"An urban farm is not so much about growing food, as it is about growing a community of people who come together for the shared purpose of creating a local food system that feeds everyone equally.”
- Gretchen Mean, Victory Gardens Initiative
A FARM IN EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD
We believe that farms should be like parks - one in every neighborhood and open to everyone. But unlike most neighborhood parks, urban farms activate the land in a truly unique way - farms provide opportunities for residents to interact with the land and the life that it supports in a more intimate way than strolling along a path or playing a soccer game. Community-led farms, and their transcending affects, significantly increase the value of open green spaces, particularly in densely populated areas. Conservative estimates based on studies by The Nature of Cities calculate the added value of urban farms to be north of $100,000 per acre per year for the community.
With Koiner Farm now permanently preserved under a conservation easement, CKC has set its sights on creating a network of neighborhood farms throughout the urban communities of Montgomery County. We have created a Master Conservation Plan (CKC view only) that identifies where and how other urban farms can be established, managed and stewarded for generations to come. Our vision for a network of urban farms, which has been called the 'urban agriculture reserve' of Montgomery County and it strategically aligns with the THRIVE 2050 Vision and Goals for Montgomery County. It is also supports the carbon drawdown initiatives of the County's Climate Action Plan.
OUR URBAN FARM EXPANSION EFFORTS
IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY
CKC has been working with Montgomery County's Department of General Services (DGS) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) since 2021 to secure county-owned land for urban farming. Data from USDA's Food Access Research Atlas and the Montgomery County Food Council's Food Security Plan. is used to identify priority areas for establishing urban farm.
Pictured Left: USDA Food ERS Atlas
Blue = Low-income defined by census tracts with poverty rate of 20% or higher, or median family income less than 80% of median family income for state
Orange = Low-income and moderate low-food-access defined by census tract with significant number of residents who are more than 0.5-miles (urban) or 10-miles (rural) from nearest supermarket
Green = Low-income and severe low-food-access as defined by census tract with significant number of residents who are more than 1.0-miles (urban) or 20-miles (rural) from nearest supermarket
BECOME A LOCAL LAND STEWARD
It is time that we got more creative with the way in which our land is used and to whom we grant access. Our urban farms aim to redefine our collective relationship to land so that land is seen as a resource that can serve the collective good rather than individual desires. Have you ever thought...
"Hum, we should do something with that unused plot of land."
"Such a waste to mow that field, and no one ever uses it"
"If my neighbors and I combined our yards, we could grow a lot of food."
Well, now is your chance to organize your community and start a farm in your neighborhood. Please direct questions and comments related to CKC's Urban Farming Conservation Plan to CKC's Executive Director, email@example.com.
IMPACT Silver Spring helps local community establish an urban micro-farm in Wheaton, spring 2021. Volunteers clean up vacant lot and levels plots for raised garden beds. CKC provided technical assistance, seed starts and support to get farm up and running.
TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES THAT MORE URBAN FARMS ARE NEEDED
Montgomery County Councilmember, Evan Glass, visits Koiner Farm in October 2019 and speaks with CKC's composting interns.
Montgomery County Councilmember, Tom Hucker, speaks with Charlie Koiner after passage of the Urban Ag Property Tax Credit bill (31-16).