7th Annual Race to Embrace Independence 5K Run and Walk!

Our summer season has been fantastic thus far. In the past month we have harvested: cherries, strawberries, dinosaur kale, lettuce, beets, radishes, snow peas, and various herb! We have established weekly volunteer days on Saturdays from 10 am to noon and the turnout has been excellent. The involvement from community members this season has been especially strong.

One of our community partners is Marian House. Marian House offers high quality rehabilitative services and housing to women and their children. Marian House provides these women with the support and resources necessary to achieve their goals and become fully independent.

To help fund its initiatives, Marian House will be hosting the 7th Annual Race to Embrace Independence 5K Run and Walk on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2015 at Lake Montebello in Baltimore. Please mark your calendars and join the women of Marian House for this fun event! Every dollar raised helps Marian House women and their families rebuild their lives.

Registration is OPEN NOW! Visit www.marianhouse.org/5k for more information. 


Spring Kick-off Party: Take IV

“Out of gardens grow fleeting flowers but lasting friendships.”        –Beverly Rose Hopper


Last weekend, as we kicked off one of my favorite events of the year (one which I will be particularly sad to leave behind as I move away from Baltimore this summer), it occurred to me how much this space has evolved over the years.

Delicious food, chill tunes, hoola hooping? Of course, I cannot imagine a better way of spending a sunny Sunday afternoon (especially given that some of our previous openings were notably marked by quite cold/rainy/windy weather). However, as I watched the ~70 students, staff, and community members enjoy the musical acts performed by Sunny Suntharanund, Melissa Delgado, Bea So, Joshua Langfus, and Margo Heston; potluck picnic (all natural hot dogs/brats, SSB+J sandwiches, as well as an assortment of salads, veggie dishes, biscuits, dumplings, and even some of Dale’s hot sauce made with peppers from our own garden!); and the other fun festivities, I was moved more by how we’ve truly transformed this place from a garden into a community.

Four years ago, when we celebrated our first opening, we barely knew one another. Sure, we came together to eat and chat, but we were strangers in nearly every way possible. Students might have known one another from classes or clubs, staff from their own department, or community members from their respective groups. Now, after having spent countless hours together planting, weeding, turning compost (or sitting in a meeting planning to do all of these), I know more about many of my garden buddies than I do about some of my closest friends. Transformative childhood memories, job stresses and successes, major life decisions, political opinions, favorite recipes – we’ve shared it all.


And I think that’s what makes this garden such an integral part of my life (and, I presume, the lives of many of the others who return each and every year). It’s wonderful to grow some of one’s own food, but the relationships I’ve built up over the years have proven so much more fruitful. College (and one’s 20’s in general) is, by nature, a period of transience. Friends are coming and going every semester. Life plans (if existent at all) are constantly in flux. It seems like one has to move at least once a year. Having such a tight BJP community across generations, neighborhoods, disciplines, and backgrounds keeps me grounded in what really matters in life – deep conversations, helping hands, good food, a sense of belonging.

While it’s bittersweet knowing that this was my last opening celebration (knock on wood, as I did say this once before), I will treasure these memories forever, and can’t wait to hear about all the exciting new ventures to come from the BJP in the future!

All the best,


JHU Homewood CSA coming Summer 2015

Get fresh, organic vegetables weekly and help support a local farm: Join our JHU Homewood CSA!

The second annual CSA @Homewood kicks off this June! Continue reading to learn more and signup to become a member today.


What is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It’s like a produce subscription service. Members sign up for a share and then get weekly deliveries of fresh, delicious produce at a designated pickup site. This CSA includes about 8 items/week of seasonal, local produce which is chosen by the farm. One share will typically feed a 3-4 person household every week. Click here for FAQ.

The Farm

Our CSA partners with One Straw Farm, the largest organic farm in Maryland. Drew and Joan Norman have lovingly tended One Straw Farm since 1983. They aim to provide their CSA members with the highest quality Food Alliance Certified produce. One Straw is located in White Hall, MD about 40 miles North of Baltimore City.

Why Join?

By joining this CSA you will be: supporting local farmers and the local economy, protecting the environment, improving your health, and expanding your diet. With a pickup site at the Homewood campus, this CSA is an affordable, convenient way for Hopkins affiliates to buy directly from a farm. Buying through a CSA ensures freshness and diversity as produce is harvested at its seasonal peak.


Where: Weekly Pickups will be at Charles St. Market

When: Mondays 3:30pm to 5:30pm

Duration: June 8th to November 16th

Price: $27/week

(See the signup link below for the current price)

8+ items/week

A typical share: 1 bunch of red chard, 6 corn, 1 bag of tomatillo, 1 red cabbage, 6 Japanese eggplant, 5 pimiento, 6 cucumber, Chrysanthemum greens, 1 romaine lettuce. All for only $25!!!

A typical share: 1 bunch of red chard, 6 corn, 1 bag of tomatillo, 1 red cabbage, 6 Japanese eggplant, 5 pimiento, 6 cucumber, Chrysanthemum greens, 1 romaine lettuce. All for only $27!!!

 Check out this video to see a CSA in action at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.


  • Select “Full Share 2015” for membership type
  • Select “JHU Homewood” for Pickup Location
  • Complete the rest of the forms
  • Enjoy your first delivery of fresh produce the following Monday!

Still have questions? Email realfoodhopkins@gmail.com

YOU ARE INVITED: 4th Annual Spring Kickoff Party!

