Photo: (Left to right) Farm Alliance Executive Director Mariya Strauss, Black Yield Institute Servant-Director Eric Jackson, Whitelock Community Farm Program Director Isabel Antreasian, Reservoir Hill community member Pamela Patterson, and Whitelock Community Farm Manager Alison Worman teach a session on Community Engaged Farming July 12 for the Cultivate Baltimore series.
Teaching each other
We've learned so much from you and from each other this past month. How to access land in the city. How and why it matters that farmers are part of the fabric of the communities where they grow and work. We learned about asset mapping (shout out to our coalition partner Eric Jackson of Black Yield Institute for the political education he shared with us this week) and the importance of building strong relationships in our city neighborhoods. We've heard how having a board of directors can help to strengthen a nonprofit urban farm. We've learned the difference between a permit and a lease, and even how to cook kale so it tastes better (see the end of this newsletter for details about that).
What crops are our farms growing?
Filbert Street Garden got a new duckpond this month!
Foods you are likely to find at our farms and at the Farm Alliance Waverly Market stand in high summer include: shishito peppers, green peppers, summer squash, broccoli, Swiss chard, tomatilloes, collard greens, herbs, scallions, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and green beans. (Do not miss the local garlic. Trust us.)
The Farm Alliance in the news
It's not in the news, but it IS news that we got our market van decorated! That's Market Coordinator Lizzie driving. Isn't it eye-catching? Huge thanks to the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Charitable Fund for making it possible, and to local Baltimore artist and designer Zack Vabolis for the beautiful design. Come out and see it in person at Waverly Farmers Market on Saturday mornings! We are also proud to share two recent news pieces that feature our member farms and partner organizations! First, an article in the Baltimore Sun featured the Beginner Farmer Training Program led by Future Harvest CASA, the Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. The program has around 80 students now, its biggest class yet--and the Farm Alliance of Baltimore is co-leading the urban farming portion of the training, with our Cultivate Baltimore Series. We also are excited to see this article in a trade publication for Zeiss Optics, where farmer Richie Francis works while also farming at the Plantation Park Heights right here in Baltimore. Check out the gorgeous photos in this piece! They really capture what Mr. Francis is doing in Park Heights: building community.
Where to Find Our Farms
Now that the growing season is well under way, 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!
You are invited to join University of Maryland-Extension Service for an Urban Farmer Field School day on August 13th, hosted by Farm Alliance member farm The Greener Garden in Hamilton from 5:30-8pm, on Saving Money and Water with Drip Irrigation. A potluck dinner will follow the one-hour training; please bring a dish to share. Learn more and sign up for that event here. The next Cultivate Baltimore session will be held September 6th from 5:30-7:30pm at Strength 2 Love 2 Farm. We will be learning about small farm equipment! Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more details about that session as the time approaches.
Many of our farms need volunteers this time of year. 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!
Summer Recipe: Lemony Chickpea Kale Salad
This recipe comes to us from Chef Crystal Forman, owner/operator of Holistic Wellness and Health, and our community partner for our Farm Alliance cooking and nutrition demonstrations.
- For the Dressing
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 clove Garlic (pressed)
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- For the Salad
- 8 cups Kale (10 bag, rinsed and chopped)
- 1 15 oz can Garbanzo Beans (drained)
- 1 ripe Avocado (diced)
- Nuts (optional)
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; whisk to combine; slowly drizzle olive in and vigorously whisk until creamy.
- Pour this over kale; gently massage vinaigrette into kale until all surfaces are coated and kale has softened.
- Gently fold in the chickpeas, avocado, and nuts (optional); cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Add variety by adding extras to this salad like chopped nuts, chopped veggies, or fresh fruit.
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.