Hilltop Urban Farm

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Story
700 Cresswell St, Pittsburgh, PA 15210, USA

We are building the largest urban farm in the United States, together.  

The Hilltop Urban Farm seeks to address neighborhood-based food insecurity, develop long-term entrepreneurial opportunities, foster innovative connections with local and regional food systems partners, create and preserve community green space assets, and stimulate neighborhood-based community reinvestment.  Located less than 3 miles from downtown Pittsburgh, the Hilltop Urban Farm will grow fresh produce to support new business development, increase food access, and provide workforce training in the food desert neighborhood of St. Clair through a Farmer Incubation Program, Youth Farm, and Farmer’s Market.  Visit www.HilltopUrbanFarm.org to learn more!! 


The 1-acre Youth Farm will teach students about basic food nutrition and food preparation, improve their attitudes towards eating locally grown fruit and vegetables, develop a thorough knowledge of garden ecology, learn about the nature of local and global agriculture, and how these systems affect the environment, consumers and local/global economies.  


The Farmer Incubation Program will target farmers with less than 10 years of growing experience wanting to start small-scale urban organic farm enterprises and needing access to land and training. In exchange for an annual program fee, participants will be provided: ¼ acre parcel, access to storage, solar electric, hoop houses, greenhouses, mobile coolers and a shared tool library. Participants will be taught topics such as farm business management, crop planning, marketing, growing techniques, land access and financing. Graduates of the 3-year program will exit with a business plan, land access matching services with partners, customer base and a 3-year-old business to assist with acquiring business capital for business expansion.

The Farmer's Market will be hosted on-site at Hilltop Urban Farm from May to October beginning in Spring 2020. It will feature a signature on-site public market. The mobile Farmer’s Market will exclusively serve the 11 Hilltop neighborhoods. 


Work Completed To Date:  

In summer 2017, the Hilltop Alliance completed the first stage of soil rebuilding at Hilltop Urban Farm, including clearing farming acres, tilling in 567 cubic yards of organic compost and planting organic cover crop rotations. These cover crops were rotated to summer cover crops in April 2018. In 2017, 93 volunteers completed $10,000 of work at three fall volunteer events at Hilltop Urban Farm. In spring 2018, neighborhood-based general contractor, Go Supreme, installed 1,000 feet of mainline irrigation, 3 water taps, erected 1,000 linear feet of deer fencing and a situated shipping container for the Youth Farm. At a volunteer day in May, 47 fruit trees were planted to establish the Youth Orchard with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. Three pollinator gardens were planted through a Feed a Bee Allegheny County Conservation grant. In April 2018, the website launched at www.HilltopUrbanFarm.org. So far in 2018, 76 volunteers have completed $9,400 of work at four volunteer events. Monthly volunteer work days are scheduled for July 14, August 11, September 15 and October 13, from 9am to 12pm. A community tour of the Hilltop Urban Farm progress hosted 45 participants in June.   


Visit www.HilltopUrbanFarm.org to learn more!!   

Posted by Sarah Baxendell







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