Red Wiggler Celebrates Different Kind of Growth

September fundraiser includes community dedication ceremony for new building, greenhouse

The million-dollar additions to Red Wiggler Community Farm have provided workers an air-conditioned building to gather in, the ability to extend growing seasons in a temperate greenhouse and, importantly, has meant bye-bye to the Port-a-Johns.

All are reasons to celebrate, according to founder Woody Woodroof, as the farm recently announced plans to host a community dedication ceremony at its annual Harvest Celebration on Sept. 15.

Red Wiggler, a farming nonprofit that leases 15 acres of park land from the county, operates a community-supported agriculture program (CSA) and distributes USDA certified organic produce to group homes and local food banks. The farm also hires people with disabilities as part of its social mission.

Red Wiggler is wrapping up a $1.3 million dollar capital project: The additions of the Jerome S. and Grace H. Murray Foundation Building and the Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Greenhouse.

“We had Port-a-Johns up until March of this year,” Woodroof said in late July, from the office space inside the brand new, heated and cooled Murray Foundation Building, which has indoor plumbing.

Broccoli was just beginning to bud in the greenhouse.

Construction on the buildings was complete, but the farm had about $50,000 left to raise for funding, Woodroof told Patch in late July.

Red Wiggler’s functional budget is about $450,000, with more than 80 percent of the funding coming from donors and fundraising, according to Woodroof.

Woodroof told Patch that the Harvest Celebration has generated as much as $40,000 when attendance was high.

The farm produced 27,789 pounds of food last year.

If you go ….

WHAT: Red Wiggler's Annual Harvest Celebration & Silent Auction
WHERE: Red Wiggler Community Farm, 23400 Ridge Rd., Germantown, MD
WHEN:  Saturday, Sept. 15

  • 2 p.m.  — Community dedication of the Jerome S. and Grace H. Murray Foundation Building and The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Greenhouse.
  • 2:30 p.m. — Beverages and auction bidding in the barn; sample food prepared by Whole Foods of Kentlands, Chef Grace Liccha, and other local chefs. 

COST: $75; $40 admission for children younger than 12
MORE: To register, go to RedWiggler.org.

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