Engaged Community Offshoots, Inc. dba ECO City Farms (ECO) is an educational, not-for-profit food justice urban farm located inside the Capital Beltway in Prince George’s County, MD. Our mission is to “grow great food, farms and farmers.” We envision a just, vigorous and sustainable food system in the Chesapeake foodshed with ample fertile soil, quality environments, sustainable incomes for farmers and food workers, and access to nutritious high quality food for all.
We operate a variety of educational community programs and two “Certified Naturally Grown” farms in food desert areas of the Port Towns. We helped to launch the Prince George’s Food Equity Council, which we co-chair. We host community events and offer regularly scheduled farm tours and open volunteer hours at both of our farms.
We produce vegetables and herbs year-round and distribute through an affordable farm share (CSA) and at the nearby Riverdale Park Farmers market. We also increase the amount of healthy food available to our community through a second EAT LOCAL farm share that incorporates produce grown by small local sustainable farmers. In June 2015, we will launch a new low income farmers market in the Port Towns in partnership with our County’s Park and Planning Commission, the Port Towns Elementary School and the town of Bladensburg.
We train others to grow food sustainably through our certificate courses in Urban Agriculture at Prince George’s Community College and our 6-month apprenticeships. We conduct a SEED2FEED summer program for local high school youth who farm in our garden, cook fresh food daily, write poetry and create art while learning about food equity.
We employ resource conservation and renewable energy whenever possible. We creatively reuse and upcycle materials for all of our farms’ needs, including our shipping container processing kitchen and five hoophouses. To complete the food system loop, we process local food waste on-site through composting and vermicomposting.