Happy spring from BEET STREET GARDENS! We are a volunteer run collective organization made up of mostly people from the communities in which we work. BSG was established to create an alternative model--where members of the community drive every level of the organization. BSG prioritizes meeting people where they are at, reducing barriers to participation for all members of the community and creating spaces for collaboration that are accepting, intergenerational and transformative. BSG prioritizes the voices of the community ahead of growth and other traditional measures of success.We are one person, one vote! Beet Street Gardens’ overall vision for success is to increase food security and a healthy relationship to land and natural growing in our communities, through efforts led by our communities. Access to affordable, nutritious food and safe, peaceful space are fundamental rights we believe are critical to the overall health of our communities and our ability to stay strong and fight for greater social change. Beet Street Gardens began in 2011 and has grown to a collective of 7 members running two long-term community gardens and orchards, and partnering at The Farm at Kelly Miller (DCs largest community farm) to run the senior garden and programming.
What sets us apart from the other amazing urban gardening organizations in DC is our collective model, and our overarching commitment to be driven by and led by people of our communities. Scroll down or visit beetstreetgardens.org to learn more about our gardens, but for now we would like to introduce our Collective Members, as your donation here will go toward supporting costs for the transportation, Garden Steward stipends, and supplies that make it possible for our core group to complete our work that has and continues to transform our lives as we work to create positive change in our communities!
Bios front then back, left to right.
Kirk Douglas is one of the founders of Beet Street Gardens and a Garden Steward Collective Member. He is a father, veteran, community rock, and the original Brookland Manor neighborhood farmer. Kirk utilizes his work with BSG to manage his PTSD. Talking to the plants and connecting with people through the garden helps him to avoid attacks. And he deeply believes that if another vet sees his positive change they may also want to give it a chance. BSG truly took shape when Kirk and Katie met on the very first day of our very first garden.
Makayl (Mickey) Reid is a 7 year old big brother, grandson of Joann, our youngest Garden Steward, and our head garden tour guide. Mickey has been volunteering with BSG for 4 years and officially became a Garden Steward during the 2017 season. Not a day in the season passes when he is not asking Joann can we go check on the garden.
Kaifa Anderson-Hall has contributed to BSG from day one, and joined as a Collective Member 6 years ago. Her lifelong work and passion has centered around people and plants, and their synergy that brings about discovery, transformation, healing, and connection to oneself, nature, and community. As a certified Horticultural Therapist and 2017 recipient of the Horticultural Therapy Award from the American Horticultural Society, she is always here to remind us to the deeper, healing power of plants.
Queen Richardson first got involved with Beet Street as a client of Sasha Bruce Youthworks. She immediately took to community gardening and the benefits for her family and community. After a couple of years, Queen took a hiatus during which time she became a professional in the environmental management field. She now works for District Department of the Environment and in 2017 rejoined Beet Street as a Garden Steward Collective Member and Board Member.
Katie Aldworth is one of the founders of Beet Street. The idea for Beet Street came from her past experience working with Harm Reduction organizations in DC and her time at Washington Youth Garden. Katie is a gardener, potter and cook--driven by all things earth, food and community. BSG has been instrumental in Katie coming to call DC home.
Joann Reid is a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, community caretaker, Vice President of the Residence Council at Richardson Dwellings, lifetime gardener and an excellent cook. She joined Beet Street seven years ago and is a Garden Steward Collective Member. She is ever instrumental in keeping our garden at Richardson Dwellings growing, prospering, and feeding the bodies and hearts of her community. Joann starts almost every morning of the season tending to the Richardson Garden with her family and neighbors.
Daniel Lewis McCallum (Smokey) veteran, father, grandfather, poet, singer, and BSG resident artist. He was welcomed with open arms to our BSG collective three years ago as a Garden Steward Collective Member. Smokey believes as we get older we can shut off our minds, go backwards or forwards. He utilizes his work at BSG to look toward a future of a healthy body and mind for himself and all around him-young, old and in between. He is BSG’s official advocate of fun and togetherness.
Brookland Manor was established 9 years ago serving youth, adults and seniors. This our longest standing garden is located in the Brentwood, NE community in Ward 5 in partnership with the Brookland Manor Community Center and The Brookland Manor/Brentwood Village Resident Association. This garden was established based on the vision of Kirk Douglas and our beloved Garden Steward Jackie who passed a couple years ago. On average 500 pounds of fresh produce is made available to the community each year!
Richardson Dwellings was established 7 years ago serving youth, adults and seniors. This garden is located in the Clay Terrace far NE community in Ward 7 in partnership with the DC Housing Authority and Richardson Dwelling Resident Counsel. The garden is the established orchard of the community – plums, apples, cherries, pears, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are accessible to all!
The Farm at Kelly Miller The Farm at Kelly Miller (F@KM) is a collaboration of several partners all with long term commitment to urban agriculture in Washington DC--including Dreaming Out Loud, City Blossoms, Hustlerz to Harvesters, D.C. Central Kitchen, FoodCorps and DC Department of Parks and Recreation--and is the largest public-private urban agriculture project of its kind in DC. The farm is located behind Kelly Miller Middle School in Ward 7 in North East DC adjacent to DC Housing Authority property Lincoln Heights and within a mile of DC Housing Authority property Richardson Dwellings (site of a 7 year old BSG garden and fruit orchard). The F@KM works to create meaningful economic community development via the food system leveraging community agricultural knowledge, the unique expertise of project partners, and best practices to impact community. BSG was brought in to the partnership because of the senior status of several of our Collective Members and their connections and ongoing service in the community including low income senior residents aging in place in the surrounding DC Housing Authority communities (Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwellings) and also in the veteran community in Washington DC. 2018 was the inaugural year and in 2019 we will be increasing our senior outreach, serving greater numbers from the community. We are excited to have been awarded funding to construct a pavilion that will provide a place to gather, socialize, rest, facilitate programming and escape from the elements for participating seniors (and others) at the farm.