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Blog
Planting a New Life for the Urban Farm
posted in Progress, Urban Farm, Westside Trail // 04/14/15

The Urban Farm at the Westside Trail now officially  has two farmers: Andy Friedberg and Andrea Ness have partnered to run the Atlanta BeltLine’s first agriculture site, located near the border between the Oakland City, Adair Park, and Capitol View neighborhoods.

Andrea Ness and Andy Friedberg will manage the Urban Farm site at Allene Avenue.

Andrea Ness and Andy Friedberg will manage the Urban Farm site at Allene Avenue.

Plans for the farm include focusing on the site’s potential as a resource for the community and for users of the Atlanta BeltLine. In the short term, the farmers hope to build the soil up so that it will support the most nutrient-rich produce. The focus, at first, will be on growing greens such as arugula and herbs, and some storage crops such as squash and sweet potatoes.

The drainage system at the farm addresses stormwater runoff.

The drainage system at the farm addresses stormwater runoff.

Part of Andy and Andrea’s strategy is to sell quick-turnaround goods to local restaurants and reinvest profits into longer-term production and programming. The ultimate goal, they say, is to build a market garden, and have a farm stand so people in the neighborhood and on the Atlanta BeltLine can come buy fresh produce. They hope to be a resource to the community in terms of food and education. The farmers intend to use sustainable methods to grow the most healthiest, nutrient-rich produce so they can provide the best quality food to the community.

The farmers have started work on raised beds against a backdrop of Westside Trail construction.

The farmers have started work on raised beds against a backdrop of Westside Trail construction.

Andy grew up in Atlanta and has been farming since 2004, but started pursuing it full-time in 2010. He has farmed in various locations in Georgia, as well as Massachusetts, and started his first farm on his own in Stone Mountain. Andrea gained skill and confidence as an apprentice for Green String Farm in California, and has worked on several farms in Georgia, as well. Wanting to be close to the project and part of the community, she is now moving into a house in Adair Park. Both Andrea and Andy are excited about the opportunity to work on the Atlanta BeltLine’s first Urban Farm, and enthusiastic about the communities in southwest Atlanta.

Urban Farm before

The Urban Farm site, before cleanup and soil remediation, was a bus repair facility.

Urban farm before-2

Facing Allene Avenue – before.

IMG_2361_web

Facing Allene Avenue – after. The fig trees were moved for Westside Trail construction and will be re-planted in the farm.

The Urban Farm was once a contaminated site plagued by erosion and depleted soil. The land has since been remediated, and a cover crop established. Now, our farmers can bring the site up to its full potential as a living, breathing part of southwest Atlanta.

Stay tuned for more progress on the Urban Farm!

Join the Discussion

  1. Debbie says:

    Hi, farm looks great in the pictures and I’m glad to see the progress you are making. Just wanted to let you know that I stumbled across the “Beltline Urban Farm” supposedly located smack in the middle of the State Capitol Building on Googlemaps today. Obviously that’s not where you are, so I thought you might want to fix that.

    Reply | August 19, 2015 at 12:52 pm
    • Jenny Pittam says:

      Thanks Debbie! We’re looking into it to fix it. Thanks for sending that along!

      Reply | August 19, 2015 at 3:03 pm
  2. Steve Williams says:

    The Farm also borders The Capitol View Neighborhood. Please mention us as well.
    Thanks

    Reply | April 28, 2016 at 11:35 am
    • Jenny Pittam says:

      Hi Steve – thanks for pointing that out. We’ve added in Capitol View!

      Reply | April 28, 2016 at 3:41 pm
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