As we closed Namaste Farm Stand’s second season with a celebration dinner, community members told us about their experiences at the stand. Hear what they had to say in our new video:Maria told us that easy access to fresh vegetables helped her control her diabetes. Clo said that her body was healing, and that she also felt better in mind and spirit. Melody shared that she’d lost 60 pounds in the five months since she started visiting the farm stand. She said she learned about nutrition from our partners at WSU Extension’s Food $ense, who provided cooking demonstrations at our Tukwila location.[caption id="attachment_2607" align="aligncenter" width="500"] WSU Extension's Food $ense team and FIN staff provided a total of 28 demos of how to turn farm stand produce into delicious meals and snacks. Bike blender smoothies facilitated by Anna from Food $ense were always popular items.[/caption] Maria, Clo, and Melody were among hundreds of community members who visited Namaste Farm Stand in Tukwila and SeaTac this season, which ran from early June until late October. We sold fruits, vegetables, and herbs from local producers including IRC New Roots’ Community Garden (Tukwila), Faith Beyond Farms (Enumclaw), and Collins Family Orchard (Selah) at affordable prices.[caption id="attachment_2609" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Community members who grow food at New Roots' Namaste Community Garden helped prepare our celebration dinner.[/caption] The farm stand launched in 2017 with 10 farm stand days at Matt Griffin YMCA in SeaTac. In 2018, we added a second location at Tukwila Village Plaza and extended the number of stand days to 39. In August, we were approved to accept SNAP/EBT, and began doubling customers’ EBT dollars through the Fresh Bucks program.Namaste Farm Stand is operated by Food Innovation Network and International Rescue Committee’s New Roots program with support from the City of Tukwila, Kona Kai, Communities of Opportunity, Les Dames d’ Escoffier, Matt Griffin YMCA, SHAG, and WSU Extension.Thanks to our partners, food producers, and customers for a fantastic season! We look forward to starting our third season in June of 2019.[caption id="attachment_2608" align="aligncenter" width="500"] We had a great time eating fresh produce with our wonderful community at our celebration dinner.[/caption]
Join us for FIN's 3rd Annual Resource Fair
And connect with everything food!
MarakiMaraki, established in 2016, is an Ethiopian coffee and catering business. Business partners Fanaye Gebeyaw and Lidia Tadlla provide Ethiopian coffee and healthy snacks through the traditional ceremony that is perfect for social occasions. Service Area: Seattle and King County Availability: Call us anytime Contact: (206) 832-5979 Q: Tell us about your businessWe come to you and make Ethiopian traditional coffee. You will be able to see how a very tasty and original Abyssinica coffee is made, from roasting the fresh beans to brewing. You'll taste our coffee with a healthy snack in the comfort of your own home or at an event.Maraki began catering with the support of Food Innovation Network. In Ethiopia, the traditional way to drink coffee is around coffee stands that hold cups where friends and family members gather, chat, share ideas and have coffee. Maraki pairs traditional coffee with high-quality healthy snacks in the homely and relaxed atmosphere of a client's own space. We meld pure socialization with our traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. With high standards and reliable delivery schedules, we have been able to build and maintain a solid customer base within a short period of time in King County. As founders, we are both experienced in Ethiopian and western foods, give high priority to quality and healthy food. Q: What inspired you to start this business?We were inspired to take the influential culture from Ethiopia and do the same in our local atmosphere. The major inspiring factor for Maraki to start the business was the lack of culture we, as Ethiopians, noticed in the US. With this business, there will be more cultural festivities and an atmosphere just like Ethiopia.Q: What makes you different from other types of coffee businesses?Maraki provides unique service to its customers, we serve Ethiopian coffee with its traditional ceremony. The client watches as we roast the coffee bean which is directly imported from its origin, Ethiopia. Coffee catering is suitable to any social gathering- family, work or public. Our coffee ceremony highly facilitates social interaction. It creates a friendly and relaxed environment while enjoying our tasty coffee and healthy snack. Q: What do you like best about your work? We enjoy working with clients and like to see customers satisfied with our service. It's always a pleasure to socialize with people during the coffee ceremony and seeing them smile. Q: What is your business’ biggest challenge?Our biggest challenge so far is working capital. We would like to reach out many customers and participate in festivals but the working capital is a major challenge to meet that demand. Q: What is something people might be surprised to learn about you or your business? One interesting thing is that both owners are health professionals promoting healthy lifestyle and equity. When we initially established Maraki it was to introduce healthy Ethiopian food and coffee ceremony to the Western community. We believe we can create a healthy community through socialization and understanding each other’s culture. Q: What types of services or programs have been helpful? FIN services have been helpful for the success of Maraki as a catering service. The Network has supported us in accessing a commissary kitchen, creating a forum to network with potential customers, and facilitating us to get our business license and health permits.
Want to brighten up your next social event?
Call Lidia & Fanaye today!
