Farmers, Gardeners and Advocates
Request to join our mailing list, contact Jamie.Bruno@plantseedsofhope.org
It is long overdue that the various independent, self-starter, and knowledgeable Newark Urban Farmers came together into a network with real purpose and efficacy to shape policy that effects their work- an Urban Farm Alliance! This Alliance is and open group available to all of our urban farmers and gardeners, as well as environmentalists, policy makers, and others who want to support a greener city with a better food system. From large farms within big non-profit community organizations, all the way to tiny school gardens, to volunteers or users of a single garden plot. Together we are identifying issues and challenges, as well as opportunities to learn from each other and interact with local institutions.
Below is the calling card from our very first meeting, as well as the notes that we developed then (2015!)
What can a network such as this do? Here are some of the ideas from the first meeting Saturday December 12, 2015:
- Create a planning and policy identity and presence – A single unique urban farm is important to its small neighborhood; Urban Farms as a total group are an indispensable part of the land use pattern of a sustainable, safe and healthy Newark
- Articulate, discuss and actualize shared goals of many or all of the urban farms – not limited to:
- Growing healthy food and providing food access
- Education and exposure to food and nature
- Spaces of peace, compassion and inclusive community
- Basis for grass-roots entrepreneurship
- Articulate, discuss and solve shared challenges of many or all of the urban farms – not limited to:
- Land tenure
- Quality control of soil and food
- Safety, litter, parking and other public realm concerns
- Logistics and sales of locally grown food, soil, etc.
- Labor needs
- Specifically assess the viability of and likely pursue both a Community Land Trust (a non-profit entity designed to preserve land for the common good of the community) and a Co-operative Business (an entity that is collectively owned and operated by its members for mutual benefit)
- Begin to focus our Alliance on how to help each other – including work together on specific projects, collecting better data, acquiring supplies in bulk, etc. – so we can help each neighborhood, and in turn help the City of Newark as a whole.