What is Occupy Vacant Lots?
Originally conceived as Philly Food Forests, manifested as Mercy Emily Edible Park, the Occupy movement of October-November 2011 generated enough passion amongst residents of Philadelphia (and surrounding counties) to create Occupy Vacant Lots. We envision a future Philadelphia where every vacant lot is a free food-producing space, community orchard/ food forest, community park space, beautiful flower garden, or some variation thereof. Access to fresh, free food will take us to the next step of self-sufficiency & break us from the cycle of dependency we have on the government & fossil fuel-guzzling corporate food system.
We want to act hand-in-hand with pre-existing community organizations, resident activists, children, religious & educational institutions, & every individual in this city tirelessly working towards these same goals. If we combine minds, hearts, & resources we won’t have to wait around anymore for someone else to make the change.
Want to take Occupy Vacant Lots to your own neighborhood? Download [this flyer] as you reach out to people in your own neighborhood. Also [available in Spanish]. Write us at occupyvacantlots @ gmail.com or on Facebook: Occupy Vacant Lots. And be sure to watch this video, taken at our first work party – Occupy 2.0: Occupy Vacant Lots
Since Dec 5, 2011, we’ve had several work parties. A map with these sites and other sites we’re setting our sight on can be found on this public Google map Occupy Vacant Lots. If you’re in Philadelphia, and have a vacant lot within walking distance that you’d like to garden on, please, write us or add to this map.
– Public Property Listings | phila.gov/publicproperty/listings
– City-owned Properties, as a list | phila.gov/pdfs/propertyinventory.pdf
– City-owned properties, as a map | Google map City-owned Vacant Lots
- Compost – Fairmount Park Recycling Center offers finished leaf compost to residents. Go with a car full of buckets and load up!
- Seeds – Landreth Seeds is local & has heirloom seeds, Seeds of Change comes recommended, as is Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in Virginia with much the same climate as us.
- Skids & crates – Free assorted size and condition wood skids and wood crates available on regular basis at Fitness Exchange, 1004 Ridge Pike, Conshohocken, PA 19428. Next to Ridge Lumber. If interested please check in at store when you arrive and if you pick through what’s there leave the piles neat and stacked.
- Soil testing – UMass Soil Testing Lab comes recommended by area farmers
- Tools – City of Philadelphia’s Community Partnership Program loans tools & supplies for neighborhood cleanup.
- Trees – for spring 2012 planting, see inventory from Center for Regenerative Ecology
- Woodchips – good for garden paths from any local landscaper such as Bartletts Tree Service | John | 610.331.1552
- Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land, a program of Women’s Community Revitalization Project
- Greensgrow Farm
- The Homegrown Institute, Springing Good Intentions into Action
- New Growth Project | cultivating change, connecting community | repurposing vacant lots into urban farms, connecting growers into a viable food system and enhancing people’s connections to their health and their food source
- PASA’s Land Leasing Program connecting Farmers & Landowners in SE Pennsylvania
- Philly Food Forests
- PRooF | Philadelphia Rooftop Farms | transforming Philadelphia’s flat roofs into viable organic farmland
- Urban Tree Connection | building community, one vacant lot at a time
- Fridays at the Farm – drool over these veggies to get you out in the garden!
- Permaculture Groups and Government Influence – tell the government what you want by doing it
- A Subversive Plot: How to Grow a Revolution in Your Own Backyard (or neighboring vacant lot!) – people taking a hands-on approach to re-localizing the global food supply.