“While urban agriculture alone will not solve the many dilemmas of our food system, it can be part of a constellation of interventions needed to transform the food system into one that is more socially just, ecologically sound, and economically viable.”
- Raychel Santo, Center for Livable Communities at Johns Hopkins University, Vacant Lots to Vibrant Plots, 2019
MISSION & VISION
Our mission is to preserve and manage urban farms that help inspire the next generation of conscious farmers and foodies.
Our vision is a robust network of community-led farms throughout the urban neighborhoods of Montgomery County, Maryland that build resilient and sustainable local food systems and give Montgomery County residents the ability to live healthy, fulfilling lives regardless of their land ownership status.
Learn more about our programs here.
The real inspiration for CKC comes from Lynn Koiner - a life-long urban farmer and the daughter of Charles Koiner. The immense value of a farm in the city is in no way lost on Lynn - after all, she's been doing this since the 70's. In her own words, "I believe in reincarnation and when I come back here in 500 years this [Koiner Farm] darn well better be a farm!"
Lynn has long invited school children, community groups and others to come and enjoy her family's farm. CKC simply hopes to continue in Lynn's footsteps.
Because of Lynn's generosity, Koiner Farm is now protected in perpetuity under a conservation easement. According to Lynn, "I guess the people that I want to benefit from this [Koiner Farm] are my neighbors and the community."
PROBLEM & PURPOSE
Our food system, as we know it, is deeply in need of repair...
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one-tenth of the global population went hungry in 2020; and currently, not a single country is on course to meet 2025 global nutrition targets.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), obesity in children has more than tripled since the 1970's and 1 in 3 adults are overweight or obese.
As presented at the COP26, the global food systems is responsible a third of the total human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
According to the World Resources Institute, the agriculture industry alone contributes 15% of climate changing gasses - making it the second largest emitter of GHGs. (Note, agriculture is second only to the energy sector, which includes both power generation and transportation.)
As reported by U.S. News and World Report, the United States has lost 4 million of its 6 million family farms since 1940 and the average age of America's farmers is now 58.3. (Note, farmers rank second in age only to motor vehicle operators, who's average age is 59.2.)
Any one of these problems is cause for concern, but what is most alarming is the loss food and farming knowledge that has occurred within one generation. This knowledge loss is one of the greatest threats to the resiliency of our food systems.
It is time that we re-connect with the land. Similar to a neighborhood park, a neighborhood farm encourages people to get outside - but unlike a neighborhood park, a neighborhood farm encourages people to interact with the soil and plants in more intimate and participatory ways than simply walking along a trail or playing on a court or field.
A nonprofit neighborhood farm provides the space, recourses, and expertise that empowers communities to build better local food systems. People, especially people in cities, should no longer be thought of as a drain on the food system, but rather a source of power and innovation for building the smarter, safer, more equitable and more sustainable food system of our future.
Since our founding in late 2018, CKC has created opportunities for Silver Spring residents to grow healthy food for their community (see our Volunteerships), build healthy soil (see our Community Composting program), steward the land (see out Workshops & Events), feed their children fresh local produce (see our SNAP/WIC Benefits and Food Donations programs), and teach the next generation to feed themselves (see our Internships and Field Trips programs)
Agriculture, as we know it, is in its third (some say fourth) major revolution of just the past 100 years. However, if there is any hope for an agricultural revolution that is rooted in sustainability, resiliency, and equity, people must have time to observe, experience and appreciate their food, their land, and their neighbors ... this is why CKC exists.