Urban Agriculture
 

Since the late 1990's NCCD has been a partner in assisting urban residents in overcoming obstacles to community gardening and urban agriculture such as soil toxicity, land acquisition, and by developing a mini-grant program where community gardeners and urban farmers can apply for financial assistance. 

 

In 2017, NCCD worked in partnership with:

 

 

and was awarded a grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts as part of their "Urban Agriculture Conservation Initiative."  These funds allowed for the creation of a dedicated urban agriculture staff person and more robust urban agriculture programming.  Since then we have been working to build upon those programs and continue supporting the growing urban agriculture community in New Castle County. 

 

Below you will find more details about the different facets of our work in urban ag. For more information on any of the programs, please email Urban Agriculture Coordinator, Madison Walter at madison.walter@delaware.gov. 

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Tomato freshly picked from the Village Tree Garden in Wilmington, DE.

NCCD tour of 2019 urban ag. grant recipients

 
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Grow It Yourself (GIY)

Grow It Your (GIY) is a two year program where NCCD partners with communities in New Castle County to implement a self-sustaining adult container gardening workshop series. This program utilizes the "Train the Trainer" model to help build capacity amongst local community members to take ownership of their GIY program. 

If your community/church/center/group are interested in bringing GIY to your neighborhood, please contact Madison Walter for more details and schedule a consultation. 

To learn more about where we are currently working make sure to follow us on social media.

In light of COVID-19 we have been working on digitizing some of our GIY workshop class content! Check it out at the links below! 

Small Garden Planning Video Playlist

Container Gardening Basics Playlist

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
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GIY participants harvesting potatos grown in a laundry basket as part of a hands-on demonstration.

Education/

Workshops

NCCD is willing to provide workshops or info talks on a wide range of urban agriculture topics to groups that are actively engaged or just starting in urban ag work, including community gardens. Past topics have included: 

  • Container/Raised Bed Gardening

  • Water Conservation in Vegetable Gardens (including rain barrels)

  • Pollinator Habitat

  • Season Extension 

  • Composting

 

In addition to these "as-needed" workshops we also have a workshop series, Grow It Yourself (see above), and provide one on one meetings/consultations. 

 

Urban Farmer& Gardener Mini Grant Program

Workshop at Rose Hill community center.

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Danette Brock, NCCo Dept. of Community Services, plants lettuce transplants at the Absalom Jones Senior Center, a 2019 mini-grant recipient. 

These grants, part of our Cost Share program, award up to $2000 to help urban growers improve and/or increase the access to local, healthy foods in New Castle County.  This includes many different types of practices at a wide variety of scales. Past projects have included:

  • Rain barrels/cisterns

  • Fencing

  • Garden start ups

  • Acquiring soil and tools

  • Outdoor food prep stations

  • many more!

Applications open at the beginning of each year for projects to be completed in the same calendar year's growing season.  Please check back soon for updates. If you have questions, please email madison.walter@delaware.gov. 

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Congratulations to our 2021 Recipients!

  • Urban Promise Academy - school green space and garden project 

  • Duffy's Hope Youth Garden - regenerative practices and community engagement

  • Resurrection Parish Community Garden - garden expansion 

  • Shepherd Community Garden - garden expansion

  • Kranz Hill Farm/Omnia Humanitas -  manure spreader

  • Conscious Connections Inc. - water cistern

  • West Side Grows, Delamore Place Garden - composting system

  • West Side Grows, Rodney Reservoir Community Garden - raised bed repairs

  • Downtown Visions Community Garden - eco plastic raised beds

  • American Turners of Delaware -new "Sound Mind, Sound Body" garden 

  • The Challenge Program w/ Lulu’s Farm- fencing 

  • The Village Tree- reinforcing garden infrastructure

2019 Mini Grant Awardee- The Village Tree installed a new fence.

2020 Mini Grant Awardee- Our Redeemer Lutheran Church community garden newly installed water tank, pump, and irrigation line. 

2020 Mini Grant Awardee- Downtown Community Garden installed 6 new, eco plastic raised beds and a composting system.

Delaware Urban Farm and Food Coalition (DEUFFC)

NCCD is a proud member of the Delaware Urban Farm and Food Coalition! DEUFFC formed in 2008 to support Wilmington, Delaware’s first urban farm, E.D. Robinson Farm at 12th and Brandywine.  DEUFFC also organized the region’s first urban agriculture summit in 2011 during Delaware’s Ag Week. This summit led to an annual Ag Week event, which is still held today. 

 

The Coalition represents a broad spectrum of individuals all working to support urban agriculture in Northern New Castle County.  Their ongoing  mission is to provide a network of support for community-oriented urban agriculture and community garden projects that seek to expand access to healthy foods in Northern Delaware.  Together members work to achieve its mission through resource sharing, event coordination, networking, partnership, collaboration and community building activities. 

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Low Tunnel Frame_Rodney Res_July 2020

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Tour Group_CCI_August 2020

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Get Involved with DEUFFC!

 

1) Sign Up for the Newsletter

Our monthly e-newsletter is the best way to stay up to date with DEUFFC and it's members. These newsletters container event, opportunities, and interesting articles partners! Sign up to receive our newsletter here

 

2) Follow on Facebook

Share and learn about urban ag opportunities and resources, plus connect with other members! 

3) Attend a Quarterly Meeting

Our quarterly meetings are when the full DEUFFC membership comes together (or via Zoom) to hear updates from the committee, learn about urban ag topics and/or local projects, and share about their current projects. If you are interested in learning more about DEUFFC, this is a great place to start! Check the "Upcoming Events" section below to see when the next one is happening. 

 

4) Join a Committee

Our committees are small working groups that meet monthly to plan, organize, and execute the many projects and events the DEUFFC is working towards. Read below to learn more about each committee. 

  • Community Garden Committee: A standing committee which exists to connect new and existing community gardens to a variety of resources in order to support and sustain their activities. In recent years, the Community Garden Committee have provided one-on-one support to community gardens, has produced and updated the Northern Delaware Community Toolkit (see "Useful Link" below) and hosted "Ready, Set, Grow" a virtual networking and resource fair. To learn more or get involved with this committee please contact Randi Novakoff at rnovakoff@wilmapco.org or  Madison Walter at madison.walter@delaware.gov.  

 

  • Policy Committee: A standing committee which exists to evaluate and improve the way that DEUFFC activities are supported, allowed, and otherwise permitted by political processes. Previously this committee helped introduce a urban agriculture water resolution to Wilmington City Council and is currently working to produce other pieces of legislation that would further support and promote urban agriculture. To learn more or get involved with this committee please contact Andrea Pierce at alpierce@udel.edu or  Madison Walter at madison.walter@delaware.gov.  

Upcoming Events 

  • All Member Quarterly Meeting- 4:00pm/ October 20th, 2021 (via Zoom

  • Policy Committee Meeting - 4:00pm/ September 22nd, 2021 (via Zoom

  • Community Garden Committee Meeting- 5:30pm/ December 2nd, 2021(via Zoom)

  • Urban Ag Session, part of DE Ag Week- 5:30pm/ January 13th, 2022 (more info soon) 

  • Ready, Set, Grow! Resource and Networking Event- March 12th & 26th (more info soon) 

To learn more about upcoming events, contact Urban Agriculture Coordinator, Madison Walter.