Race to the Harvest

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Story by Ariela Rose | Photo by Maria Pouchnikova

The farming collaboration between Marathon Grill and Emerald Street Urban Farm’s Patrick Dunn [Dec. 2010 Grid, Agriculture p.18] has come to fruition in Brewerytown. In March, Marathon Farm hosted five workdays that attracted more than 60 volunteers, who transformed a vacant lot into a promising agricultural haven. On March 21, Mayor Michael Nutter himself hosted a press conference and helped to plant some of the first seeds at the farm’s grand opening.  

Located at 27th and Master Streets, the 40,000-square foot growing space is currently home to 31 raised beds, a small greenhouse and two hives housing some 20,000 bees. The role of farm manager has been recently passed on to Adam Hill, a veteran of Aston’s Red Hill Farm and a former apprentice at Weavers Way, while founder Dunn gains valuable experience as a farm intern in California.

Hill is confident in his new role, his excitement obvious as he discusses the farm’s planned community garden and collaboration with the Greater Brewerytown CDC. Since the area lacks a grocery store, Marathon Farm’s planned affordable farmstand will fill a void by offering local residents half the raised beds’ bounty. The other half will add fresh, local flair to Marathon Grill’s rotating crop of specials.  

Although radishes, beets, carrots, spinach, lettuce, broccoli and more are already sprouting, the farm still has much work to do. Another community work day will be held on May 22, and a number of “Farmecues” this summer will invite local residents to grill, relax and learn more about this promising urban farming venture.

For more information on the farm and how you can get involved, visit marathonfarm.com