About Madeleine Daepp

I'm a math and econ student at WashU. Though I love digging in the dirt, I hope one day to combine my urban gardening and my academic background to work in food justice. But full confession? If I could afford land and livestock, I would have a pig farm in the mountains.

Kid’s Place Update

This semester, we’ve been working together with the WashU Coop and the Student Sustainability Fund to cook meals for children at Kid’s Place. Yesterday, four ‘quatters and four co-opers cooked up a storm for the program’s closing banquet.

The Cooks

Our menu? Taco Night! We offered the kids whole-wheat or white tortillas, black beans with onion and scallions, cilantro-rice (yes, we copied chipotle. It’s yummy!), guacamole, salsa, and a salad of romaine lettuce, red pepper, cucumber and apple cider vinaigrette. For the carnivorous kids, we had a small portion of hormone-free, grass-fed beef. One of our toppings, the sliced lettuce, came from our very own Burning Kumquat Farm.


This may have been my proudest meal – the kids ate everything! Well, some didn’t like the beans. But they loved the guacamole and plenty picked whole-wheat tortillas over white. We also had sliced oranges; the kid’s place children love their fruit.

Taco Meal

We’re done cooking for this semester, but let us know if you’re interested in helping out next fall. Libby Mohr will be one of the main coordinators; you can reach her at theburningkumquat@gmail.com.

Wanted: Pre-Orientation Counselors!

Are you interested in counseling for our pre-orientation program? For the past two summers, kumquat counselors have learned about the city’s food justice initiatives with pre-orientation members. We bike across St. Louis, volunteer at urban gardens like City Seeds and New Roots, and hold discussions about food and environmental justice. We also plan delicious meals with the freshest of ingredients!

To be a counselor, you’ll have to apply through the first-year center. Go to https://firstyear.wustl.edu/Page/PreOcounselorApplication.aspx and fill out the application form. Then, e-mail us your answers to the following questions:
  • What is your experience working with the Burning Kumquat, farming, or gardening?
  • Counseling for the pre-o includes biking, cooking, art, and discussions of environmental justice. How could you contribute?

There are a couple of requirements to be aware of:
1. Know how to ride a bike! We’ll teach you safety rules and maintenance and we can help you rent a bicycle, but we can’t teach the basics…
2. Be available from August 15-21. We’ll have three days or preparation, and then the program itself. Reslife lets counselors into their rooms early, so you’ll have lodging.
3. Be excited!
Let us know if you’re interested; we’d love to bike the city with you!

The Call of the Kumquarterly

It’s that time of year again: time to submit articles for our newsletter!


A lovely sample submission

If you have pictures from a workday or stories from a farm visit, please share them with us. We also accept haikus, recipes, job postings, and just about anything else that would fit in a newspaper-style column. If you’d like to write a backyard chicken advice column, that would certainly be welcome.

Send your submission to theburningkumquat [at] gmail.com and we’ll happily add it to our publication.

Kathleen Logan Smith – Feb. 27

We’re honored to be welcoming Kathleen Logan Smith, Director of Environmental Policy at the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, to our next big meeting. She’ll be in talking to us about food and farming law. If you have questions about the farm bill, this is your chance!

Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Logan Smith has used grassroots, community organizing techniques to push for the passage of St. Louis City ordinance that ended medical waste incineration in the city. She also helped found Health & Environmental Justice-St. Louis (HEJ), an organization that exposed systemic failures to end childhood lead poisoning in St. Louis. You can read more about Ms. Logan Smith’s background here.

If you’d like to learn more, come to DUC 234 at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27th. 


Looking for a summer job?

The Burning Kumquat is currently searching for 2-3 students to help with our summer farm activities. If you love working with kids, we’ve got a camp director position for you. If you just want to learn how to grow your own fruits and veggies, think about applying to be our farm manager. The details are below; let us know you’re interested by e-mailing theburningkumquat[at]gmail.com.

Farm Manager: Takes care of the farm through the summer months (weeding, watering, harvesting, taking our veggies to market, etc).

Camp Director: Helps run our summer camp for St. Louis middle school students. We have already found one interested person, but we’d like to have another student to share the responsibilities and work.

For both of these positions, we will provide housing and living costs through the summer along with a small stipend, and of course LOTS OF FREE VEGGIES!!

You also do not need any prior experience; members of our Farmigarchy will be training anyone without prior experience throughout the semester. However, you will need to be here for about 10-12 weeks during the summer (we can be flexible about dates) and to be able to devote an average of about 4-5 hours to the garden/camp every day.

If you are interested, e-mail theburningkumquat[at]gmail.com with a little information about yourself and why you’re interested in BK summer work.

A Message From Earthdance

Are you a graduating ‘quatter on the hunt for a post-college job, or a friend of the farm looking for some food-related employment? We’ve got good news for you–Earthdance Farms is hiring! They’ve got three Americorps Vista programs for next year: Assistant Farm Manager, Fund and Resource Development Coordinator, and Marketing and Communications Coordinator.

If you’re interested, check out their website:

Big News on the Garden

We are just forty dollars away from our goal of becoming a real, USDA-approved farm this year. To meet the definition of a real farm, we have to sell $1000 or more worth of produce in a season–and we are so, so close! Oh, it would mean so much to us. (Not really. It’s just an arbitrary definition for the sake of data collection. But y’know, there’d be a farmparty on our real farm, and that’d be fun!)

With our snuggly row covers, hardy plantings and persevering gardeners, we’ve got a few weeks of production left and I’ve got high hopes. But.

This next market could be the one! If you want to help us reach that goal, stop by this Tuesday; we’ll be outside the DUC from 12:15 until 2:30 with delicious veggies.

11/3: WrKdAy

Come to the farm this Saturday, from 1:00 – 3:00!

In celebration of this week’s Sustainable Cities event hosted by WashUs Office of Sustainability, we will be hosting a SUPER SUSTAINABLE workday. So basically the same thing we do every week.

We’ll be pulling out ‘taters an squash, planting cover crops, harvesting black-eyed peas, and weeding the cauliflower and broccoli. Sounds like fun, no? As a reward for your work in the cold, we will treat you to hot tea and free vegetables! Hope to see you there.