Monday, October 22, 2012

Farm Education Corner Update

by Clare Hyre
This Saturday three farm apprentices and one education intern and I took a bike tour of west Philadelphia farm education programs. Or first stop was Mill Creek Farm on 49th and Brown and we were greeted by a lively farm stand with samples of pasta and squash as well as delicious looking veggies just harvest. Jo Rosen (Executive Director) took us on a tour of the farm and told us the amazing history and then sent us on our way - of to Preston's Paradise . 
We were very lucky to find Ryan Kuck, outside in his yard harvesting sweet potatoes. "I forgot all about ya'll coming" , he said but happily let us into his urban farm. In his tiny yard there was a small plot of veggies, chickens, and an amazing cob greenhouse. Down the street he had planted an orchard for some neighbors and he said there were other small plots they were working with all around the neighborhood.
"I really love farming," said Kuck, "but now we are focusing on getting the food distribution". Look out for Kuck and his partners in their food truck on Lancaster Avenue. The food truck is a partnership between Greensgrow Farms and Preston's Paradise. 
Our next stop was the Urban Nutrition Initiative University City High School Garden were we stopped to eat lunch. Don Key, the farm educator there was not around but we were able to walk around the garden and discuss farm education models and the complexity between for and non-profit establishments. After lunch we snuck over to the Green Line for a quick cup of coffee. 
Last stop ( a little more Southwest) was to Bartram's Garden and Bartram's Farm and Community Center. Located on 54th and Lindbergh Ave. Bartram's Garden is an Oasis in and industrial complex. Judson , Katilyn, Erin, and Matt seemed awed by the age of the garden and the history and were excited to learn about Osage Oranges and other trees. At the farm we met with farm educator Chris Bowden-Newsom and learned about the work the newest UNI farm is doing. 
It was a beautiful fall day and we all had a great time!  The tradition of Weavers Way bike tours continues!!!!

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