UTC has a lot of volunteers that come and help out on the farm and we spend alot of time weeding. But what most people don’t realize, is many of the things that we are weeding are not only edible, but can be highly nutritious and delicious additions to a traditional diet. Below are a few wild edibles identified by UTC farm manager Rachel deVitry that can be found around our farm and at our farmstand: Continue reading
After years of work at the Merion Avenue farm site, raising funds, clearing debris, and planning for production, UTC finally has a lease on the 3 acre site from the City of Philadelphia. Good for 5 years, the lease allows UTC to move forward with production and infrastructural development of the site. The lease also has the potential for renewal after the initial 5 year term, and shows promise for the future of land access for urban growers in our City.
UTC is excited to welcome our first ever Community Engagement Farmer, Terrence Topping-Brown, who will be joining us as the cornerstone of our new Farm and Education Program, funded by the Chester Housing Authority, at the Ruth Bennett Homes in Chester, Pa. A native of Upper Darby Township, Terrence grew up in the neighborhood next to Haddington and still has strong connections to the area. He presently coaches track at Upper Darby High School, his alma mater, and is excited to be working with folks near his hometown to build food security.
While there is not a lot that can endure the dogged days of winter, there is one wild edible that can be seen holding tenaciously to the frozen ground, reaching its limbs through cracks in the ice and breaks in the snow, and populating the pathways in our high tunnels. UTC/NF farmer Rachel de Vitry shares her insights on Chickweed, a surprisingly resilient cold hardy vegetable that makes a happy home on our farm:
For twenty years, the United Community Clinic—a free medical center operated by the University of Pennsylvania at First African Presbyterian Church (4159 Girard Avenue)—has treated hypertension patients from some of West Philadelphia’s poorest neighborhoods. The doctors and medical students who work on the Clinic’s hypertension team have seen the tragic impact of poor nutrition on the health of low-income Philadelphians, many of whom lack basic access to fresh foods.
Now, Urban Tree Connection is developing an innovative health and nutrition partnership with First African and the United Community Clinic that has the potential to impact the long-term prognosis for low-income patients with high blood pressure, no health insurance, and limited access to fresh, healthy foods. Continue reading
We celebrated our first day of markets this Saturday, with many people coming together to kick off the season!
Rachel and Dori (farmers) headed to Rittenhouse Square early in the morning, as dedicated neighbors—Lisa, Joann, Anita (NF Founders Group), and Pat, Ann, and Gale— started setting up the market at the entrance to the farm. Soon teen apprentices arrived to help prep and decorate the pavilion. Continue reading