Enjoy our latest blogs posted below and read about us in the news!

FOUA Annual Meeting: Growing the Future

posted Nov 15, 2020, 12:18 PM by Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture - FOUA

This year has been like no other. As an all-volunteer nonprofit with a shoestring budget, we are proud of what we've been able to accomplish with your help and in partnership with several Arlington groups, schools and businesses.

We invite you to join us (online) on Tuesday, December 8th at 7:00pm for our annual meeting. At our meeting, we will:
  • Elect New Board Members
  • The annual Golden Radish Award
  • Review 2020 and discuss plans for 2021
  • And more!
We'll open the "doors" at 6:45pm so we can meet and mingle online before the program begins at 7:00pm.


Suggested donation $15 => Donate

SustainableScoop's video podcast: School Victory Gardens

posted Oct 9, 2020, 8:11 AM by Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture - FOUA   [ updated Oct 17, 2020, 1:26 PM ]

The School Victory Gardens were featured in SustainableScoop's video podcast! Young leaders run this podcast to showcase how we can have a sustainable future. Watch on YouTube. And you can catch Sustainable Scoop on Arlington Independent Media.

Community Groups Launch Urban Garden Project in Arlington’s Virginia Highlands Park

posted Oct 9, 2020, 6:43 AM by Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture - FOUA   [ updated Oct 9, 2020, 6:45 AM ]

For immediate release


October 9, 2020


Media Contacts: David Sachs, 571-239-5379

Robin Broder, 703-786-8172,


Community Groups Launch Urban Garden Project in Arlington’s Virginia Highlands Park


Model project will demonstrate how edge spaces in parks can be transformed into productive urban gardens


(Arlington, VA) Today, Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture announced a new collaborative project to develop a demonstration urban garden with the National Landing BID, Livability22202, and Arlington County Department of Parks & Recreation. Volunteers broke ground on the Highlands Urban Garden (HUG) on September 27 in Virginia Highlands Park (located at 1600 S Hayes St., Arlington, VA 22202). Project HUG will revitalize underused land near the park’s tennis courts and illustrate how otherwise fallow spaces can be transformed into productive land that builds a vibrant ecosystem. This fall is the initial installation and preparation of the site for the spring planting season.


“Friends of Urban Agriculture is excited for this opportunity to showcase how community-driven agriculture can transform and enhance urban spaces,” said David Sachs, Friends of Urban Agriculture Board Member and HUG project manager. “This project will also demonstrate the power of partnerships across public, private, civic and non-profit communities.”


Livability22202 and National Landing BID are contributing to the design, implementation, and funding for the new urban garden. Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture is managing the project and providing design and technical expertise. The small-scale Highlands Urban Garden will demonstrate modern sustainable agricultural practices such as modular, low-impact design principles, sustainable water management practices, and incorporate smart technology to collect agriculture metrics. A team of neighborhood volunteers will help install, maintain and manage the garden. With on-site signage, the Highlands Urban Garden will inform passers-by on the plants, techniques, and principles used to grow a mix of edible vegetative crops, pollinators, and local natives. As a pilot site, the Highlands Urban Garden will serve as a model for future community-driven agriculture features throughout Arlington’s urban neighborhoods.


“Livability22202 is committed to strengthening our community and enhancing the physical and social health and well-being of all our residents,” said Carol Fuller of Livability22202. “This new urban garden will accomplish all of those goals by building community, educating residents and students, and providing nutritious fresh produce to our local food pantries. It’s a win-win-win.”


“We are pleased to collaborate with our partners in the community to expand natural elements throughout National Landing’s built environment by transforming land on the margins and in unexpected places,” said Tracy Sayegh Gabriel, Executive Director of National Landing BID. “The Highlands Urban Garden will invoke curiosity and joy in passersby, residents and park visitors alike.”


“Project HUG will activate land adjacent to the Virginia Highlands Park tennis court practice wall, showcasing how edge spaces can be transformed into all-season, productive land,” said Kim Haun, Urban Agriculture Coordinator, Arlington County, Department of Parks & Recreation. “We are especially excited to announce this collaborative project during October Urban Agriculture Month.”


More Information about Project HUG HERE. More information about October Urban Agriculture events HERE.


Attached: Photos of September 27, 2020 volunteer day for Project HUG


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Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture is a local nonprofit dedicated to building a resilient, community-driven urban agriculture sector that provides a fair, healthy, sustainable food system for all Arlingtonians.


Livability22202 represents the three civic associations the 22202 zip code -- Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands, and Crystal City. The diverse residents of 22202 are committed to developing holistic strategies to create a better, more livable city.


