Photo essay: What’s growing in West Virginia’s urban ruins?
By the end of the season, it’s expected that $20,000 worth of produce will have been pulled from the vines of Farm 18’s one-acre plot.
By Jason Kane And Ariel Min
PBS News Hour
October 28, 2014
WHEELING, W.Va. — When Danny Swan first broke ground on his West Virginia farm in June 2008, his rototiller hit a baby doll. Then some porcelain plates. Then a pair of pantyhose.
It didn’t take him long to discover that pieces of an entire urban neighborhood were buried beneath the soil — “bricks and rocks and everything else contained in houses that used to be here,” he said.
Perhaps just as surprising was Swan’s desire to build a farm in that spot in the first place. “Farm 18”, as it’s become known, is not only situated on 18th Street in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Wheeling, it also sits directly adjacent to the viaduct, or bridge, of a four-lane highway.