Blog post by Lina Khan
On Sunday, November 6, DC EcoWomen learned what a community farm can bring (and, for some of us, where they could find one!). DC EcoWomen volunteered for an afternoon at The Farm at Walker Jones, an urban farm that is part of the campus of Walker Jones, a DC Public School. The Farm provides its food to the school, DC Central Kitchen, and other organizations, or sells it at a farm stand to raise money for supplies. According to Sarah Bernardi, the Farm Coordinator, they stick to natural forms of insect repellant such as corn starch — and rely on volunteers like us to help keep up the herbs, vegetable, and fruit gardens. We soaked in amazing autumn weather that I considered ourselves lucky to get after a couple of weeks of rain.
Almost 20 DC EcoWomen members and friends joined us, some looking to catch rare outdoor time, others to meet like-minded residents of DC, or both. While we dug our trowels into the earth to uproot weeds and cleared debris around the herb garden, a variety of conversation flowed — being on the job hunt, good spare-time reading, running routines (which I don’t know a thing about), and inspirational speakers. That last topic was tied to potential new speakers for the EcoWomen speaker series. More than a few EcoWomen expressed a sense of gratitude from getting to help out the Farm and be outdoors for the day — so in a way, this Farm gave back to us. When we had finished our work and eaten lunch, we listened to Ms. Bernardi tell us how the Farm got started, and we asked a bunch of questions ourselves.
This Farm is an idea that is continuously growing. It was once a deserted vacant lot, then several crops that continued to expand, and now a farm with its own beehives! The question of how to make it an asset for the community and for the kids nearby continues to direct its mission. We were excited to be a part of it.