Baltimore Free Farm is committed to creating ecologically sound alternatives by combining the best of age-old and modern technologies. We strive to promote urban agriculture, sustainability, and permaculture through the creation of green spaces and community sanctuaries which utilize reclaimed materials whenever possible. By providing entertainment, educational opportunities, and ethically produced food to local residents, we hope to instill a sense of pride in one’s community and its ability to sustain itself.
How we operate…
Baltimore Free Farm is a horizontally organized collective, which means that all of our decisions are made as a group, and no one person is considered a “boss.” All members are given a voice in our decision making process. In order to make a decision, BFF must reach a consensus from all organizing committee members. This means that every organizing committee member agrees with the decision being made and does not wish to block it from going through. Operating in this way is our attempt to abolish hierarchy within the collective by ensuring that no one person may decide how this project will move forward without the consent of every collective member.
The Ash Street Garden
The Ash Street Garden is our community garden located at 3511 Ash Street in Hampden. This was the first project of Baltimore Free Farm. We began in January 2010 with an Adopt-A-Lot lease from the City of Baltimore and proceeded to clear three overgrown lots of weeds, brambles, dead trees, yard and construction waste that had been dumped there. Soil testing showed a relatively low level of lead in the ground, so after extensive landscaping to the hillside and amendment to the soil, we planted our first crop that spring. Since that first year we have turned the garden over to the community, and plots are available on a seasonal basis for a sliding scale fee. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in a plot.
Baldwin Permaculture Garden
Acquired in 2013, this garden will be devoted to a pilot program experimenting with urban permaculture. Permaculture is defined as:
“…a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.” – Bill Mollison
We are also experimenting with a collective gardening club on this lot that shares responsibilities as well as the harvest. Baldwin St. Garden is a work in progress, if you’re interested in helping out or becoming a part of it, find out more here, or contact us!
Other garden spaces
Baltimore Free Farm has a space dedicated to growing a collective garden, where we grow food as a team for our own personal use, to generate income, and to give away surplus at our food rescue day on Wednesdays (see below). We’ve also built a greenhouse, a pepper patch, a large compost bin, a tool shed, and a chicken coop.
3510 Ash St.
The warehouse located at 3510 Ash St. is where we do much of our organizing. This space is where we hold all kinds of events and workshops for the local community, but it is also where we work on creating our screen printed items, hot sauce, canned goods and handmade crafts. Free Food Wednesday occurs either inside or directly in front of this space. In addition, we rent a portion of the warehouse out to Bearings Bike Project, a women, transgender, and queer run bike shop.
Food Rescue Day
Every Wednesday members of Baltimore Free Farm go to various produce distributors and grocers to rescue distressed goods <items too ripe to sell or on or just past their expiration date>. We drive the 300-500 lbs of produce, dry goods, and bread 30 miles back to Baltimore Free Farm for redistribution into the community. This is a direct action against the endemic food waste crisis that faces our society, which pushes 40% of food produced into landfills to rot with the plastics and other non-compostable goods while millions around the world starve. By simply giving perfectly edible food to people who will eat it, Food Rescue Day is the physical manifestation of a conversation about food waste on a local level. Your donations and ideas are generously welcomed. Food is given away at 12pm every Wednesday, please bring your own bag.
Thank you for your support!
To get in touch with us, please click on the Contact Us link at the top of this site.