Looking to be a part of Philadelphia’s growing sustainable, local food system? We’ve put together a list of 10 urban agriculture projects in Philadelphia that can’t be missed!
Emerald Street Urban Farm was founded in 2009 on five vacant lots in Philadelphia’s East Kensington neighborhood. The community-run farm’s website offers an open invitation to visitors: “we love volunteers!” Be sure to attend one of the farm’s workshops on composting, nutrition, and food preservation!
Based in a 15,000 square foot lot in North Philadelphia, Marathon Urban Farm supplies fresh organic produce to Marathon Restaurants, a local chain of restaurants offering sustainable food options to Philadelphians. Visitors can also purchase produce from the farm stand located onsite, or attend one of the program’s many workshops, demos, and lectures.
Walnut Hill Farm is a combination urban farm and community garden, run by the Walnut Hill Grower’s Cooperative and serving its surrounding West Philadelphia neighborhood. Produce from the urban farm is grown by youth from the surrounding community and sold at the Clark Park farmers’ market. Volunteers days are hosted each May, and are open to all interested visitors.
Created in 2012 in Bartram’s Garden, the oldest botanic garden in Philadelphia, the 3.5 acre farm is also home to an orchard, greenhouse, and plots for community gardens. Visitors to the botanic garden can stop by the farm or attend any of the seasonal events hosted by the farm each year.
Greensgrow Farm is not just a farm: it’s also a nursery, a farm stand, a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA), and a community kitchen. And though, according to the Greensgrow website, “people come to Greensgrow for many reasons… urban agriculture has always been our claim to fame.” Visitors to the farm can volunteer, shop at the farm stand and nursery, or attend one of the many events and workshops the farm hosts each month.
Located in West Philadelphia, Mill Creek Farm is an educational farm whose mission extends beyond the farm’s half acre. As the farm’s website explains, “we envision a world in which everyone has access to affordable, healthy, culturally appropriate food, and were local communities work collaboratively to build a food system that is socially just and environmentally and economically sustainable.” Want to be a part of Mill Creek Farm’s mission? Join one of the interactive tours or community skill-share workshops hosted on the farm!
7. Farm 51
Farm51 was founded in 2008 in West Philadelphia. Cultivating both plants and animals for the surrounding neighborhood, Farm51 describes itself as “a homey blend of animal, people, and plants.” Visitors can visit the Farm51 seasonal farm stand or attend one of the farm’s events, like the recent family day, where participants carved pumpkins and made scarecrows to celebrate the harvest season.
Founded in 2004, Urban Girls Produce grows over 100 varieties of organic vegatables on sustainable land in partnership with the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. Visitors to the Center can purchase Urban Girls-grown produce on site, or visit the Clark Park, Northern Liberties, and Palmer Park farmers’ markets for Urban Girls Produce veggies.
Operated by Weaver’s Way Coop, Mort Brooks Memorial Farm is located at Awbury Arboretum, and sells its produce at the Headhouse Square farmers market, as well as Weaver Way stores throughout the Philadelphia area. Looking to get involved? The farm hosts seasonal apprenticeship and internship programs, and volunteers are always welcome.
Founded by husband and wife team Amanda Staples and Matt McFarland in 2010, Germantown Kitchen Garden is located on half an acre in Philadelphia’s East Germantown neighborhood. Visitors interested in sampling some of the produce from the farm’s garden or fruit orchard can visit the weekly farm stand outside the garden’s gate.