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. 

453 Harding Street

Petersburg, VA 23803

Project Summary

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.

Objectives

The specific objectives of the project are as follows:

  1. Convert an abandoned/underutilized structure into a year round indoor production system within the historic downtown Petersburg, VA.
  2. Develop a system of mobile farmer’s market units to deliver fresh produce to underserved communities.
  3. Develop and conduct educational programming in urban agriculture, marketing, nutrition and entrepreneurship.

Impacts

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:

  1. Revitalization of a Historic Downtown Petersburg property.
  2. Lower the number of Petersburg Citizens that do not have access to a food hub by 50%.
  3. Increase the number of Petersburg Citizens exposure to nutritional education [1000 each year]
  4. Change eating habits of Petersburg Citizens by 50%
  5. Train 200 Youth to be Entrepreneurs.
  6. Create 5 full-time employment positions.
  7. Contribute to the economic base of Petersburg.

DR. MARCUS COMER

Extension Specialist, Natural Resources

Phone: (804) 524-5467

Email: mcomer@vsu.edu


Pamela Bingham

Director of Harding St. Urban Agriculture Center

Phone: (301) 661-2061