Common Good City Farm is a magical place, and I’m so excited to connect my yoga world with my urban farming world by teaching this benefit class. Common Good City Farm is a ½ acre non-profit urban farm in LeDroit Park, just blocks away from the Bloomingdale Yoga District Studio where I teach. The quantifiable food-access and food-justice benefits provided by Common Good City Farm are many.
It’s a green oasis that provides thousands of pounds of organic food for DC residents and organizations every year (through low-income work-share programs, farm stand, donations to food banks), while providing educational opportunities for children and adults (afterschool programs, workshops, and workplace volunteer days).
The unquantifiable benefits of the farm are even greater. Volunteers and learners gather in the sun – or the rain – and get dirty – did you know that soil microbes support healthy digestion and make you feel a little high? (It’s true.) Digging together builds community in a way that I’ve only experienced while working in the theatre. Side by side, we dig and weed and create structure in the soil. We watch week by week as the seeds planted become seedlings, grow into plants, and then produce vegetables. It’s a kinesthetic creative cycle that connects people to the earth and the cycle of seasons and the sources of their food.
In 2009, I wandered down the street to see what the farm was all about. I’d been work-sharing at a farm in Maryland for a few years, and growing plants in pot on my deck, and since I was getting my masters degree in herbal medicine, I didn’t have the time to spend weekends outside the city to get my dirt and sunshine fix. Common Good City Farm had just relocated to LeDroit Park in 2008; soon after I showed up, I began designing herb beds for the farm and I’ve been the resident herbalist ever since.
It’s been an amazing (sometimes dramatic) journey. In 2010 I got to meet Prince Charles as he visited the farm! The learning curve of growing herbs year after, while teaching new students about those herbs, has deepened my relationships with the plants in ways I never expected, while building deep friendships and community ties.