It’s no secret that we here at GRID are head-over-heels obsessed with the agricultural ventures that are taking place throughout the Philadelphia region. Especially now that we can ogle row after row (after row) of gorgeously ripe produce at Philly’s many farmers markets (how long can you stare at a perfectly petit and purple fairytale eggplant until it’s considered creepy?). But one aspect of Philly's growing world of growing that we particularly can’t get enough of are the farms that take the place of unsightly vacant lots, and sprout up adjacent to abandoned buildings, creating a shining beacon of hope amongst unsightly city grit.
One such growing venture is Farm 51 on 51st and Chester Avenue in West Philadelphia. The farm is owned and operated by partners Andrew Olson, the public landscape manager at the Delaware Center for Horticulture, and Neal Santos, staff photographer for the City Paper (also responsible for the Kinetic Sculptor Derby photo essay in GRID’s May issue). The farm itself was born from Olson’s unexpected discovery of a lost little chicken crossing a West Philadelphia road in 2008. Since then, the space known as Farm 51 has become an educational urban farm that provides fresh and affordable produce to friends and neighbors.
Tomorrow is your chance to get up close and personal with Farm 51 and West Philly’s overall urban ag happenings at Locally Sourced, a hyperlocal farmers’ event featuring growers from West and Southwest Philadelphia, as well as a reception for Neal Santos’ photo exhibit “51st and Chester” currently on display at The Green Line on Baltimore Ave. The event will kick-off with a brief introduction to West Philly’s farm scene, followed by a small farmers market, refreshments (basil lemonade, collard green/kale couscous salad, and chive scones made from Farm 51 produce!), and of course plenty of chatter about current and future farming ventures.
These are more than a few of our favorite things.
July 22, 6 - 8 p.m., The Green Line, 43rd and Baltimore Ave.