This week, I traveled to Baltimore to a senior living community. At this property, the residents are engaged with the community garden, however, it was in need of maintenance and some care. While there, I worked with the professional urban gardeners from Love & Carrots, a business that operates in the DC Baltimore area. I had to balance the needs and desires of the residents of this community with the expectations of the Love & Carrots gardeners, as well as the expectations of the property and resident coordinators. This was my first experience delegating the ideas of so many different parties involved, however, it turned out great!
While there we set up an automated irrigation system, amended the soil, planted tomatoes and pollinator herbs, and gave the residents an opportunity to plant some things they were most interested in. Working in Baltimore and at a senior community gave me a different perspective from working at other properties in DC. While in Baltimore, I felt that there was a large desire to revitalize some very rough parts of the city, and where those efforts had been made, there was amazing progress. I really enjoy having the opportunity to experience different cities and different properties, each with their own unique community.
Traveling to Baltimore is also incredibly easy. There is a connecting train between DC and Baltimore and its only about an hour ride. Public transit has become one of my favorite things since starting here in DC.
Food Assistance Programs
Another aspect of my internship that I mentioned in my last post, is my focus on food security. This week I helped to evaluate a Somerset property in Anacostia, DC’s most vulnerable neighborhood. I visited the property and had the opportunity to view their community garden, and all the facilities they have on site, and was able to line them up with a food assistance program through the Capital Area Food Bank. There are many under-served residents at this community, so providing food assistance will help to alleviate the difficulties of living in a food desert.
The process of bringing the CAFB to this property involves an inclusive application. Working on the application throughout the week has helped me understand some of the intricacies facing nonprofit organizations and the importance of identifying communities that need assistance.