Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

OLD CITY green
Washington, DC

OLD CITY green's tag line is "Where people and plants come together". The lot where the business has been for the last 3.5 years used to be a vacant space filled with trash and weeds. We came in, cleaned it up, and turned it into a creative, eclectic oasis in the midst of downtown DC. Far different from big box stores like Home Depot or large scale nurseries, OCg has a personal touch. We are an entirely outdoor space with small quantities of a vast array of plants, herbs, veggies, shrubs, perennials, annuals, trees, shade plants, houseplants.  We also carry organic fertilizers and pest control products, including ladybugs! Our 8 employees each have a passion for adding “green” to the city, and they give each customer personal advice about adding plants to urban spaces. We are 100% organic, and do not use any chemicals at the shop or in our landscaping jobs. We compost the brush and weeds that we pull from landscaping, and neighbors bring compost by to add to the pile. Many of OCg's vegetable and herb plants come from small farms in DC or right outside, because we believe in supporting local small farmers. We specialize in native plants that provide habitats for birds, bees, and butterflies, and OCg has several bee hives in our space, providing pollination and honey!  OCg is a triple bottom line business, paying our employees above minimum wage, caring for and working to protect the environment, and connecting with and serving the surrounding community.  Striving to practice social permaculture, OCg has been called the green beating heart of the community.

OLD CITY green is just as much a community space as a retail business. We hold fundraisers for local non-profits that serve community gardens, the homeless population, and at risk youth. We host free kids’ events like haunted houses, have “Cinema Verde” nights in the summer with outdoor movies and food, and host free public workshops taught by garden experts.  We have planted thousands of flower bulbs throughout the neighborhood, donate time and product to several area churches, and have assisted elderly neighbors to plant their gardens. In addition to giving discounts to non-profits and schools, OCg hosts field trips for local students and has visited high schools to teach about the importance of growing food and connecting to nature.  OLD CITY green supports other local businesses, purchasing organic garden plants and supplies from local nursery suppliers, growers, and independently owned hardware stores. We hire local musicians to play at the store on the weekends, and have collaborated with local artists to display or sell work at the store. OCg hosts a Community Supported Agriculture program, where neighbors can buy shares of produce from organic farms in Lancaster, PA which they receive once per week. These healthy, farm fresh vegetables are often more affordable than organic produce from grocery stores. OCg gives leftover produce to neighbors and a nearby food pantry.

Pre-K
The pre-school down the street comes on regular field trips to OCg, and has used our plants for class activities.

OLD CITY green has won several community awards such as -"Best New Shaw Business" 2009 Shaw Main Streets -Washington City Paper's "Best Garden Store" of 2011 and -"Shaw Community Partner Award" 2011 Shaw Main Streets, and we are members of DC business co-ops "Live Green" and "Think Local First".  As our current lease period comes to an end, we hope to use the “People and Planet Award” to help us transition to a larger, more permanent space in our DC neighborhood where we can continue and expand our work in the community and for the environment. 

We stay connected to our customers through our Facebook page at:
www.facebook.com/OLDCITYgreen.

 

Hunt Garden Path
Our annual Easter egg hunt.  
   
Food Old City Green
 
Plants Truck
Many of our plant deliveries are done by bike or wagon. Many of our plants and veggies come from Emily's farm, only 60 miles outside of DC.
   
Xmas jazz Fall
A neighborhood brass band plays Christmas tunes during tree sales.  
 
Frank with bugs