Sharpsburg Community Garden will benefit from PA Farm Bill and other grants

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 | 9:43 AM


The Sharpsburg Community Garden, along with similar properties in Etna and Millvale, was awarded help from the state this week to keep blooming.

A round of micro-grants was awarded through the PA Farm Bill and the state Department of Agriculture to help the local community gardens expand their growing capacity to someday market affordable produce for residents.

The $8,600 grant will go to the Triboro Ecodistrict, which promotes sustainable community development in the three riverfront neighborhoods.

“The accessibility of healthy foods in our food desert community is an issue that affects all of us who live here, especially people without cars,” said Brittany Reno, Sharpsburg council president.

Money will be used to buy seeds and supplies to support the garden, which grows at 1212 Main Street behind the Sharpsburg Community Library.

Each spring, residents can plant a variety of tomatoes, red kale, jalapeno peppers, herbs and beans to tend through summer.

The aim of the garden is to promote socialization and sustainability, provide education on healthy eating and encourage goodwill through a sharing basket inside the library.

State Rep. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, said the grant will help communities large and small that are looking to create healthy environments for their residents.

These spaces foster connection, stewardship and mutual care, she said.

“Volunteering in my community garden was how I met my neighbors, put down roots and became active locally,” Innamorato said. “We can create healthy, civically-engaged communities by investing in urban agriculture.”

In the award letter, Gov. Tom Wolf said urban agriculture is about more than just growing food.

“It’s about growing our communities and our economy, it’s about increasing quality of life,” he said.