Yes, you read that title correctly. Deep past all the construction and blocked-off roadways that now mark Buzzard Point, a colorful bloom has made its way in, somehow under the radar. The Little Flower Farm is officially the coolest place in Southwest you have never heard of. Started in March of this year on the old Buzzard Point Marina site, Steph Clark of Channel Square has been hard at work nearly every day of the week tilling the land, planting seeds, watering flowers, and weeding. The results are remarkable. Clark’s bootstrap gardening technique has produced an array of dozens of different flower types and makes for thousands of flowers in bloom at once.
Clark says she hopes to be able to sell her flowers at the weekend markets at 4th and M St. SW, but it has proven challenging. She has attended ANC meetings and has requested help in finding the best avenue. Another obstacle in her way has been acquiring water access to keep the flowers alive during the record-breaking summer heat wave; sometimes bringing buckets by hand from the river. What keeps her motivated? Before moving to Washington, DC, Clark did development work in Central America, often living in the squatter settlements she worked in. Because of her experience there she says she has a “keen interest in how vacant land can be utilized to build and enrich communities. I’m grateful to Capital City Real Estate for the opportunity to build DC’s first urban flower farm on their land; I would love to share the beauty of this garden with our community.”
Along with Capital City Real Estate, multiple parts of the community have come together to try to help where they can. The SWBID is helping find a way to provide a stopgap solution to the watering issue, reaching out to the National Park Service. “It’s the right thing to do,” says Steve Moore, SWBID president. “What Steph has been able to accomplish on her own is no small feat, so we want to support her initiative and help get those flowers to the Southwest weekend markets.” Blind Whino’s Ian Callender has also linked up with Clark as she looks for a new space for the farm come October when she has to vacate the land. Dreaming Out Loud currently farms on the backside of Blind Whino and sells their produce at the weekend markets.
To say it is a community effort would be an understatement, but to not recognize what you can do when you put your heart, mind, and sweat equity into a task would trivialize what Clark has done on a land long forgotten. “I hope people will come down here and see what this land can do,” she says. “Come say hello, get your hands dirty if you like, and I’ll pick you some flowers.”
If you want to support Steph Clark and her Little Flower Farm you can help crowdfund her on www.indiegogo.com. The Little Flower Farm is located at 1st and V Streets SW. Instagram: littleflowerfarmdc, Twitter: @flowerfarmdc, Facebook: The Little Flower Farm, phone: 202-236-3327.
By: Shannon Vaughn
Editor-in-Chief, The Southwester