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The Urban Farm is Growing!
posted in Progress, Urban Farm // 04/05/16

It has been a year since we’ve last updated you on what’s going on at the Urban Farm, and we’re happy to say it’s been nothing less than busy for the Atlanta BeltLine’s first agricultural site.

Located in the Adair Park neighborhood, the Urban Farm is focused on becoming a resource for community members and visitors along the Westside Trail once it becomes open to the public. Since its construction in 2014, the farm has been coming together in phases, and with two years under its belt, the work from the farm’s early stages are beginning to come into the picture.

When Andrea Ness and Andy Friedberg came on board last year to help run the farm, they began preparing the soil to ensure nutrient-rich crops would grow. This process involved a lot of planting of cover crop to help remediate the soil. The soil has since matured and provides the perfect foundation to begin their spring and summer crops.

Urban Farm Tomatoes

Early stages of tomato transplants that will be used in the garden and sold to local restaurants.

The farm has also benefited from the new infrastructures around the site. A well and pump were installed, and the farmers built a well house to keep the pump sheltered and insulated. Before spring planting begins, Ness and Friedberg are planning on setting up an irrigation system and building a wash station to clean the vegetables.

With so much going on at the farm, the farmers are excited about the growing partnership with the local compost organization Compostwheels.  The farmers are working to turn the several tons of food waste that Compostwheels picks up from around the community into nutrient-rich compost they can use. Through this collaboration, the farmers will be able to increase the fertility on their fields in order to grow more vegetables. The compost is a key component in being able to grow fresh food for years to come.

As far as what’s growing around the farm, our farmers say multiple transplants are ready to go out into the field as well as be sold for use in outside gardens. They’ve also grown microgreens to be sold to local restaurants where they’ll be used to bring flavor to dishes or for decoration. Soon, spring crops will accompany these plants. By May, the farm will be filled with kale, collards, summer squash, peppers, okra, and so much more. Among all the bountiful fruits, vegetables, and other greens, the farmers hope to include flower plants to attract pollinators and sell in bouquets.

Urban Farm Beet Microgreens

Microgreens growing in the Urban Farm Greenhouse.

Urban Farm Lettuce

Lettuce transplants that will eventually be moved into the field.

Urban Farm Kale

Growing transplants like the kale ones above help shorten the time by several weeks between planting and harvest.

As Westside Trail construction continues to bring the southwestern section of the corridor closer to completion, other projects in the area like the Urban Farm will come together as well. Stay tuned for more updates!

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