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The Soul of the City at the Barn farmers market bridges communities together

WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. logo WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. 7/2/2022 Megan Rivers
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Parts of Southeast DC have little access to quality food. It’s why farmers markets are so vital to these communities and why emphasis is being placed on The Soul of the City at the Barn in Ward 8.

“We just like to provide good food to good people who have low access,” Kojo Yarbro said. 

It’s the healing the community said they needed after the last few years of a devastating pandemic. Straight from the earth is the produce Kojo Yarbro brings to this weekly market.

“It's like an educational experience and a health opportunity; to live a little bit better and understand, it's also part of the community,” he said. 

The market is now in the red barn off of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast. John Gloster says they’re bridging an unnecessary gap between two communities in dire need.

“This year the Farmers Market has joined forces with Congress Heights Community Training and Development Center for The Soul of the City Market and that's the collective spirit. It shows that Ward 8 doesn't just have to sit and wait to be redeveloped. We're redeveloping ourselves,” Gloster said.

While providing essential needs, like compost, that has been lacking in parts of the city. “Compost actually is when people can bring different organic matter like food waste, or different scraps. It could be paper, cardboard, so that it can actually be decomposed and turned into what we consider a soil something as fertilizer,” Liz Rice said. 

The market is open every Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and entrepreneurs of all ages are encouraged to grab a spot.

Jamylah Summers is just 12-years-old with her brand.

“It means blackness, it means we can do anything, it doesn't matter what we are, who we are,” Summers said. She held down the fort for her mother on Saturday. “I feel great; and I felt like I'm going to be really good at it once I get a little older,” she added.

Learning first hand from surrounding businesses, she’s hoping too see more kids like her in the coming weeks. 

“A lot more kids should learn about this. I feel like a lot more kids, if they do learn about this, they will have more faith in this stuff than some kids do,” Summers said.

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