In our modern world, we are often so divorced from the sources of our food, and this distance helps make it possible to lose some of our connectedness to all living things. Colonizers and their descendants have often viewed land as a commodity to be conquered, not a sacred space that needs care and cultivation. Even the notion of “owning land” is foreign to many indigenous people groups. The Hiding Place, while “owned” by Brian and JoLeah, is really an intentional effort to reconnect to the land, to view it as something we steward and care for. We have felt from day one that this land is not ours, but rather has been given to us to share with the world. Providing healthy, affordable food is the best way we can conceive of to allow this land to flourish.
To that end, we constructed a high tunnel to allow us to grow vegetables all year long, keep bee hives, and a flock of chickens. Brian has a Permaculture Design Certification from Forested, and is slowly incorporating more principles of permaculture into our practices.
The Hiding Place is situated right on the northeast corner of Washington, D.C., part of a food desert next to the Deanwood community. A food desert is a neighborhood where the nearest sources of fresh food are difficult to access.
In response to this, as well as the ongoing global food and environmental sustainability crises around the world, Brian and JoLeah purchased this property with the goal of converting it into a year-round urban farm where neighbors can access affordable, quality produce.
Our hope is for the farm to serve other purposes besides feeding the stomach. Gardening has been proven to be a therapeutic practice for people struggling with depression, addiction, and other challenges. Our food production will hopefully be a viable option for creating jobs in our neighborhood. We hope to set up a system where neighbors can work in the garden beds in exchange for fresh, homegrown produce. And finally, we are hopeful to connect to local schools and parents to allow children to experience the wonder of growing food, not just finding it in the grocery store aisle.