Urban Farming Thrives In New Haven, Other Cities

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Throughout New Haven, there are eight robust urban farms providing fresh vegetables to residents, including one tucked away on James Street in the city’s Fair Haven section.

At the half-acre farm, Jacqueline Maisonpierre, a master gardener, and her team grow tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, squash and eggplants. The produce is distributed in the city through the Fair Haven Health Clinic and local farmers’ markets, including one that operates weekly on Front Street, along the banks of the Quinnipiac River.

The land was provided free by a private company that had additional vacant space next to its parking lot, said Evan Trachten, acquisition and disposition coordinator of the Livable City Initiative.

“It’s not the size that matters. It’s the farm’s output,” Trachten said. Farming there started in 2012 and “has grown each year.”

In August, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy encouraged consumers to purchase “locally-grown, health food at their neighborhood farmers’ markets.”

“Many low-income residents who live in urban areas frequently have difficulty finding quality, nutritious fruits and vegetables in their neighborhoods,” he said in a press release.

“It’s important to remind residents about all the options available and the growing number of farmers’ markets in communities through the state, including urban neighborhoods in New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport, Meriden and Middletown,” the governor added.

There are about 125 farmers’ markets in Connecticut and many accept SNAP benefits.  A complete list of farmers’ markets in the state is available on the Department of Agriculture’s website at www.CTGrown.gov.


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