Two days after arriving in the US, Madeleine Kabena found herself in an emergency room with her five-year-old daughter, Aline. Despite how it sounds, this was exactly why Madeleine and her family applied for the Diversity Visa lottery that allowed them to immigrate. They came here to find treatment for Aline, who was born with a genetic disorder. Although her health problem doesn’t have a cure, regular treatments can vastly improve both symptoms and outlook. At home in the Congo, treatment was limited and the threat of malaria loomed daily.[caption id="attachment_1737" align="alignright" width="225"] Madeleine's daughter[/caption]While Madeleine brought her family here so her daughter could have a better life, it hasn’t all been easy. At first, it was a high to be in the United States but then reality began to sink in. There were the usual things, like learning a new language, but also some deeper issues. Food at the hospital was not good and she wasn’t finding traditional foods in her neighborhood. In the Congo, there are more than 200 cultures and what connects them all is the belief in good food. It is even thought that some disease can be healed through a healthy and nourishing diet. In fact, this is what Madeleine believes allowed her daughter to survive so long without regular treatments.
[caption id="attachment_1744" align="alignleft" width="169"] Madeleine with her daughter[/caption]By searching for culturally appropriate foods, Madeleine discovered a distinct lack of Congolese shops, restaurants, or even organizations in King County. In all her asking around for connections to food, she eventually met a Congolese man who called himself a ‘Community Food Advocate.’ Madeleine was intrigued and hopeful. Over the first few years in the US, she worked as a caregiver at Wesley Homes. Her first profession was as a lawyer but her degree didn’t permit her to practice in the US. Becoming an advocate with FIN allowed her to represent people again while also building food connections for her community.
“Luckily I found that Chinese and Hispanic produce is very similar to Congolese. I shop there for vegetables like cassava, okra, and greens.”
Madeleine’s hopes for the Congolese community in King County are the same as her hopes for her own family. In her own words... “I want people to have the best chance at life. And for us, that starts with things like healthcare and jobs but always ends with food and family.”
“Unlike what I see in the Latino and Somali communities, the Congolese community here is small and very spread out. We sometimes struggle to connect with each other.”
SeaTac’s first farm stand This Thursday, 4-6pm at Matt Griffin YMCA. Get local fruits and vegetables.
SeaTac’s first farm stand at the Matt Griffin YMCA. .Come shop for local fruits and vegetables at the farm stand this Thursday, from 4-6pm at the Matt Griffin YMCA. This week we’ll have cherries, peaches, apricots, apples, carrots, rainbow chard, sugar snap peas, salad mix and zucchini!Come on opening day and get a FREE COOKBOOK!What’s cookin’? WSU’s Food $ense will be doing cooking demos—sharing easy, healthy recipes you can use with produce bought from the stands. The Eating Well for Less cookbook features recipes and tips for eating on a budget. Recipes are kid-tested!
SeaTac's first community garden (located at North SeaTac Park) is now accepting applications! See the garden application for more details: CommunityGardenApplication_2017
We just finished FIN's 2nd community kitchen event at the SeaTac community center. I was excited because it was open to the whole community and many people showed up from the City of SeaTac and Highline College. It was such a great experience to work with new people in the kitchen. I think everyone enjoyed the food and were happy about this event - the most important thing is that people walked out with new friends and new ideas.A big THANK YOU to everyone that helped out. We couldn’t do it with our wonderful advocates; Gladis, Lidia, Muslima, Zozan and myself. Thank you for sharing dishes from your countries.We are also thankful to all the volunteers, Seth Schromen- Wawrin, Colleen Brandt- Schluter and Erika Martinez we couldn’t do with our help in the kitchen. Brian Tomisser and So Won Kim for organizing event and welcoming guests.If you missed this community kitchen, stay tuned for the next one coming in Fall 2017!Sheelan ShamdeenJune, 15,2017
Last Saturday, FIN advocates, along with other partners, attended the YMCA's Healthy Kids Day and hosted a cooking station to demonstrate to kids and parents how fun and easy it is to eat healthy food.Here's what Gladis had to say about the experience:"It was a great experience for me to participate in the Healthy kids event at Matt Griffin YMCA. It was the first time that I have the opportunity to teach hands on how to make guacamole, which is a food that represents my culture and it is also a healthy dip made from vegetables.I really enjoy knowing that a healthy recipe can make a difference in somebody's life, especially with children and since this event was family friendly, many families could taste and learn from scratch how to make this food.I am very thankful to FIN for give me the chance to connect with the community through food." - Gladis Clemente [gallery ids="1449,1450,1451,1452,1453" orderby="rand"]
We are excited to host the 2nd Annual FIN Resource Fair May 12th from 5:30-8pm at Foster High School.This year we will be bringing together resources for both entrepreneurs and community members. Folks can get help starting a food business, finding a job in the food industry, or taking food and nutrition classes.More than 20 resource providers will be participating. We will have fun children’s activities and feature food from the FIN entrepreneurs. Join us in celebrating the diversity of South King County through food!If you are interested in coming or want to invite others, visit us on Facebook.
City of SeaTac’s first community garden is scheduled to open the spring of 2017 at North SeaTac Park adjacent to the botanical and Japanese gardens. The community garden will have small garden plots available to SeaTac residents for rent (April 1-October 31). Plants grown on the rented plots are for personal use, donations or to share with others.Eligibility ~ Plot holder must be at least 18 years of age. ~ City of SeaTac residents have priority in receiving a plot. Non-residents may apply and be assigned a plot if available. Residency will be confirmed by a valid State of Washington driver’s license or utility bill. ~ A maximum of 2 plots can be assigned to a household if all other eligible gardeners have received a plot.Registration Opens Tuesday, January 3rd! ~ You may register at the SeaTac Community Center. Link to application form is below. ~ Registration fee is $40 per year.Registration information provided in links below. SeaTac Community Garden Brochure (Information, Rules & Regulations)