Oct. 24 was National Food Day, and here in Philadelphia, plenty of local organizations took advantage of the opportunity to share their goal of planting seeds in this city. of the participants hosting the day’s events included [JH1] the Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild, the Health Promotion Council, the Chester County Food Bank, the School District of Philadelphia, the SHARE Food Program the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Widener University, Davio’s Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Department of Health, Fork restaurant, and Cichetteria 19.
I made it out to two events on Monday. first was a harvesting event held at Share Nice Roots Farm, located at the SHARE Food Program at 2901 W. Hunting Park Ave. It was the perfect time of year and the perfect weather for an outdoor activity like picking crops, and I couldn’t wait to arrive at the garden or field of pumpkins and squash that I anticipated. The location is actually a warehouse, across the street from Mercy Vocational High School and near the Tastykake Factory. I arrived at a parking lot with the SHARE logo on a food truck and a warehouse of volunteers with boxes of food.
I learned that many people pass by this farm that sells nearly everything but milk, as they think it is only a warehouse, missing the beehives on the roof and the garden at the far end of the parking lot. Only 10 minutes from Drexel University, the SHARE Food Program harvests its own honey. I was given a SHARE menu and order form, which has package descriptions and prices for food packages including fresh farm asparagus, rhubarb, peas, scallions, cabbage, spinach, onions, potatoes and Swiss chard in one package all for $15. Other packages include seasoned chicken, turkey, beef, pork sausage, eggs, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and shelf-stable items all for $20. Anyone, regardless of household income, can purchase packages from SHARE. More information can be found on their website at www.sharefoodprogram.org.
After my visit at SHARE Food Program, I made it to the PHS Pops Up Garden at 20th and Market street. It was Food Day at the Garden in honor of National Food Day, and also PHS Pops Up Garden’s last day at that location. If you have seen the vacant lot on the corner of 20th and Market that has been used as a garden since May 2011, you know what I’m talking about.
The garden opened in mid-June and produced 600 pounds of food, welcomed 6,000 visitors, involved 150 volunteers, and presented 30 gardening and children’s programs. Partnered with six chefs, the organization also released 10,000 ladybugs, housed 150,000 honeybees and hosted Tai Chi and yoga classes, class trips, movie nights and countless lunch dates.. The PHS City Harvest program has also grown more than 12,000 pounds of vegetables in 45 community gardens across the city and provides fresh produce for 1,000 families in need each week during growing season.
Food Day Philadelphia is being celebrated with unique events from Oct. 15 to Oct. 29. A list of events is available at food.visitphilly.com/foodday.