Jones Valley Urban Farm: Reconnecting People to Food

Written by Christine Bell, WhyHunger Intern

This post is part of WhyHunger’s peer mentor profile series for the “Community Learning Project for Food Justice” (CLP).  Each week through April 2012 we’ll highlight a new CLP peer mentor and their contribution to creating a national learning/teaching community to support the growth and expansion of the food justice movement.

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Jones Valley Urban Farm began in 2001 as a project to bring urban agriculture to downtown Birmingham.  What others saw as a liability in the form of vacant lots, founder Edwin Marty saw as untapped assets for the city and the opportunity for the city to celebrate itself and its rich and diverse history.  Since its beginning, the Jones Valley Urban Farm has worked to bring farming into the city of Birmingham, run educational programs for schools, and provide community outreach.

Today, Jones Valley Urban Farm operates four sites throughout the city of Birmingham, selling produce to local restaurants, at farmers markets and Whole Foods, and through their CSA program.  To increase community awareness of local food systems, Jones Valley Urban Farm runs a variety of on-site workshops and trainings on topics ranging from organic farming techniques to healthy living.

In conjunction with the Alabama School of Fine Arts, Jones Valley runs a state accredited science program known as ASAP, allowing high school students to learn science through the practical applications of agriculture.  Younger Children can experience education at the Jones Valley Urban Farm through the Seed 2 Plate, Foodie Camp, and Seedling Pre- School programs, giving urban youth the opportunity to explore where their food comes and how it gets to their dinner plates.

WhyHunger is proud to be working with Jones Valley Urban Farm as one of 15 peer mentors participating in the www..  www. to learn more about the Community Learning Project for Food Justice and this year’s crop of peer mentors.

Lorrie Clevenger