Shalom Farms is a nonprofit community farm project with the overarching goal of increasing access to healthy food in the Richmond region, particularly in low-income urban neighborhoods.
Our approach is two-fold – 1) we meet immediate need by making fresh produce available at low or no cost to people with limited food access, and 2) we work for long-term transformation of the food system by providing educational opportunities in diet, health, and agriculture.
We are currently growing produce on 6 acres in rural Goochland County (about 35 miles west of Richmond) on property owned by Camp Westview on the James, a Methodist camp and retreat center. Half of the produce is sent to the Central Virginia Food Bank, while the other half is used in after-school programs, cooking classes, food pantries, meal programs and youth-run farm stands at partner organizations in East End and Southside neighborhoods of Richmond.
Shalom Farm grows about twenty basic vegetable and fruit crops, all chosen for their widespread appeal and accessibility in the communities we serve. We also cultivate a half-acre blackberry and raspberry orchard and maintain a small-scale egg operation with 40 chickens.
While not certified organic, we use organic methods, emphasizing soil care through composting, mulching, cover cropping and other practices that enhance microbial life. We do not use any synthetic fertilizers, fungicides, or pesticides.
In addition to food production, the farm offers an outdoor learning experience for thousands of volunteers and visitors each year. Located on the grounds of Camp Westview on the James, Shalom Farm is frequented by campers who visit the farm throughout the summer to work and learn.