WASHINGTON, May 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- SEEDS OF CHANGE™, a certified organic seed and food brand from Mars Food, proudly announces a partnership with the Ward 8 non-profit Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR) to support sustainable community-based farming in Washington, D.C. Over the last three years, BBAR has built seven urban farms in Ward 6 and 8 in collaboration with communities of faith and local non-profits. These Bridge Park Plots along with a nearly two-acre THEARC Farm are designed to address fresh food access on both sides of the Anacostia River by developing local capacity to grow food.
"This partnership greatly improves public health in the communities along the Anacostia River," said Scott Kratz, BBAR Vice President and 11th Street Bridge Park Director. "Providing access to fresh, local and healthy food is especially important for a ward that has only one full-service grocery store."
"SEEDS OF CHANGE was founded 30 years ago to preserve the biodiversity of seeds and to help more people enjoy the goodness, deliciousness and nutrition of organic food," said Isabella Chia, Senior Brand Manager for SEEDS OF CHANGE. "We are excited to partner with BBAR, an organization that so closely aligns with our brand and our Mars Food purpose – Better Food Today. A Better World Tomorrow. By supporting urban farms in the nation's capital, we hope to inspire the next generation of urban farmers to grow healthy and sustainable food."
In addition to in-kind seed donations, the SEEDS OF CHANGE brand is providing a $115,000 grant to support BBAR's urban farms and the following free 2019 BBAR programming East of the River:
- Community Supported Cooking Classes – Led by local area chefs and food entrepreneurs, BBAR will host 14 cooking classes and food preparation demonstrations. Each demonstration will include on-site preparation and attendees will engage in hands-on cooking utilizing fresh food harvested from the BBAR farms.
- Composting Workshops – Local residents and community gardeners will learn the importance of composting food scraps and recyclable materials in these hands-on composting workshops. Attendees will learn basic compostable materials, compost-making, pest management and compost application.
- Herbalism Workshops – Participants will learn the basics of growing herbs in our region, commonly used medicinal herbs and effective techniques for harvesting and preserving medicinal properties. Demonstrations will include proper drying, oil pressing, and making tinctures.
- Canning/Preserving & Fermenting Workshops – These hands-on workshops will share best practices for storing garden vegetables. The workshops will provide information on the science of fermentation and the proper way to can and preserve produce for storage.
- Honey Harvest – Participants will observe honey extracted from local east of the river hives and harvested into jars. Each attendee will have the opportunity to try on a bee-keeping suit and observe an open bee box.
- Raised Bed Repair Workshops – In collaboration with Capital Area Foodbank this workshop will instruct community gardeners on maintenance techniques for common raised-bed issues such as bed warping/splitting, poor drainage and poor soil quality.
For a complete list of programming dates, visit: https://bbardc.org/workshops-classes/
In addition, SEEDS OF CHANGE is funding a paid intern hired from the local community to train the next generation of urban farmers. This intern will support the day-to-day production and maintenance operations of THEARC Farm and Bridge Park Plots.
Throughout its 30-year history, the SEEDS OF CHANGE brand has donated nearly $2 million to support community and school gardening programs, benefiting nearly 100,000 people and helping to grow more than 90 tons of produce.
For more information about SEEDS OF CHANGE, visit seedsofchange.com. #BeASeedOfChange
About Mars Food
Mars Food is a fast-growing dinnertime food business, making tastier, healthier, easier meals that bring the world to the dinner table. Headquartered in London, Mars Food's portfolio of leading brands includes: UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, SEEDS OF CHANGE™, MASTERFOODS®, MIRACOLI®, TASTY BITE®, SUZI WAN®, EBLY®, ROYCO®, KAN TONG®, ABU SIOUF®, RARIS®, and PAMESELLO®. Our purpose – Better Food Today. A Better World Tomorrow. – drives our business to be a leader in health & wellbeing and sustainability. Mars Food is a segment of Mars, Incorporated.
About Building Bridges Across the River & the 11th Street Bridge Park
Building Bridges Across the River provides world-class services to the families of Ward 7 & 8 through management and leadership of THEARC, THEARC Theater, 11th Street Bridge Park, BBAR Farms, and Skyland Workforce Center. The 11th Street Bridge Park will be Washington, D.C.'s first elevated public park. Located on the piers of the old 11th Street Bridge spanning the Anacostia River, the Bridge Park will be a new venue for healthy recreation, environmental education and the arts. Community driven park programming includes: urban agriculture; an environmental education center; outdoor amphitheater; public art; café; and an intergenerational playspace.
After a seven-month design competition, the design team of OMA+OLIN was selected in October 2014. The Bridge Park draws on an extensive community outreach and consultative process, anchored by more than 1,000 stakeholder meetings for design, development and impact. Pre-construction began in 2016 and the Park is expected to open by 2023. Beyond supporting the community's physical and environmental health, the Bridge Park also seeks to become an anchor for equitable development in our nation's capital. Visit BridgePark.org/equity to learn more about the Bridge Park's local community investment.
SOURCE Mars, Incorporated