BusFarm, Inc. / Farm to Family is a bridge from farm to city, distributing locally grown food to families in urban areas and educating people about food security. We use different methods for accomplishing our mission: a year-round indoor farmer’s market, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Programs in Richmond and Washington, DC, and a FarmBus, a mobile farmers market in a converted 1987 international diesel school bus. Our indoor market and our FarmBus both carry fresh grown seasonal and local produce, organic local meats, fresh local dairy, and other homemade products. We use the FarmBus as a mobile extension of our market so that we can visit schools, and other places to teach people about fresh foods, and how to cook it. We want people to be proactive about changing bad eating habits and we can help anyone accomplish this goal if they are willing and have the desire!
We occasionally bring small farm animals (chickens, ducks and rabbits) along with us so children can see the connections between themselves and from where their food comes. You can actively take part in the new slow food movement by shopping with us or volunteering at the Farm, or by donating time, money or energy towards our non-profit. We also hand out free seeds to children so they can start their own gardens and learn where real food comes from. We accept EBT cards (food stamps) for those struggling families in the community.
We are very excited about this venture. Please help us succeed by spreading the word/love, find us when/where you can and buy something or make a donation to our cause. This is a community based concept that will not succeed without support. Every little bit helps us stay afloat and eventually we can expand enabling us to reach more communities in need and create jobs!
ABOUT US — FARM TO FAMILY TEAM
MARK LILLY, FOUNDER
Mark Lilly founded Farm to Family/The Farm Bus as a mobile farmer’s market in a retrofitted school bus in 2009. The mission evolved to include a Farmer’s Market and USA Farm Shares (Urban Supported Agriculture) in Richmond and Washington, DC in 2010. Bus Farm, a non-profit urban farm and educational center, was formed in 2012 to teach everyone the importance of fresh, local, sustainable food and encourage people to farm and garden, support local agriculture, become health conscious and food secure.
Mark is passionate about sustainable agriculture and is an outspoken advocate for our food rights. He is a sought after speaker on food security and has spoken at the Virginia Weight of the State Conference, addressed congressional staffers at Farm Food Voices 2011 at the US Senate, a panelist and presenter at Growing Power’s International Conference 2012, presenter at University of DC 2011 International Sustainability Conference and speaker at the 2nd Virginia Food Security Summit. Along with his wife, Suzi, he leads the Richmond, VA Mayor’s Food Policy Council sub-committee on Food Security. In addition to local news, he has been featured on BBC World News, People Magazine, the Rachael Ray Show, and CBN News.
Mark has a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, 1995, and was in a Masters program at the University of Richmond studying Disaster Science and Emergency Management, 2009. He is also a military veteran, served in the US Marines and the US Army as a combat engineer, artillery and light infantry and was in the Virginia National Guard Reserve. He has traveled and lived all over the world.
SUZI MILES-LILLY, CO-FOUNDER
Suzi Miles-Lilly, LMT, CMT, BA co-founded Farm to Family with her husband, Mark Lilly. She is a nationally certified (NCBTMB) massage therapist licensed in NY and Virginia, a member of the AMTA, and practitioner of reiki. She is a graduate of the College of New Rochelle, the Swedish Institute, NYC and received yoga teacher training at Integral Yoga Institute in NYC.
Along with her husband, Mark, she was a presenter at University of DC 2011 International Sustainability Conference, and co-leads the Richmond, VA Mayor’s Food Policy Council sub-committee on Food Security.
She worked in the entertainment and publishing industries for many years in New York City. Suzi has provided healing services since 1996 with her own corporate massage company. Her healing work focuses on spirit, energy and mind as well as body, to allow natural healing to occur. Nutritional counseling is a major part of her practice and begins with whole, dense nutritious foods.
Suzi comes from farming roots in northern New York’s Adirondack Foothills and was a 4-Her for 9 years. Take a moment to visit the Farm to Family Wife blog for a personal look into the wife half of Farm to Family.
James Luggen is 32 years old and has been with the BusFarm family for 3 years. Having started as a CSA member, he soon began to help as a volunteer then moved to employee in 2013. He is a veteran and holds a BA in English from VCU.
Caitlin Harrison is 26 years old. She started out as a volunteer over the winter and has begun helping to manage the store. She got her undergrad degree in English from VCU in 2010, but she discovered her true passion is working with plants, compost, and soil.
Regina Belle Cavada is 20 years old and from San Diego, California. She flew across the country to attend the University of Richmond and is absolutely in love with the school. She is currently majoring in both Political Science & Geography and is fascinated by cities and their histories. She is also an avid enthusiast of books and is known for the collection that has been growing and following her after leaving San Diego. If you have any recommendations for great books or hear of an awesome bookstore nearby, let her know! She would hugely appreciate it. She learned about BusFarm after participating in a class and living community at her school centered on the issue of urban environments. Through this class, she focused on learning more about food access in the city of Richmond and has learned all about the geographic and financial barriers that can often play a role in preventing low-income families in urban areas from being able to access and consume fresh & affordable food. Because of this class and in anticipation of her ongoing experience at Farm to Family, she is so excited to learn more about this issue and the importance of local food systems.
Raven McCarter is a twenty-one year old student at Virginia Commonwealth University; presently in her junior year, majoring in Film and Photography with a minor in Environmental Sciences and Business. After graduation Raven hopes to work as documentary filmmaker with her own nonprofit for the arts. Her desire to learn about nonprofit start-ups and her love for community engagement, and farm fresh foods has brought her to BusFarm as 2014 Summer intern.
Jennifer Hynson is 21 years old and is currently studying art history at Maryland Institute College of Art. She came to BusFarm as a summer intern in 2014 after working with urban farms and food deserts in Baltimore. Jennifer is part of the Sustainability & Social Practice concentration at MICA and hopes to continue working with sustainable agriculture after graduation.