Community Spotlight: Farm for the City

Farm for the City will run through Sept. 29 in Philadelphia. | PHS

It’s hard to miss Farm for the City if you’ve taken a stroll around City Hall in the past few days. Presented by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) in collaboration with The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the urban farm will be adding greenery to downtown Philadelphia through Sept. 29 — but there’s more to it than that.

“The initial concept came about when the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage gave PHS a $300,000 grant,” says Kevin Feeley, communications manager for PHS. “The goal of that grant was to come up with a way to spotlight community gardens and community gardeners in Philadelphia.”

Feeley reveals that over 3,000 people are involved with community gardens in the city, and while their impact isn’t widely known beyond their own neighborhoods, Farm for the City hopes to spread the word of their positive impact.

“What they’ve done for decades now is transformed this underused space throughout the city into these communal open green spaces that not only provide fresh food to neighborhoods who might be facing food insecurity (not having access to fresh produce), but also a connection to nature and a place where community members can convene and strengthen their community,” Feeley says.

With 1 in 5 Philadelphians not having access to enough food to lead a healthy lifestyle, community gardens can help fill that gap.

Crops that will be grown at Farm for the City include African eggplant, carrots, swiss chard, fennel, onion and herbs like cilantro, dill, mint, lavender and lemongrass.

“All of the produce that is being grown is being donated to Broad Street Ministry to support their hospitality collaborative program,” Feeley adds.

It is estimated that 1,000 pounds of produce will be grown this summer at Farm for the City.

Visitors can make the most of it by visiting and engaging with the space. Farm hosts will be onsite to answer any questions one might have about getting involved with community gardens in their own neighborhoods. There were also be free programming and events all summer long.

“There will be workshops, gardening classes, educational sessions, public forums, music — it’s all free and open to anyone who wants to come by,” Feeley says.

Farm for the City is located at 1401 JFK Blvd.

It will be open for visitors Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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