanami with a chic-looking beverage. (Locations in Foggy Bottom, Adams Morgan, Union Market, and more. See all locations here.)

The Capital Candy Jar
This local confectionery is releasing several cherry blossom-themed treats, such as chocolate-covered oreos, pretzel rods, chocolate bark, and popcorn. (The Capital Candy Jar, 201 15th St NE)

Ivy City Smokehouse
Ivy City Smokehouse’s smoked salmon would be a perfect accompaniment for a Bullfrog Bagel. Their smoked white fish salad would also make for a great bagel spread. (Ivy City Smokehouse, 1356 Okie St NE)

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Local Rosés
Some of Edible DC’s favorite local rosés would be great additions to your hanami picnic basket: check out rosés from Early Mountain Vineyards, Walsh Family Wine, and others here.

Seylou Bakery & Mill
This local bakery offers a wide range of baked good made with whole grain and organic flours. (Their flours are even milled in-house!) Vegan and wheat-free treats are also available. (Seylou Bakery & Mill, 926 N St NW Suite A)

Last but not least…check out the delicate spring produce from your local farmers markets!
With the tender season comes a wealth of new offerings at the DMV’s many local farmers markets. Here’s a list of some of our favorites.

Or...go out and try the seasonal specials, events and classes at local restaurants!

Reknowned Chef Daniel Boulud and Executive Chef Nicholas Tang are hosting a special dinner on April 5 at DBGB in CityCenter DC.

Reknowned Chef Daniel Boulud and Executive Chef Nicholas Tang are hosting a special dinner on April 5 at DBGB in CityCenter DC.

Ticket me this: On Friday, April 5th chef and restaurateur, Daniel Boulud, alongside Executive Chef Nicholas Tang, will host a ticketed spring feast dinner at DBGB, in celebration of Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Chefs Daniel and Nicholas will prepare a four-course prix-fixe menu with paired wines, in DBGB’s main dining room, located in CityCenterDC. Guests can purchase tickets for $148 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) by visiting the website, and reservations are available any time between 5 p.m. – 10p.m. Chef Daniel will be present throughout the night to chat with guests and introduce each course.

A truffle making class at the Willard InterContinental on April 6 will feature a top chocolate maker, SPAGnVola.

A truffle making class at the Willard InterContinental on April 6 will feature a top chocolate maker, SPAGnVola.

On April 6, the Willard InterContinental and SPAGnVola, recognized by National Geographic as one of the world’s best chocolate shops, will host a two-hour hands-on chocolate truffle making class. Guided by Head Chocolatier Crisoire Reid from SPAGnVOLA, participants will learn the artisan technique of tempering chocolate, the process of making chocolate ganache, and the steps to using ganache to handcraft your own delicious truffles to take home. Attendees will also have the opportunity to taste a variety of SPAGnVOLA’s signature bon-bon’s and truffles all while hearing from Eric Reid co-owner of SPAGnVOLA, on his experience as a cacao grower, and chocolate maker. Time: 3-5 p.m. Price: $65 per person or $100 per couple.

At Buttercream Bakeshop, cake designers and dessert superstars, Tiffany MacIsaac and Alex Mudry-Till are doing a twist on a childhood favorite, the Hoho just for Cherry Blossom season. The snack cakes are rolled up and filled with a Cherry Buttercream Icing inside. Available as a special for $4.50 each.

BOURBON STEAK at Four Seasons is gives a nod to Japan and its gift of our beloved cherry trees, as executive chef Drew Adams presents his version of a Katsu Sando: richly marbled cuts of A5 New York Strip Steak, accompanied by aromatic Shiso, Pickled Turnip, and rich Rutabaga Sauce, built on a sandwich on an authentic Japanese Milk Bread Parker House Roll. The savory combination is artfully served in a Bento Box – crafted from the Sakura wood of cherry blossom trees, and is available for $100. The restaurant will also be debuting a Sakura Spritz cocktail for $18, made with Raw Honey Syrup, Lindera Farm's Cherry Blossom Vinegar, Yuzu, Roku Gin, topped with soda.

Sour Cherry-Yuzu Gyoza at The Occidental Grill & Seafood

Sour Cherry-Yuzu Gyoza at The Occidental Grill & Seafood

Occidental Grill & Seafood is celebrating with an effluvious Sour Cherry-Yuzu Gyoza for $10. The fried "dumpling" dessert has a Sour Cherry-Yuzu Filling, a blend of cherry jam and yuzu syrup. Served alongside of a scoop of fragrant, Cherry Blossom Gelato. Yum!

At the Watergate! Cherries Jubilee.

At the Watergate! Cherries Jubilee.

