Governor Wolf: Urban Agriculture is Feeding Neighborhoods, Building a Stronger Pennsylvania
October 07, 2019
Philadelphia, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today toured Sankofa Farm, part of Bartram’s Garden, to learn how the urban farm would use their $50,000 Urban Ag Grant to improve infrastructure, strengthen the community, and further address food sovereignty in Philadelphia.
“Bartram’s Garden is a model for how urban agriculture can provide for communities,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “They’re providing jobs, educating youth, feeding the food insecure, and generally invigorating the neighborhoods they serve.”
The tour, led by leadership of Bartram’s, allowed Governor Wolf and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding to see the grounds that have produced more than 10,000 pounds of produce since 2012 and hear their vision for the future.
“We are so grateful to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for supporting the important work of urban farms throughout the commonwealth,” said Bartram’s Garden Executive Director Maitreyi Roy. “This grant will allow the farms of Southwest/West Philadelphia, Sankofa Farm at Bartram’s Garden, the Mill Creek Farm, Walnut Hill Garden and the Urban Tree Connection, to continue our work to strengthen community health through farming, build intergenerational connections through the cultivation of ancestral crops, and advancing the goal of food sovereignty in Philadelphia.”
The Bartram’s Garden project will use a $50,000 Urban Ag Grant plus a $50,000 match from partners to invest in:
- A new garden bed program to provide southwest neighbors with beds that come supplied with seeds, soil, plants, and free monthly workshops on gardening;
- Upgrades to existing garden beds;
- A vehicle to transport materials and produce;
- Supplies including lumber, tools, soil, and plants;
- Commercial kitchen rental;
- Refrigeration upgrades;
- Equipment to build a new farm stand;
- And, tools to fill a library to be shared among partnering sites.
In July of this year, Governor Wolf signed Act 40 to create the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program, part of the state’s first-ever Pennsylvania Farm Bill, which provides both microgrants, for one-time projects or single applicants and up to $2,500 in funding, and macro grants, for projects that demonstrate cooperative or regional efforts with multiple partners and up to $50,000 in funding. The $500,000 in total urban agriculture grant funding will benefit 28 projects in Allegheny, Butler, Erie, Lawrence, Northampton, Philadelphia, and York counties.
“Bartram’s is more than a garden, and agriculture is more than rural fields and amber waves of grain,” said Agriculture Secretary Redding. “Urban agriculture has the power to change lives. We’re investing in a healthier, stronger Pennsylvania.”
For more information on the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, visit agriculture.pa.gov.