Philly benefits from Penn. Farm Bill

The Delaware River, as seen from Camden, New Jersey.
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Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced the approval of $500,000 in Urban Agriculture Grants to help fund projects throughout the state. 

These grants are designed to help build urban agriculture infrastructure and give areas a chance to improve community-building. 

Gov. Wolf said in a press release, “Urban agriculture is about more than just growing food; it’s about growing our communities and our economy, it’s about increasing quality of life.” 

Wolf added, “In addition to urban gardens providing places to work and learn, they aggregate fresh, local products to combat food insecurity and improve access to healthy, nutritious food.”

Gov. Wolf signed Act 40 to create the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program in July. It is part of the state’s first-ever Pennsylvania Farm Bill. 

The farm bill will be providing grants to help fund 28 projects in Allegheny, Butler, Erie, Lawrence, Northampton, Philadelphia, and York counties.

Of the 28 projects, Gov. Wolf chose to fund, 12 of them are in Philadelphia county.  

According to officials, here’s what the grants will fund in Philly: 

• Norris Square Neighborhood Project, $11,910 for farm stand materials, a composting system, grow lights, and soil plugs to open a farm stand

• City of Philadelphia, $40,000 for tools and a compost system to initiate city-wide composting for multiple urban gardens

• First Light Project, $37,884 for a work table, dryers, and a cooler to increase the amount of food available

• Food Moxie, $50,000 for a fence, shade structures, banners, and HVAC to support the largest urban agriculture school in Pennsylvania

• Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, $47,600 for a tool library, solar panels, battery back up, and security to be provided at low cost to area urban gardeners to increase resiliency

• Sanctuary Farm Phila, $15,000 for a new greenhouse to meet increasing demand for fresh produce in the neighborhood

• John Bartram Association, Bartram’s Gardens, $50,000 for raised beds, tools, and refrigeration equipment to support urban gardening initiatives in the area

• Jig-Bee, $2,500 for insulation, air conditioner, heater, shelving, and lighting to improve storage for cut flowers

• Carousel House Farm Tiller, $1,003 for a tiller to increase efficiency and yield

• Urban Agg Project, $1,000 for mobile hydroponic grow stations to transport to seniors and the disabled to reduce barriers to access for gardening

• Ellen Russell, $2,500 for soil, tools, seeds, and containers to teach child care providers gardening skills

• VietLead, $2,500 for low tunnels, irrigation, refrigerator, and greenhouse supplies to support Philly’s South East Asian community to grow culturally significant crops

 

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