Update from Three Part Harmony Farm

There are so many wonderful things to report about Three Part Harmony farm’s 2013 season! I apologize that my reports are sporadic. I find myself mostly outside except for when it’s either really hot or really rainy. But things are growing, bountiful and beautiful!Produce from 3PH avail 7 days a week on Georgia Avenue!
I now supply fresh, healthy produce from the 20011 zip code to Buxton Glory International Market at 4013 Georgia Ave NW.

Buxton Glory International Market at 4013 Georgia Ave NW

Buxton Glory International Market at 4013 Georgia Ave NW

They’re open until 9 pm Mon – Sat and from 12 – 7 on Sundays. This week I’ll be harvesting the last of the spring/ summer arugula, as well as the last of the lettuce. Radishes, beets, carrots, and turnips are in their last few weeks. Kale and collards are still plentiful, and I do have a limited supply of fresh garlic that will be there until it sells out. Coming soon: summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, and eventually tomatillos, eggplant, peppers, and chiles. oh yeah: and calaloo!

This small, family-owned grocery store is very close to the Yes! organic market in Petworth, and just half a block from the Petworth farmers’ market which is set up on Fridays. Please get in the habit of stopping by on your way to/ from locations nearby, which may even include the laundrymat next door. In addition to buying produce from DC’s only black, female-owned farm, you’re supporting one of the few neighborhood-based, international-minded black, female-owned and operated small (not chain!) grocery stores in the District. Make sure you meet Tia, the owner.

Harmonies with a descant
3PH has more than tripled it’s growing space this year. In addition to adding 2 new backyard plots, we’ve also doubled the growing space at our site that grows produce for donation only. Yes, there are more than three plots, located in Petworth, Brookland and Ft. Totten. In addition to the sites in DC, Zachari and I were invited to be part of a collective of young, black farmers growing sweet potatoes and winter squash in Preston, MD along with Blain Snipstal, currently at 5 Seeds & Apiary. This sacred, historical site was an extremely important place for Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad. I’m very proud and humbled to be part of this project. There are photos of us planting the sweet potatoes in early June at facebook.com/threepartharmonyfarm

Beyond growing vegetables: growing co-ops and community
The “off-season” was actually a very busy time for me. My business partner, Zachari J. Curtis, and I spent over a hundred hours writing out the foundation for a new mid-atlantic based People of Color/ Women farmer co-op. We immediately launched into carrying out several of the programs we drafted, and are seeking funds to be able to incorporate the entity and purchase shared equipment and build infrastructure. When winter comes again, the Black Belt Justice Center will work with us to file paperwork and get set up.

This spring, we teamed up to successfully grow and market seedlings for home and community gardeners. Thanks to the enthusiasm and support, we sold out! We also held workshops throughout the spring. Grower/ educator/ chef extraordinaire JuJu hosted a collective seed purchasing party in the winter.

Our network of local producers also continues to build each unique venture: Good Sense Farm & Apiary officially launched this past weekend although the reputation of producing extremely tasty honey and mushrooms already precedes the name and web presence. Little Red Bird Botanicals continues to grow it’s herbal CSA, and herbalist Holly Poole-Kavana gets invited constantly to do herb walks, consultations, and give workshops.

Over the winter we also traveled twice to the south to deepen our connections to southern, rural Black farmers. In mid-March Zachari and I were part of a delegation of Sisters of the Soil. Our on the ground hosts where the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative based out of the Southwest Georgia Project which evolved out of the Albany, GA SNCC chapter. Every moment brought us face to face with the intersections of racism, classism, sexism and farming (especially the links between wealth and landownership, and the role of intentional discrimination both historically and currently to keep certain populations from accessing that wealth.) It’s difficult to muster faith in a system that has historically neglected farmers who look like me, and I find myself looking to model the community supported, cooperatively run projects that has made the Southwest Georgia Project the successful rural development organization that it is today. It’s not a coincidence that the organization is one of the few remaining active organizations formed during the civil rights movement, the legacy continues. And it’s not a coincidence that the organization is currently staffed entirely by women.

How to Support Us!
Only in our second year, we’re doing a lot! Each day is full of different aspects of maintaining a multi-dimensional, multi-plot farm in the city. Please encourage people to buy from us! Go to Buxton Market if you missed the chance to join the CSA.

We also accept donations, both monetary (though not tax deductible) and in-kind. It helps us to grow, and allows the farm to donate produce to a food pantry, participate in seed keeping and other projects, and demonstrates your support for a farm right in your own community.

We also need volunteers! Come out and work with us on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday mornings, or Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Checks can be made payable to Three Part Harmony farm and sent to PO Box 53059, Washington DC 20009. See the list below for things we need donated:
– garden tools in good working order: hoes, bow rakes, shovels, wheelbarrow, hand tools, lead-free garden hose
– did you buy seedlings from us? recycle your pots!
– a trailer for a bike
– clean plastic bags
– scissors, or small sharp knives

Finally- forward this to someone who you think might be interested in hearing about the farm. I wasn’t thorough in preparing the list, and I feel bad that some dear friends, customers and volunteers are left out just because I ran out of time.

But it’s time to go back outside. The weeds are calling 🙂

Stay cool this week!