wHO WE ARE
Little Wild Things City Farm produces soil-grown microgreens, shoots, and edible flowers on less than one-quarter acre in the heart of Washington, D.C.
We believe that environmentally sustainable, commercially viable farming is possible in urban landscapes—and we're proving it.
As a first generation farm, we combine the best of time-honored sustainable growing techniques with new innovations and a disciplined business focus to achieve high yields from our very small growing spaces.
We seek to develop relationships with customers who share our values to create a transformative impact on our local food system.
Meet the Farmers
Mary Ackley, Founder & Chief Veggie Officer
Little Wild Things City Farm is the dream of founder Mary Ackley. Mary discovered her love of plants in a graduate school botany course at the University of Vermont. Later, she began experimenting with urban gardening while living overseas in Colombo, Sri Lanka for her job with the U.S. Foreign Service. She continued to garden when she returned to Washington, D.C. in 2013 where she helped found the Harry Thomas Community Garden in Eckington in 2014. She decided to turn her gardening habit into something more in 2014 and is enjoying her third season on the farm. Mary was a Peace Corps volunteer in Fiji from 2003-05, holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Natural Resources Management, and previously worked in international development.
Chelsea Barker, Director of Operations
Chelsea is the Director of Operations for Little Wild Things City Farm. She dreams of a future in which children are encouraged to grow up to become farmers within a food system based on seasonality, ethical and organic practices, and access for all. Chelsea developed her love of growing food working for organic and educational farms in Massachusetts, California, Tennessee, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, 2011-2012. She holds a B.A. from Maryville College, is a Master Gardener, and completed her Permaculture Design Certification in 2014. She's never met a variety of lettuce she didn't like.
Nicole Schwartz, Production Manager
Prior to joining the team at Little Wild Things, Nicole taught Spanish and Social Studies in Milwaukee Public Schools and most recently was the Commissary Manager at Momofuku Milk Bar in DC. Her love for food and the people who grow and eat it comes from her Wisconsin farm roots. Through urban farming she hopes to carry on what farmers have always done, cared for their community and the earth! In her free time Nicole volunteers at the Humane Rescue Alliance, dotes on two pug mixes, does her best to travel as far and wide as she can, bakes, and practices yoga.
Hailey Rohn, Assistant Production Manager
Hailey is the Assistant Production Manager and delivery driver for Little Wild Things City Farm. Her interest in food began as a child, but grew while completing a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture at The Pennsylvania State University where she focused her studies on urban community spaces that utilize permaculture and accessible agriculture. Since, her interest has turned toward production and she has big dreams of WOOFing around the world. Hailey's favorite veggies are the purple ones and she believes that she is her best self when covered in soil.
WHAT OUR PARTNERS SAY:
"Working with Mary and Chelsea over the past several months has been incredible. I was lucky to find a team of urban farmers who really care about what they are growing and really want to have a relationship with the chefs and restaurants they provide for. Communication is key in any relationship and we constantly talk about what works, what doesn't, and whats next so its ever-changing and evolving." -Johnny Spero, Head Chef, Columbia Room, 2016
"Each Peach loves working with Little Wild Things - we're proud to champion a product that is grown with care within DC! The new online portal is simple to use and makes keeping a weekly subscription order a breeze. Mary and Chelsea are always prompt in answering any questions I have and the microgreens looks spectacular every time! They're incredible to work with and I would definitely recommend them!" - Each Peach Market, 2016
"Little Wild Things literally “completes us”: their micro greens are the finishing touch on every one of our tacos. Grown right here on home soil, thank you for being such an AMAZING partner. "
-Bettina Stern, Co-Founder, Chaia, 2016
"Little Wild Things is incredibly easy to work with and order from. On top of that they have the most beautiful, delicious produce grown in the DC area. It truly makes a huge difference in our end product. "
-Timber Pizza Company, 2016
"As a DC-based catering company focusing on local ingredient sourcing, we were delighted to begin partnering with Little Wild Things last year, not only because it's a farm in the same DC quadrant as us (can't get more local than that!!), but also because their microgreens truly are the best! Always fresh, beautiful, and even grown to order, Little Wild Things has been a dream to work with in providing us high quality products that take our food to "extraordinary" in design and taste." -Eat & Smile Catering, 2016