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Archive Press



Agricultural Phenomenon

The cover story for the April 29th, 2010 City Paper is all about Philly's urban ag movement.  Mill Creek Farm

co-director Jade Walker chimes in towards the end.  

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Growing Pains

Terry Gillen of the Redevelopment Authority clarifies RDA's relationship with urban farming initiatives in Philadelphia.

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SCI West blog: Urban Farming at The Mill Creek Farm

September 25, 2009 by sciwestblogger

Even though I’ve been growing two heirloom tomato plants in my backyard all summer, I haven’t tasted a single tomato from them yet. Now it’s autumn and the tomatoes remain stubbornly small and green — nothing like the voluptuous red beasts advertised on the seed packets. I knew my resources were limited but I planted and watered with dedication.


Let me describe the landscape.



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Mill Creek Farm sets a standard for sustainable farming

by Will Dean 


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The little half-acre that could

Urban minifarms, like Mill Creek, are keeping many Philadelphians from going hungry

June 8th 2009

Philadelphia Daily News

"WE'RE out here in the dirt all the time," said Jade Walker, standing amid the patch of topsoil on Brown Street near 49th
that keeps hunger from the doors of neighboring homes in the recession-ravaged Mill Creek section of West Philadelphia.


"And every time we're out here," Walker said, "people are coming up to us, struggling with the idea that they can't provide
for their families the way they want to right now. People who have never gardened before want to start a garden in their
own back yard. Or they want to work here in this one."

Walker and her co-director, Johanna Rosen, said that the pocket-size half-acre they call "Mill Creek Farm" feeds hundreds
of low-income neighbors - many of them elderly, living on government assistance.

As the recession's double-whammy of skyrocketing food prices and massive job losses raises the threat of hunger for thousands of city families, urban mini-farms from the Southwark Queen Village Community Garden to Las Parcelas, in Norris Square, put organic vegetables on many tables and donate their surpluses to keep overburdened church food cupboards from going bare.

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Can Okra Save the City?

Blog post in response to Daily News article "The Little Half-Acre that Could"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Can Okra save the city?


Volunteers work the soil at the Mill Creek Farm at 49th and Brown St.
Earth to Philly readers are no strangers to the phenomenon 

of urban farming. Today readers of the print version (as well as online)

were treated to a comprehensive story by Dan Geringer on a mini-farm

in the midst of the Mill Creek neighborhood in West Philly. Part of the
emphasis is on getting
food to people who are living close to the bone,

including those within a block of the farm. In the process, this extensive
garden is not just putting food on tables but showing the neighborhood
and the wider city how green
ideas can be both inspiring and friendly

to your wallet.

“A lot of people assume that ‘organic’ means ‘expensive’ because it is so labor intensive,” Johanna Rosen,
co-director of Mill Creek Farm, told Dan Geringer. “But our mission here is to provide fresh, low-cost vegetables
to our neighbors — many of whom are seniors who use food stamps and other government assistance,”
said her co-director, Jade Walker.

The half-acre farm, with a permanent staff of just two, feeds the neighborhood.

“Most of the folks around here were originally from the South and come from a rich tradition of people growing their
own food,” Walker said.


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Audio clip of an Interview with Johanna Rosen on WXPN

Check out an audio clip of an interview with Johanna Rosen by WXPN's Michaela Majune.

Click on ICON to hear the Radio segment


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Urban Farm Tills the West Phila. Soil

An Article from the Daily Pennsylvanian by Kathy Wang

September 23rd, 2008


Mill Creek Farm is not much different from any other farm.

Patches of okra, cherry tomatoes, eggplant and more than 50 other crops rotate with the season. The smell of basil permeates the air, chirping crickets are the closest thing to noise and the greenness of the crops can blind your eyes
on a sunny day.


But there's one big difference. Mill Creek is located on just a half-acre of land - in the heart of West Philadelphia.

Link to Article:

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