Farm Calls: Apple & Peach Trees for an ‘Urban Ag’ Market Garden

This week, Mark Robson – Dean of Ag & Urban Programs – received a query from a community garden manager about expanding their small-scale ‘urban ag’ market garden to include fruit trees. She asked,

“We want to add approximately 12 fruit trees. What varieties of apples and peaches do you recommend for small-scale operations?”

Huerto Romita a urban agriculture project in the La Romita section of Colonia Roma, Mexico City. Photo: Alejandro Linares Garcia

An “Urban Ag” garden demonstrating light limitations and special protection requirements.


Choosing varieties is just one of many steps to growing fruit trees successfully. Let’s work through some of the challenges participants in a community garden will face before getting down to specific variety recommendations.
[Read more…]

Crisis Fatigue and Ag in the Middle

Crisis FatigueFor over a year we’ve been talking about creating a program that would help Ag in the Middle farms better cope with the special problems of farming on the urban fringe. What’s the rub?
[Read more…]

Farm Calls: Health Care Reform and NJ Farms

We’ve said in past articles, “Growers have to know a lot, about a lot” to be successful farming on the urban fringe. Farm operations are affected in innumerable ways by activities on Capitol Hill. Keeping up with the changes is a full time job.  [Read more…]

Yield Expectations for Mixed Stand, Small-Scale Agriculture

Lee Turkey Farm

Wide rows on a u-pick farm provide space for people to make multiple harvests. Plant spacing affects yield.

This month in the Sustaining Farming on the Urban Fringe Briefing we determine realistic yield expectations for mixed stand, small-scale farming or market garden ventures. We discuss the importance of yield expectations as an integral business and project planning tool.

More and more, people without experience in agriculture are entering “the field” either as new farmers, community economic development sociologists, urban policy planning professionals, or individuals in search of grant opportunities. Goal setting by people new to farming must be grounded in reality.