A USDA spokesman said the farm will serve as a model for organizations across the country that want to help consumers understand how their food is produced, especially in urban settings.
By Whitney Pipkin
Mar 6, 2017
After attending the District’s historically Black Howard University, Bradshaw, 35, stumbled into urban agriculture while trying to teach in an after-school program at a public charter school that has since closed. The students would arrive each day with stomachs full of the Teddy Grahams and Kool-Aid the school provided as snacks only to bounce off the walls during his lessons on “character development.” Then, they’d crash.
Realizing he couldn’t teach the children without first addressing their most basic needs, Bradshaw’s nonprofit started a school garden and then a farmers’ market, so parents could buy better food, too. The latter often proved an exercise in staying power more than money-making and, eventually, Bradshaw decided to pursue broader, community-level programs.
Last year, when Bradshaw reached out looking for rentable, farmable land, the District happened to be looking for a partner to help create a model urban farm for the city. The two joined forces.