2012 Year in Review: Healthy Food in Reservoir Hill

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05 07 12 Farm 3

John Eager Howard students eat freshly picked spinach at Whitelock Community Farm (5/7/12)

In 2012, Reservoir Hill residents gathered around dining rooms, kitchens, picnic tables, corner stores, hoop houses, and raised beds to grow, cook, and just talk about healthy food. In total, we estimate that nearly 150 unique people helped volunteer in some way over the course of 2012 to help make healthy food an accessible, appealing, and unifying part of Reservoir Hill life.

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Mama Kay and Elisa harvest produce at the Farm (7/9/12)

Volunteers at Whitelock Community Farm harvested over 4,000 lbs. of fresh carrots, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, okra, greens, and more.  The Farm not only sold over $5,000 worth of hand-picked produce, but also expanded the ways that neighbors could purchase food. Beginning at the Farm's spring 2012 market stand grand opening, customers could use EBT and debit cards at the Farm's weekly market stands.  In August, the Farm celebrated becoming the first urban farm in Baltimore City to sell produce at its neighborhood convenience store, the Linden Market.  And throughout the summer, the Farm successfully filled 10 full Community Supported Agriculture Shares for residents.

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Elisa Lane speaks at the Linden Market press conference with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Councilman Nick Mosby, and Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot  and Linden Market owner Jason Kim (8/9/12).

Over the last year, volunteer efforts were also supported by generous support from local partners, including United Way, Abell Foundation, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Baltimore Community Foundation. These contributions provided the critical funds for hiring a full-time Farm manager, building a shed, coordinating a neighborhood food assessment survey, and expanding a community composting program. Local media outlets also took notice of our efforts by publishing stories about Reservoir Hill's healthy food initiatives in print, radio, and TV.

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James interviews residents about their food preferences as part of a neighborhood food assessment (9/11/12)

Finally, hundreds of Reservoir Hill residents participated in community-wide events focused on healthy food. Nearly every single John Eager Howard student visited the Farm over the course of several field trips, including a National Food Day event in which students toured the Farm and ate a fresh salad. And at the neighborhood's annual showcase event, the Whitelock Harvest Festival, neighbors offered their best recipes featuring kale, collards, spinach, chard for attendees to rank for prizes as part of the Farm's Greens Cook-Off.

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Neighbors share their best greens recipes at the Whitelock Harvest Festival (10/7/12)