Two Urban Agriculture Programs Will Help Bring More Local Food To Central VA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 25, 2017

Contact: Michelle Olgers, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-6964,


VSU to Host Urban Agriculture Field Days in Petersburg and Richmond

An Urban Agriculture Field Day is being held on Thursday, November 2, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Growing Petersburg Garden Project, 535 Beech Street, Petersburg, VA. A second event is being held on Monday, November 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Tricycle Gardens, 2314 Jefferson Ave, Richmond, VA.

“The Urban Agriculture Field Days are an important way to bring stakeholders—urban farmers, gardeners and educators—together to discuss the pertinent issues relevant to urban agriculture,” said Dr. Leonard Githinji, sustainable and urban agriculture specialist, Cooperative Extension at Virginia State University. “Stakeholders will discuss issues such as the best soil and crop management practices, postharvest handling of produce, and produce storage and marketing/distribution, among other topics.”

The events will feature Mike Jackson, president of Think, Then Choose Wisely, a local nonprofit organization aimed at helping young people make better choices; Amy Wildermann, urban farm manager at Tricycle Garden; Dr. Greg Evanylo, professor and extension specialist of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech University; and Dr. Leonard Githinji. Participants will learn how to better manage their soils and crops (fruits and vegetables) for increased production, better methods of postharvest handling, and marketing of produce. They will also learn about some possible sources of government-supported programs to help them apply for resources to support their operations.

“Urban agriculture can help alleviate problems such as food deserts and food insecurity within our communities by increasing urban agriculture production and distribution,” Dr. Githinji said.

In addition to alleviating urban food deserts, urban agriculture helps to make our food as “local” and fresh as possible and decrease the “food miles” associated with long-distance transportation. It provides a wide range of community benefits, including closer neighborhood ties, reduced crime, education and job training opportunities, and healthy food access for low-income residents.

The Field Day events are free and open to the public. To register, visit, click on the day of interest and then click on the registration link.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Agriculture & Natural Resources Program office at (804) 524-5960 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. VSU is an equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.





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