Baltimore Free Farm

3510 Ash St., (410) 575-4233,

As anyone who read T.C. Boyle's Drop City, a novel about the perils of hippiedom-or grew up on a commune, for that matter-can tell you, the collectivist dreams of free-spirited beatniks can often come falling down in a bruising hail of naivete, bad decisions, and poor health. Not so the Baltimore Free Farm, a group that has reclaimed a series of empty lots in Hampden and converted them to an arable plot that, with collective will and toil, produces a cornucopia of crops. No naivete here: The group has worked closely with the City of Baltimore and the Parks and People Foundation to sagely pursue a solid plan. Nor bad decisions: Right now, they're raising money on Indiegogo to purchase the deeds to two more empty lots. And definitely not poor health: Fresh produce, plus extensive community engagement makes for sound bodies and minds.

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