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Archive for the ‘Partners’ Category

Community Action Day, Saturday March 8th, 9am to 3pm!

In Events, Improvements, Partners, Uncategorized on February 22, 2014 at 7:34 am

By now you will have heard that the farm has something of a reprieve in that talk about “relocating” has also included an understanding that if any construction and development is indeed going to take place at the farm site (still an ongoing discussion, including the illogicality of moving to a possible adjacent space), it may take 12 to 18 months before anything happens.

What does this mean? It means that we can move ahead and prepare the farm for the upcoming 2014 season and further consolidate the farm’s importance as a community hub and unique opportunity for our students to be empowered by growing and eating their own food!

As many gardeners know, Winter is hardly a time for sitting back and waiting for Spring, but should be the period when much of the needed repairs, renovations, and maintenance are completed prior to the Spring surge. While we have moved the debate from shutdown towards reprieve, much of this needed work was not completed so in order to re-energise our initiative we are asking everybody to recruit, cajole, bully, bribe, or otherwise encourage all your groups and supporters to volunteer for a massive Community Action Day on Saturday, March 8th from 9am to 3pm.

We have a ton of work to do which will primarily involve spreading compost, and weeding and tilling all our fields and peripheral areas. We will arrange for the school building to be open to cater to bathroom needs, and we will provide tools and gloves for all.

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Ben & Jerry’s Block Party

In Events, Happy Moments, Partners on June 29, 2013 at 9:46 am

BJ2This Saturday we hosted 200 volunteers on the Farm, a moonbounce, music, free tacos from Rito Loco, and free Ben & Jerry’s icecream featuring the roll-out of DC’s own flavor ~ Capitol Chill: chocolate icecream with Divine Chocolate conrnflake clusters, marshmallow and caramel swirls, and Rout 11 sweet potato chips!

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The Growing Room

In Improvements, Partners on February 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm

The “Growing Room” was constructed on January 30th, 2012 on the farm. This greenhouse will serve a dual purpose; as a venue for starting seeds early (mid-February) and distributing seedlings to DC school gardens for the early spring planting, and as a classroom for training Garden Coordinators at the spring “Growing Garden Teachers” workshop. This greenhouse was originally constructed at “The Great Garden of Anacostia,” Thurgood Marshall Academy’s vibrant school garden. Unfortunately due to site location and a huge wind storm, the greenhouse was dismantled and generously donate to The Farm at Walker Jones. This greenhouse was refurbished and will be maintained by DC Greens, The Farm at Walker Jones, and the School Gardens Program at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

The generous and industrious soul you see here working? OSSE School Garden Specialist Sam Ullery.

A huge thanks to Sam for helping Farm Operations Director Sarah Bernardi make this happen!

The Farm Stand

In Events, Partners on July 8, 2011 at 1:56 am


Right now on the farm, we are growing a huge variety of vegetables and fruits including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, swiss chard, turnips, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, watermelon, canteloupe, green beans, lima beans, pole beans, lettuces, carrots, beets, basil and other herbs, zinnias and sunflowers. In the fall we will have pumpkins, winter squash, sweet potatoes, fingerling and russet potatoes, spinach, a few varieties of kale and collards. Does that sound like a lot of food? It is.

 

Come out to see us, and bring a bag. And a friend. Or two. Have we mentioned how fast cucumbers and squash grow?

Honeybees in the City

In Kids on the Farm, Partners on May 30, 2011 at 11:02 pm

A farm is never quite a farm until the creatures arrive. The chickens are still in the plan, but they have been beat out as first residents by approximately 26,000 new friends of the farm. Half of these friends are Italian and half of them are Russians, but they are already quite happy in DC in their new enclosure at Walker Jones. Honeybees are adaptable creatures.

Thanks to the expertise of Jeff Miller and DC Honeybees and the generosity of Bill McLeod and Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District, the students of Walker Jones have had a few weeks now to go bee crazy from watching the first installation to seeing first hand how our bees have already built a home, gathered pollen, made honey and laid eggs to receiving inside instruction about the severity of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).







We look forward to sharing our stories as developing beekeepers in the months to come.

Getting Dirty for Good!

