Farm Profile: The Plantation-Park Heights Urban Garden, with farmer Chippy Richie
By Lizzie Crespi, Program Coordinator, Farm Alliance of Baltimore
Driving down Park Heights Ave, you’ll hit a stretch at the 3000 block that is exploding with color - blooming pansies, beautiful artwork, and flowering herbs. Turn right onto Springhill Ave, and you’ll find one of more than 20 farms in Baltimore: The Plantation - Park Heights Urban Garden. Launched in 2014 as a garden for residents frustrated by the lack of fresh food in their neighborhood, the Plantation has grown into a thriving farm on over 2 acres of land. With Chippy Richie leading the charge, The Plantation now has over 15 raised beds filled with imported soil, where they grow an impressive variety of produce - garlic, cabbage, radishes, okra, herbs, and more. As a native of Trinidad and Tobago, Chippy Richie has extensive experience growing and cooking fresh produce. The Plantation’s new specialty, moringa, is used outside of the US to combat food insecurity due to its drought-resistance and nutritional value - the Plantation hopes it can serve the same purpose in Baltimore. The Plantation works hard to popularize agriculture among youth through community events, a strong online presence, and partnerships with schools. The hope is to provide a space for children to learn about nutrition, food systems, and agriculture.
Moving forward, the Plantation has plans for an herbalism project, a new greenhouse, and a potential partnership with an HBCU. Follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/plantationparkheightsurbanfarm!
Looking for a source of fresh, Baltimore-grown produce? The Plantation hopes to start a “Fruit/Veggie of the Week” series of on-farm cooking demonstrations this year!
Farm Alliance in the community
Our Executive Director, Mariya Strauss, and Strength 2 Love 2 Farm Manager Denzel Mitchell gave a talk at the University of Maryland Institute of Applied Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Lecture Series April 23rd. Their talk on Redlined Baltimore and Urban Agriculture was well received by the group of about 25 students, who asked excellent questions! Want a farmer and/or staffer from the Farm Alliance to speak to your group? Reach out to Mariya Strauss at email@example.com for details on how to make it happen.
Exciting news! We've been chosen by the Horticultural Society of Maryland as the recipient of their 2019 Tool Drive! On May 14, Hort members will bring their tool donations to the Vollmer Center at Cylburn Arboretum so that the Farm Alliance of Baltimore can rebuild our Tool Library! The farmers are incredibly excited about this rare opportunity. Want to organize a similar event to benefit our work of growing healthy food in the city? Reach out to Mariya Strauss at firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea. Let's feed the city together!
Learn with the Farm Alliance!
Our annual Cultivate Baltimore workshop series is starting up again! Join us along with UMD Extension Service and Future Harvest-CASA to learn the basics of urban farming on a larger scale than your average backyard garden. Our first session will be on Transplant Production on May 8th from 4pm-6pm, taught by the farmers of the Farm Alliance at The Greener Garden, 5623 McClean Blvd in Hamilton. Cost is $10 per person, but scholarships are available. Click here for tickets.
Thank you to all of our volunteers, donors, and supporters who feed us, compost with us, garden with us, donate books and artwork, and give generously of their energy and money to support our work. We are grateful and excited to be growing in our ninth year with you all!
If you would like to make a donation to the Farm Alliance of Baltimore, please use this link. And thank you!