Urban Tilth collaborated with Crestmont Parent Co-op and Adams Middle School to create the AdamsCrest Urban Farm on an unused corner of an open field at Adams Middle School, just off Arlington Blvd. in Richmond Heights. We broke ground in October of 2008.
The site is divided into two sections—the Crestmont Educational Garden and the Urban Tilth/Richmond High School and Iron Triangle Market Garden. Although we manage the sites independently, we find that having more groups involved helps all of the sites. We share some resources such as knowledge, mulch, extra compost, tools, starts, and long-term planning.
The Urban Tilth Market Garden consists of 8, 2 x 60 foot rows and 1 1×60 foot rows. We sheet mulched the entire site and imported planting mix to get a quick start on our growing season and suppress weeds. Our section is set up on drip irrigation using drip tape which we connect manually via a quick coupler to the school’s irrigation system. We direct seed using an Earthway seeder.
This market garden is currently the main production site for the Richmond High School Urban Agriculture and Food Systems class. It’s the ideal size for us to develop more experience with market garden techniques. We hope that it will become a model which can be expanded and replicated at schools or other open spaces throughout west County. We expect to grow 1,000 pounds of produce at this site in 2009.
In the winter we grew mainly lettuce, radishes, cilantro, arugula, snow peas. Our spring/summer crops include tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, beets, onions, and carrots. We have one row of perennial purple tree collards which are mainly feeding deer at this point. We have begun to plant insectary plants such as dill, alyssum, and yarrow in the row ends to create beneficial insect habitat.
Unfortunately, Adams middle school closed in June 2009. We are currently working with a group of Crestmont parents and local residents to develop a plan to retain use of the field and expand the AdamsCrest Urban Farm. Click here for pictures.