At the Watergate Hotel's The Next Whisky Bar, a delicious special for the season is the Cherries Jubilee to share for $19, presented with Macaron Cherry Blossom Cremeux and Nougatine.

The Cherry Blossom Cosmo at Oceanaire.

The Cherry Blossom Cosmo at Oceanaire.

Oceanaire is featuring cherry-themed cocktails in honor of the season. Cocktails are priced at $14 each and will be available through the month of April, the In Bloom and the Cherry Blossom Cosmo. They were kind enough to share the recipe!

The Cherry Blossom Cosmo

1.5 ounces of Grey Goose Cherry Noir

1 ounce of lemon juice

1 ounce of cranberry juice

1/2 ounce of Aperol

1/2 ounce of simple syrup

Luxardo cherries

Shake all the ingredients with ice, strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a luxardo cherry.




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Thomas Martin is a junior at Yale University working toward his bachelor’s in English. A native of La Plata, MD, Thomas has worked as an intern, writer and social media specialist at Edible DC for a year.


















































































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Edible DC Exclusive: Dino's Grotto Dinner-for-Two Special

Use the Greenease App and Discover Special Dining Values

By Thomas Martin, EdibleDC Contributor

PhotoS by AJ Dronkers

PhotoS by AJ Dronkers

Greenease (available on both the App Store and Google Play) is a new app that aims to make eating "green" (meaning local, sustainable, and diet-specific) easier not just for consumers, but for farmers and chefs as well. EdibleDC is partnering with Greenease to support the use of local food sources in the DC region, which benefits both local farmers by increasing demand as well as customers by encouraging fresher dining options. 

In the summer of 2018, Greenease is launching the pilot of the Greenease Business platform where chefs can log in to update their farms, search for farm-fresh food, and push out specials on the app. Farms can soon log in to verify who's buying from them and add their inventory to the database.

The app is also useful for those seeking restaurants with diet-specific options, such as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free menu items. Greenease will also tell users whether restaurants use sustainable seafood, grass-fed beef, organic ingredients, and free-range and drug-free meats in their menus. Greenease is currently up and running in the District as well as in more than twenty other cities, such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

For DC restaurant-goers, Edible DC has partnered with Greenease to offer a dinner-for-two deal at Dino's Grotto in Shaw. For just $80, participants will receive:

  • 2 negroni (or other signature cocktail), or two glasses of house wine (1/2 Quartin), or two draft beers
  • 2 antipasti selections
  • 1 shared pasta selection
  • 1 shared entree
  • 1 shared dessert
  • 2 strawberrry-cellos
  • tax & gratuity included

To access this exclusive offer, simply download the Greenease app and select the "Dino's Grotto Four-Course Dinner for Two" deal. Scroll down to view what's included in the deal, then hit "Purchase" to access it for yourself and a special someone.

Here are some of the delicious menu items that are available with our deal! The full dinner menu for Dino's Grotto can be found here.

Negroni and antipasto with all local ingredients @ Dino's Grotto. 

Enjoy supporting local with this dinner deal for two. And for more information on Greenease, go to www.greenease.co

It Takes a Village (of Farmers) to Make A Rake's Progress

Chefs Gjerde and Crooks talk sourcing local

By AJ Dronkers, Photography by Jared Soares

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DC locavores, whether foodies or artisans, awaited the opening of the new Line Hotel in Adams Morgan anxiously. The hotel was built to showcase the work of local makers all round, and the positive reception has proven the concept. Each of the rooms was individually curated with both furnishings and art. And that level of individuality was also given to the plan for food service: two restaurants by award-winning chefs, bringing together Chef Erik Bruner-Yang to open Brothers & Sisters and Chef Spike Gjerde and team from Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen, renowned for bringing sourcing local to the highest levels.

The Gjerde restaurant group, Foodshed, spent $2.1 million with local growers in 2016, a number that they estimate is to grow with their new operations. We sat down to talk with Chef Patrick “Opie” Crooks and Chef Spike Gjerde to hear more about their inspirations and how they are making it happen.

Edible DC: Before you opened, you held a “Growers Banquet” with all the farmers and producers that you source from here. Why was that evening important to your team.

Chef Opie: For us, it started years ago. Many of these growers are people we have been using since the beginning. For over 20 years we have had them in for dinner at Woodberry Kitchen, but never as a group. It was really important for us to start off this way—because the food we source from this group goes into banquets, employee dining, and our two restaurants at The Line Hotel, A Rake’s Progress and The Cup We All Race 4. And our commitment to local sourcing is how we wanted to kick things off in a very public way. The hotel has been really supportive of our experiments and loving things like our pickled beets.

