Our Mission

We’re on a MISSION to inspire the next generation of farmers to build a brighter and more sustainable agricultural future.

Mission

Little Wild Things City Farm produces soil­-grown microgreens, shoots, and edible flowers on less than one­-quarter acre in the heart of Washington, DC.

We believe that environmentally sustainable, commercially viable farming is possible in urban landscapes—and we’re proving it.

As a first-generation farm, we combine the best of time­-honored sustainable growing techniques with new innovations and a disciplined business focus to achieve high yields from our very small growing spaces.

We aim to demonstrate that farming is a desirable career for the best and brightest of the next generation, and seek to develop relationships with customers who share our values to create a transformative impact on our local food system.

About Our Produce

Our Team

Mary Ackley, Founder & Chief Veggie Officer

Little Wild Things Farm is the dream of Founder Mary Ackley. Mary discovered her love of plants in a graduate school botany course at the University of Vermont. Later, she began experimenting with urban gardening while living overseas during her career with the U.S. Foreign Service. She decided to turn her gardening habit into something more in 2014 when she returned to D.C. and founded Little Wild Things. Mary holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan, an M.S. in Natural Resources Management from the University of Vermont and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Fiji ’03-’05). She previously worked in international development living and traveling all over the world including assignments in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Washington, D.C. Mary is a life-long adventure-seeker and enjoys strength training and sewing in her spare time.

Hailey Rohn, Sr. Vice President, Operations

Hailey first fell in love with urban agriculture when she had the opportunity to visit urban farms while obtaining her B.S. in Landscape Architecture from Penn State University. Following graduation, she quickly realized that she much preferred hands-on work and shifted trajectories, starting at Little Wild Things as a Farm Hand in 2017. Growing up in a house of engineers, Hailey developed a knack for fixing things. She is a jack-of-all-trades around the farm, leading a variety of innovative technical projects, and assisting with plant science research and development. Hailey is also a talented artist and designer and was the recipient of an Excellence in Design award from the Stuckeman School of Design at Penn State University and a Communications Honor Award from the Pennsylvania Branch of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). In 2021, she launched her own floral art business, Wildry.

Oksana Bihun, Operations Manager

Oksana realized her love for agriculture and farming after working at a Brooklyn-based urban agriculture company, Agritecture. There, she was able to connect with urban farms all over the world and analyze their sustainable practices, growing methodologies, and operations. While she loved growing in pots and small beds at home, she felt increasingly compelled to move in the direction of growing not just plants, but food for others.

After a brief stint conducting climate change research, Oksana found her way to Little Wild Things Farm, where she developed a new love and appreciation for microgreens and flowers. When she’s not planting hundreds of trays of microgreens, you can find her rock climbing, hammocking in the park, or biking around trying to find the city’s best cup of coffee.

Marie Vervoort, Production Manager

Marie joined Little Wild Things after working in the agricultural research sector in her home country of Belgium. She has expertise in integrated pest management in strawberry cultivation and holds a masters degree in biochemistry. Marie is passionate about sustainability and enjoys making a hands-on contribution to local, healthy food production. After biking home from the farm, she loves to fill her days with yoga, kitchen experiments, and adventures with her rescue hound Molly.

Lily Donahue, Lead Farm Hand

Lily was drawn to the field of urban farming because it combines everything she loves: creativity, sustainability, hard work, tasty greens, and playing in the dirt.

After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, Lily taught fine art classes at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA before finding her way to Little Wild Things. Her art background still comes in handy when designing chalkboard signs for the farm.

A native of the DMV, Lily is happy to be growing food that improves the health of her community. When she’s off the clock you can usually find her out foraging, cooking new plant-based recipes, or perfecting her push-ups.

Lou Mangan, Urban Farmer

Growing up in a multigenerational family of farmers, Lou fell in love with farming very early. While she now spends less of her days with her granddad and dad herding and shearing sheep and focusing on pasture land, she spends most of her time in the field of vegetable and fruit cultivation. With a background in Organic farming and Orchard management, Lou is obsessed with heirloom apple varieties, and has a strong passion for preserving heirloom and open pollinated seed varieties. She’s dedicated to cultivating and being a part of interdependent, resilient food systems and cares deeply about where our food comes from and the injustices within the food system. When she hasn’t got her hands in the soil, Lou can be found weaving pack baskets, gathering wild herbs to make tinctures and salve or thru-hiking a long distance trail. She just completed the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail before moving to DC and joining Little Wild Things Farm in 2021.

Rob Sheppard, Urban Farmer

Little Wild Things Farm is a natural fit for Rob, who has always loved urban greenspaces, working on his feet, and connecting with his community.

Mountains and trees were a source of childhood inspiration for Rob and his desire to work within nature was only increased by his experience in the Nevada Conservation Corp. Now, he gets to work in a field he loves, and sleep under the stars only when he wants.

When he isn’t busy with his hands in the dirt, Rob loves hiking, reading, practicing permaculture, pouring over maps, and watching the Seattle Mariners make the postseason.

Samantha Hassard, Microgreen Liaison

Before starting at Little Wild Things, Sam was an Analyst for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Then she found her way to farming as an Apprentice with ECO City Farms in Riverdale, MD.

While Sam’s love of food and the people who grow it began at home on the North Fork of Long Island, it continued to develop while surrounded by the exciting and always-changing DC restaurant scene over the last 15 years.

Sam loves growing food that provides joy and sustenance to the local communities and restaurants in the DC area. Some of her other loves include seeing live music, her vinyl collection, cooking + baking, and time away at the beach.

Fennel the Farm Dog, Chief Morale Booster

Fennel the Farm Dog hails from the streets of Southeast D.C. She was rescued in October, 2020 and became part of our farm family. She is an expert snuggler and social-butterfly, nicknamed the “mayor” of her local dog park.  She is also an impressive jumper and will jump sky-high to fetch anything for her human friends, and of course she is always willing to lend an extra paw to help out around the farm. As a trusted farm companion, she’s still learning to love her greens, preferring peanut butter and frozen peas to microgreens, but we’re workin’ on it and we love her just the same.

Our Partners

Restaurant and Retail Partners

Visit one of our restaurant or retail partners today who share our commitment to healthy living and local, sustainable agriculture.