In South Kensington, La Finquita farm offers gardening workshops to locals of all ages.
You don’t have to travel far from the city to find
sprawling acres of fresh, homegrown produce
Philadelphia local communities have cultivated bountiful urban farms, most just a SEPTA ride away. Innovative agricultural ventures from Chestnut Hill to Kensington to South Philadelphia are using sustainable farming methods to produce healthy fruits and vegetables. Stop by the Walnut Hill Community Farm Stand or participate in a Community Sponsored Agriculture program. Bring the kids to pick their own vegetables while learning about farming. Workshops available throughout the city offer instruction on building a small backyard garden or even pursue a career in agriculture. Looking to get your hands dirty? Many of the farms listed below are always looking for volunteers. We picked out 10 local urban farms in the Philadelphia area that are worth checking out.
Bartram’s Garden Community Farm and Green Resource Center
54th St. and Lindbergh Blvd.
Discover Philadelphia’s largest orchard at the site of America’s oldest botanic garden, Bartram’s Garden. Located in Southwest Philadelphia, this 3.5-acre community farm allows residents to cultivate their own plot as well as teach local students how to harvest and sell organically grown produce as part of the youth development program organized by Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (AUNI) of the University of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Parks and Recreations have helped support this project. Visit their Farm Stand from May through November at Bartram’s Garden Community Farm on Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. or at Clark Park, 43rd St. and Baltimore Ave., starting from 10 a.m. until they sell out.
51 St. and Chester St.
Horticulturist Andrew Olson started this farming venture after scooping up a chicken wandering in West Philadelphia and gave it a home in his yard. The side project has developed into a small-scale farm with chickens, turkeys and rabbits in addition to fruits and vegetables. The farm is also supported by the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s City Harvest program, which provides seeds and transplants. Neighborhood kids could also be seen helping out with the gardening and selling produce at the food stand open Thursdays from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
Francisville Urban Farm
Photo by Lisa Gaidanowicz
1708 Ridge Ave.
Earlier this year, the Francisville Urban Farm was created as a result of a partnership with Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation and Urbanstead, an organization committed to teaching healthy eating and creating urban farming programs to involve the city’s vulnerable youth. Kids can be found on this quarter-acre plot getting their hands dirty pulling weeds while learning about plant botany and garden management. You can meet some of the youth farmers at the Francisville Farm Stand every Friday at 19th Street and Fairmount Avenue from 3 to 7 p.m.
Photo by Organic Gardening
2501 E. Cumberland St.
One of the most well-known farms in Philadelphia, this Kensington-based grower sells fresh fruits, vegetables, and poultry along with produce from other local farms at its food stand and to restaurants. Greensgrow hosts educational workshops and community events, including harvest festivals, farm-to-table events, and the birthday of their beloved pig named “Milkshake.” The farm is known for its CSA program and innovative urban farming methods including hydroponic farming on the previously abandoned land. Recently, they extended their reach to West Philadelphia, selling produce and offering the CSA program at Greensgrow West. Visit their Kensington location on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4300 Monument Rd.
This year-round farm can be found on the Methodist Home for Children location of the Methodist Services, an organization devoted to providing programs that focus on healthy eating and education for help children and families. Heritage Farm uses sustainable, pesticide-free farming methods to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. Children can learn how to grow food, assist the farm stand, and help with food preparation. Adults can receive urban agriculture training while developing career and life skills. The on-location farm stand is open Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m.
438 W. Master St.
Translated from Spanish, “the little farm” has occupied an owner-abandoned vacant lot for over 25 years. The land has been cared for by a diverse range of growers, including Catholic Church members who started farming and the Latino community who continued the church’s work and today’s new Finquita growers who set up the first farmer’s market in Kensington. La Finquita provides farming and gardening workshops to locals of all ages. The produce stand on-site is open every Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed during the winter.
Nice Roots Farm
2901 W. Hunting Park Ave.
This educational urban farm is managed by the SHARE Food program, which provides affordable, local produce to the Philadelphia region. Half the crops are donated to SHARE Food Program affiliated soup kitchens while the remaining produce is sold at an affordable price at the on-site farm store and in Farm to Families packages, boxes of produce sold at $10 or $15. Urban farmers can pick up cheap supplies from the garden center as well as take free gardening workshops. The Farm Store is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 5 p.m.
Walnut Hill Community Farm
4610 Market St.
With the joint effort of the Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation (TEC-CDC) and Walnut Hill neighborhood residents, a 11,580 square-foot vacant lot in West Philadelphia has been transformed into a community farm. As part of the West Philly Foods CSA program, Walnut Hill Community Farm provides produce to food entrepreneurs in the TEC-CDC’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises and to residents at reduced prices. With the help of hired apprentices at the W.B. Saul Agricultural High School, the farm grows its food naturally, organically, and chemical-free. The Walnut Hill Community Farm Stand is open every Thursday from May through November from 4 to 7 p.m. The farm also sells produce at the SEPTA Farmers’ Market open every other Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ending in late October and at the Farm to City Farmers Market at the Penn Bookstore open on selected dates. Check website for details.
Weavers Way Farms
Mort Brooks Memorial Farm at Awbury Arboretum, 1 Awbury Rd.; Weavers Way Farm at W.B. Saul High School, 7100 Henry Ave.
Well-known sustainable food organization found in Northwest Philadelphia, the Weavers Way cooperative food market gets many of its produce from its farms at Mort Brooks Memorial farm in Awbury Arboretum and at Weavers Way Farm at W.B. Saul High School. Through the Henry Got Crops CSA program, many of the farms’ produce is sold to local restaurants and residents while some are donated to local anti-hunger organizations. Both farms sell more than 50 different types of vegetables at the Henry Avenue Farmstand located at Saul High School farm on Tuesdays 2 to 7 p.m. and Fridays 2 to 6 p.m. through October and at the Headhouse Farmers Market on 2nd and Lombard streets on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through December. Produce is sold regularly at Weavers Way Co-op locations in Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill.
Wyck House Farm
6026 Germantown Ave.
Found on the historical site of Philadelphia’s oldest houses, the Wyck House Farm has 300 years of agriculture tradition from the generations of families that used to live there. The quarter-acre garden values sustainable farming methods by growing chemical-free produce and using hand-powered tools and techniques used in an average kitchen garden. Visitors can pick up produce grown from the garden at the weekly Farmers Market on-location along with produce from other local vendors on Friday 2 to 6 p.m. until late November. If that’s not enough incentive to visit, the Wyck House is open for free, self-guided tours from 1 to 4 p.m. on Fridays as well, so visitors can explore the property and farm.