Join us Sunday, May 3 from 12-2pm to celebrate Spring and the end of the semester!

Garden spring party 2015

This event is free and op sen to the community! All-natural hot dogs and sunflower seed butter/jelly sandwiches will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring a side dish or drink to share for the POTLUCK PICNIC. Please also bring a picnic blanket or chairs.

All plates, napkins, utensils, and cups will be provided. All the material used at the garden party will be compostable, so please do not bring outside materials (such as plastic or paper plates). 

RSVP @ our Facebook event and invite your friends!!!

Don’t know where the BJP is? Check out our Google map location.

Don’t know how to get to the garden? – Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! A group of students and other Hopkins affiliates will be meeting in front of the Subway at 33rd st. (across from Barnes and Nobles) at 11:50 am to walk over to the garden!

Email JHUcommgarden@gmail.com with any questions or concerns!

Community Green Resource Network: Upcoming Events!

Cultivate Baltimore, a urban agriculture workshop series, is coming up in April!

Details and registration at www.realfoodfarm.org/cultivate-baltimore
Check out these workshops:
1. Farming In The City: Land, laws, and community

Wednesday, April 8, 6:30 – 9 pm [FB link]

Clifton Mansion, 2701 St. Lo Drive, Baltimore, 21213

Featuring Abby Cocke of the Baltimore City Office of Sustainability, Becky Witt of the Community Law Center, and Gail Taylor of Three Part Harmony Farm.

2. Farming Concrete: The science and practice of growing in urban soils
Wednesday, April 15, 6:30 – 9 pm [FB link]
Clifton Mansion, 2701 St. Lo Drive, Baltimore, 21213
Featuring Cheryl Carmona of Boone St. Farm, Rufus Cheney of the United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service, and Brent Kim of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
3. Cultivate Baltimore! Hands-On Urban Agriculture Workshops
Saturday, April 25, 10 am – 4 pm. [FB link]
Real Food Farm, 2801 St. Lo Drive, Baltimore, 21213
Hands-on agriculture training for backyard growers, community gardeners, and urban market farmers. Workshops include: container gardening, flower farming, keeping produce fresh after harvest, gardening with youth, from seed to transplant, enriching your soil with compost.

Spring Cleaning + First Volunteer Day of 2015!!!

Even though it snowed on the first official day of spring, our first volunteer day was a big success!  About 20 volunteers came out to help wake up the garden.


Volunteers were busy maintaining the compost pile, seeding trays of tomatoes and peppers, and tilling and maintaining partner plots.  The compost was broken up, aerated, and covered with a large brown tarp to help increase the decomposition rate. We also started direct planting perennials today. Horseradish and rhubarb were added to the hillside bed and asparagus was planted in plot #18.  These plants will require minimal annual maintenance once established and should provide produce for years to come. We also emptied and reorganized the shed as part of our spring cleaning!


Circular Trellises mark where the Horseradish (center, green) and Rhubarb (outside, grey) were planted!


Plot #18 was converted into an asparagus bed. Please DO NOT add soil or compost to this plot.

It was a busy day at the garden and many tasks were completed by the motivated volunteers! This volunteer day bodes well for the rest of the season. Our next volunteer day will be Saturday March 28 from 11am to 1pm. We will be adding compost to the communal rows and organizing materials around the shed. We hope to see you there!

Save the Date: Sunday May 3 from 12-2pm will be our Spring Kickoff Party. This event is free and open to the entire community. Come for great food and even better conversation.

The Sad Saga of our DIY Turpentine Wine

When life gives you grapes, make wine.

Such was our thinking this September when we noticed the vine that Wei-ting had planted along the fence a few years ago had grown quite big. With so many grapes on our hands, we decided to try our hand at the age-old process of wine making. After all, how hard could it be?

Harder than we thought, it turns out. The first step in the process involved washing, destemming, and then crushing the grapes with a potato smasher in a mesh bag (no, you don’t just step/jump on them, as we initially imagined doing). We had about 40-50 bunches of grapes, which would yield about 2.5 gallons (12 bottles) of wine. We then let the mixture (which looked a bit like cider) sit for an hour in a sanitized bucket with a campden tablet (potassium metabisulfite), before adding the yeast and transferring indoors for fermentation.

Error #1: We forgot to measure the specific gravity at this point, which meant we wouldn’t be able to determine the alcohol content when it was finished.

Two weeks later, we checked on the wine’s progress, and it had completed fermentation. Although the color was a bit cloudy, once we filtered out some of the sediment, it didn’t look that bad. And the taste was pretty good. We racked the wine into another sanitized jug and let it sit for a few more weeks while we collected bottles.

Error #2: We used a 5 gallon jug, leaving the wine exposed to a lot of air within the partially-empty jug. This, combined with the fact that we never topped it off with a wine of a similar type when transferring into this jug (forgot to look at the instructions again!), meant that the wine oxidized during its racking phase.

When we unveiled the wine a few weeks later, we realized we had made a mistake. Although oxidation can sometimes be fixed, it was pretty hopeless when we smelled it this time around. Cheryl even took a sip (and survived!), describing the scent as something akin to that of turpentine. Not the most appetizing, to say the least.

We were a bit disappointed that our first adventure in winemaking didn’t turn out as we’d hoped. However, the best part about grapes is that they’re a perennial plant. Which means that we always have next year to try again (and use this winter as a time to perfect our process with some practicing!).