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Our Story

After being frustrated with the lack of healthy food options and having to travel over 4 miles to grocery shop, our founder, Calvin Hines, Jr.  began researching and studying grocery store models with the intention of opening a neighborhood grocery store with affordable healthy food options. His research led him to studying food apartheid and the policies that created them in DC’s Wards 7 and 8 neighborhoods. Calvin's focus shifted away from grocery store models to creating a solution that would directly combat food apartheid. Inspired by international urban agriculture initiatives that increased food access and stimulated local economies, EightFold Farms DC LLC was born.  

EightFold Farms DC is a network of small commercial urban farms located throughout Wards 7 and 8. We redesign lawns, rooftops, and underutilized spaces into urban commercial farms that are planted and rotated with different quick growing, high value crops or house our climate controlled off grid mobile farms. A highly specialized produce and food supplier, we give restaurants, retail outlets, and residents access to a hyper-local food. 

Calvin Hines, Jr. 

EightFold Farms DC LLC Founder and CEO, Calvin Hines, Jr., better known as JR, is a native Southeast Washingtonian with 25 years of experience within the hospitality industry, where he managed several multi-million-dollar food, beverage, and service programs. A Certified Sommelier through The Court of Master Sommeliers, JR is an Echoing Green Fellowship Finalist, has completed The Urban Agriculture Technician training program through UDC’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, contributes to The DC Food Policy Council’s Urban Agriculture Working Group, and is a John Hopkins Ward Infinity Fellow. 


In 2017, JR embarked on a mission to address the scarcity of dining options and the inconvenience of grocery shopping in his community after being frustrated with his 4-mile trips to the grocery store. His research into grocery store models led him to delve into the concept of food apartheid and its underlying policies affecting neighborhoods in Wards 7 and 8 in DC. Recognizing that a traditional grocery store alone wouldn't rectify the systemic issues, JR shifted his focus to international initiatives that could enhance food accessibility, bolster the local economy, and ensure profitability. This vision culminated in the establishment of EightFold Food Group LLC in 2020, paving the way for the launch of EightFold Farms DC LLC.


From Farm To Table

On February 21, 2024, EightFold Farms DC LLC, in partnership with FAN-DC (Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso), launched its 'From Farm To Table' pilot program. Designed to empower middle schoolers affected by the child welfare system and food apartheid, the program teaches urban agriculture, personal finance, and entrepreneurial skills. During the ongoing eight to ten-week pilot, we conduct one-hour classes twice a week with five students, focusing on financial skills on Mondays and mushroom cultivation on Wednesdays. .


Our mission is to scale our program, beginning with increasing student enrollment. Recruiting students in 5th grade we want to continue to support them until they graduate high school. The objectives for Farm to Table are:

  1. Spark interest in urban agriculture.

  2. Serve as a pipeline to local universities' urban agriculture and business schools.

  3. Teach students financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills.

  4. Improve dietary habits through nutrition education.

  5. Provide mentorship through their formative years.

These objectives guide our efforts to empower students and prepare them for success in academics, entrepreneurship, and healthy living.

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