Land... acces to it, decision making power over it, and utility of it... is a driver of segregation and inequility... the fallout of which is still present in the East Silver Spring community today.
As a land trust, we protect and operate a collaborative system of community-led urban farms that support resilient and sustainable local food systems and give people the ability to live healthy, fulfilling lives regardless of their land-ownership status. At Koiner Farm, for example, we rely on a team of local farm stewards to help ensure that diverse voices are heard and represented in land use decisions for Koiner Farm.
CKC is currently looking to expand our team of farm stewards. We are seeking volunteers from the neighborhoods around Koiner Farm to organize and better support community outreach and engagment. The roles of the farm stewardship team will be to:
Gather and listen to community input from a diverse population of Koiner Farm neighbors.
Identify and book local talent (such as musicians, artisans, chefs, tour guides, workshop hosts, yoga instructors, etc.) that resonate broadly with members of the community.
Recommend culturally appropriate crops, so that the produce grown at Koiner Farm reflects the tastes and culinary preferences of the community it serves.
Liaison with marginalized or less-represented pockets of the community, so that all feel welcome at Koiner Farm,
Translate information into approriate languages and publicize events, services and programs on accesible platforms, so that all can participate.
Sadly, Silver Spring has a long history of imposing racist deed restrictions on properties and, although these practices have been largly eradicated, the long term effects are still felt within the East Silver Spring community - particularly when you look at the racial demographics of single family home owners versus multi-unit renters.
Access to clean, safe greenspaces is a driver of physical and emotional well-being.Koiner Farm - located one block from the business district of Silver Spring, juxtaposed between the single family homes and multi-unit buildings - is uniquely positioned to address some of the land access inequities that still exist within our neighborhood.
Understanding the complexities of racial fall-out, particularly as it relates to access to land and healthy food, is key to the work of our Farm Stewards.