The farm grows apples, Asian pears and tiny crimson strawberries as sweet as truffles, but few outside the neediest Washingtonians will ever eat the fruit. The farm grows waterleaf, garden eggs and peppers as hot as glowing charcoal, but you won’t find the West African and Caribbean produce at farmers markets in the District. And the farm grows greenhouse microgreens, but the fragrant little leaves grace the plates of only one D.C. restaurant.
Muirkirk Research Farm clearly isn’t hung up on sales. It has an altogether different mission.
Located in Beltsville, miles from the University of the District of Columbia’s Van Ness campus, the 143-acre Muirkirk is part of UDC’s relatively new College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES). The college’s dean, Sabine O’Hara, decided it was time for the farm itself to grow: Muirkirk needed to expand beyond its community outreach work, like training master gardeners, and move into research and academics.
Continue reading for a link to the full article!In the two years since she started at UDC, O’Hara has transformed the farm into the organic embodiment of that old maxim: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Sabine has embraced UDC’s unique status as an urban land-grant school and broadened Muirkirk’s ambitions to include growing healthy, sustainable foods in an urban setting — and passing that knowledge on to those who live in the District.
CAUSES is honored to have been featured in the Washington Post. As a college that is only a few years old, having our work recognized is especially gratifying. Congratulations to Dean O'Hara, Che' Axum, and everyone who works so hard to fulfill the CAUSES mission:
The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences of the University of the District of Columbia offers research-based academic and community outreach programs that improve the quality of life and economic opportunity of people and communities in the District of Columbia, the nation and the world.