The New Castle Conservation District (CD) provided support and training to urban farmers, community gardeners and home growers in northern Delaware. The Urban Agriculture Coordinator (UAC) created and facilitated the Grow It Yourself (GIY) gardening series in partnership with the Rose Hill Community Center. This gardening education program focused on sustainable, low-cost container gardening for adults looking to grow their own food. GIY encouraged people who thought they couldn’t to try growing their own produce and brought people together to talk about gardening and their food system. The district was able to reach new audiences and build an understanding of its mission in new communities.
With the help of the Urban Ag Coordinator and district cost- share funds, the district was able to provide over $12,000 of mini-grant funding to community-led urban agriculture projects across the county, including community garden improvements, a youth education program and a farmers market.
During the year, the UAC also served as the Communications Coordinator for the Delaware Urban Farm and Food Coalition (DEUFFC). In this role, the UAC helped to coordinate the 2018 Urban Ag Session of Delaware Ag Week, the only urban-focused event during Delaware’s Ag Week. The UAC also created a bi-weekly newsletter to promote coalition member events, increasing the visibility and reach of the DEUFFC.
This project helped create a niche for the district in the urban ag world and helped to bring the district’s voice in a new way to conversations around food, agriculture and sustainability in Delaware.
Because of the positive outcomes of these new urban agriculture projects, the district will be using money from its general fund to support the activities of the UAC in the 2018-2019 program year. The 2017-2018 UAC will train the new UAC and share the documentation created over the course of this grant to ensure a smooth transition from one UAC to another.