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PHILLY : STAKE

Philly Rooted received a grant of $900 at STAKE #1 on September 19, 2010.
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1. Describe the project a STAKE Grant would help you accomplish (approx. 100 words):
The Walnut Hill Community Farm (“Farm”) is an innovative community-based urban agriculture model, established on a land parcel located at 4610 Market Street and currently in its initial development stages. The Farm’s main objective is to communally grow fresh, local produce to be put up for sale in the neighborhood. The Farm is built on an innovative model where residents in a high-poverty neighborhood, currently under-served by a lack of fresh produce access, collectively farm and re-sell produce at affordable rates back to the community. Major stages of work include selection of growers, parcel beautification, and produce production/sale to neighborhood residents and businesses.

2. How will you use the grant toward the realization of your project? $750 is your imaginary budget (50 words):
The funds will go towards an irrigation system in which rainwater runoff from the adjacent 46th Street SEPTA station roof is captured and pumped (using solar power) to our Farm. Having a sustained and constant source of water is crucial to dependable crop yields during each growing season.

3. A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals. This may include a previous project of yours, ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal) (100 words):
Erica Smith and Nic Esposito are the founders of Philly Rooted. Philly Rooted strives to grow community and support the local food economy by developing urban farms and consulting developers, municipal government, private businesses and non-profits on how to incorporate urban agriculture into their policy and design. As part of Philly Rooted, Nic and Erica work as educators and urban farmers, partnering with non-profits like The Enterprise Center CDC and UC Green on projects like the Farm. The first project that Philly Rooted built was The Woodlands Community Garden in The Woodlands Cemetery in July 2009; a flourishing garden with 19 garden plots, beehives, a rain garden, and over 40 gardeners.

4. Why is this project important? How will it benefit the community? (100 words):
Benefits of the project are diverse but center in two areas, the first of which is access to fresh food. Philadelphians in lower-income neighborhoods have very limited access to healthy, locally-produced foods, leading to a proliferation of diet-related illnesses. The Farm would combat this crippling problem at its core, providing a well-located, high-volume produce source in an under-served area. In addition, the Farm would encourage sorely needed economic revitalization in the community, by virtue of both providing supplemental income to growers, and by retaining food dollars in the community that would have otherwise gone to external suppliers.

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