Marathon’s love for Philadelphia keeps getting stronger! Inspired by our excitement for everything fresh and local, we’re taking “Serving The Neighborhood” to a whole new level and growing affordable healthy food for our city! Through Marathon Loves Philadelphia, a 501c3 non-profit organization, we are re-utilizing vacant land in the city and transforming it into an urban farm which will serve its neighbors and our customers. Through community out-reach, educational programs and just plain old good food, Marathon is Spreading the Love, one carrot at a time!
Marathon Farm is an urban farm in the Brewerytown neighborhood of North Philadelphia. There are over 40,000 vacant properties in Philadelphia, many in areas with a lack of access to fresh produce. Instead of letting this wealth of land sit idle, why not use it to our advantage and GROW FOOD ON IT, building our community food security and beautifying blighted land!
We are reclaiming 15,000 square feet of vacant land on the corner of 27th and Master Streets. On it we will grow organic produce which we will sell at an affordable farm stand on site and a portion will be bought by Marathon Restaurants in Center City Philadelphia. We will hold educational programming for youth and adults every week, focusing on nutrition, the environment and sustainability. Our programming will include, cooking demos, nutrition lectures, composting workshops, a gardening series and food preservation workshops. In addition to the farm, we will have a 20 plot community garden for neighbors, a community gathering space for workshops, neighborhood composting and a rainwater catchment system. We are also creating a Do-It-Yourself guide to urban gardening in Philadelphia, whether in your backyard, roof, vacant lot or fire escape!
The farm will be open to the public and all are encouraged to participate and learn the processes of growing your own food.
We will begin building the infrastructure, including the raised beds, greenhouse, high tunnel, tool shed and community space in March and we hope to begin growing by April. The money is to help us purchase our materials for building our farm. . The $10,000 we are requesting is specifically to help us purchase the tools and supplies for building our Greenhouse for propagating seeds and our High Tunnel for growing fall and spring crops. The money will also be used for printing our DIY Guide for growing food in the city. In addition we hope to purchase 40 blueberry plants and 10 fruit trees for a mini orchard!!!! The building of the farm is budgeted to cost $20,000 but we hope to cut that in half by using recycled materials and getting donations
Urban Agriculture is not only about growing food. It is deeply rooted in community and education. Clearly urban farming will never be able to feed a whole city, but it can feed the minds of a city and empower people to live a healthier, happier and more sustainable lifestyle. Bringing together neighbors to work together and share in the bounty of their labors is the essence of urban farming. To me food is the key to linking people to each other and with a place. In cities, many people have no idea where food comes from. When you are surrounded by metal, brick and cement, the entire idea of the food we eat once living in dirt can seem utterly absurd. Urban farming brings the realities of nature into this man made urban environment and connects people to the food they eat and the neighbors they share it with.