Greetings!

Hello everyone!

I’m Rachel, the newest addition to the Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC) as an AmeriCorps VISTA with SERVE Philly. I just recently graduated from Temple University’s Environmental Studies program.

Welcome to my first FPAC blog update!

I am very fortunate to be taking over for Hannah Chatterjee, the previous FPAC AmeriCorps VSITA.  Thanks to Hannah’s marvelous organizational skills, my transition into the office has been quite painless.  We are expecting Hannah to return to the office in the fall, with the help of several grants, so stay tuned for more information.

I’m settling into my AmeriCorps VISTA term of service in the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS) as the FPAC Outreach Coordinator.  As the coordinator of FPAC, part of my job is to share and discuss happenings within the Council, as well as other food related news and events.

Over the next year, I will be helping to keep the blog updated. Anything related to food, sustainability, and Philadelphia is fair game, so check back regularly!  We want FPAC to be your go-to source on food topics and to encourage the discussion of food related issues.

During my first week at work, I had the opportunity to spend a day out of the office (yay!) and in the field with FarmPhilly Program Coordinator Annie Preston. FarmPhilly is Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s urban agriculture program. Annie took me to a bunch of community gardens and recreation centers in North Philly, where we checked on the status of gardens and chatted with kids participating in summer programs.  I decided it would be a good idea to bring my camera out for the adventure, so check out the photos below.

 

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Welcome to McVeigh garden.

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 ‘CAUTION: Beehives’ at Teens 4 Good Community Garden, 8th and Poplar

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Tiger lilies and grape vines at Hunting Park Community Garden.

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Hidden watermelon at the Rivera inter-generational garden at the Mann older adult’s center.

Later in the afternoon, Annie and I sat down to talk about soil safety in the city. FPAC’s Vacant Land Subcommittee has been working to produce a soil safety guide that outlines best practices for gardeners in the city, to encourage safe and healthy gardening. A first step in any soil safety assessment is conducting a site history .  Check out some of these cool mapping tools and learn about the history of different parcels in the city.

http://www.philageohistory.org/

http://www.phila.gov/zoningarchive/

Keep your eyes peeled for soil safety recommendations from the Vacant Land Subcommittee soon!


Rachel Passman
FPAC Coordinator
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