We want to create farmers market booths to expand options for healthy food in DC while showcasing the produce and projects of nonprofit organizations partnering under DC's Field to Fork Network. Shared Field to Fork market stands at select markets throughout DC would be an excellent way to share knowledge, access, and opportunities about fresh food and urban gardening in DC to a larger audience. The booth will rotate among 6 nonprofit organizations that grow food and teach people how to do it themselves. Many of these nonprofits will be donating their produce and goods, focusing more on cooking demonstrations, education, and information-sharing.
Though only in its first year, it is our belief that this project will be sustained and expanded in future seasons to include an ever-growing alliance of urban growers and nonprofit organizations working to expand access to fresh produce throughout DC.
1. Share knowledge, access, and opportunities about fresh food and urban gardening in DC.
The market booths will be used for selling DC-grown produce and value-added goods, conducting cooking and educational demonstrations, recruiting new farm volunteers, and sharing information about the group’s work.
2. Challenge the notion that fresh, healthy produce can’t be grown in a city.
While it may not be realistic to presume we can change the entire food economy in DC, we want to show that even on a small scale, quality organically-grown produce raised within city limits on urban farms can be a viable source of healthy food for urban residents of all incomes, and that it can be sold side-by-side with traditional rural farmers at market.
3. Support other farmers at the markets by performing educational and cooking demonstrations that showcase their products.
Field to Fork Network partners have no interest in competing with rural farmers – this would run contrary to our mission of promoting access to sustainably-produced agriculture in DC and building a community of growers! Instead, we will encourage market visitors to purchase more from all farmers at the market. Some of our F2F partners donate the food they grow, so instead of selling produce, these partners will demonstrate recipes with seasonal ingredients. F2F partners will always encourage customers to purchase items they may not have tried before, and to try preparing a familiar vegetable in a new and healthy way.
4. Support the programming of the F2F partner groups in a way that is sustainable and community-oriented.
All money raised at the F2F market booths will go directly into the normal programming revenue of the organization which is operating the booth on any given day. By helping us get this project off the ground through this Kickstarter campaign, you thereby are directly contributing to our programming! All donations are tax-deductible.
What We Need a “Kickstart” For:
Our “Kickstart” budget will fund the purchase of needed supplies and materials that will allow us to operate our market booths, and will allow a tiny stipend to fund a market coordinator to keep our ducks in a row and get the systems in place that will inform our future market seasons.
Materials include: tables, tents, scales, banners, chairs, calculators, camping stoves, cooking supplies, educational materials, as well as transportation and a stipend for the markets coordinator.
Hopefully, you’ll feel compelled to help us make this pilot market season a success, with the opportunity for our collaborative project to continue to grow for many seasons ahead!
Evaluating Our Effectiveness:
Evaluating our progress and success toward meeting these goals is incredibly important to us (and it probably is to you too, as a donor!). Partners managing the market booth each week will keep track of how much & what they sell, educational activities conducted, how many people visited the booth, et cetera. At the end of the market season, we will analyze the weekly summaries and compile a report assessing progress toward completing each of our goals.
As individual groups, we each track our volunteers and program participants, including how people initially find out about us. Each partner group will complete an end-of-season survey estimating how many volunteers, supporters, or participants found out about them through the F2F market booth, how the booth has impacted their own programming, and any noted effects on the people and communities they serve.
About the Markets:
Washington, DC is a city divided into 8 distinct geographic and political “wards”, each having its own unique character and demographics. In 2009, a report showed the District of Columbia as having the 9th highest rate of any state for overweight and obese children aged 10-17 (35.4%). Many factors contribute to obesity, including a lack of physical activity, the lack of access to affordable fresh produce, and genetic predisposition. The F2F market booth will increase residents’ access to affordable produce (through produce sales), and will increase residents’ knowledge and appreciation for nutritious food preparation and maintaining an active lifestyle (through market demonstrations).
The Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market is located in Ward 1, in a mixed-income neighborhood with a large Latino population. The market currently has 10 vendors and an average of 400 visitors every Saturday.
The Ward 8 Farmers’ Market is located in Ward 8, in a neighborhood that is home to a predominately African-American population. Ward 8 only has 2 full-service grocery stores, which is the equivalent of 1 store for every 35,000 people. There are currently 7 vendors at the Ward 8 market and an average of 700 visitors every Saturday.
Both farmers’ markets accept EBT (food stamps) and WIC, allowing consumers to use government assistance at the markets.
Thank you in advance for your support!
We promise to keep you updated on our progress at the Kickstarter website, as well as on the Field to Fork blog. Please send your friends, coworkers, and family our way – we thrive on community connections!
Also, we’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments, ideas, or if you want to be involved in more ways than through this Kickstarter campaign, please don’t hesitate to contact us. DCFieldtoFork@gmail.com
A very special thanks to Skye Wheeler for the wonderful video.
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