A nonprofit community building organization in Pittsburgh is taking the idea of an urban farm to a more homey level. According to Fast Company, Hilltop Alliance is working on a housing complex that includes a 23-acre farm.
The farm includes community gardens, greenhouses, incubator plots, orchards, a farmers’ market and a farm dedicated to educating youth. The rest of the fields will be used to grow produce that will be delivered to the residents of the complex as well as citizens of the city. Houses will be in the center of the farming plots.
Hilltop Alliance chose to build the farm and housing complex in Pittsburgh’s St. Clair neighborhood, where a previous housing project was torn down in 2009. Fast Company reports that the area is currently filled with empty lots, is a food desert and has struggled with poverty with many of the residents not owning cars. The Alliance hopes to change that with the farm by bringing business to the area, making housing affordable and feeding and educating the surrounding community and schools. To add to the list of perks, trees will be planted in hilly parts of the neighborhood to do what trees do best: absorb pollution and emit oxygen.
While the nonprofit is currently working with the city’s Housing Authority to prep the area for construction, soil is being prepped with cover crops and could start yielding produce as early as summer 2018.