Berks, Chester Groups Earn Urban Agriculture Grants

HARRISBURG PA – Two organizations, in Berks and Chester counties respectively, were among 20 recipients Tuesday (Jan. 10, 2023) of about $520,000 in Pennsylvania urban agriculture grants. They represent investments in small businesses helping to grow the state’s agricultural infrastructure and eliminate food deserts, the state Agriculture Department announced at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Grant winners included the:

  • Berks County Conservation District, $10,000, to provide additional training opportunities through its container garden (at top) program, and also provide soil testing for heavy metals and nutrients; and
  • Chester County Intermediate Unit, $2,125, to buy shade canopies and composting equipment for an educational horticulture program.

Food production in cities – from rooftop or vacant plot gardens, to vertical or indoor farming – is a focal point for the roughly $520,000 in grants awarded. The goal is to offer fresh, healthy foods in urban areas where access to food is limited. It also allows young Pennsylvanians to explore agriculture and its career opportunities, according to the department.

Applicants are eligible for up to $2,500 in micro-grant funds, or up to $50,000 in collaboration grant funds. Eligible projects involve expanding operations, site design, or planning to create community gardens, implementing aquaponic and hydroponic facilities, and cold storage expansion.

Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Farm Show

Local news from the 2023 Pennsylvania Farm Show:

PA Farm Show All About The Kids, and Their Future
With 7 photos. Kids were all over, around, and into everything on display at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. That’s exactly what organizers hoped for. The show introduced many to the concept of farming for the first time, possibly with lasting results.

State Assists Farmers Transitioning to Organics
Dozens of certified organic farmers are located in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties, included in more than 1,000 statewide. Pennsylvania on Friday issued $1.8 million in grant money to help farmers who are interested in certification.

Berks, Chester Groups Earn Urban Agriculture Grants
More than $520,000 in small urban agriculture grants was distributed during the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Among the winners were Berks and Chester counties’ groups helping to increase farming in rooftop containers and vacant plots.