Urban Roots Farm is more or less three years old. I (Jack) started growing vegetables on urban plots while working as a cook, then began marketing specialty produce to chefs, then took a brief segue to consider growing vegetables exclusively for a partner restaurant, and eventually realized that I wanted start a farm and and stop cooking.
In 2015-16, we farmed about two acres on a school in the Philadelphia Suburbs and sold produce to restaurants. In 2016 we added a local farmer’s market, (the Farm to City Bryn Mawr Market). Last year we moved the farm to a larger and more suitable location, also about 35-40 minutes outside of Philadelphia.
Now we are going into our second season on this amazing new site in Newtown Square, PA. We farm 12.5 acres and three high tunnels with raised beds and three tractors. We still sell most of the produce to restaurants and still attend the Bryn Mawr Market on Saturdays. We will add a smallish, on-site only CSA to take advantage of the many folks who already on the site for other agriculturally-inclined programs.
We’re not certified organic, but we grow everything according to organic standards, and we attempt to get most of our organic matter and fertility inputs from cover crops and manure generated on site (there’s a 4H program right next to us).
We still grow almost entirely vegetables, but we’re happy to have our first quarter acre of strawberries coming into production this year, and want to incorporate more diversity like perennial fruit and flowers over time. I won’t say never, but especially since this great 4H program is right here on site, we probably won’t get into any animals.