A Volunteer Difference

Written By Jessica G. Smith

Our farm team provides a wealth of fresh resources to families living east of the Anacostia River. This work includes growing thousands of pounds of local produce, harvesting Ward 8 honey, offering free healthy cooking & herbalism workshops—our team is changing the narrative by providing access to a wealth of health resources.

Greater Greater Washington shared how the disparities between both sides of the Anacostia River have created a stunning 20 year difference in life expectancy for residents. In a Ward that is considered a food desert with only one full service grocery store, our team fights for food justice by bringing resource for a healthy lifestyle to the community. With a farm team of only three full time staff and six Bridge Park team members, our impact is made possible by the time committed by our community and volunteers.

This year, volunteers helped six Bridge Park Plots restore dozens of raised beds, plant hundreds of veggies at the beginning of the season and harvest over 1,500 pounds of fresh produce.

At the C.R.I.S.P Market, volunteers assisted with everything from restocking to checkout. The support helped us serve a record number of people—388 families subscribed to the C.R.I.S.P. CSA. We hope to reach even more neighbors in the new year.

During Taste of the Harvest, our annual festival celebration of Ward 8’s thriving urban agriculture community, volunteers worked alongside our BBAR farmers to teach attendees how to plant garlic bulbs and pick peppers. We planted over 20 pounds of garlic bulbs which will supply our farmer’s market for the entire year in 2020!  A task like this would usually take our farm manager at least a week and we were able to finish in under 2 hours! Volunteer power is a huge part of what makes Taste of the Harvest such a great event for the community and for our production!

As Scott Kratz, Director of the 11th Street Bridge Park, often says, “many hands make light work.” I hope YOU will be one to lend a hand.

Join the #Give11 Challenge and donate time today. No matter how much you can give it all counts!

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