As part of the Triscuit Home Farming Movement, which plans to create 50 community-based home farms nationwide in 2010, the nonprofit organization Urban Farming will launch a farm next Tuesday at Woodland Presbyterian Church, located at 401 S. 42nd St.
Headquartered in Detroit, Urban Farming aims to eliminate hunger in communities by planting food on unused land.
The organization, which began with three gardens in 2005, is scheduled to plant the equivalent of over 1,000 gardens both within the United States and abroad, according to founder and Executive Director Taja Sevelle.
The Philadelphia-based garden, which will measure 400 square feet, will be run by groups of community volunteers who will visit the garden twice a month to water, harvest and prune.
In each growing season, which lasts about three months, a 20-by-20-foot garden can yield up to 500 pounds of food — the equivalent of 500 meals.
“One of the hallmarks of Urban Farming is that we do not put borders around our community gardens and we don’t try to keep people out,” Sevelle said. “Anybody who needs that food — whether they worked on the plot or not — can walk on the garden and get produce.”
Because the home farm will be housed on private and not city-owned land, however, the garden may not be open to the public at all hours.
However, Sevelle said the garden’s produce will still be made available to the public and distributed to local food banks and soup kitchens to ensure that the community’s needs are met.
According to Sevelle, encouraging people to plant at home and reconnect with the “simple joy” of growing their own food forms an essential component of the Home Farming Movement.
“There is something about putting a plant or seed in the ground that strikes a chord within all of us,” Sevelle said. “I’ve seen it happen with people of all ages and backgrounds.”
She said planting and maintaining a garden presents fewer challenges than most assume, citing the “Home Farming” section on triscuit.com as a valuable resource for beginning gardeners.
“During World War II, 20 million Americans planted victory gardens and grew 40 percent of the nation’s produce supply,” she said. “If they were able to galvanize that many people back then, we can certainly do that now.”
If people drive the food grown in private gardens to a local food bank, Sevelle said, they will be carrying out the “Urban Farming” mission.
“We can get rid of hunger in our generation — we believe our children will ask us what it was like when there was hunger … they’ll be used to seeing gardens everywhere,” she said.
In the past, Urban Farming has grown produce using space provided by walls and rooftops.
The initiative, Sevelle said, has already generated much enthusiasm among members of the community.
“It’s a global movement — people are interested in finding ways to make the world healthier and more sustainable,” she said.Comments powered by Disqus
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