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Invest in the food on your plate by supporting progressive farm bills

In 2020, Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to include a farm bill in its state budget. The bill invested in, among other priorities, urban agriculture, farmland conservation, workforce development and new market opportunities, including an unanticipated investment in organic agriculture. Given Pennsylvania vies regularly with Washington state for second in organic farming

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2 mins read
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FarmerJawn is breaking new ground with dirt, grit and optimism

For Christa Barfield, the entrance into agriculture was prompted by her exit from another industry. Before the success of FarmerJawn—Barfield’s ambitious and sprawling enterprise that includes farming at the historic Elkins Estate, running a CSA, being part of a development project in East Kensington, opening a garden shop in Germantown, selling herbal-infused teas and providing

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11 mins read
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Editor’s Notes: Against The Grain

“Why should anyone consider farming as a livelihood these days?” Brennan Washington, the owner of Phoenix Gardens in Lawrenceville, Georgia, paused at the question, posed by Hannah Smith-Brubaker, the executive director of PASA, at the 2022 Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Lancaster in February. Then he laughed a little, and the audience, largely composed of farmers,

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2 mins read
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Community garden advocates say it is within the city’s reach to save neighborhood spaces set up on abandoned, bank-liened land

Before the chic boutiques and overpriced cafés arrive, the first sign of gentrification is often a slew of ubiquitous posters stapled to telephone poles reading, “We Buy Houses.” One is more than likely to find these illegally-placed advertisements in low-income parts of the city where desperation for fast cash can outweigh the benefit of long-term

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10 mins read
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Temple grad starts seed keeping business, honoring their cultural significance for farmers of color

Amirah Mitchell , founder of Sistah Seeds. Photography by Drew Dennis.  Ground Work by Jenny Roberts Amirah Mitchell has known she wanted to be a farmer since she was a 14-year-old intern with The Food Project, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit devoted to building sustainable food systems. “That’s kind of when I caught the farming bug,” Mitchell,

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4 mins read
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Nonprofit helps more than 400 Philadelphians a year garden and cook fresh vegetables

From seed to supper” sums up the credo of Food Moxie, a Northwest Philadelphia nonprofit that “educates and inspires people to grow, prepare and eat healthy food,” says Lisa Mosca, executive director of this offshoot of Weavers Way Co-op. Launched in 2006, Food Moxie grew from a project where Weavers Way in Mount Airy supplied

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3 mins read
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How one Philly startup team is pioneering a control system for energy-efficient grow lighting

By Rory Sweeney Working out of the Drexel University-backed ic@3401 startup incubator in University City, the five-man team at GrowFlux is banking on a hunch that, for plant-growers, less is more. They’ve learned that, rather than gadgets and wizardry, the best thing technology can offer to the horticulture industry is simplicity, and that all other

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2 mins read
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“Food forests” help Black and Brown communities gain access to fresh produce and cooling shade

On a quiet street in East Germantown is a small farm blooming with red bok choy, turnips, Brussel sprouts and nasturtium, all grown organically. Located within the confines of Awbury Arboretum, this is one of Philly’s “food forests,” also known as forest gardens. Food forests are a modern name for an ancient practice—historically found in

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4 mins read
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