Chef Spike: The cool thing was how much it meant for our team. I didn’t anticipate that. But the Growers Banquet generated this huge, positive energy—the hotel and lobby were full of farmers, families and their kids. The hotel felt radiant with their presence all night. For days and weeks after, people kept saying how special to them it was that they were there that night. We are feeding big groups of people via banquets with this all-local food. It’s challenge for us and not many people can do it. We had a tech company the night after the Growers Banquet and they had the same food and were very happy. We celebrated a proof of concept that actually works.

“This group has shared a table for many years at Woodberry Kitchen but never shared a table together. Rake team, meet your farmers; farmers, meet the team.” —Chef Spike at the Growers Banquet, a night celebrating all the farmers and producers before the restaurant opened.

Edible DC: From how many producers do you currently source? As you extend into a new regional area (DC) with new restaurants and a sizable operation, how did that change your sourcing and supply chain strategy?

Chef Opie: As of last year, we work with 156 farmers. We’ve gone deeper into Virginia. We were buying some stuff once a week that we now we need twice a week. We buy whatever they need to grow. Dead of winter is the roughest time. We work with co-ops since they can pull from many different sources to meet our demand. Two weeks ago I randomly got a hold of 10 dozen duck eggs. So within a day it had to be something with duck eggs on the menu; I came up with duck grits.

Chef Spike: Asparagus, rhubarb and ramps are bellwether for us; they really mark the shift in seasons. On a daily basis, Opie is adjusting and reacting to what’s available. April is frustrating because the world turns green but farms are still catching up.

Edible DC: When you buy what the farmers produce, instead of selectively picking fan favorites, how difficult is it to push patrons toward potentially unknown or unpopular produce?

Chef Opie: I try to sneak in stuff that people don’t know, sprinkle it in to support the farmer. Add rare leafy greens to mix of lettuce or use as a garnish. Heinz Thomet of Next Step Produce was out of the classic orange sweet potatoes but had a white one. People freaked out about this white sweet potato that actually originated here on the Eastern Shore. But on the menu, we’ll just say “sweet potato” to simplify and help sell what we get.

Chef Spike: The most compelling reason to get stuff on the menu is because a farmer grows it. What ends up on our menu is so connected to that—I will never stop thinking in those terms. There is absolutely an economic compulsion here—not just creative. Get it on the menu so we can sell more. Especially if a farmer comes to us with “I have a lot of this and it’s not selling at market,” that’s our call to action. Zach Lester of Tree & Leaf Farm had a lot of savoy cabbage and we came up with a dish to help him push through his supply. Takes a fair amount of communication between Chef Opie and farmers. Daily texts on what’s happening in the field and what he can use.

Edible DC: The menus offer daily updates from the farmers and notes about weather. Why is that important for you to share with your guests? 

Chef Spike: The notes are a low-key way for us to start conversation. The farm lists at some restaurants seems so basic now and we wanted to go a step further.

Edible DC: Chef Spike’s philosophy has always been “local only”—how do you swap out things like limes, lemons and avocados for local produce?

Chef Spike: So far so good. If we are doing it right, we are giving people plenty to think about and try. We wow them with what we have and they don’t miss what we don’t have. The best defense is a good offense.

Edible DC: Any reactions/updates since you opened? 

Chef Opie: We are going to do what we do. The implications of what we do go so much further than our table. We are returning value to our food system. If we get a bad critique about a specific item, I don’t take it off menu. The implication would be that all of that food from a farmer is trashed. We can tweak and react based on feedback but we don’t abandon this supply chain. The core of what we do is source local.

Chef Spike: There is no alternative from buying from local farms. The urgency in what we do is not speculative – it’s economic. We have to pay farmers for what they do or they can’t exist.
 

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Celebrating DC's Colorful Side at the 4th Annual Eat/Drink Local

By Thomas Martin, Edible DC Contributor Photos by Jai Williams

Guests enjoying our food themed photo booth designed by Limonata Creative and photographed by Tom McCorkle.

Guests enjoying our food themed photo booth designed by Limonata Creative and photographed by Tom McCorkle.

Some would say that summer begins on June 21, but DC foodies know that the true harbinger of summertime is EdibleDC's Eat/Drink Local event. Hosted once again at the Long View Gallery in Shaw, our fourth annual celebration put the theme of color front and center this year. From sultry red wines and pistachio green macarons to drag queens clad in pink boas and guests dressed in saturated shades, the festive embrace of all things colorful was front and center that night. In true EdibleDC fashion, a thunderstorm swept into town just as the event began. But even the rain could not dampen our excitement. 

BITE ME marquee letters by BRIGHTLY Ever After. 

BITE ME marquee letters by BRIGHTLY Ever After. 

