Subaru was very instrumental in our getting the truck that goes to Camden. This shows people of Camden that it’s not just one small little organization that’s going there all starry-eyed and fight the fight for them.
– Mary Seton Corboy
The Greensgrow seasonal Farmstand is stocked with produce from the region around eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Along with fresh produce, there’s a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as locally baked breads, dairy products, and naturally raised meats and eggs from nearby family farms. Bees are also a valuable part of the Greensgrow team! On a sunny day, they busily gather pollen from flowers around the farm and work hard to pollinate inside the high tunnels. In the fall, their honey is harvested and sold as “Honey from the Hood” at the Farmstand.
From June through October, bright yellow Greensgrow trucks roll into the low-income neighborhoods of Camden, New Jersey, where access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited. Now in its third year, the mobile markets offer in-season produce and locally sourced milk, eggs, bread, dry goods, and cultural favorites. Community-based organizations often sell baked goods and offer social services to customers at each of the five mobile market locations.
Top Five Things You Need To Start Your Own Urban Farm
By Mary Seton Corboy
1. Space and soil
Land and healthy soil (i.e., soil that has been tested and amended with compost, peat moss, or fertilizer) to improve its ability to grow plants.
Really basic tools, but good ones that will last, plus a way to secure them. (Greensgrow has spent more than $20,000 over the years replacing lost, stolen, and broken tools.)
It sounds basic, but a solid, well-built and -designed watering/irrigation system will save labor, millions of gallons of water, and excess sewage over the years.
4. Outbuildings and Zoning
Whether a composting toilet, storage, a simple greenhouse for seed starting, a washing area covered with good drainage, sinks that meet sanitary standards for washing food, or a small office on site, all need to be zoned. Without zoning, you could be shut down at any point and have no legal redress. You may be a nonprofit, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore zoning laws.
Make sure you construct buildings in the right place; no one wants to move a hoophouse-style greenhouse 20 times.
Veggies need 10 hours of chilling postharvest to stay healthy and fresh. No farm can be without some kind of fridge. We used a CoolBot 17 years ago and still use one today. It is the best couple hundred bucks we have ever spent.