Our Flagship Farm in Edmonston
Our farm in Edmonston is the anchor of ECO City Farms’ many programs. We grow vegetables, raise ducks for eggs and keep bees on our one-acre farm that currently includes five hoop houses, located at 4913 Crittenden Street, Edmonston, Maryland 20781.
We choose to go beyond organic farming. Our produce is grown without any chemical fertilizers nor do we use any petro-based or non-organic treatments, herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides of any kind. We practice no-till farming and only purchase non-GMO, organic seeds from small seed producers. Our philosophy is that a healthy (alive) soil produces healthy plants that are resilient to pest and disease. We borrow from the principles of permaculture and biodynamic agriculture, but we aren’t really about the labels, just growing the healthiest food possible without sacrificing our environment.
Composting and vermiculture form the foundation of our farm. We divert organic matter from the waste stream and turn it into fertile soil that supports the production of a growing diversity of farm products including vegetables, honey and eggs, with mushrooms and aquaponic fish to come soon. Our use of low-cost hoop houses help us control growing conditions, giving us the opportunity to grow year-round. This approach to growing is not reliant on purchased farm inputs such as nutrients or pesticides, and has shown, in other successful urban farms, to provide an abundant and safe supply of high quality and high value products.
With under one acre of available land, we aim to maximize productivity on our farm by utilizing every available space and growing food all year long. Utilizing simple hoop houses and growing vertically allow us to intensively produce a high volume of food in a very small space. From August through December 2010, we cultivated dozens of varieties of greens, lettuces, herbs, root vegetables, shoots and other crops, harvesting more than 600 pounds of produce from our hoop houses. Our worms, honeybees, and chickens are integral parts of our farm ecosystem. The provide valuable and diverse farm products — worm castings for soil fertility, honey, and eggs. Read more about what we grow.
People power is what makes the farm possible and is the key ingredient to community farming. Working hands replace tractors and expertise and ideas come from engaged minds of all ages and backgrounds. Volunteers contributed more than 1,000 hours to our efforts in 2010, alongside our small and dedicated staff.
Renewable Energy Systems
We utilize a 1kw solar PV system to power our onsite farm needs and utilize low-tech solutions whenever possible. Our hoop houses also harness the power of the sun. We also use geothermal “earth tubes” for heating/cooling and solar hot water systems for our nursery.
Urban agriculture is about feeding people and nurturing communities, but it is also about regeneration and healing marginalized landscapes. As part of our master plan, we are implementing strategies for healing our soil, cleaning our water and promoting biodiversity as important roles our farm plays in the larger urban ecosystem.
Urban Agriculture Research and Development
If we are to transition to a local food system, we need constant development of methods and strategies for growing the most and healthiest food possible in small urban parcels. ECO City farms is dedicated to regenerating urban spaces into productive food oasis’s. We are currently developing and applying many experimental strategies for urban agriculture including innovative composting methods, soil and nutrient management for small spaces, hoophouse design and passive solar, specialty crops for urban settings, modular processing kitchens for value added products and more.