FarmPhilly supports over 60 urban agriculture projects on Philadelphia Parks & Recreation land including orchards, vegetable and fruit production, youth education gardens, inter-generational gardens, community gardens, and market farms. Fairmount Park Conservancy makes FarmPhilly’s work possible through financial, technical and on-the-ground support.
FarmPhilly runs youth education programs at recreation centers throughout Philadelphia, supports community gardens on city parkland, provides greenhouse propagation opportunities and works on garden preservation, long-term policy. Through these diverse program areas, FarmPhilly seeks to uplift the importance of urban agriculture and support its expansion across Philadelphia.
Community Garden Network
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation hosts 18 community gardens on park land. The Community Gardens Network builds communication and skill sharing between the gardens while creating a larger sense of community and advocacy. FarmPhilly staff provides technical assistance and pathways to resources. Over 450 gardeners rent garden plots and grow food for their families and/or distributed to neighbors, sold at farm stands, donated to food pantries. These 18 gardens are volunteer-led operations that have created beautiful and productive patches of parkland that provide not only nourishment but recreational gardening for the surrounding community.
In 2021, Fairmount Park Conservancy hired a FarmPhilly Coordinator to provide financial, technical and on-the-ground support for the Community Gardens Network.
Please check back for updates on the pending 2022 Community Propagation Program.
Carousel House Farm
Carousel House Farm is based at Carousel House, a recreation center for people with disabilities. FarmPhilly runs garden programming with the attendees of Carousel House, both during the school year with adults, and a summer camp program with youth. In 2019, the farm grew and distributed over 2,000 pounds of of fresh produce. The produce is distributed to the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center every Friday, to Oak Street Health at 50th and Parkside every other Wednesday, and to Parkside Fresh Food Fest every month.
Carousel House is currently working with 30 summer camp participants, leading garden walks and food tastings.
In addition, each year the Carousel House Farm offers a 20-week community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. Proceeds go to support Farm Philly.
After a brief hiatus in 2022, the CSA program plans to return in 2023.
Junior Farmers is an innovative youth urban agriculture program with youth gardens established at 37 recreation centers throughout the city. The program works to educate and engage children in the greater Philadelphia area on the benefits of growing their own food, eating healthy, and caring for our neighborhoods & natural environment. Through co-operative efforts with participating recreational centers, we develop lessons and activities that meet the site-specific needs of each individual center while cultivating curiosity and environmental stewardship through growing, harvesting, and eating fruits and vegetables from our gardens. The program engages over 1500 youth participants each year, who participate in the care of our vegetable gardens, small orchards and pollinator gardens.
Working in Recreation Centers with After School and Summer Camps programs, Junior Farmers is uniquely positioned to bring the joy of growing food to youth all across Philadelphia. We strive to consistently encourage the youth involved in our program to care for their internal ecosystems, as well as the ecosystem of the gardens we are growing together and the communities we are a part of.