The National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) is a non-profit organization that thrives on its strong private-public partnership with Arlington County and local property owners. Formerly known as the Crystal City BID from 2006 to 2020, this membership coalition promotes and activates the local business, retail, restaurant, and residential community. The organization unifies the interconnected and thriving neighborhoods of Crystal City, Pentagon City, and Potomac Yard-Arlington.





Northern Virginia Groups Host October Urban Agriculture Month Events

posted Oct 1, 2020, 6:54 AM by Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture - FOUA   [ updated Oct 2, 2020, 7:01 AM ]

For immediate release

October 1, 2020

Media contact:

Aisha Salazer,

Robin Broder, 703-786-8172,

Northern Virginia Groups Host October Urban Agriculture Month Events

Urban agriculture groups responded to COVID-19 crisis to provide food to families in need

This year’s October Urban Agriculture Month will shine a spotlight on the significant role urban agriculture plays in our regional and local food system. Several urban agriculture, food security and garden groups in northern Virginia have come together to offer a series of virtual events that highlights the local urban agriculture response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme of the month is Urban Agriculture: Resiliency Rooted in Innovation. 

The virtual event this year includes panel discussions on how local businesses and urban gardens adapted to the pandemic, a town hall with local elected officials, and cooking and gardening workshops. In addition, there are in-person garden tours and recorded classes by Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists. The month-long event showcases urban agriculture in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church.

“In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, our groups have been working to support and expand efforts to grow fresh produce for our neighbors in need,” said Robin Broder, President, Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture. “This global crisis will have long lasting health and economic impacts for our local community, and has shown that we need a resilient local and regional food system that is not fragile in the face of crises.”

“Individuals, churches, schools, and other groups have stepped up to grow fresh, nutritious produce for our community, but they can’t go it alone to meet the need,” said Stacey Evers, co-chair of the Fairfax Food Council’s Urban Agriculture Working Group. “We need policies and incentives that will support the many exciting local urban ag initiatives that can boost everyone’s access to healthy local food.” 

“Our communities experienced a dramatic and rapid increase in demand for supplemental food programs and our local governments, nonprofit organizations, schools, PTAs, and businesses came together to find ways to meet that demand,” said Aisha Salazar, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent, VCE Arlington & Alexandria. “Now the question is how do we meet the ongoing food needs of our communities who will continue to suffer from food and economic insecurity.”

Event details and registration can be found HERE. Garden tour registration is HERE. Tours begin the weekend of October 3-4.

Sponsoring organizations: Virginia Cooperative Extension, Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture, Fairfax Food Council, Fairfax Master Gardeners, Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia, Falls Church Garden Club, and Master Food Volunteers of Northern Virginia. October Urban Agriculture month website:

# # # # # # # #

Schedule of Events
Details & registration:

(list as of Oct 1, 2020)

School Victory Garden Tours: Registration

  • Wakefield High School: Tour Date/Time: Saturday, October 3rd, 9-11 am

  • Tuckahoe Elementary: Tour Date/Time: Sunday, October 4th, 2 - 4pm

  • Hoffman-Boston Elementary: Tour Date/Time: Saturday, October 10th, 10am-12pm

  • Master Gardener Organic Vegetable Demonstration Garden Tour at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Saturday, October 10th, 10:15am - 1:45pm

  • Thomas Jefferson Middle School: Tour Date/Time: Saturday, October 24th (9-11am)

Town Hall & Panel Discussions:

The Pandemic Pivot - Businesses adapting to keep afloat. Hear how local restaurants, businesses, and farmers markets pivoted to meet customers needs.

Date: Tuesday, October 13, 9:30am - 11:00am

Moderator: Dr. Caroline Boules, Lecturer at the Environmental Science and Public Policy program at University of Maryland


  • David Guas, Chef/Owner at Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery and Co-founder Chefs Feeding Families

  • Ryan Pierce, Fresh Impact Farms

  • Dalila Boclin, Director of Programs at FreshFarm

  • Juan Pablo Echeverria, Outreach and Education Coordinator, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture

Future of Urban Agriculture Town Hall. With local policymakers and elected officials to highlight successes and ask what's next for urban agriculture in Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Arlington, and Alexandria.

  • Date: Wednesday, Oct 21st at 7-8:30pm.

  • Moderated by: David Sachs, Friends of Urban Agriculture

  • Panelists include:

  • Libby Garvey, County Board Member, Arlington County

  • Ross Litkenhous, City Council Member, City of Falls Church

  • Jon Stehle, Councilmember, City of Fairfax

  • Dalia Palchik, Providence District Supervisor, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

In the Dirt: How urban gardeners responded to the needs of food pantries - Food Insecurity during COVID-19: the impact of coronavirus on food pantries and community response. 

