A Garden Rooted in History

Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

Last weekend, I visited Bartram’s Garden located along the Schuylkill River in West Philly.  Named after the first American botanist John Bartram (1699-1777), the garden is a 45-acre National Historic Landmark with several historic buildings, a stone apple press, a nursery, orchard, and meadow.

Bartram-House-Spring

Bartram House

After walking through the gardens, I discovered the new Community Farm and Food Resource Center, a project started last fall by the Penn Netter Center’s Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (AUNI) in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Bartram’s Garden, and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.

Community Farm and Food Resource Center

Community Farm and Food Resource Center

As described in an article by Penn News, the Community Farm and Food Resource Center is,  “based on Penn’s nationally-renowned university-assisted community schools model. AUNI’s ecological approach to nutrition education includes rich hands-on experiences — like the Farm/Center at Bartram’s — where local high school students can grow, cook, consume, and sell healthy fruits and vegetables, and in turn bring affordable and nutritious food to their families and communities, along with healthy change.”  After one season of planting, growth and harvesting, the 3.5 acre farm had a very successful crop.  Just last week, students and community members sold fruit and vegetables along 54th and Lindbergh Avenues at the entrance of Bartram’s Garden.  These photos were featured on AUNI’s Facebook page.

AUNI's Farm Stand at the entrance of Bartram's Garden

AUNI’s Farm Stand at the entrance of Bartram’s Garden

Selling produce grown at the Community Farm

Selling produce grown at the Community Farm

Participants in the Community Farm and Resource Center Program

Participants in the Community Farm and Food Resource Center at Bartram’s Garden

Just a John Bartram inspired cultivation, education, and abundant growth through his gardens, the Community Farm and Food Resource Center is cultivating the next generation of farmers in West Philadelphia. Keep up to date with activities at the farm and the Urban Nutrition Initiative by checking out AUNI’s website and social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube).

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