This year, Everybody Grows continued to invest in our core community projects. We deepened our relationships with partners and participants and improved our growing methods. We are deeply excited to build on these projects as well as expand in the coming year! Please enjoy these highlights and pictures.
Scotland Recreation: Garden and (new!) Nature Trail In 2019, we continued to develop our vegetable garden adjacent to the Scotland Recreation Center. We hosted children of all ages on a weekly basis in programs designed to teach them about the joys of vegetable gardening and eating freshly picked foods. We also continued our successful nature and foraging youth program. In the spring, we partnered with Montgomery County Parks and Recreation to open a new nature trail for the community to use, giving them easy access to Cabin John Park. The trail has allowed our expert naturalist Andrew Shofer to lead the weekly programs for the community, surrounded by trees and fresh air.
Engine 26: Feeding our Firefighters We had a productive season at our fire station farm! We produced an abundance of food for firefighters and created an inspiring outdoor classroom to share with school groups and organizations about urban growing. We now have a dozen raised beds at the fire station. We grew a significant variety of produce, including summer vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, eggplants, radishes, herbs, zucchinis, green beans and fall vegetables such as cabbage, snap peas, lettuce, beets, herbs and radishes. The produce is used primarily by the firefighters and emergency personnel who live and work out of this busy station and the garden space has been shared this year with groups including Sidwell Friends Middle School. There is a productive three-bin compost system which we have used to enrich the beds.
Fort Stanton: Growing with the Community The garden at the Fort Stanton Recreation Center in Ward 8 really took off this summer! What started several years ago as an abandoned plot with depleted soil has now became an engine of productive gardening. This summer, the garden space in the rear of the facility featured vegetables and herbs used by a group of older adult patrons of the Recreation Center, primarily through the Chat & Chew program. The spring crop of potatoes and greens was followed by a cornucopia of summer vegetables, including yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, okra, and tomatoes. Notable successes included a fall planting of garlic, harvested in June, along with beautiful eggplants harvested in August and September.
Backyard Garden Initiative Everybody Grows dedicated a day this past summer for building raised garden beds for community members in SE, DC for their backyard gardens. These community members, primarily from the Fort Stanton Rec Center, enjoyed being able to grow food right in their backyards for themselves and their families.
We look forward to another great year working with communities across D.C. to grow food together. Stay tuned for more information about future programming and ways that you can volunteer and support Everybody Grows in 2020!