  • Date: Tuesday, October 27 at 7-8:30pm

Moderated by: Robin Broder, Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture 


  • Ilana Rea, Hoffman-Boston PTA Garden Chair

  • Becky Halbe, Master Gardener, Tuckahoe Victory Garden, Rock Spring Victory Bagging Site

  • Stacey Evers, Grow a Row FC and Co-chair of Fairfax Food Council Urban Agriculture Working Group

  • Cory Suter, Co-chair of Fairfax Food Council Urban Agriculture Working Group

From the Ground Up: Starting Community Gardens - Tools, tips, and tricks to start a community garden, including at a school or faith-based institution run by volunteers

  • Date: Friday, October 30 at 12:30-1:30pm 

  • Moderated by: David Sachs, Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture


  • Adria Bordas, Unit Coordinator & Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources, VCE Fairfax

  • Kirsten Conrad, Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources, VCE Arlington & VCE Alexandria

Urban Gardening Series:

Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture and Arlington Virginia Cooperative Extensions present a 5 week gardening class that presents research based best practices and real-life experiences of Arlington gardeners in 2020. Thursday nights starting October 8-November 12, 2020.

  • Week 1, Thursday, October 8, 2020 – Starting a Garden?  It’s Mostly about the Soil.

  • Week 2, Thursday, October 15, 2020 – What's the Plan? Site & crop selection.

  • Week 3, Thursday, October 22, 2020 – Protect me, I’m YOURS!  Planting and Tending Your Vegetable Garden

  • Week 4, Thursday, October 29, 2020 – The Insects Might Inherit the Earth. Encouraging the Good and Limiting the Bad Crop Pests

  • Week 5, Thursday, November 5, 2020 – When 28 Weeks Aren’t Enough! Tips on Extending Your Season.

Cooking & Gardening at Home

Seed Saving: Monday, October 5, 7:30pm

Irena Holowell, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Falls Church Garden Club

Cooking Your Fall Harvest: How to Cook Squash

Date: Friday, October 9, 1:00-2:00pm


Gardening with Deer:  Management, Exclusion, and the Case for Population Control in Arlington County. 

  • Tuesday, October 13, 7:00-8:30pm

  • Moderated by: Joanne Hutton

  • Panelists:

  • Bill Browning on White tail deer population management in the DC Metro area;

  • Dave Smith and Ted Edwards on tips and tricks for preventing deer damage on vegetable and fruit crops.


Kids in the Garden

How to work with kids in the garden at school, after school, and at home 

Date: Friday, October 16, 3-4pm

Easy Home Preserving during COVID-19

Join kitchen-experts and Master Food Volunteers to learn tips and tricks for making the most of your produce.

Part I - Use it or lose it! Avoid food waste 

Monday, October 19, 6:30-7:30pm

Part II - Hands-on harvest: What to do with your fall bounty

Mondays October 26, 6:30-7:30pm

Kids in the Kitchen: Cooking at Home with Kids

How to work with kids in the kitchen at school, after school, and at home. Get tips to cook with kids of all ages.

Dates: Tuesday, Oct 20 5:30pm-6:30pm

FOUA Victory Gardens Mid-Season Report

posted Aug 25, 2020, 6:52 AM by Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture - FOUA   [ updated Aug 25, 2020, 9:25 AM ]

The last three months have been a whirlwind of activity as we’ve transformed four classroom instruction gardens at Hoffman-Boston Elementary, Wakefield High School, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and Tuckahoe Elementary into scalable ‘urban farm’ sites to support our community’s food insecure neighbors. To date, over 600 pounds of fresh produce (as of August 19) from the Victory Garden sites have been distributed to food pantries throughout the County. However, COVID-19’s far-reaching economic impacts will require a continued response over the next 12-18 months. Our Victory Gardens could not have come online quickly enough to support this unprecedented demand. Most importantly, these sites are strategically located adjacent to the prioritized neighborhoods in need, which allows the harvests to stay within the communities who need it most. Over 70 volunteers and several Master Gardeners are working in the gardens alongside the four Garden Coordinators. Arlington Cooperative Extension is providing on-site and virtual technical support for the gardens. We thank the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families’ (APCYF) Healthy Community Action Team (HCAT) for its 
generous financial support, and thank several local businesses, groups and individuals for in kind donations.

