Photo: Picking up a load of straw to cover the garden beds at Farm Alliance farms. When we put the farms to bed, does the soil dream of spring? October-November 2018.
What's a city farm for? (an invitation!)
Showing what food security can look like. Providing a safe outdoor space for children to learn about food. Offering meaningful work for neighbors. Building healthy soils. Giving cooking and nutrition demonstrations. Growing a local business, often woman-owned or African American-owned (or both!). Demonstrating the power of growing vegetables and fruits without the use of harmful chemical sprays or fertilizers. Trapping carbon. Saving the Bay. These are just some of the social, environmental, and community benefits of Baltimore's urban farms that you identified when you answered our customer surveys last spring and summer. Now we've compiled all our data into a report, along with a beautiful and informative story map that shows how four of our Farm Alliance member farms are working to end food apartheid in Baltimore.
As a member of our Farm Alliance community, you're invited to join us for a webinar for a peek at our report and story map, to share in the most up-to-date research on what our farms and programs are doing in Baltimore. The webinar will take place Friday, December 7th, at 3pm EST. The webinar is free, but you can sign up for it here.
Our farmers were out in force this past month, attending conferences such as Black Urban Growers (BUGS) in Durham, NC, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) in Philly (see photo of Strength 2 Love Farm Manager Denzel Mitchell and Farm Alliance Executive Director Mariya Strauss giving a workshop at NESAWG), and the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore's Small Farms Conference in Princess Anne, MD. We also co-hosted a conversation with Black Yield Institute founder and director, Eric Jackson, on food apartheid and food sovereignty and the possibilities and challenges inherent in both those concepts. Over 70 of you turned out to eat vegan food and offer your thoughts, ideas, and time for building this movement toward food justice. (Big thanks once again to Chef Greg Brown of The Land of Kush for donating the delicious food for that community event.)
What crops are our farms growing?
We're still harvesting! Foods you are likely to find at our farms and at the Farm Alliance Waverly Market stand in late autumn include: sweet potatoes, hot peppers, arugula, bok choy, sunchokes, radishes, mustard greens, carrots, squash, many types of kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, herbs, and...maybe even salad mix! Include our farms in your Thanksgiving feast plans, and come out to the stand this month for all these goodies.
What are city farms for, Part II (Another invitation for Nov. 25th!)
You are invited! Our allies at Runners4Justice are holding a running tour of the farms on Sunday the 25th of November (the Sunday after Thanksgiving), and they're dedicating it to the Farm Alliance! Show up at Dovecote Cafe at 8:30am Sunday, bundled up with your hat and gloves, and you'll have the chance to jog a 3-mile or 5-mile route past several of our member farms! And bring your checkbook--you'll be given a chance to donate to the Farm Alliance to support our Double Dollars, market stand, trainings for new farmers, and other programs that directly support the farms!
Where to Find Us- and Our Farms
It's conference season! Here are some of the regional and local conferences where Farm Alliance staff and farmers will be presenting and/or in attendance:
Future Harvest-CASA, January 17-19, 2019, College Park, MD.
Urban Farmer Winter Meeting (Farm Alliance co-hosting with UMD-Extension), January 27, 2019, Great Kids Farm, Catonsville, MD.
PASA, Feb. 6-9, 2019, Lancaster PA.
As we head into the fall harvest, you can find your neighborhood farmer and say hello. Here is where you will find Farm Alliance member farms:
32nd Street Waverly Farmers’ Market, Saturdays 7am-noon – Farm Alliance stand!
Real Food Farm Mobile Market: Here's the schedule for Real Food Farm's mobile market truck!
Farm Stands on location at the farm:
Whitelock Community Farm, Saturdays 10am-1pm through November 17th
Oliver Community Farm/Meraki Community Uplift: Fridays, 4pm-7pm
Other Farmers’ Markets Where Our Farms Sell: Druid Hill Farmers’ Market, Pigtown Farmers’ Market, Lauraville Farmers’ Market, Overlea Farmers’ Market.
Urban agriculture needs you!
We invite you to get your hands dirty with us and involve yourself in urban farming in Baltimore. Attend a nutrition and cooking demo, volunteer at one of our farms, attend a Cultivate Baltimore session, come out to a community event, or volunteer to help at the Farm Alliance!
Many of our farms need volunteers to complete the harvest and ready the farms for winter. To volunteer on a Farm Alliance farm, please contact Executive Director Mariya Strauss at email@example.com. See our Facebook page for up-to-date information on all of these and more events. See you on the farms!
Consider a donation to the Farm Alliance! Even just a few dollars will go directly to the programs that support the farms, as well as training new urban farmers, maintaining our cooperative greenhouse, and advocating for common-sense policies that support urban agriculture.