Ikemba Foods is a small farm in the Deanwood neighborhood of Washington, DC. Established in 2018, Taylor Hall’s dream of providing his community with fresh food and self-sustaining agricultural traditions began in his childhood when gardening with his grandparents. The idea to start his own urban farm started in earnest about a decade ago when discussing with a friend the many ways that the government has allowed food apartheid's to persist in communities East of the River.
Hall believes that growing your own food and feeding your community is a radical act to begin to divest from the racist, capitalist society that has created food scarcity in one of the wealthiest cities in America. Today, Ikemba Foods has three primary offerings – eggs, produce and honey. Hall is an active member of the DC Beekeepers Association, where he leads equity and inclusion efforts to diversify the District’s beekeeping community. He also participates in mutual aid efforts through the Peace House DC collective, DC Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and East of the River Mutual Aid, which has been supporting Wards 7 and 8 with fresh produce since March 2020.
The Problems & Our Solutions
In Washington, DC, decades of structural racism and economic disinvestment in Wards 7 and 8 have left our communities with just three full-service grocery stores to serve 160,000 residents while fast food and convenience stores with few fresh, local food options can be found on every corner. Combine these realities with the fact that more than half of the city’s Black residents live in these wards east of the Anacostia River with the highest rates of poverty and policing and little access to transportation.
The Deanwood community has a long, proud history of Black self-sufficiency and agriculture and Ikemba Foods is proud to add to that tradition as a Black-owned business. The work of growing and producing food is just the start. We envision a rich ecosystem of community classes in beekeeping and urban agriculture, of political education study circles, of art sessions in the garden. Community keeps us strong and safe, and at Ikemba, we make sure our community is fed as well.
2022 DC State Fair Winner - Best Eggs
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