We were founded in 2007 by a group of new neighborhood residents committed to environmental sustainability and social justice. They first worked out the intersection of these commitments by building and maintaining a small community garden on vacant city land. The site was named Franklinton Gardens and provided space to care for the land, grow food, and build relationships with long-term neighborhood residents.
As the organizers listened to the stories of others, they began to understand how difficult it was to access healthy foods—in particular, fresh fruits and vegetables—in Franklinton. In response, they acquired more vacant land, grew more food, and shared more broadly with their neighbors. The outcome was a multi-acre network of food production sites scattered throughout the neighborhood’s urban landscape.
In time, the evolving collective became aware of other economic, environmental, and social challenges regularly experienced by their neighbors in Franklinton. This led them to expand into broader food systems work as a way to create equity and build resilience in Franklinton. More than a decade from its start, Franklinton Farms continues to work with neighbors and community partners to build a farm and local food system that improves food security, provides economic opportunity, and supports healthy futures for all.
Franklinton Farms is a nonprofit urban farm dedicated to growing and sharing food, creating beauty, and building community with our neighbors.
It is difficult to access healthy food options in Franklinton. As a result, the neighborhood has some of the city’s highest rates of nutrition-related chronic health issues and infant mortality. We utilize urban farming and neighborhood distribution programs to improve food security and support healthy futures for our neighbors.
In spite of ongoing redevelopment efforts, Franklinton still shows the effects of decades of divestment. It is most visible in the hundreds of blighted structures and vacant lots scattered throughout the neighborhood. We use bio-intensive agriculture to transform these neglected spaces into colorful foodscapes filled with uniquely-shaped high tunnels, orderly production rows, perennial flowers, beneficial insects, pollinators, and other wildlife.
Franklinton is a rapidly diversifying community with deep Appalachian roots. Unfortunately, many of our neighbors live below the poverty line and experience severe economic, environmental, and social challenges. We use urban farming and food systems work to connect with our neighbors, overcome injustice, and build equitable community for all.
We believe that sustainable agriculture and good food have the power to transform. We envision a neighborhood and food system that respects the land, values all people, and celebrates community. Our work is guided by four organizational goals:
Create a farm and local food system that provide good food for all.
Care for the land and improve the environmental strength of our neighborhood.
Contribute to a local economy that offers good jobs and fair pay for our neighbors.
Collaborate to build a community that values and includes all people.
“The connectivity that my food brought me to my community was tangible.”
Rebecca Brown, CSA Member
Executive Director/VISTA Supervisor
Jean Paul Pompeo
Farm Construction & Design Systems (VISTA)
Education & Outreach (VISTA)
Produce Distribution Coordinator (VISTA)
Franklinton Community Solar