In the news... (August 12, 2020): “School Victory Gardens Used to Grow Food for Local Pantries” (August 13, 2020): “Arlington Embarks on Modern Take on WWII Victory Gardens”

Press Release: Victory Gardens at Arlington Public Schools Donating to Local Food Pantries

posted Aug 10, 2020, 11:48 AM by Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture - FOUA   [ updated Aug 11, 2020, 6:33 AM ]

Community-led initiative has goal to produce 2,500 pounds of fresh vegetables.


(Arlington, VA) In response to the COVID-19 global health crisis, Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture (FOUA) is working to support and expand efforts to grow fresh produce here in Arlington. This global crisis will have long lasting health and economic impacts for our local community, and has pushed thousands into food insecurity. Access to fresh, nutritious produce will become an ever increasing need that can be met, in part, by growing our own food. FOUA is supporting individuals, churches, schools, and other sites who are growing food for our neighbors in need. of Urban Agriculture and Arlington Virginia Cooperative Extension are partnering with Arlington Public Schools (APS) to turn classroom gardens into Victory Gardens to grow fresh vegetables to support the community. We are working in partnership with APS Garden Coordinators at Wakefield High School, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Hoffman-Boston Elementary, and Tuckahoe Elementary to maximize their gardens’ capacities. Our goal for this community-led initiative is to produce 2,500 pounds of fresh produce to donate to local food pantries.

“The community response has been amazing. The garden coordinators and school communities wanted to continue growing even though the schools were closed,” said Emily Landsman, FOUA Board Member. “To date, we have recruited over 70 volunteers and several Master Gardeners to assist the APS Garden Coordinators, and have donated over 500 pounds of fresh vegetables.”

“When Friends of Urban Agriculture reached out to me in April, I was very happy to learn that they could help us keep our garden going and even expand it,” said Ilana Rea, School Garden Coordinator for Hoffman-Boston Elementary School. “We’ve been able to donate over 145 pounds of fresh vegetables to food pantries here in our own community. We are looking forward to donating much more in the coming months.”

“Our local Master Gardeners are providing hands-on, direct support in the gardens, helping plan the gardens and provide technical assistance,” said Aisha Salazar, FOUA Board Member and Associate Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, Virginia Cooperative Extension. “In addition, we hold regular Zoom calls with the garden coordinators, Arlington Virginia Cooperative Extension and volunteers to share experiences and get advice on how to handle pests and issues in the gardens.”

We thank Healthy Communities Action Team (HCAT) for donating funds through the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth to support the school gardens. HCAT is part of the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families.

In a related effort, over 2500 pounds of fresh vegetables have been donated to local food pantries by a network of residential, church, school and other gardens in Arlington. Rock Spring Church located at 5010 Little Falls Road, Arlington, Virginia 22207 accepts produce donations on Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 2:00pm. This effort is a partnership between the church, FOUA, Arlington Virginia Cooperative Extension, Master Food Volunteers, Master Gardeners, and Marymount University. In addition, FOUA is coordinating with multiple food pantries throughout the County for targeted distribution to communities in need. More information found here.

Media Contact: Emily Landsman,, 202-258-1287

Link to Photo Folder


Link to videos of gardens

Download press statement


More info on Victory Garden project HERE.

* Arlington Victory Garden poster designed by Wakefield High School student Renee Whiffen.

* * * * * * *

Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture’s mission is to build a resilient, community-driven urban agriculture sector that provides a fair, healthy, sustainable food system for all Arlingtonians. FOUA, an Arlington based nonprofit organization incorporated in 2019, is run by a volunteer board of directors.

Statement of Solidarity from Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture

posted Jun 10, 2020, 3:01 PM by Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture - FOUA

Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture would like to address the latest events surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many other unarmed black people. These events are symptomatic of deep-seeded institutionalized racism that have infested the US for centuries. We stand in solidarity with black, indigenous, and people of color who are routinely and disproportionately impacted every day by social, racial and environmental injustices. To stop racism, we must be anti-racist in not just our words but in our actions. We urge you to have a conversation with friends and loved ones about the realities of systemic racism; make a contribution to an organization working to fight it; and seek out more education about the legacy of race and policing in America.

Friends of Urban Agriculture is working to build a fair, healthy, sustainable food system for all Arlingtonians. To understand and begin to repair the root issues of inequality in our food system requires a deep look at its history and the ways in which it perpetuates racism in our country: from sowing to consumption. The origins of America’s agricultural system is rooted in acts of violence and theft against indigenous communities and the enslavement of black people for labor. Our nation’s current industrial food system continues to exploit non-white migrant laborers through low wages, non-existent benefits, and challenging working conditions. It is not just how our food is grown; it’s also who is able to consume wholesome, healthy foods. The pandemic has shined a light on the shocking number of food insecure in our nation – with the highest rates affecting black, indigenous and people of color. The number of food insecure has only grown exponentially worse and will be with us for a very long time.

