Category Archives: DC

Publication: Abundant Grace

Abundant Grace book cover

I’m honored and thrilled to see my short story, “Digging to Switzerland,” in print. It appears in the anthology Abundant Grace: Fiction by DC Area Women (Paycock Press), edited by Richard Peabody.

 

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Publication: Experimenting with urban rice

Alternating rows of green and brown in a field

A field at the University of DC’s Muirkirk Research Farm sprouts clover between rows of last year’s rice crop during a visit in April. Photo by Rhea.

I’ve been talking about my rice article for The Washington Post since…. well, April! And my interest in small-scale grain growing dates back to at least 2012. No, make that 2009!

I’m excited to share that at last, “Rice” is up. You can read it here:

How researchers are trying to grow an unusual urban crop: Rice

I so appreciate the people who you see quoted in the story. They were generous with their time and ideas.

Some of my geekier and historical references didn’t make the final cut. If you’re interested in the history of rice in the U.S., check out Black Rice by Judith A. Carney. Che Axum recommended it to me, and I will pass that along to you.

Here’s another story, by garden columnist Adrian Higgins, about UDC growing food: Can container gardening wipe out urban food deserts? These folks think so.

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Publication: Recommendations from DC’s food stars

Screen shot - Elevation DC chef article

 

I have a piece this week in the online magazine Elevation DC. The upside: I got to know four of the most vibrant personalities on the DC culinary scene. Downside: I have a long list of restaurants I need to visit. Come to think of it, is that really so bad?

Check it out: DC’s rising food stars predict the next big thing

 

 

More Elevation DC stories

More food stories

 

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Publication: The DC garden boom in Civil Eats

Screen shot 2015-06-30 at 10.55.44 AM

I have a piece in the fine publication Civil Eats! I’m proud to bring news of DC’s urban agriculture boom to a national audience.

Check it out: An Urban Farming Renaissance in Our Nation’s Capital

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Publication: DC’s Airbnb hosts on Elevation DC

New perspectives, spoken word, and beer recommendations. These aren’t your average DC hotels–or your average hosts–in my latest piece for Elevation DC:

screen shot of an article

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Top 10 places to give and make change

Participants in the Jews and Muslims DC event prepare to leave the DC Jewish Community Center with food and gifts for homeless people on Christmas Day.

Participants in the Jews and Muslims DC event prepare to leave the DC Jewish Community Center with food and gifts for homeless people on Christmas Day. Photo by Rhea.

I started off Christmas Day by returning a lost wallet. Then I headed to a volunteer event at the DC Jewish Community Center, where I gave blood and joined a project of Jews and Muslims DC that distributed food, holiday cards, and toiletries to poor and homeless people. The Washington Post and local news station WJLA covered efforts that day.

Yep, it all looked pretty virtuous. But it takes more than a day of service to bring about change.

That afternoon, just outside a Metro entrance that provided some warmth, we met a man who had a job as a bike mechanic but was living in a tent because rent is so high. For the Post article, reporter Michelle Boorstein spoke to a father and his adult son who had both been struggling for years. These are ongoing and systemic problems.

Edward Johnson, Sr., says it best in Boorstein’s article:

“I’d like to be the one here giving things out to them, but now I’m the one on this side. I want to be an overcomer,” said Johnson. “I’m grateful for the thought, but it would do more to take one person in this park and say: ‘I want to help you do better, I’m going to help you do better.’ ”

Here are 10 organizations I see helping people to overcome and do better, both on an individual and systemic level. With efficient use of funds, these nonprofits bolster access to good food, health, faith, community, and overall human well being. Continue reading

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Ferguson and shining a light

woman standing in front of bas relief sculptures with protest signs

A woman stands in Judiciary Square at the endpoint of the Justice for All March in Washington, DC.

 

Police-involved shooting.

That’s the term I see often now. It attempts an objective tone, a tone I tried to evoke with my classes following our first discussions of Ferguson and my recent post. I wanted to shine a light on this issue dwelling in our minds.

As I light the Hanukkah candles this week, I’m reminded how every light casts shadows. I have opinions and bias. And more observations. I want to follow up on those now.

Talking in class

In the week following the grand jury decision not to indict then-police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Ferguson resident Michael Brown, I talked to my students and tried to listen. I was impressed with their knowledge of the case. They had been following the news, not just Facebook rantings or snippets on CNN. Continue reading

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