One of the most shocking aspects of Washington D.C. is its blatant inequality. How poverty and extreme wealth can exist so close to one another, an angry tension covered in a thin veneer of peace. On one end lives the wealthy, the cared for, and the safe. On the other end of the spectrum lives not only a lack of money, but a lack of access to the necessities of life. The Common Good City Farm is one of the few but desperately needed programs that seeks to begin correcting the food inequality that exists in NE DC. In the middle of Shaw, not too far from Howard University lies the only farm within the boundaries of DC. Albeit small, it is greatly needed due to the sad fact that there is no grocery store within a mile of its premises. Through its existence, and through its educational programs, CGCF works to undo a culture of malnutrition, an epidemic spread not through famine but through systemic poverty.
The farm itself boasts a wide variety of vegetables. I arrived during the harvest season when the last ripe tomatoes were plucked from browning branches and the last crop of basil was being pulled up by the roots. Okra, eggplants and peppers were being picked from their respective branches to sell to restaurants and sweet potatoes the size of footballs were being unearthed after a full season of growth.
Volunteers are welcome to come out and pitch a hand with harvesting, weeding, planting and composting. No need to call ahead… just show up at 9:30am on Saturdays during growing season. For more information visit their website.