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Philadelphia: More than 100 farmers, gardeners, and fresh food advocates testify about the importance of urban agriculture

Friday, September 30, 2016 5:58
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Malaika Reid, a backyard chicken farmer from West Philly, with her daughter in May, 2016. Photo: Charles Mostoller

Decades-old community gardens facing eviction. Residents fined by law enforcement for raising chickens in their backyard. Neighborhoods where the only food for sale is junk at a corner poppy shop.

By Sam Newhouse
Sept 22, 2016


City Councilman Al Taubenberger called the hearing under a resolution to explore supporting urban agriculture around Philadelphia, and said it remains to be seen if any new legislation will arise from the hearing. More hearings will be scheduled to explore the possibilities of vertical or controlled-environment farming.

“This was to help the hobbyist, the nonprofits, those who are bringing neighborhoods together,” he said. “It is also to continue the heritage of Philadelphia as being an epicenter of agriculture, which has long been forgotten.”

But some of the positive effects of urban farming and gardening surprised him. One woman told him she keeps a garden in Kensington to try to deter criminal activity.

“That is news to me,” Taubenberger said, “but I get it.”

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