Hello, dear readers. I'm writing to you today with a call for help on behalf of my urban farming and community gardening friends here in the District. The Field to Fork Network is trying to raise some funds to get a collaborative market stand up and running this growing season. The goal: promoting healthy eating and community engagement at a number of markets around the city. (It's a project after my own heart, to be sure.) A number of groups we visited along the DC urban farms bike tour are involved, and a few that were not able to be included this time around. (As it was we had five stops!) Some of my favorites from around the city, many of whom have been working on food access and education for years, are coming together to make this project happen: the Neighborhood Farm Initiative, Beet Street, Washington Youth Garden, City Blossoms, Bread for the City.
Yes, it's a Kickstarter campaign... something with which I am intimately familiar. In this case, the funds will kickstart the project with funds to purchase needed supplies and materials, which will in turn allow the Field to Fork urban food educators and growers to operate small market booths. It also includes a modest stipend to fund a market coordinator to keep all of the necessary ducks in a row and get the systems in place for future -- hopefully expanded -- market seasons. They're looking to raise funds for the following, but if you (or someone you know) can donate any of these items, it'll help the group out immensely: tables, tents, scales, banners, chairs, calculators, camping stoves (probably my weathered beercan stove will not suffice, alas), cooking supplies. There's a bit set aside for educational materials and transportation as well, but $4,000 is a drop in the bucket when you consider all of the public good coming out of this. Actually, here's the video so you can see for yourself what they have in mind:
Now, people, they only have 30 hours left to raise the remaining $820 of their $4,000 goal to get things off the ground. Help an urban farmer out, eh?