About Us

Who We Are

Amid the COVID 19 pandemic of spring 2020, while the cold winds of winter still blew vigorously through the streets of Lancaster city, two backyard farmers were placing their newly planted seeds near heaters for germination. Dreaming together for the future of their starts among the plague of uncertainty all around them led to scheming: how could their love for growing things help ensure their communities' access to food security in the coming months and beyond? An article proved key.

While certainly no lack of wonderful local produce is made in Lancaster, PA (in a way that is unique, largely), this does not mean that it is available to all people. In short, food justice consists of a diversity of factors, including communal control over what is produced, knowledge of and access to it, and the skills and resources needed to participate in the process as much as possible. What was clear to these two friends was that gardening would be an essential component of the World's flourishing moving forward, both amid the crises and in the future.

The Backyard Farming Cooperative was born to build resilient communities by empowering gardeners and connecting neighbors. We are group of growing enthusiasts who have more or less experience, want to change the planet for the better, and have come together to make it happen. While our numbers are small to start we know that the potential for abundance is infinite and are actively seeking ever more collaboration. At the moment, our primary services are a Mobile Bicycle Farm Stand and CSA. Clink the links on the website's menu to learn more.


Meet Our Team


Hawa Lassanah

Founder of DECA

Hawa's life mission has been to gain a wide breadth of education, knowledge, and experience about the world and its innovations in order to share it with her community.

It began with the brand Discerning Eye Foundation for the Arts and Education™, to Discerning Eye Center for the Arts™, branching out from the Arts to Wellness for Yoga For All™ and now the latest iteration of this mission is Discerning Eye Community Agriculture™ (DECA).

As the founder of this umbrella organization, her intention is to create structures to help enable her peers and fellow citizens into lives of Leadership and to facilitate Agency of their own possibilities, encouraging overall wellness for the individual as well as sustainable communities.

Her current interests stem from the recognition that 'green space' is a privilege in urban environments. The inquiry that has resulted is "how can we make the benefits of gardening accessible for those with limited access?" Aquaponics and Hydroponics, Vertical Gardening and Utility independence are the topics currently fueling her passion.


Elliot Martin

Director of Operations

Born and raised in New Holland, PA, he is continually rediscovering his relationship to his native Lancaster County. Currently, he lives in the city, picks up landscaping gigs to make money, and spends most of his time volunteering his skills and services as a community gardener. His favorite quote is from the author Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The world will be saved by beauty."

Elliot is also one of our growers, managing plots in New Holland, Goodville, and Lancaster city. He is currently offering to start gardens for local residents for free, as a gift. Learn more about this Mad Gardener on his website.