Our new vision for our farm happened as a direct result of the Covid 19 pandemic. Our organization had to pivot some of the things we were doing as far as live events and classes with our youth interns. We knew that we wanted to continue our mission but we had to adapt to these challenging times to be able to provide the community with direct needs.
One of the most important needs to any community is Food. We have been sharing food with the community for over a decade now and it has been both challenging and rewarding work. Since we started our small intercity farm we thought about how could we create a space where we can produce vast amounts of food on a small plot of land. That led us to think of growing food hydroponically.
So we will be upgrading our urban farm located at 19th and East Cherry Street in Seattle by installing a hydroponic “Greenery” or container farm that will give us the capability to grow almost 2 acres of food on a small (320 square foot) footprint of land, with an even smaller carbon footprint. The greatest feature for us is the ability to have fresh, free, organic food all year long. The food lab is housed in a 40 foot container and is a turnkey system. However, we have to prepare the land for delivery, set up and installation which includes grading, utility hookups for water and sewer and a new retaining wall. Additionally, we will be constructing a kitchen, paved gathering area, seating, greenhouse and clay pizza oven.
The process of upgrading the site and learning to farm in the greenery will be incorporated as skill building for our youth interns and also involve community volunteers. We will use the produce from the farm as part of our cooking classes for youth and distribute it via a food share to BIPOC families.
Our new farm mission is to provide a food security oriented, urban farm teaching lab, where young people and the community can learn the various modalities of food growth, harvesting, marketing and distribution through a STEAM focused lens. Our purpose is to be able to create a space that offers essential opportunities for youth to thrive and learn new skills while helping to build community through growing and sharing food with people in need. We are excited about the installation of our high tech hydroponic farm and greenhouse, building an onsite kitchen for cooking classes and creating a community gathering space.