By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Pat Migliaccio, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs
BALTIMORE (NNS) -- Six Sailors and officers from the USS Maryland (SSBN 738) volunteered their time to help Real Foods Farm repair and level two farm storage sheds in Baltimore Aug. 31.
The sheds will be used to house a field office and store farm equipment needed to grow locally produced agriculture.
Real Foods Farm is a program that began in October 2009 and is run by Civic Works, a 17-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to multiple service projects for the citizens of Baltimore.
"Our mission is to prove that farming in the Baltimore area is not only possible but in fact economically practical," said John Ciekot, project director, Civic Works. "We want to grow and sell healthy food locally for people of all income groups. The Navy presence here today takes us a critical step closer to this goal as they're doing what most people would have trouble completing."
"This is just another aspect of what we do in defense of our country on a daily basis," said Cmdr. Jeff Grimes, commanding officer, Maryland. "Being here shows what good citizens our Sailors are and also lets the community know what kind of careers and opportunities are available in the U.S. Navy."
During the day, the crew of Maryland used their expertise and hard work to successfully raise and level both sheds.
"This is not something we normally do, said Machinist Mate 1st Class Timothy Muck, from Maryland's crew. "But it's always good to give back to the community especially with these small projects that don't always get the attention they should."
"The Sailors did a great job today," added Ciekot. "The Navy came exactly at the right time to get these sheds operational so we can raise food. All I can say is carry on!"
This project coincided with Baltimore Navy Week 2010, one of 20 Navy weeks planned across America in 2010.
Navy Weeks are designed to inform Americans on the importance of naval service and increase awareness in cities which might not otherwise see the Navy work on a regular basis.