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UTC partners with Haddington residents to reclaim vacant land for community-building green spaces that bring people together to address community needs.

Urban Farming & Gardening

Neighborhood Foods Farm (NF) was founded in 2009, by UTC and three community leaders as a solution to the food insecurity and the growing number of vacant lots in Haddington. After significant remediation, NF farm is now a fully functioning ¾ acre urban farm. We have also developed a micro-farm in collaboration with First African Presbyterian Church, and 27 other vacant lots have been converted into pocket parks, community gardens, and educational spaces. Together, these sites comprise a network of green spaces that annually produces 6,500 pounds of sustainably grown and culturally significant vegetables. 

Community-Led Food Distribution

Our produce is distributed through Community-Led Farmers Markets and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in targeted areas in West Philly where residents have limited access to healthy produce. We engage residents with limited incomes by offering produce at affordable prices and encouraging the use of subsidized forms of payment and incentive programs like EBT/Access and Senior vouchers. Our farm stands are uniquely operated by community members and youth apprentices, to whom we offer training and support. We regularly donate our excess produce to local food pantries in Haddington.

Community Education & Land Stewardship

Our education programs promote health and wellness, and leadership development; and are rooted in food, land and environmental justice. For adults and families, we host hands-on workshops at our community gardens and farm sites, covering topics such as healthy cooking, sustainable growing methods and medicinal tincture-making. We provide access to garden beds, technical assistance and resources (i.e. starts, soil, tools) to local community gardeners. We also have a Youth Apprenticeship Program, where Staff mentor youth in urban farming, local food distribution and leadership development.

UTC’s Youth Apprenticeship Program hires and mentors 10-12 high-school aged youth that primarily live in Haddington.  This unique five-month paid apprenticeship introduces Black youth to urban agriculture.  Each Apprentice receives 1:1 mentorship from UTC Staff in the areas of urban farming and gardening, local food distribution, and community education and outreach.  The goals of this program are to:

  • Teach young people of color how to grow food sustainably and distribute it within their neighborhood
  • Develop a critical analysis of historical and current social conditions locally and globally that shape our food systems
  • Cultivate youth’s sense of agency and leadership development towards addressing community needs

More About Us:

UTC 2019 Overview Refresh

Who We Are and What we Are About

UTC 2018 Organizational Highlights Report

UTC 2018 Youth Report.Final

Adult Gardening Workshop Memorial Garden