BusFarm’s focus is on sustainable urban agricultural initiatives, including an urban agriculture-training center that will train youth and adults how to grow healthy soil, food and communities. Striving to inspire and motivate people into action, BusFarm aims to provide the resources that help individuals take responsibility to sustain their communities. The BusFarm urban farm re-connects people back to the earth and their food through the hands-on processes of daily activities and seasonal rhythms including: planting, harvesting, cooking, preserving, construction, composting, soil building, bee keeping, vermiculture, aquaponics, retail marketing and entrepreneurship. Our goal is to create a local, regenerative, highly resilient model others can follow.
Mark Lilly, founder of Farm to Family, says,
Bus Farm has the potential to circumvent many issues with local food distribution and awareness. It is the future and will only grow in demand and popularity as consumers become more conscious of issues with conventional food growing methods and the industrialized food complex as a whole. We want to transform Richmond, raise food, educate people to be empowered and food secure, and importantly, create jobs.
Farm to Family started as a mobile farmer’s market in a converted school bus in June 2009, delivering local and organic Virginia grown produce and products, and has grown to a year-round indoor market, USA Farm Shares and now the urban BusFarm. The business connects communities in the hopes to re-establish a personal relationship with locally grown food and to encourage a local diet of fresh grown/made products here in central VA.
Farm to Family has been featured internationally and nationally on BBC World News, CNN, 700 Club, The Rachael Ray Show, People Magazine and many other national and local outlets and is prominently featured in the book, Change Comes to Dinner. Farm to Family is a 2010 VMFA Muse Award winner. Mark + Suzi Lilly are members of Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones’ Food Policy Council, co-chairing Food Security.
Farm to Family is an affiliate of the National Mobile Market, an organization based out of Vanderbilt University committed to supporting the development of innovative solutions to food insecurity by providing fiscal, logistical, and structural support to community organizations interested in creating urban mobile markets to address the growth of urban food insecurity. We actively seek partnerships with existing mobile markets to facilitate knowledge sharing by developing lists of accepted best practices and refined methods for operations, community outreach, and evaluation protocols. We encourage the development of preventative strategies for tackling the epidemics of obesity and diet-related diseases.