In Events, Partners on May 11, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Getting dirty for good. That is what the invitation said. On May 1, Peloton Projects and the Awesome Foundation teamed up to support the Farm at Walker Jones. And the amount of work accomplished was indeed awesome! Beds were turned over.

Structures were built to support our baby tomato plants.




Strange things were unearthed from the ground to be replaced with sunflowers seeds that will become the sunflower house we dreamed about.

So much work! But hard work and personal sacrifice demand rewards. So there were cupcakes and other goodies on site.

And a happy hour off-site later that afternoon where some much-appreciated fundraising for the farm took place. We were really touched by the investment this lovely group of people made in our farm, and by extension, in our students and their well-being. Many thanks for all that awesomeness!

2011 Schoolyard Conservation Site for RiverSmart Schools

In In the Classroom, Partners on February 13, 2011 at 7:29 pm


We were very excited to find out recently that Walker Jones had been selected as a 2011 RiverSmart school. The RiverSmart program is a part of the District Department of the Environment, and focuses upon making greening projects possible for DC schools. These innovative schoolyard greening projects focus on incorporating landscape design principles that create habitat for wildlife, emphasize the use of native plants, highlight water conservation, and retain and filter stormwater runoff. They have the added benefits of an outdoor classroom that supports effective teaching practices and promotes student learning.

Creating wetlands, ponds and meadows or planting trees, shrubs and gardens can add beauty and diversity to a site, while fostering ecological awareness and “big picture” thinking in those who participate. These projects will teach gardening and community service skills, improve the aesthetics of school grounds, and build student and community pride.

In addition to installing new schoolyard green space, the program provides teachers with the training and resources they need to use their conservation site to teacher lessons based on the DCPS Standards. The garden will serve as a permanent outdoor learning tool for teachers to provide hands-on learning in many areas of study.

Walker Jones Education Campus hosted the first of four teacher education events this past week for all the schools accepted into this year’s program. As our green team now begins focusing on which projects we would like to develop on our campus, we are thrilled at the number of opportunities we have to choose from and the promise each holds for the students. The team is comprised of two RiverSmart veterans, librarian Susan Wagner and physical education teacher Melvin Thomas, as well as outreach director and WJ Farm point person Frances Evangelista, math teacher John LaRue, science teacher Camille Locke, and English teacher Amy London.

The Farm Partners with Casey Trees

In Partners on January 25, 2011 at 12:36 am

We recently received notice that our proposed tree planting project for the farm had been accepted for funding in the Community Tree Planting Program for Spring 2011 sponsored by Casey Trees. We are thrilled at the prospect of installing ten new fruit trees on the farm, and are all crossing our fingers that those trees will be persimmon trees right outside our garden gates.

For those of you unfamiliar with the great work of Casey Trees, they are a Washington, DC-based non-profit established in 2002 committed to restoring, enhancing and protecting the tree canopy of the Nation’s Capital.

To fulfill this mission Casey Trees plants trees, engages thousands of volunteers of all ages in tree planting and care, provides year-round continuing education courses, monitors the city’s tree canopy, develops interactive online tree tools and works with elected officials, developers, community groups to protect and care for existing trees and to encourage them to add new ones. Check out their website for full details about all they do for the greening of this city.

We Love the Awesome Foundation DC!

In Partners on December 15, 2010 at 5:26 pm

The weather may have turned farm unfriendly, but our great kids are cooking inside! Farmer John has been helping our young chefs turn out Thanksgiving favorites, salads, latkes with apple butter, and now this week, gingerbread men. As delicious an enterprise as all of this sounds, this daily cooking also requires a little more in equipment and food than we are prepared to handle. So where does one turn when a good and noble cause needs a helping hand? Well, we have many friends fortunately, but the newest in big-heartedness in DC, the Awesome Foundation DC, has just announced their first grant recipient here.

We are proud to be the runner-up contender in the first round of applications, and encourage you to check out exactly what the Awesome Foundation is all about. We will keep you posted about some upcoming developments with them, but in the meantime, why don’t you bring your own heartfelt brand of awesomeness to them? And help the world be a more beautiful place. Have to love ideas like this!

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