Photo: Left to Right: Farm Alliance Market Coordinator Lizzie Crespi with farmers Cat Willis, Rich Kolm, and Lavette Blue.
Crops in the ground, sun in the sky
Sixteen farms, scattered like seeds across the city. Growing food, flowers, relationships, community, and healthy living soil that feeds the earth and the Chesapeake Bay, and resists land erosion and the rising sea. In Baltimore with its history of racial segregation, disinvestment and displacement, our farms are sites of growth and intention. With the spring, farms in the city bring hope.
What crops are our farms growing?
Foods you are likely to find at our farms and at the Farm Alliance Waverly Market stand in spring include: Baby kale, pac choi, sorrel, arugula, pea Shoots, collards, radishes, spicy salad mix and other salad mixes, sage, green onions, and spinach. The next few weeks will also feature hakurei turnips, mustards, garlic tops, rosemary, mint, and more herbs.
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!
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.
Community Supported Agriculture: A few of our farms still have shares left in their CSA programs! Purchasing a share is a great way to invest in your local farm and in your family with fresh healthy produce each week. Check out Boone Street Farm and Real Food Farm’s websites for details and to sign up!
Next time you come to Waverly Market, please give a warm welcome to Lizzie Crespi (pictured above), our new Farm Alliance Market Coordinator. A Johns Hopkins senior who will graduate next week, Lizzie is originally from Massachusetts and is already a veteran in urban farming in Baltimore—she’s currently a research assistant at the Food System Lab at Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, and will serve as an Americorps member at Real Food Farm this summer. We were able to hire Lizzie thanks to a generous grant from the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Charitable Fund in support of our Waverly Market stand. You’ll see Lizzie out at our market stand with the farmers every Saturday. Be sure to say hello!
Standing Up for SNAP
Through our Policy and Advocacy committee, our member farms are making themselves heard in the halls of Congress and on the national sustainable agriculture and anti-poverty scene. Farm Alliance of Baltimore this past month signed on to two national sign-on letters: one opposing the House of Representatives’ version of the Farm Bill, which would gut the SNAP food stamp benefit program by attaching work requirements to it; and the other a letter to Senators in support of the FINI nutrition program that focuses the SNAP incentives on healthy fresh fruits and veggies. When you support the Farm Alliance, you are supporting the SNAP federal food benefits program, because for every SNAP dollar customers spend on our farms, the Farm Alliance is able to provide a match through a generous grant from the Abell Foundation.
Grow with us
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! The next two Farm Alliance cooking and nutrition demos will be: May 23rd at 11am at the Baltimore Free Farm, and May 30th at 6pm at Whitelock Community Farm. Many of our farms need volunteers this time of year. To volunteer on a Farm Alliance farm, please contact Executive Director Mariya Strauss at firstname.lastname@example.org. See our Facebook page for up-to-date information on all of these and more events. See you on the farm!
Spring Recipe: Arugula and Herb Chimichurri
This recipe comes to us from Boone Street Farm. This intensely flavored herb dressing pairs well with roasted or grilled meats, or hearty roasted vegetables.
1 cups packed arugula
1/4 cup basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar.
3 cloves garlic, minced.
1/2 tsp salt. and ground black pepper to taste
In a food processor, pulse arugula and herbs until finely chopped. Add vinegar, pepper flakes if using, vinegar, garlic and pulse until you have a rough paste. Add the oil while the processor is on to emulsify. Season to taste and spread or spoon onto anything! If you don't have a food processor, you can easily chop the herbs and garlic by hand and whisk in other ingredients until mixed.
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.