Grantee of the Month: Garfield Community Farm

Grantee of the Month

Every year, TRCF awards grants to organizations that support our mission of social change and justice for all.  Each month we highlight one of these organizations and current projects on which they are working.

Featured Grantee for March, 2011:  Garfield Community Farm (GCF)

The Garfield Community Farm seeks to learn, teach, and practice organic gardening and farming in the places that have been neglected and abandoned in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Garfield.

Formed in 2008 by a group from The Open Door Presbyterian Church, the GCF aimed to do organic gardening on abandoned and unused land in East Liberty and Garfield. The organization started the reclamation of nearly three acres near the water tower in Garfield and two other smaller gardens, and with the help of many community volunteers enjoyed a successful growing season. Their success was not only evident in crops yielded, but in relationships built, connections made with other neighborhood groups, and progress made for future expansion.

Volunteers who would like to get involved and help maintain the garden are welcome every Wednesday from 6:00 until dark. The first Saturday of the month is the Open Hand Garfield Farm Work Day. This is when most of the work on the garden is done and around 50 volunteers from local churches come to help with the garden.  The farm also sells its produce at the Whole Foods Farmer’s Market on select Wednesday nights during the spring, summer, and fall.  Check the website, for more information and a calendar of events.

TRCF gave the Garfield Community Farm a Special Opportunity Grant in 2009 to construct a hoop house, a form of greenhouse, which extended their growing season by almost four months. GCF also received an annual grant to support their internship program, which provides jobs for residents in this blighted neighborhood.