Guests enjoyed drinks and bites from restaurants, wineries, distilleries, and breweries from throughout the DMV, and made everlasting memories with our photo booth. VIP guests went home with yellow jute EdibleDC gift bags overflowing with goodies. We'd like to give a special thanks to both our sponsors and our vendors—this event wouldn't be possible without you. See a photo recap of the event that follows. 

Blue Duck Tavern dessert. 

Blue Duck Tavern dessert. 

Carlie Steiner of Himitsu and guest enjoying the "District of Color" event. 

Carlie Steiner of Himitsu and guest enjoying the "District of Color" event. 

Welcome Thibaut-Janisson sparkling for all guests brought to you by the Mandy & David Team.

Welcome Thibaut-Janisson sparkling for all guests brought to you by the Mandy & David Team.

Incredible cheese spread by Cheesmonster.

Incredible cheese spread by Cheesmonster.

The Spring issue of EdibleDC Magazine. 

The Spring issue of EdibleDC Magazine. 

Spicy tuna pillows from the Fish team.

Spicy tuna pillows from the Fish team.

The incredible Mandy & David VIP gift bags.

The incredible Mandy & David VIP gift bags.

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Lyon Distilling and Gray Wolf Distilling. 

Lyon Distilling and Gray Wolf Distilling. 

Lyon Distilling and Gray Wolf Distilling. 

Lyon Distilling and Gray Wolf Distilling. 

O-Ku tuna tartare. 

O-Ku tuna tartare. 

Republic Restoratives Borough Bourbon and other local spirits. 

Republic Restoratives Borough Bourbon and other local spirits. 

The Mandy & David team enjoying the photo-booth.

The Mandy & David team enjoying the photo-booth.

Service Bar punch.

Service Bar punch.

The Homestead team. 

The Homestead team. 

Troegs Brewing Co on deck with various beers including their Crimson Pistil IPA.

Troegs Brewing Co on deck with various beers including their Crimson Pistil IPA.

One Eight Distilling with their newly designed bottles and labels #DistrictMade. 

One Eight Distilling with their newly designed bottles and labels #DistrictMade. 

A guest snagging social media pictures at the event. 

A guest snagging social media pictures at the event. 

Chef Tony Chittum from Iron Gate Restaurant. 

Chef Tony Chittum from Iron Gate Restaurant. 

Doi Moi serving local oysters with naam jim mignonette.

Doi Moi serving local oysters with naam jim mignonette.

The Smith, now with two locations in DC, serving toasted ricotta gnocchi with white truffle cream and their Frozen French 75 slushee. 

The Smith, now with two locations in DC, serving toasted ricotta gnocchi with white truffle cream and their Frozen French 75 slushee. 

Drag queen Helluva Bottom Carter poses with Libby Living Colorfully and Diego Downtown. 

Drag queen Helluva Bottom Carter poses with Libby Living Colorfully and Diego Downtown. 

Bitches Who Brunch, Libby Living Colorfully, and Holley Simmons dressing in theme for the "District of Color."

Bitches Who Brunch, Libby Living Colorfully, and Holley Simmons dressing in theme for the "District of Color."

The Astro Doughnuts team served crème brûlée and strawberry rhubarb minis doughnuts.

The Astro Doughnuts team served crème brûlée and strawberry rhubarb minis doughnuts.

Sloppy Mama's BBQ brisket.

Sloppy Mama's BBQ brisket.

Thanks to our amazing event partners which include:

Download your photo booth photo/videos here!

Prescription Chicken

By Lizzy Gendell, Photography by Hannah Hudson

Feeling punk and missing Mom’s home cooking? While the holidays and “cold and flu” season may arrive simultaneously, DC’s newest delivery service, Prescription Chicken, sends out homemade chicken soup for those of us who don’t want to get out of bed.  

Co-founder Valerie Zweig got sick one too many times and was desperate for a soothing bowl of chicken soup. Zweig and her business partner, Taryn Pellicone, recognized that a delivery option for a the legendarily healing soup was a natural niche. 

The rich chicken broth with hints of dill and ginger is a heady, herbal remedy. Full-on “grandma style” gives soup eaters a choice of matzo balls or noodles. Or order a vegetarian (chickenless) version. There is also a nutritious bone broth and a spicy “hangover” soup.  

“When Life Happens” packages offer other solutions that include soup and beyond for the very sick, new moms and those with morning sickness. The “Super Sick” package comes with soup, throat lozenges, tissues and fresh squeezed OJ.  

Zweig and Pellicone are currently cooking out of the incubator kitchen DC’s Mess Hall and deliver Prescription Chicken via Uber Eats, Postmates and DoorDash. The soup is also available for From the Farmer subscribers and at Glen’s Garden Market. For more information or to order go to prescriptionchicken.com.