As a Philly native, I am always excited and beyond proud to hear about the incredible projects going on that-gasp- have nothing to do with the sports teams… Food Tank just listed “10 Exciting Urban Agriculture Projects in Philadelphia” today. Below are just three. For the full list, check out: http://foodtank.org/news/2014/01/ten-exciting-urban-agriculture-projects-in-philadelphia . Because Philly’s city structure follows more of a European plan, small-scale slow-food can really thrive here. I cannot wait to visit these projects myself.
1. Emerald Street Urban Farm
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!
2. Marathon Urban Farm
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.
3. Walnut Hill Farm
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.
very obsessed with Chema Madoz’s eye of life.
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These turnips, of the Brassicaceae family, were sweet and spicy delicate bulbs I bought from Isa at the Grant Park Farmers Market. Isa works with Chris under the name Crack in the Sidewalk, growing and foraging some beautiful stuffs. With the bulbs, I made turnip chips, by simply slicing the root thinly and tossing with oil and spices before roasting in the oven. With the green tops however, I intended to make a pesto with hazelnuts, but instead, decided to add them to a massive pot of slow-cooked greens I was simmering. In the dutch oven, I sizzled some garlic, mustard seeds, and red pepper flakes in oil before adding the mass of greens. Once the greens cooked down a bit, I poured a good amount of homemade veggie broth that I found in my freezer earlier that day, and let the mix stew for about an hour. Slowly converting myself to true Southerner one dish at a time.
Pomegranates, of the Lythraceae family, are,in my opinion, the most beautiful of fruits. Its the surprise of it all, that gets me going, where a tough rosy exterior hides a hive of ruby juicy jewels. It’s amazing to think that they have been around since biblical times, like an edible testament to the holy scripture. I bought these baby pomegranates from Greg of Green Leaf Farms. They’re not the prettiest, nor the tastiest of pomegranates, but I’m a big fan of Greg, so I figured I had nothing to lose besides a couple bucks…
designed and published by Johns Hopkins’ Center For a Livable Future , click to use visualizer here
“The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent, ” wrote James Madison in 1792. “It follows, that the greater the proportion of this class to the whole society, the more free, the more independent, and the more happy must be the society itself.”
I bought these squashes the other week from the McMullan Family Farm at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market, their tent only a few away from mine. Surprised to see these little guys this late in the year, I snatched them up quickly, already nostalgic for the tastes of the summer harvest. Zephyr squash, I believe a member of the Cucurbita pepo species, was one of the first vegetables I learned to harvest on Love is Love Farms at Gaia Gardens. Their texture is smooth, their taste quite simple and light.
I roasted the squash with some zucchini, adding a bit of zatar spice on top. After about 25 minutes in the oven the mixture was added to a steamy pot of pearl barley.
Raphanus sativus of the Brassicaceae family. The green ones, on both the right and left are ‘Chinese Green Luobo’ Radishes, while the pink one in the center is a China Rose Radish. I bought these little pretty nuggets last from the Indian Ridge Farm, the vendor that sells across from me at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market (one day i’ll re-ask his name, and remember it, but I’m a little embarrassed to do so at this point…). This farmer grows much of his own crops, but forages quite a bit-mostly up in North Georgia. He has a quirky sensibility, quiet, yet very appreciative. Sometimes he wears a shirt I like that has skeleton taxonomies, and when it’s cold he sports gloves with skeleton hand bones.
I quick pickled the radishes. Starting by heating a bit of sesame and olive oil in a pan, I added mustard seeds and let them sizzle until I heard some pop. Turning the heat to a low, I added the thinly sliced radishes and coated them in the oil, and sprinkled some tumeric on top as well. In a separate pot, I mixed white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water and salt on high heat. Waiting for the vinegar mix to boil, I packed my radishes into two small jars, sticking some garlic cloves at the bottom of the jar too. When the vinegar boiled, I simply poured it over the packed jars and fastened a lid on top.