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Meredith Sheperd - Case Study for Mayor's 2013 Sustainability Awards
2013 Mayor's Sustainability Award Winner
The Love & Carrots Mission: Food, Not Lawns.
Love & Carrots is a home-based garden education service that is striving to reintroduce the skills of growing your own food as traditional knowledge. They design, install, and maintain organically grown vegetable gardens for families, businesses, organizations, and restaurants in DC and the surrounding suburbs. In just two growing seasons, Meredith and her team have installed over 130 gardens and are now building 3-5 new gardens a week.
Meredith founded Love & Carrots on the notion that home gardening is a critical catalyst in the urban agriculture movement. Home gardening converts lawns from biological deserts into productive ecosystems that are beautiful, healthful, tasty, and less expensive than traditional landscapes. They offer a visible presence for food production in neighborhoods, reduce food miles, and provide a healthy alternative for city residents. The Love & Carrots Garden Coaching Service involves working shoulder-to-shoulder with clients, teaching about the best practices of organic gardening by working together in their own garden.
Love & Carrots’ gardens feature native plants, a proven way to foster important pollinator species. They also provide rooftop farms, urban beehives, native pollinator gardens, and rain gardens. Love & Carrots has initiated many community outreach projects with organizations like Shaw Children’s Hospital, Wangari Gardens in Columbia Heights, Whitefeild, a low-income housing community in Annandale, VA. A portion of their gardens every year are installed at-cost, for low-income city residents.