Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ward 8, Giant Food and Bright Farms............YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!!

Once again this week, I was delighted to read an article that was focused on something positive happening Washington, DC - particularly Ward 8.  I am a native Washingtonian and grew up in Riggs Park, Eastern Avenue to be exact.  It was a different Washington, DC back then.  We walked to school, we went outside and played in our yard and my Mom was a homemaker.  My siblings and I grew up eating food from the local Giant Food Store.  Summer morning's we were awakened by the smell of fresh cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon waiting for us in the kitchen as a preamble to a hearty hot breakfast.  Yes, those were the days when there were not a lot of chemicals to concern ourselves with as we devoured fresh food prepared daily from my stay at home mom.

OK - REALITY CHECK.  Those days are for the most part over.  With daily talk of knowing where your food is coming from, GMO's, glysophosphate and other nasty chemicals permeating the soil, tainting our food and causing rare illnesses, I long for those days once again.  When my daughters were growing up in Fredericksburg, Virginia, I either grew our produce or went to the market.  I was also a founding farmer for one of the transitionally organic CSA's in Stafford County at the Eitt Farm.  We ate good, we ate fresh and we knew where our food came from, how it was grown....usually knew or became friends with the farmers at the market and I felt good about what was I was feeding my family.  We tried different vegetables that we had never tried before and my daughters loved the experience.  My daughters know the hard work that goes into growing and harvesting good, healthy, organic food.  Quite honestly, every child should experience growing and harvesting their own food or at least know how it is done in today's world........especially the under served people in Ward 8 in Washington, DC.

I grew up knowing Ward 8 as that area of DC that you just did not go into.  It just was not safe and was always on the news.  This time however, I am ecstatic to report that something great and positive and wonderful is about to happen in Ward 8 and should make the news as well.  The Anacostia Economic Development Corporation, Bright Farms and Giant Food have entered into an agreement for Giant Food to be the exclusive resource of year round local produce grown locally.  According to Mr Paul Lightfoot,  Bright Farms is in the process of Crowdfunding  the World's most Productive and Largest Urban our very own Ward 8....imagine that???

Bright Farms is not new to this type of adventure.  As we focus more and more on the renewal energy industry, Bright Farms business model has been proven to be successful.  Currently many grocery stores in Bucks County, Pennsylvania are enjoying the benefits of year round fresh produce grown locally due to the efforts and vision of Mr. Lightfoot and the Bright Farms Team.   I listened to Mr Lightfoot recently on a Ted Talk where he spoke about his mission of growing and delivering the freshest food possible.  Simple mission of growing it as locally as possible and delivering it as fresh as possible within hours of harvesting, all while watching his environmental footprint. This is just a good idea  on so many levels. Bringing such a facility to Ward 8 will aid in permanent green jobs with benefits, including health care, will educate the surrounding community on the benefits of knowing where your food comes from, will connect the food producers to the community and give this under served community a sense that someone Uplifting or Revival of Spirit, so to speak.

With 55 days left, Indiegogo and Bright Farms has a crowd funding event happening right now that you can participate in - even if you do not live in the DMV.  If you visit, you will find more  information and the options on how to donate to this  more than worthwhile effort. This 100,000 square foot facility will do such great things for the community that surrounds it.  All of the ground work is taking place now, permits are being issued, final architectural plans and last but not least - the financing needs to be secured.

From $5.00 on up, Indiegogo has a great selection of items in return for your donation to make this a reality. I personally am donating to receive not just a warm fuzzy feeling that I am helping to build a better Ward 8, but for the invitation to the party (there will be a party for sure) a complete supporter kit including a tote, a water bottle, tee shirt, and hydroponic starter kit.

I want to say THANK YOU AEDC, Bright Farms and Giant Food for realizing that giving back to the community can help build a community and there is nothing better than a healthy community.  I would  love to just shake your hand Mr. Lightfoot for having the vision and the experience of what it takes to bring fresh ideas as well as jobs and produce to this under served community.....perhaps on opening day for a tour or at the party???

Please visit, search under FOOD and look for Help build a hydroponic greenhouse farm in our Nations Capital.

As Washingtonians have heard many times over the years.....


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