“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, lead author of Vacant Lots to Vibrant Plots, (Center for Livable Communities, Johns Hopkins University)
MISSION & VISION
The mission of CKC Farming is to protect and manage urban farms that inspire the next generation of sustainable food innovators.
Our vision is a robust network of neighborhood farms inside the beltway of Montgomery and Prince Georges County, MD that connect people to their food, their land, and their neighbors.
The real inspiration for CKC Farming 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 - afterall, 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 farm better be here!"
Lynn has long invited school children, community groups and others to come, learn and enjoy her family's farm. CKC Farming simply hopes to continue in Lynn's footsteps.
PROBLEM & PURPOSE
The purpose of CKC Farming is to preserve urban farms and help local residents connect with their food, their land, and their neighbors, on a deeper level than most modern conditions allow.
Agriculture, as we know it, is deeply in need of repair:
According to the World Resources Institute, agriculture contributes 13% of climate changing gasses to our atmosphere - making it the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Of note, agriculture is second only to the energy sector, which includes both power generation and transportation.
As reported by the Washington Post, the United States has lost 4 million of its 6 million family farms since 1940.
As reported by U.S. News and World Report, the average age of America's farmers is 58.3. Of note, farmers rank second in age only to motor vehicle operators, who's average age is 59.2.
According to the CDC, obesity in children has more than tripled since the 1970's.
Any one of these problems is cause for concern, but what is most alarming is the loss of farming knowledge that has occurred within one generation. This knowledge loss threatens the resiliency of our systems.
However, change is in the air. Schools across the country are putting in school gardens and introducing agriculture classes; productive urban farms are popping up on rooftops, abandoned lots, south-facing walls, old warehouse, and more; and talks on all things food and garden are more popular than ever before. Farming is experiencing a renaissance.
The agriculture industry is on the verge of its third major revolution of the past 100 years. However, if there is any hope for an agricultural revolution of the 21st century that is rooted in sustainability and equity, people must have time to observe, experience and appreciate their food, their land, and their neighbors. This is why CKC exists.