Elm Street Urban Farm

 

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.Photo Jul 15, 1 27 29 PM

Impact

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.

Resident employment/empowerment

We have established a successful model that employs and supports residents to grow organic produce for their neighbors. English 10494313_10102366143426675_6800707789801866771_oAvenue 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.

Look at the transformation!

Look at the transformation!

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.

 

 

 

 

produce distribution

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:

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Photo May 13, 2 28 59 PM (1)

 

 

 

Video clip of spring crops June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURES AND VIDEOS FROM 2014:

Short video of fall crops November 2014

Short video clip of spring crops June 2014

Photo Jun 05, 5 02 53 PM

June 2014

English Ave. residents who work and manage the Elm St. Urban Farm. Twan, Dariel, Curtis, DJ, and Anthony.

English Ave. residents who work and manage the Elm St. Urban Farm: Twan, Dariel, Curtis, DJ, and Anthony.

5th grade Westminster students volunteering with us in May of 2014.

5th grade Westminster students volunteering with us in May of 2014.

 

Elm Street Urban Farm Dedication June 26, 2014

Elm Street Urban Farm Dedication June 26, 2014

 

 

PICTURES AND VIDEOS FROM 2013:

Short video Clip on October 24th, 2013

Photo Nov 22, 8 32 35 AM

Fall 2013

Soil tilled and ready for beds to be formed

Soil tilled and ready to start forming the raised beds

Our amazing work crew-Kemp and Darriel

Darriel and Kemp tilling and removing debris from the soil. These two dedicated residents have been a huge part of the development of this project and we are thankful for their hard work!

Kemp, Tucker, Darriel, and Suzanne working hard!

Kemp, Tucker, Darriel, and Suzanne working hard!

Planting holly bushes and transplants at Elm Street Urban Farm!

Westminster and Lovett students from the Atlanta 2.0 Summer Course Planting holly bushes and transplants at Elm Street Urban Farm!

College students with the Medici Project laying out the garden rows

College students with the Medici Project laying out the garden rows

Photo Oct 03, 4 05 44 PM

Fence installed and Fall crops planted in raised beds

Arbor Entrance installed October 21st. Thank you to Mark Pope for building this beautiful entrance for us.

Arbor Entrance installed on October 21st. Thank you to Mark Pope for building this beautiful entrance!

Row of lettuce

Row of lettuce

Photo Sep 22, 5 05 26 PM

Front half of farm designed with raised beds and Fall crops planted in them

One of the many piles of debris we removed from the back bank.

 

Landscaping shrubs in the front to beautify the front of the site

Landscaping shrubs in the front to beautify the front of the site

Back bank landscaped with azaleas and loropetalums

Back bank landscaped with azaleas and loropetalums

Hand made benches installed on site to encourage residents to come sit down and enjoy the green-space and improve social bonds. Even better, these benches were made by English Avenue residents through a newly developed bench building initiative run by Jesse Phillips.

Hand made benches installed on site to encourage residents to come sit down and enjoy the green-space and improve social bonds. Even better, these benches were made by English Avenue residents through a newly developed bench building initiative run by Jesse Phillips.

Row of collard greens about ready for harvest!

Row of collard greens about ready for harvest!