Get your hands dirty for a good ‘plant-a-thon’ cause

Volunteers at JK Moving’s 2020 spring plant-a-thon. (Courtesy JK Community Farm)

The nonprofit JK Community Farm in Purcellville, Virginia, hosts its third annual volunteer plant-a-thon this weekend, a key event in the farm’s mission to feed D.C. area residents in need.

“We will have about 400 community members joining us to plant 16,000 seedlings, and those seedlings will grow into about 53,000 healthy meals for our local food pantries,” said JK Community Farm executive director Samantha Kuhn.

The farm expects to produce a total of 230,000 pounds of produce and animal protein this year.

Kuhn expects 400 volunteers, but the farm is open to anyone who wants to visit both Saturday and Sunday starting at 8 a.m. The 150-acre Loudoun County farm is at 35516 Paxson Road in Purcellville.

It won’t be all work for volunteers. The farm has lined up music, food trucks, vendors and local farm stands for the plant-a-thon as well.

Northern Virginia, and particularly Loudoun County, are high-household income regions, but not all residents enjoy that security.

“Food insecurity is really a large problem everywhere, even in Loudoun County, which may be a surprise to many people. There are about 90,000 people just in Northern Virginia alone facing food insecurity, and 16,000 are living in Loudoun County,” Kuhn said.

JK Community Farm’s partners for food distribution include Loudoun Hunger Relief, Food for Others and Arlington Food Assistance Center.

It expects this year’s plant-a-thon — whose sponsors include GreenFare, Carfax, Ted Britt Automotive, EagleBank, Northwest Federal Credit Union, Sonic Promos, o2ki, KLNB and Kuhn Aviation — will raise $45,000 to support the farm’s nonprofit work.

The farm, founded in 2018, also runs food and agricultural education programs.

JK Community Farm is located on land owned by JK Moving Company founder Chuck Kuhn, who recently purchased the Middleburg Academy, which closed last year, and its surrounding 89 acres.

The land will be placed in conservation easement, and Kuhn intends to partner with another private school operator to reopen it.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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