My sister-in-law Mary Loquvam was thinking globally and acting locally long before urban homesteading became hip and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch grew to double the size of Texas. In the last decades, she's pioneered recycling programs at airports, led efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River ecosystems, and directed the L.A. Audobon Society. Now living in Bellingham, Washington, Mary and her neighbors have transformed an unused plot of land along the highway into the nonprofit York Community Farm where they've grown and distributed hundreds of pounds of dry beans, potatoes, and winter squash to the community. The real centerpiece of their effort, Mary says, is their farm internship program that provides "living-wage, resume-building, meaningful work experience for underserved members of our community- our recently-incarcerated, homeless, and veteran folk."
Mary and her York Farm friends have just launched a Kickstarter to fund a greenhouse so they can grow food year-round and build an aquaponics system that "has much greater per acre yields, and uses 90% less water, than traditional land-based farming."
"York Community Farm envisions being a catalyst for development of a social benefit aquaponics industry where the bottom line is not generating revenue for stockholders but, generating living-wage jobs for struggling communities in our region and beyond," Mary writes.
I love their slogan: "Improving lives through dirt therapy!"