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5 Farmers, Foragers, and Herbalists Leading Urban Agriculture Revival

They're creating deeper connections with the earth and the community, and reimagining what urban wellness looks like.

The world of urban agriculture has been getting increased national attention lately, from the popularity of TikToking forager Alexis Nikole Nelson (over four million followers!) to the COVID-inspired gardening boom and what folks are calling the “modern renaissance of herbalism.”

In Philadelphia alone, there are more than 400 active community farms and gardens where residents grow their own food and nurture the land. Nearly 70 percent are in neighborhoods that face high poverty rates, have low access to fresh, high-quality food, or are often threatened by construction. And state and city leaders are stepping in to help. Pennsylvania’s Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program funds improvement projects across the Commonwealth, and Ash Richards — Philly’s first-ever urban-ag director — has been spearheading a city-backed plan to preserve food-growing spaces since 2019.

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