AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES
harding Street urban ag center
453 Harding Street, Petersburg, VA 23803
Indoor Farm in Petersburg, VA dedicated to increasing access to healthy food and poverty mitigation. Harding St. Urban Ag Center is funded by USDA-NIFA at Virginia State University.
To address the existing food deserts in the City of Petersburg, Virginia communities, Virginia State University in collaboration with the City of Petersburg and the Depart of Social Services propose to build a sustainable food production system and distribution hub. Other goals include researching the effectiveness of innovative methods of indoor production, sustainable environmental, and energy practices. In addition to production research an educational program will be developed centered around training citizens, in operations, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
The specific objectives of the project are as follows:
- Convert an abandoned/underutilized structure into a year round indoor production system within the historic downtown Petersburg, VA.
- Develop a system of mobile farmer’s market units to deliver fresh produce to underserved communities.
- Develop and conduct educational programming in urban agriculture, marketing, nutrition and entrepreneurship.
The long-ranch goals of this project are to make the center a self-sustainable business for the city of Petersburg. Once established the center will have the potential to market produce in a greater capacity than the existing farmer’s market. The educational programs will establish a centralized community help center for both citizens and researchers. Impacts include the following:
- Revitalization of a Historic Downtown Petersburg property.
- Lower the number of Petersburg Citizens that do not have access to a food hub by 50%.
- Increase the number of Petersburg Citizens exposure to nutritional education [1000 each year]
- Change eating habits of Petersburg Citizens by 50%
- Train 200 Youth to be Entrepreneurs.
- Create 5 full-time employment positions.
- Contribute to the economic base of Petersburg.
DR. MARCUS COMER
Extension Specialist, Natural Resources
Phone: (804) 524-5467