Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dream a little dream job

Faithful readers, friends, and others who may have accidentally stumbled upon this blog while searching for something completely unrelated (sorry about that, but since you're here...), I have big news: I was hired this past week for what might possibly be my dream job! Hallelujah!

After nearly two years of immersion in all things sustainable food around the country, nearly six months of dogged but fruitless job searching since my return to the District, and countless meetings, volunteer work, dinners, brainstorming sessions, applications, near breakdowns and the somewhat serious recent consideration of selling my meager earthly possessions and skipping town with Ollie to go work on a farm until a paid gig in food education should emerge in the indeterminate future, my prayers were answered. (Or, rather, dad's prayers were. Alas, I'm not the churchgoing type, much to his chagrin.)

It looks like I am being handed the reigns to develop and manage the DC area's first mobile food hub. “A what?” A mobile food hub. Picture an old school bus retrofitted with storage bins for fresh produce, dairy, and eggs, and, of course, a brightly-colored, food-themed mural painted on the side. Kind of a movable farmers' market. The idea is to collaborate with local farms (both urban and rural), community leaders, and food activists to bring affordable, organic produce, recipe ideas, and nutrition information to different schools and neighborhoods in a healthier-than-usual variation on the traditional food truck. (BTW, is it just me, or have food trucks taken over the city?)

The project is just one of many novel programs under development at the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture. I'm excited to be working alongside the dynamic group that is also developing a non-mobile food hub (where nearby organic growers can sell their wares to local grocers, schools, and other businesses), a farmer incubation project (to cultivate the next generation of growers), educational farm (for school groups and community members to learn about heirloom varieties and general organic gardening techniques), and more. I'm so honored to be a part of this project. In fact, after I accepted the job, I had to run outside and do a little celebratory dance. (I wonder what the patrons of Buzz Bakery must've thought as they sipped on their lattes on the other side of the front window.) Ollie seemed relieved as well, rolling along more merrily than I've seen her in awhile on our ride back home to Columbia Heights on Wednesday afternoon. The following day it was time to get to work. And a lovely, sunny, 10-mile bike ride it was to the office, mostly along the Potomac River, in Old Town Alexandria.

So, yes, I am gainfully – and ecstatically – employed. I wonder if Michael and Erin will let me put “Short Haul Trucker” on my business cards. Hmmm. Well, in any case, thanks to all of you who have offered me encouragement, food, and support during this journey. I hope to make you proud in this next phase of the bikeable, truckable feast....


  1. Congratulations Ibti. You deserve it!

  2. Ogden and I are so excited for you! -Michelle

  3. Yay! It sounds so perfect. Can't wait to see posts w/ the Ibti-mobile!

  4. Ibti,

    It is wonderful to read about your perfect-fit new job! With your enthusiasm and knowledge, I know you will make a difference to the school children and families of the area.

    Best of luck,
    Barbara Davidow--Andrew's mom and Meghan's mother-in-law

  5. Congratulations, Ibti! This sounds THE perfect job for you! Go for it with all that energy and intelligence you have!

    Cheryl & Phil McCurdy

  6. this RULES ibs!! i am SO over the moon for you!

  7. REALLY EXCITING! Woohoo for Ibti!

  8. Thanks, guys! I hope to make Arcadia (and the local food movement) proud. :)

  9. Well, when something seems too good to be true, it usually is: with a heavy heart, I left Arcadia in mid-May.

    Thanks to all who supported me and the work I was trying to do there. With your help I raised a ton of money for the mobile market, built some great partnerships, and bought a bus. Now I can only hope that the organization actually follows through on using the bus to get healthy, affordable food from local farms into communities that need it.


Thanks for your comment! Just making sure this isn't spam.... Thanks for your patience. :)Ibti