Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Henry Got Crops Education Team Creates Own Urban Bike Tour

After missing the official Weavers Way urban farm bike tour, Henry Got Crops Education Coordinator Clare Hyre and apprentices Molly Devinny and Ariel Drooner created their own tour , attempting to hit all the farm education hot spots in the city. The ladies began their tour at Mill Creek Farm in West Philadelphia where Jade Walker (farm educator) was hard at working preparing for a Tuesday farmers market. After exploring the community garden adjacent to Mill Creek we learned about the history and progression of the farm while harvesting summer squash. Our takeaway piece from Mill Creek - Henry Got Crops! has just gotta have a cob oven!
Next we quickly rode up the street to the Urban Tree Connection where we saw three different sites. We loved learning how UTC takes vacant lots and unused backyards and turns them into teaching environments for the neighborhood youth. UTC had beautiful mulched pathways and well labeled beds!

Truly inspired and ready for more, Clare led the way to the UNI (Urban Nutrition Initiative) garden at University City High School. During lunch we admired the beautiful pavilion, the well labeled signs, the wash station, and the variety crops grown at this quarter acre site. Everyone got very excited about the idea of bringing more art into our work at HGC. We also got excited by the possibility of building an outdoor classroom and kitchen where students could harvest food and create meals without ever leaving the farm.
Having never biked through the city this next section of the journey really pilled on the miles and proved that the HGC ladies are full of stamina! We moved onward for a quick stop at Heritage Farms at the Methodist Family Homes and then finished at MLK Seeds For Learning Farm in Mt. Airy. Sarah Garton at Heritage Farms was kind enough to take us on a tour of their facilities and although we missed Chris Bowden-Newsom's class we were able to see the Seeds for Learning garden and greenhouse. We also got to our very own education site at the Stenton Family Manor!
Exhausted and happy, the crew congratulated themselves on their 30 plus miles bike trip by stopping at the Weavers Way Mt. Airy store where they gorged themselves with delicious co-op products. We were all excited to take what we saw and learned back to the farm and begin the process of enhancing the HGC/Saul farm education program.
Email: clarehyre@gmail.com if you have any skills in carpentry and would like to volunteer some time to HGC education program building efforts. We are hoping to construct picnic tables at the farm for an outdoor kitchen and possibly a pavilion.
Also if you have excess pots, pans, bowls, cups, silverware, or a gas cook stove that you want to donate to our kitchen please let me know! Having an outdoor kitchen would dramatically increase the amount of food that goes into Saul students’ mouths and encourage their participation with the CSA and Weavers Way!

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