More than 90 friends and family of ECO City Farms attended “Evening in the Garden,” raising nearly $7000. The event, the first of its kind, was hosted by __ , owner of historic Fox’s Barn. The bee-themed event – complete with bee-stamped name cards, ECO honey jars, and gold accents – brought together ECO’s long-time supporters in one place for an evening of food, drinks, music and tales of the farm. Local caterers, including ECO favorites Zenful Bites, provided locally produced hors d’oeuvres; Franklin’s Restaurant provided local craft beer; MOM’s Market donated wines (including red wine from Prince George’s County own winery, Romano); and artist J.J. McCracken, a new ECO board member and one of the events , who created commemorative plates from clay found at the Autumn Woods Farm.
“I was really thrilled to have such an enthusiastic response from the community,” said Renee Catalacos, longtime ECO boardmember. Local fixtures in the community, including Busboys and Poets founder Andy Shallal, were in attendance. Shallah, who was one of ECO’s first customers, indicated that it was the efforts of organizations like ECO which influenced his decision to expand Busboys into the area. Other community leaders, including Tracy Gant, newly elected mayor of Edmonston, as well as Adam Ortiz, former mayor of Edmonston, also attended the the event, sharing their enthusiasm for the the farm and its work. The event also featured the next generation of local food activists. Apprentice Kayla Agonoy reflected on the impact that working with ECO has had on her family. “We’ve started our first little container garden on top of our carport to try to grow our own food,” Kayla said emphasizing how much impact small changes have made. In a moving speech, Philip, a resident of Autumn Woods, remarked that being involved with ECO “changed the way my family eats.”
The even was as much a celebration as a call for re-commitment to ECO’s mission: to create a sustainable food and community, through sustainable agriculture, outreach and community education. “We hope that those who heard something that inspires them to engage with ECO in other ways throughout the course of the year,” said Renee. With your continued support, ECO can keep contributing to a greener, healthier community.