Supporting Urban Gardening

There are a few things that we like at The Urban Farmhouse:

  1. Good Coffee
  2. Good Food
  3. Good Coffee and Food that’s healthy and responsibly grown
  4. Good Coffee and Food that’s fresh
  5. Wearing Black

Numbers 1 and 5 may make us seem like coffee shop hipsters, and to be truthful, there are a fair number of Farmhands that sport body art, piercings and creative facial hair, but it’s who we are.  But we’re fortunate to be able to combine our loves with our work here at The Urban Farmhouse.

That kind of makes us sound like missionaries or something: “Our Work.”

Well, we kind of are missionaries.  Our mission is to provide folks who visit us with food, drinks, and merchandise that represents the finest that Mother Earth can provide.  And to try to do it as locally as possible.  When we use Bearer Farm Honey, we’re supporting their efforts to let bees be bees.  We sell biodynamic wines because they’re tasty and the process respects the fields the grapes are grown in.  Local fruits and vegetables are fresher, usually taste better, and support the farms and farmers who pump billions of dollars into Virginia’s economy.  We kind of feel like everyone should have an Urban Farmhouse nearby.  Currently, there are only two neighborhoods that fit that bill, but who knows…..

That’s why we jumped on board to help out some dear friends at Tricycle Gardens.  A short trip from Shockoe Slip, in Richmond’s Manchester district, they created an Urban Farm.  Perfect, right?  It’s very much like an urban oasis – an unused parcel of city space that has been turned into a garden overflowing with fresh food.  What’s truly great about it is that there are many in our cities and towns who don’t really get to experience this.  We’ve talked about it before:  Some people live in “food deserts.”
Tricycle Gardens

There is a certain sense of satisfaction that comes with being at an Urban Farmhouse early in the morning.  When our deliveries show up, we open crates and packages of fresh produce, and honest to goodness, you can smell the freshness.  It smells like earth, sun, sweetness, tartness, and good.  Wine makers call it “terroir.”  You can taste this stuff and smell it and feel like you’re right there where it was grown.  And that’s what Tricycle Gardens brings to folks who are in a food desert.  They can see a bona-fide farm, right in their neighborhood.  They can see things growing, buy produce that was in the earth just moments ago, and eat healthy stuff that they probably haven’t had access to in a while.

Tricycle Gardens also has a tremendous outreach program.  They run classes on growing your own food, on container gardening for apartment dwellers, on composting and worm bins, and they let people participate in the process of making fresh food.  It’s said that if you want to engage someone in something, get them to do it.  Sure, sounds like fun, but until you stick your hands in the earth or bite into a fresh-from-the-vine tomato, you just don’t know.

And here’s the thing – Tricycle Gardens is a non-profit driven almost solely by volunteers.  In about a decade, they’ve used this passion to create almost a dozen gardens around Richmond, a market, and a greenhouse for winter growing.  Our part of the deal is easy.  We combined our logo with theirs, splashed it on some shirts and hoodies, and offered to sell them to whoever wants one.  That pretty girl at the top of the page is Brae.  She’s a Farmhand, and she’s wearing one of the shirts.  The proceeds from each and every sale will help them to grow, to spread that message, and bring some “terroir” to some folks who may have never tasted it.

If you believe in terroir, and want to help us support Tricycle Gardens, stop in The Urban Farmhouse and pick up a hip shirt.  You can also shop online here.  And Thanks.