This urban farm in inner-city Philadelphia is a pioneer in urban agriculture. On a site that was once a toxic post-industrial brownfield, Greensgrow founders Mary Seton Corboy and Tom Sereduk built high tunnels, raised beds of compost, and hydroponic plantings. Greensgrow also developed green energy projects like green roofs; composting and vermicomposting; and biodiesel produced from local restaurant waste oil.
Greensgrow's latest project is a community kitchen used for producing value-added farm products, teaching cooking classes, and even taping a local foods cooking show. The community kitchen is also an important addition to the CSA program designed for low income customers; they are able to pay for their discounted CSA shares with food stamps and share in nutrition classes held at the community kitchen.
When we interviewed Mary Seton Corboy, she explained that the farm has evolved over its 13-year history. "Thirteen years, in terms of urban farms, is practically forever," Mary said. When she first began farming, she sold hydroponic lettuce primarily to restaurants. Now the farm is primarily a nursery and collaborative CSA with a community kitchen and has over $900k in yearly sales. Through the CSA, Greensgrow is an entry point for other new farmers who want to reach urban consumers.
For more information on Greensgrow Farms visit http://www.greensgrow.org/farm/index.php