The Elm Street Urban Farm is our second (and larger) Urban Farm in English Avenue located at 380 Elm Street NW. In partnership with the Fulton Atlanta Community Action Authority (FACAA), FEA began development on the Elm Street Urban Farm in April 2013 with the primary goal of improving access to fresh produce for English Avenue residents, many of whom suffer from food insecurity.
Previously used for illegal dumping, the Elm Street site has been transformed into 9,735 square feet of lush growing space, allowing us to increase access to healthy produce for residents living in a federally designated food desert. In addition to the nutritional benefits, the Elm Street Urban Farm also:
- beautifies the community by replacing blighted lots with urban agriculture;
- reduces crime in surrounding areas;
- empowers community residents through employment and educational opportunities;
- provides a healthy gathering place for residents to strengthen ties to their community.
With the presence of our resident farmers working on site almost every day from April to September, pockets of illegal behaviors are reduced and residents see the site as a community managed space.
We have established a successful model that employs and supports residents to grow organic produce for their neighbors. English Avenue residents were employed to complete the 1,900 hours of work to develop and maintain the project from 2013-2014. Employing residents from the community is vital to the project’s sustainability because it improves financial stability and empowers residents to take ownership of the green-space in their community.
English Avenue resident, Dariel Vaughn, was jobless and on the brink of homelessness when he began working for us in 2012. Through hard work and dedication, Dariel has become the Manager of the new Elm Street Urban Farm. We are proud of the improvements Dariel continues to make in his life and his community.
Rain water irrigation system
We are using a rainwater harvesting method to irrigate the Elm Street Urban Farm. This method is a cost-effective, innovative approach used to capture, divert, and store rainwater for later use. Rain water is captured from the roof of the adjacent duplex, filtered into the water cistern to be stored, and then pushed out through the drip lines to irrigate our crops at no cost.
Special thank you to Paul Morgan from RainHarvest Company for installing and maintaining our rain water irrigation systems.
Our first spring growing season at the Elm Street Urban Farm was a tremendous success yielding over 1,000 pounds of produce in a 4 month period! We grew the “English Avenue Tomato,” which was sold and marketed at local restaurants, such as Local 3, Muss & Turner’s, and Common Quarter. Selling a portion of our produce promotes sustainability and helps share our mission to restaurants’ customers.
In 2015, the Elm Street Urban Farm produced 2,900 pounds of organic produce, 1,235 pounds in 2014, and 300 pounds in 2013. While the large majority (90%) of the produce goes directly to English Avenue residents at no cost, a small portion is sold to restaurants to improve sustainability.
PICTURES AND VIDEOS FROM 2015:
PICTURES AND VIDEOS FROM 2014:
PICTURES AND VIDEOS FROM 2013: