Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Urban Farm Bike Tour

Despite the heat (which hovered around 100), a great crowd turned out for the 2011 Urban Farm Bike Tour. This is the second year Henry Got Crops has been a stop on the tour. My best guess is that between the long ride and the short ride, there were probably close to 100 participants. We all started at the Weavers Way Mort Brooks Memorial Farm, then the long ride (which I participated in) headed to Henry Got Crops where bikers ran through the sprinkler to cool off. Yona Yudson, a junior at Saul and previous intern at Henry Got Crops, led the tour with me. Participants seemed particularly impressed with what a unique high school Saul is, as well as the number of families participating in the CSA. We then continued on to our neighbors at the Schuylkill Center, the Urban Girl Farm. At this site Teens 4 Good also have about half an acre and work with high school students, much like we do. Next was Heritage Farm at Methodist Homes, a farm started by the Weavers Way apprentices from last year, Sarah and Chloe. This farm is situated on a campus for women and children in transition. Next up was Marathon Farm, managed by a Weavers Way intern from two years ago, Adam. Marathon Farm was started by the new nonprofit branch of Marathon restaurant. It includes a community garden, a farm stand, and sells to the restaurant. After that we continued on to SHARE where we admired the raised beds and immaculate hoop house of their demonstration farm. SHARE is a food distribution center for the general public, as well as food cupboards. Last on the tour was Wyck Historical House with an impressive 300 year old garden. They have the oldest rose garden in the country, and deep, beautiful, fertile soil. We all reconvened where we started at the Mort Brooks Memorial Farm for beer, hamburgers, veggie burgers and watermelon. A few musicians played in the shade of the trees and the Mt. Airy Bike Collective made fruit smoothies with their human powered, bike blender. While the bike tour was an impressive tour, it really was only a snapshot of all the great farms and gardens that are popping up all over Philly. The bike tour has been happening every year for the last four years, hope you can make it next year!

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