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After Two Decades, a Philadelphia Urban Farm Grapples with Growing Pains

Greensgrow Farms copes with the recent loss of its founding farmer, a gentrifying neighborhood, and a changing landscape for good food.

By Robert Digiacaomo
Local Eats


Two decades in, Greensgrow’s leaders have much to celebrate. But they also have a lot to consider. The presence of the farm has helped gentrify its surrounding working-class neighborhood, a problem common to cities around the country. As Philadelphia’s good-food landscape has expanded, Greensgrow faces competitors ranging from supermarkets stocking more local and organic foods to other urban farms in Philly to meal-kit delivery services like Blue Apron or Purple Carrot.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for Greensgrow is the loss of its founder and “chief farmhand,” Mary Seton Corboy, who died in August 2016 after a long battle with cancer. Now, the farmers are faced with issues that could impact its long-term survival, such as how should Greensgrow carry on Corboy’s vision, support its changing neighborhood and evolve into more of a year-round operation.

Read the complete article here.