The 150-acre farm near Purcellville is the nation’s largest nonprofit chemical-free community farm. This year, it will donate close to 230,000 pounds of food throughout the region, with 40,000 pounds—the equivalent of 28,000 meals—going to DC Central Kitchen.
“COVID challenged our efforts to keep up with demand, but we adapted our volunteer workforce and were able to increase yield to ensure more families had healthy meals on their plates,” farm Executive Director Samantha Kuhn, stated. “Our increased production is enabling us to grow our footprint, and we are excited that DC Central Kitchen is becoming a distribution partner to serve more with our healthy yield.”
DC Central Kitchen will be picking up from the farm twice each month. The farm’s nutrient-dense food will be used at the nonprofit’s kitchens, which provide culinary job training and prepared meals to area shelters and emergency mobile feeding sites, as well as using the fresh produce in produce bags that they distribute across the city. DC Central Kitchen will also send groups of volunteers to harvest food at the JK Community Farm
The farm’s other partners include Loudoun Hunger Relief, Food for Others, and Arlington Food Assistance Center. To nearly double production this year, JK Community Farm is planting on 14 acres—up from 8, as well as continuing to grow in high tunnels, greenhouses, and raised beds. It produces a variety of vegetables, such as lettuce, arugula, kale, broccoli, radishes, onions, Swiss chard, spinach, cabbage, squash, zucchini, and protein. The farm has also increased its volunteer workforce by 33 percent. Other changes at the farm this year include enhanced educational programming by incorporating a bee hotel, beneficial insect habitat, pollinator habitat, flowers, blue bird trail, and a sensory footpath.