January 2014: Urban Adamah by Sarah Schmitt, CFJC Intern

The following is from an interview with Kat Morgan, Office and Special Programs Manager at Urban Adamah

 Urban Adamah is a community urban farm located on a one acre lot in West Berkeley. Surrounded by restaurants, office buildings, mechanics, and shops, the farm stands out as a place of greenery and sustenance where community members can volunteer a hand in tending the land, spend time together and receive healthy food. The farm has raised beds that currently support the growth of lettuce, kale, peas, bok choy, chards and other vegetables. The farm is home to chickens, three friendly goats and thousands of bees. Two greenhouses, one used for seeding and the other for aquaponics, are located in the back left corner of the farm.

The organization has nine staff members and plenty of helpers to take care of the land. Three groups of 12-14 young adults work on the farm as part of a residential fellowship program in the spring, summer and fall. The fellowship program is a community training urban agriculture program where the fellows practice progressive Jewish living, learn urban agriculture techniques, and spend time once a week interning at other food justice organizations. Urban Adamah also runs educational programs in environmental stewardship and growing food for school-age children through summer camp and Hebrew school on the farm programs. Other programs are open to the public and include volunteer work days, workshops, and events held to celebrate Jewish agricultural holidays.

Urban Adamah donates 90% of everything grown on the farm through the weekly farm stand and weekly donations to LifeLong Medical Care. On Tuesdays, food is donated to LifeLong Medical Care, a medical facility for people with low income or those that do not have health insurance. On Wednesdays, food is donated to residents of Urban Adamah’s surrounding community at the weekly farm stand. Through word of mouth, farm stand attendance has grown to about 45-80 people each week. On top of the produce harvested each week, Urban Adamah receives food donations from partners in the community to give away at the farm stand. Every week, The Acme Bread Company donates bread, Whole Foods Market donates milk and on January 8th Peet’s Coffee and Tea donated tea.

Due to the success of the farm stand over the past three years, Urban Adamah has made changes and supported additions to the farm stand using input from farm stand goers. A new system for handing out food, the addition of a free market table for community members to donate clothing and other material items, and a weekly yoga class for farm stand attendees have contributed to the evolution of the farm stand. Resultantly, those lining up for the farm

stand receive food in a manner that is agreed upon and the free market and yoga classes provide ways to engage in the farm beyond receiving food donations. It is important to Urban Adamah to have the farm stand and associated activities reflect the wants and opinions of the community members they serve.

For more information visit, http://urbanadamah.org.

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CFJC promotes the basic human right to healthy food while advancing social, agricultural, environmental and economic justice. Through advocacy, organizing and education, we collaborate with community-based efforts to create a sustainable food supply. We envision a food system in which all activities, from farm to table, are equitable, healthful, regenerative and community-driven.

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