The Neighborhood Farm Initiative
DescriptionThe Neighborhood Farm Initiative is a non-profit in Washington, D.C. that brings people together to gain skills to grow their own food in our city. Founded in 2008, our founders wanted to make sure that adults had access to garden education in D.C. and set up a demonstration garden at the Mamie D. Lee Community Garden in the Fort Totten neighborhood. The Mamie D. Lee garden is one of the handful of historic community gardens on National Park Service land. The heart of NFI's program has been the Garden Education Program hosted each growing season on a set of plots at the Mamie D. Lee garden. Each season, an experienced gardener has taken a group of students through a hands-on curriculum which supports their food growing on their own small plot. Hundreds of new gardeners have trained with NFI and gone on to have their own plots at home or in community gardens.
In 2013, NFI completed an oral history project focused on long-time food growers in Washington, D.C. With a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., we recorded stories with 34 veteran food growers from our city, documenting the way that gardening has connected people to food and to each other for many, many years in our city.