Our Vision is to create fertile ground to nourish a healthy and inclusive community.
Red Wiggler is a sustainable farm where people with and without developmental disabilities come together to work, learn, and grow healthy food.
Founded in 1996, Red Wiggler first dug into the soil on a 2.5-acre farm in Comus, Maryland. The idea came to Founder and Executive Director Woody Woodroof after working in group homes in Arizona. Through this experience, Woody saw the need for both healthier food and more meaningful jobs for adults with developmental disabilities. The idea evolved from gardens and composting services to a full-fledged organic vegetable farm employing adults with developmental disabilities (Growers) who grow food for the community. Through a partnership with the Arc Montgomery County, Woody spent that first season working and learning how to farm alongside five Growers, growing food for a 12-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and two farmer’s markets.
The farm moved in 2005 to its current location on Ovid Hazen Wells Park in Germantown, Maryland. Through a public/private partnership with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Red Wiggler currently leases 13 acres, with plans to expand. Now serving over 1,900 community members, Red Wiggler has a 120-share CSA program, distributes 50% of organic produce to low-income households through our Farm to Group Home and Farm to Food Bank programs, employs 15 adults with developmental disabilities, and regularly hosts field trips and volunteers.
The name “Red Wiggler” is a nod to the worms that work as unsung heroes to create fertile ground so that plants are more likely to be successful. In much the same way, we work to create conditions so that everyone in our community can become successful.
- Reconnecting people with the source of their food and the local community.
- Creating an environment of respect, cooperation, integrity, and innovative thinking.
- Ensuring purposeful work and equal treatment for all stakeholders.
- Fostering opportunities for outreach and meaningful education of youth, adults, and employees.
- Building local food security for our community.
- Being a catalyst for community collaborations and volunteerism.
- Practicing environmental stewardship through sustainable farming practices and careful attention to watershed and habitat protection.
- Conserving resources and reducing our carbon footprint through thoughtful decisions about our built environment, program development, and energy use.