Founded in 2008, the Common Good City Farm in Ledroit Park is one of D.C.’s most notable urban farms. It occupies about half an acre of land on a former baseball field and runs several projects aimed at promoting sustainability and healthy eating. Common Good City Farm focuses on small-scale agricultural practices, and engages the local community through its farmer’s market, youth education workshops, gardening and nutrition courses and fundraising events. Since its inception, the farm has provided over ten tons of locally grown produce to the community and worked with thousands of residents in its volunteer and educational programs.
One of the major sources of fundraising for the farm is Night on the Farm. The regular event features local chefs who come to the farm to prepare a multi-course dinner for guests, utilizing and highlighting the local, seasonal produce.
The June 9th Night on the Farm event featured chef Andres Zuluaga of northern Virginia’s Blend 111 restaurant. The evening kicked off with a cocktail hour, which included three summer cocktails: a strawberry vodka gimlet, infused with fresh lime; a blueberry thyme crush that blended gin with muddled blueberries; and a sweet tequila rhubarb beverage. The bar was set up in the orchard, so guests could enjoy their drinks surrounded by trees laden with fresh figs, cherries and apples. Wine, beer, mocktail versions of the three cocktails and a local cheese plate with crackers were also available.
After cocktail hour, guests took their seats at picnic tables on the property’s covered patio, amid rows and rows of basil, rainbow chard, mint and other crops. The menu kicked off with a gorgeously colorful salad featuring hearts of palm, radishes, cucumbers and apples. The salad came served on dollops of mashed sweet potato in a pool of leche de tigre, a citrusy marinade that, in this case, was vegan. Acidic, bright and crunchy, the dish was a treat for the senses.
Next was a creation featuring turnips served with a sinfully rich and creamy cashew sauce, and a sweet and spicy passionfruit aji. For the main course, chef Zuluaga, who is passionate about Latin flavors, served a chewy blue masa arepa topped with delicate maitake mushrooms, plantains for a sweet note, queso campesino and an aromatic sofrito sauce. Dessert was a beautiful carrot cake smothered in cream cheese frosting. The optional wine pairing featured all-organic wines.
After dinner, guests wandered the farm and were invited to visit the greenhouse, relax in the orchard and peruse the plethora of crops at the farm as they finished their wine. The evening was a delight – a way to escape life in the city without ever leaving the city. The farm is a true oasis, filled with greenery, plants, herbs and fresh produce. Visit the Common Good City Farm website to learn about their various programs, and to find out the details for the next Night on the Farm. The dinners offer one of the tastiest and most fun warm-weather opportunities to support an important local endeavor.