The Neighborhood Farm Initiative is a non-profit organization interested in creating a community of people interested growing food on a small scale in the city. They hope to improve underutilized public green spaces with gardens where the community can get their hands dirty.
The event on Saturday will allow visitors to volunteer in the Neighborhood Farm Initiative’s demonstration garden from 9 AM to 11 AM. The organization will supply garden tools and gloves, but be sure to wear clothes you can get dirty. After getting your hands in the soil, it will be time to shift focus to the mind with garden education workshops from 11 AM to 1 PM. The presentations are entitled: More Bang for your Buck, Edible Weeds, and Nutrition to Heal Chronic Illnesses. The open house will finish off with a potluck from 1 PM to 2 PM.
If you can’t make the Spring Open House, the Fort Totten demonstration garden is open on Wednesday evenings from 4:30 PM to dark and on Saturday mornings from 9 AM to 1 PM. Since starting the season on March 9, the garden has seen more than 80 volunteers contribute over 400 hours of work.
The garden has a variety of areas for different interests. Some highlights include a trellis garden, a family garden (with various plant families), a civil-union garden (with companion plants), and a herb garden. When the weather gets warmer, the Neighborhood Farm Initiative plans to add a pizza garden.
The organization is keen on bringing fresh vegetables to all neighborhoods in the District. Most of the produce is donated to Brainfood, a non-profit that empowers teens to become food educators in the city. Excess produce is given to DC Central Kitchen and Bread for the City.
Perhaps you’ll get some ideas for your own urban garden at the Spring Open House with the Neighborhood Farm Initiative.