The Community Harvest program serves to reconnect our neighborhoods with land, food, jobs, and justice. Community Harvest assistance supports a wide range of gardens and greening initiatives in under-served communities, advancing nutritious local food sources, sustainable permaculture, native habitat reclamation and reforestation, and lasting community empowerment in public space revitalization.
Parks & People’s own urban agriculture sites, at the Marvin Gaye Greening Center and the North Columbia Heights Green, provide demonstration opportunities for public land reclamation, green planning and design, job training, volunteer support, and advocacy for community greening efforts.
Seedbeds for Change
“Both sites currently operate as community urban farms, native tree nurseries, and bases of wider park reclamation. At the Greening Center, Parks & People and our many community partners conduct year-round intensive permaculture farming of sustainable organic healthy food while providing a base of workforce development and learning for people of all ages about farming, environmental reclamation, and land stewardship.” [new paragraph] “At the Green, Parks & People has transformed our community garden into a mini-farm – where instead of assigned individual garden plots, the entire site is community-grown and harvested. This communal approach produces a much higher quantity and quality of food. Over half of all food produced is donated to Thrive DC, a homeless services agency whose clients are now at the center of the team tending the Green.”
Through connection with the Riverside Healthy Living Center around the corner from the Greening Center, Parks & People is developing DC’s first comprehensive Healthy Food Hub. A model of full-circle food production, preparation, distribution and consumption is enabled through the incubation of seedlings at Riverside as well as the use of Riverside’s newly renovated commercial kitchen, café and community hall as a site for a farmer’s market, healthy cooking classes, catering and other food-based enterprise.
Community Harvests from the Land
In addition to the direct food production value of the two sites, the Greening Center and the Green together serve as anchors of city-wide park reclamation and environmental education by thousands of volunteers, students, and trainees. They also serve as learning and support centers for multiple community agriculture efforts around the city. Finally, both sites also operate as parks, with a wide range of arts, education, recreation, and cultural programming.”
Visit our list of Farmers Markets in DC, Virginia, and Maryland to find a Farmers Market near you!
Interested in joining Parks & People’s Community Harvest Network? Call us at 202-462-7275.