Pa. gives grants to urban farms

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Plants grow in raised beds in a city.
GROW Urban Farm, in Youngstown, Ohio, provides fresh produce to the community, and an opportunity for people in Flying HIGH’s programs to gain work experience and earn a stipend while they work on other skills training. (Sarah Donaldson photo)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture approved $500,000 in funding to support 42 projects through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill’s Urban Agriculture Grant Program.

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced the program awards May 7.

The Urban Agriculture Grant Program funded 18 microgrants and 24 collaboration grants for projects that improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas, the aggregation of product, sharing of resources, and support for community development efforts. Microgrants provide funding up to $2,500 in matching funds for one-time projects or a single entity. Collaboration grants provide up to $50,000 in matching funds for projects that demonstrated cooperative or regional efforts to share resources, aggregate agricultural products or producers, promote the sharing of resources among agricultural entities, and support community development.

Counties with funded projects include Allegheny, Berks, Blair, Butler, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Luzerne, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York. Eligibility to be considered as “urban” was determined by criteria from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

Grants awarded in western Pennsylvania include:

Allegheny County

  Project Love Coalition, $2,500, irrigation system

  Tree Pittsburgh, $2,500, high tunnel

  The Open Door/Garfield Community Farm, $2,500, shed and cold storage

  Lawrenceville United, $2,230, grid soil test and compost materials

  Community Kitchen of Pittsburgh, $2,500, raised beds

  Freeman Family Farm & Greenhouse, $1,300, water pump and cistern

  Grow Pittsburgh, $32,000, equipment, raised beds, irrigation systems, greenhouse, tools, shed, compost system and shade canopies

  Farm to Table Buy Local, $30,000, hoop house, refrigeration, shade pavillion, raised beds, solar power source, washing stations

  Sleeping Octopus, $20,000, grow bed construction and water capture installation

  Hilltop Urban Farm, $15,000, hoop house and planting tables involveMINT/New Sun Rising, $13,000, raised beds, shed, charging station, water tap, greenhouse

  Borough of Etna, $21,323, aquaponics system

Butler County

  Community Partnership, $2,500, hoop house and greenhouse

Erie County

  Wild Field Urban Farm, $2,497, refrigeration

  Green Thumb Organics, $2,500, water line

  SSJ Neighborhood Network, $10,000, growing supplies and materials

Fayette County

  Donald Paul Kremer Jr., $2,500, cold storage.

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