Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Farming in Pittsburgh?

Plans are in the works to transform several vacant Hazelwood lots into a 1-acre urban farm.


As I write this on a bleak winter day, I’m looking at my permaculture-designed garden, fantasizing about the abundant web of fruit, flowers, vegetables and pollinators I’ll see in June. Permaculture is one of the most sensible and intuitive ways to grow food, especially in urban settings. One of the primary tenants of permaculture is to produce no waste. Another core philosophy is to build the health of the soil that you’re working on. If you’ve spent any time walking around Pittsburgh, it’s pretty obvious that there’s still a substantial amount of vacant, wasted land in need of some tender stewardship.

“Early last spring, I looked a list on the county website of all the vacant lots in town. I wanted a to find few that were clumped together, and Hazelwood is abundant with vacant land,” says Kyle Pattison of the startup Hazelwood Farms.

Next spring, Pattison — who spent his time growing food for fishermen in Alaska before returning to Pittsburgh last year — plans on turning 1 acre of that abandoned land into an urban farm. “Hazelwood’s been classified as a food desert for over 20 years now,” he says.

Pattison says that John Creasy of Garfield Community Farm has been a big help in creating a framework for an urban, permaculture-inspired farm. “What’s they’re doing is a model that can be repeated throughout the city,” he says.

“In the long-term,” he adds, “I envision this farm to be a connection of vacant lots throughout the city.” Those lots will house bioshelters, chicken coops, hop yards and fruit orchards.

For the moment, Pattison is focused on getting phase one up and running. He’s accepting microloans for the project via Kiva Zip.


Things I’m Excited About This Week:

Repeal Day: Dec. 5, 1933, was a banner day in American history. That’s the day the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, therefore ending the country’s terrible experiment with the prohibition of alcoholic beverages. Celebrating Repeal Day has become customary in the booze community over the last few years. This year, instead of going to a Repeal Day party dressed like a gangster or a flapper — historically incorrect clothing choices, by the way — celebrate by visiting your favorite neighborhood bar.

East End Brewing Co.’s Week of Shenanigans: Three cheers to Scott Smith and his team at the East End Brewing Co. on their 10th anniversary. Smith — who I’ll feature in my February Grow.Cook.Drink. column — decided that the official opening on the brewery’s new on-site brewpub would be the perfect cause for celebration. Events kick off on the 6th with a double anniversary party with Harris Grill and conclude on the 13th with a square dance at the brewery. The full list of events is here.

Preservation Celebration 2014: Slow Food Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange are organizing an end of the season swap on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Can too many tomatoes? Got an extra jar of strawberry jam you want to swap for some peach preserves? Show up at the Cloak Room and make it happen. There’s also a pickle contest you can enter. The $15 entrance fee includes samples, demos, pickling advice and live music; more info here.


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

For Three Days, Sesame Street Will be in Pittsburgh

Kids can join Big Bird, Elmo and more Muppets as Sesame Workshop plans three days of events during a stop in Pittsburgh in June.

Penguins’ Lament: ‘To an Extent We Beat Ourselves’

The answer to a self-inflicted postseason sweep must begin with getting the players and their coach back on the same page regarding what’s required for survival in the playoffs.

Picklesburgh to Double in Size for Its Fifth Year

Nation’s top speciality food festival to spill out onto Ft. Duquesne Boulevard.

A Look at The Latest Restaurant Openings in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh says hello to Alta Via, Leo. A Public House, a new Milk Shake Factory location and more.

Is Your Pittsburgh Street on This Year's Road Repaving List?

The City of Pittsburgh has announced its street paving plan for 2019. You’re one click away from finding out if your street or route to work is on the list.

Downtown Pittsburgh Remains a Classic Rock Haven

PM intern Amanda Myers recounts the radio-rock adventures that life as a Downtown student has made possible.

The 400-Word Review: Master Z: Ip Man Legacy

The latest chapter in the Hong Kong martial-arts franchise gets a Pittsburgh release.

The 400-Word Review: The Curse of La Llorona

The latest chapter in the Conjuring franchise concerns a sinister spirit from folklore.

Details Shine in Metallic Hip-Hop Wedding

A graffiti-decorated cake, a sequined jacket for the groom and a violinist playing hip-hop covers wowed guests at this Strip District wedding.

New Restaurants Coming to Smallman Galley and Federal Galley

Look for New Mexican cuisine, customizable chicken and more as half of the Pittsburgh Galley Group concepts change in the next few months.

Design Goes to the Dogs with BARKitecture

Featuring innovative indoor animal shelters designed by local architects and artists going up for auction, the event at PerLora raises money for Animal Friends.

The 400-Word Review: Hellboy

The cult comic character gets a reboot in this R-rated action flick.

5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

For those who can’t stand the idea of leaving their dogs home alone on a beautiful day, these dog-friendly stores, restaurants and bars in the Pittsburgh area welcome humans and canines alike.

The 400-Word Review: The Silence

Netflix's new horror film has a plot unfortunately similar to a giant hit. Can it succeed in spite of that bit of bad luck?

Popular Fried Chicken and Beer Hall Landing in Pittsburgh

The Cincinnati-based restaurant has signed a lease for a 6,000-square-foot space Downtown.