The Story of Farm to Fitness

The story of DC’s first ever farm-to-fitness class CSA program.

My name is Lily and I am the founder and CEO of Farms to Fitness. By now you must be wondering who the heck am I, and where the heck I come from. So now it’s time to tell you my story. 


This idea came to me after working for a year at ABC News as a producer on Good Morning America. As fascinating as it was, sadly, my biggest takeaway was that our country is in desperate need of health tips, both physically and mentally.


It was difficult to walk from one side of the office to another without seeing a box of fast food, candy, or soda, or hearing laments about weight, exhaustion or the doctor.

However, endless reporting on skyrocketing obesity and depression rates nationwide confirmed my belief that this was a systemic issue, not one was unique to my office.


But it didn’t stop there. In terms of the health of our global community, weekly, I was reporting on disaster after disaster. There was clearly a worldwide epidemic at play, costing us our worldly health.


However, it seemed to me that although many people kept up with the issues in the news, such as climate change, sustainability, and food security, when it came down to the wire most people felt they didn’t have the bandwidth in a day to do anything about it. Everyone around me seemed simply exhausted from daily life.


The more I started to notice these patterns, the more I began to question my environment. Did it have to be this way? How, I wondered, could people more easily take care of themselves and the world around them? 


It wasn’t until my visit to Cuba that my idea came to fruition. Since Cuba is largely isolated from trade, the island was forced into self-sustainability, meaning Cubans can only really consume the food that they grow. As a result, they have a more intimate relationship with their natural resources.


Many buildings in Havana, complete with open sky roofs, terraces, and water collectors, are designed to support agriculture from within city walls. Natural lighting allows vegetable beds to burst inside buildings. Living in a hurricane zone also inspired the use of sandstone walls, a material that already exists in the ocean and can therefore withstand it’s force.


Politics aside, I was blown away by the possibilities of green building in Cuba, and began to wonder who else was taking part in urban agriculture. When I came back to the states, I discovered that these projects did indeed exist, and were happening everywhere, including right here in DC. Urban agriculture is currently the most rapidly expanding form of agriculture on the market…mostly because it just makes sense!  Aside from providing cities with reliable sources of food, urban farms offer protection from stormwater, thermoregulation of buildings, and natural carbon storage thanks to plants and soil.


It should be a no brainer that the answer to so many of our societal problems is more nature. We need to be learning from it, designing with it, and remembering that we are it. 


These farms should be thriving by now but sadly, sustainability isn’t happening fast enough. The biggest issue these farmers face is lack of awareness, resulting in lack of support. 


And that is exactly how Farms to Fitness was born. 



THE WAY IT WORKS:


CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”. In other words, the money you pay directly supports the agriculture grown in your local community. 


Farms to Fitness works with local farmers and innovators to bring you the best possible produce on the market.


Our unique partnership with the rooftop farm Cultivate the City allows us to purchase a “share” on the farm and create a “wish list” for the season. We support the farm and in turn are able get the produce that we ask for. But it doesn’t stop there— we work with farmers all across the DC Metro Area. 


With the help of our other partners such as Community Foodworks, we are able to interact with new farms every week. We constantly check in to see which fruits and veggies are thriving, and select what we want to put in the basket to ensure high quality.


Each package will also come with a weekly newsletter, where we shine the spotlight on the chosen farms, so that people can get to know their local options and understand more deeply where their food is coming from. In addition, the newsletter will feature recipes, mindsets and happenings from across all cultures and the world. We shine spotlights on local community members across the spectrum, including Ted X speakers, DJs, artists, scientists, firefighters, and more. The newsletter is a platform for concepts and ideas that will leave you feeling curious, inspired an energized. 


There truly isn’t a downside to this. If you tell a friend, you will receive a referral discount of 5% and who knows…you might just receive a surprise in your basket. 


Also, don’t be afraid to tell us what’s on your mind! If there’s something you want in your basket, or have any questions whatsoever, let us know!! This is about the community and we want you to feel at home. 


This is going to be epic, we promise. Sign up today and FEED YOUR MIND!

 

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