Friends of Urban Agriculture, as a newly established nonprofit, will challenge ourselves and our community to actively disrupt the prejudice and racism inculcated in our food system. This is especially true for our local food system which we are committed to making equitable and fair for all participants. We know this work will take time and substantial investment in change and will not be accomplished through one conversation or one workshop. We know that this is an ongoing process that demands challenging unsaid norms and behaviors as we continually address our prejudices - and acknowledge our privileges - in order to fight for the seismic shift we need to see in all areas in our country, including agriculture. We invite you to join us in this challenge, so that we can work together to change inequitable systems, build diverse leadership, push forward conversation, and fight for justice.

Take Action: Virginia's Farmers Markets Should be "Essential" Businesses

posted Apr 13, 2020, 9:28 AM by Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture - FOUA
In Governor Northam's Executive Order, he did not deem farmers markets as essential businesses like grocery stores. Instead, they were classified the same as restaurants and bars. Subsequent guidance clarified that farmers markets can remain open but under strict restrictions. Farmers markets, farmers and vendors had to quickly adapt to provide online ordering and pre-bagged offerings.

We urge you to send an email to Governor Northam asking him to amend the Executive Order to classify farmers markets as essential businesses during this COVID-19 health crisis. (Taking action will take 2 minutes with this online form.)

Check out the websites for Arlington's three year-round farmers markets for their safety protocols and online pre-ordering options:
 Arlington Farmers Market (Saturday), Westover Farmers Market (Sunday), and Columbia Pike Farmers Market (Sunday). Other seasonal markets will be opening soon; check their websites for updates.

Food & Financial Assistance Resources in NOVA

posted Mar 24, 2020, 10:18 AM by Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture - FOUA   [ updated Mar 25, 2020, 11:53 AM ]
Thanks to Arlington Virginia Cooperative Extension's Master Food Volunteers program for compiling this helpful list of resources for those needing food and financial assistance during this time in Northern Virginia. Also information from Virginia Tech on food safety and disinfection and CDC. This list isn't complete but it's a start (most pantries are listed on city/county pages).

Capital Area Food Bank, who have food distributions in Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria, etc:
Northern Virginia Family Services (food, financial assistance): and
Catholic Charities (Alexandria, Front Royal, Leesburg, Manassas):










Take Action By Mar 25 to Save Virginia Farmer Markets

posted Mar 24, 2020, 10:01 AM by Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture - FOUA   [ updated Mar 24, 2020, 3:06 PM ]

As a supporter of Virginia's Urban Agriculture food economy, you understand the singular role Farmers Markets play to both consumers and food producers. Farmers Markets provide a source of fresh, nutritious and sustainable food to the local community, and are the sole revenue stream for many area small businesses. We ask for your help to show Richmond that Farmers Markets are important to you, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Today, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 53, which lists those retail businesses deemed "essential". Unfortunately, Farmers Markets did not make the list. While Farmers Markets were mentioned in ExOrd 53, they are conflated with the restaurant industry whose operations are limited to delivery and take-out services only.

Like many other States and municipalities across the Nation, 
FOUA believes Farmers Markets should be deemed "essential" and carry the same status as grocery stores. Please sign our petition to show your agreement.

We are concerned that ExOrd 53's vague description of Farmers Market will create further confusion within municipal governments. As we witnessed this past weekend, Arlington County Government stopped ALL Farmers Market operations based on its legal interpretation of Richmond's guidance.

We are working with the Virginia Farmers Market Association (VAFMA), an advocacy organization for all Virginia's Farmers Market vendors and operators. VAFMA will collect our responses and make a formal plea this week to Governor Northam, Virginia's Secretary of Agriculture, and Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (VDACS). VAFMA will implore Richmond to include Farmers Markets as "essential businesses" on all future executive orders, public health notices, proclamations, and/or legislation regarding the COVID-19 crisis. 

Farmers Markets provide affordable, healthy food options for those unable to visit crowded, indoor grocery stores. Many Markets accommodate the diverse needs of our community, to include SNAP, WIC, and Senior Citizen benefits.

Farmers Markets are the life blood for many small businesses throughout Virginia who need revenue to survive this crisis. By buying local, your money will stay within the local community, exactly where it belongs during this crisis.

FOUA, VAFMA and Virginia's Farmers Markets vendors and operators are committed to maintaining proper public health and safety protocols according to CDC, State, and Local guidelines. 

Please read our letter and sign our petition by 5pm on Wednesday, March 25

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