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Red Wiggler Community Farm Expands

Red Wiggler Community Farm’s new Murray Multipurpose Program building and Cafritz Greenhouse near completion.

Red Wiggler Community Farm is a non-profit farm in Germantown that provides employment for adults with developmental disabilities through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, provides educational opportunities to area youth, and practices organic farming and environmental stewardship. Patch attended a  this summer and their  this fall, and recently caught up with founder and executive director Woody Woodroof.

Woodroof spoke about the completion of Red Wiggler’s Murray Multipurpose Program Building and Cafritz Greenhouse as he walked around the building site.  “We expect to move in during January and be running program activities the first of February,” said Woodroof.  The buildings mark the next phase for Red Wiggler and a chance to expand to a year round operation.

New Buildings Allow Red Wiggler to Expand Their CSA Program
Woodruff walked on frozen mud to the building site and gestured to the nearly completed community center and the greenhouse.  Referred to as the Murray Building, the Murray Multipurpose Program Building is 3,000 square feet and two floors. There is a community room and mud room for employees on the first floor and a meeting room and offices on the second floor with an adjacent root cellar. 

The Cafritz Greenhouse sits in front of the community center. “Essentially the building and the greenhouse makes us whole," Woodroof said. "It allows us to expand our education program and extend our growing season."

“We have reconfigured our CSA and will extend it," he added. "There will be space available for new customers next year.” 

The greenhouse will be used to grow micro greens and annual plants for Red Wiggler’s seven acres of farming, and the root cellar will provide storage to extend the CSA season.

Greenhouse and Community Center Built With Many Green Features
Inside the Murray Building, Woodroof spoke about the green features of the project. 

“This building is timber frame and built to last 200 years. That’s green – building something that’s built to last that won’t have to be replaced.  We’ve really had craftsmen on this job," he said.

Woodroof explained the energy efficiency of the building and the use of geothermal wells and ageothermal HVAC system, thick insulation with SIPS panels (Structural Insulated Panels) and the use of low VOC paint (low Volatile Organic Compound paint) for low toxicity

Upstairs, Woodroof pointed to a stack of flooring boards. “Our flooring is from Vintage Lumber in Frederick County.  It’s reclaimed antique flooring from barns.”

Final Funds Still Needed for Building and Greenhouse
Despite support from area foundations, some funds are still needed to cover the entire cost of the project, Woodroof said. The group is within $50,000 of their final goal, Woodroof said.

End of year donations of any amount are welcome by Red Wiggler, and Woodroof recently announced a $100 ‘Buy a Brick’ program for the Murray Building and Cafritz Greenhouse walkway. A donation of $100 entitles the donor to select 15 characters to be enscribed on a walkway brick.  Donations of $500 receive mention on the Murray Building’s Perrennial Plaque and a donation of $2,500 to $10,000 offers naming opportunities for the building’s windows, potting table, bookcases and other features. Please visit Red Wiggler’s website for more information or to make donations online.

About this column: Green Around Town takes a look a how Bethesda residents are going green at home, at work, and in the community.

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