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Situated on previously undeveloped land outside Novick Corporation’s South Philadelphia headquarters, Novick Urban Farm is an education center that yields 20,000 pounds of organic produce annually. Goals include: Teach children the value of nutrition; provide access to these offerings. Host educational field trips for thousands of children from childcare centers and schools each year. Support the local community, in which we work and live, through distribution of produce to food-insecure families. Donate or sell produce to the community, at a low cost, with all proceeds supporting Urban Farm programming. Create community involvement/partnership opportunities, including Farm Apprenticeship/Empowerment Program and Volunteer Opportunities. Trained in skills including sustainable growing, proper food handling and sales tracking, teen and adult members of local refugee communities receive a stipend, gain a support network and leadership skills, as they adjust to life in Philadelphia.
Annually, Novick Urban Farm teaches 3,000 area children about the value of nutrition, while feeding thousands of people in need. The farm has been providing hands on learning to childcare and school programs since 2014, with yearly growth. Through multi sensory learning, children taste an array of produce that they may not otherwise have access to. They explore the various textures, scents and tastes that our herbs and vegetables have to offer. Our raised planting beds give children the opportunity to practice their fine and gross motor skills as they dig, plant and water their own crops. Children learn basic nutritional concepts, plant lifecycles, pollinators and more, depending on the season. Children leave excited to try new healthy foods and experiences that are brought back to the classroom and home.
Expansion in 2016, led to the farm offering in-class lessons to local childcare centers. These lessons are ideal for fall and winter months to expand the education opportunities outside the traditional farming season. We partner with Einstein Health Network to utilize their nutrition education lessons and materials.
Our 1.5 acre property on site employs organic growing practices, and focuses on produce that is culturally relevant to the community. The farm is a collaborative growing project, where expertise is shared across cultures and generations. Apprentices and volunteers include refugees from Burma, Myanmar, Nepal, and various Hispanic cultures.