Urban agriculture is on the rise. In Philadelphia, we’ve seen an increased number of farmers’ markets (like the one we mentioned here ), community gardens and urban farms. For many reasons (see my post  on Anna Lappe for more nitty-gritty), people like to know where their food comes from, how it's grown and, most importantly, what the benefits of fresh, local produce are.
As with most “movements," nonprofit organizations are leading the charge to advocate for community health. One of these nonprofits is Mill Creek Farm  at 49th and Brown in West Philadelphia, which also happens to be run by a Jewish executive director, Johanna Rosen. Mill Creek provides food and agriculture education to the neighboring community. The farm grows fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Staff farmers also run a variety of hands-on, sustainable projects that can meet basic needs, including a living roof, beehives, compost piles and a solar electric system. They even enlisted kids from the neighborhood to make a basic structure out of cob, a natural building material, and decorate it with a mosiac of found objects.
For the past five years, I have served on the farm's board and helped organize an annual "Grow Strong" benefit party. I invite you to join me for this year's event on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill Street). Celebrating our seventh growing season, the event will feature music, finger foods, desserts, a cash bar, a silent auction, raffle prizes and more. Tickets will be available for $20 at the door or in advance through the farm's website . See the list of friends who will be attending on Facebook .
I'm pushing the event extra hard this year because financial concerns will not allow Mill Creek to continue in its current state. Ultimately, we'll be seeking affiliation with an organization that shares the farm's vision and values and can offer more capacity and stability in pursuing our mission. In the meantime, we need all the support we can get to help transition to this new stage and make sure we can maintain our work into the future.
Today's nonprofits work SO hard at raising money to fund their programs. Mill Creek Farm is no different. Please consider attending the upcoming benefit or making a donation to preserve the future of Philadelphia's urban agriculture movement.
Here's to Philanthropy,
The Bubbi Project