Posted by: A Part of the Solution | April 16, 2011

The Butterfly Effect

Everyone’s heard about the Butterfly Effect: a butterfly, flapping its little wings in the Amazon River basin, creates a tiny stirring in the air, which gains momentum until–ultimately–that butterfly causes nourishing rains to fall in drought stricken southern Sudan. With the world in the state it is today, here on the farm we continue to contribute our butterfly’s worth to the greater good. Last year, our first year of operations, we donated CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares to two outstanding non-profits dedicated to feeding those in need. Martha’s Table focuses its efforts on getting wholesome food into at-risk children. DC Central Kitchen attacks the problem of hunger from two directions: they feed those who might not otherwise eat, and they provide commercial food prep training and job placement to persons who have fallen through the holes in the social net (recovering addicts, released felons, &tc).

Last year, with the shares we donated, coupled to shares donated by others–and it wasn’t just our start-up year, it was a drought year with fewer than five inches of rain in as many months–donated over eleven hundred pounds of usable produce to our chosen 501(c)3’s. The farm will continue to support these outstanding soup kitchens in their missions, and encourage others to do so as well, in the 2011 growing season. In addition, we’re adding a third deserving non-profit to our roster (oddly the problem of hunger doesn’t seem to have resolved itself in the past year–so we must have more still to do) this year.

Veggie Annie, a fabulous caterer and cooking teacher located in the Frederick, MD area, has started up a non-profit aimed at teaching single, young mothers how to make the most of their government assistance vouchers. Many of these young women don’t have more than the most basic cooking skills. They all have small children, and very few resources with which to rear those children into productive, contributing adults.

Annie Marshall was herself a single mother trying to bring her daughter up to the best of her abilities when she was only twenty-five. Now, with her daughter a young adult and off at college, Veggie Annie’s Grandmother’s Kitchen offers classes on how to make the most of a whole chicken, how to can and freeze seasonal foods when they’re inexpensive, how to prepare fresh vegetables so that everyone in the family will enjoy them. These classes are open to men and women alike–and run in year-long sessions, so that students may see a full cycle of seasonal opportunities in the form of whole foods waiting to be transformed by technique and a little patience in the kitchen.

The farm delights in every chance to participate in ‘teaching someone to fish’ as opposed to ‘giving someone a fish’. Veggie Annie’s educational program strikes us as a valuable return on our donation investment. Please think about where you’ll be focusing your charitable giving this year. Channel your monies, as  possible, into organizations which teach as well as give. Every dollar goes farther when it carries an educational prospect. This is the Butterfly Effect made real and large.



  1. Love It.

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