The Bartrams’ agricultural legacy and our modern commitment to food sovereignty take root at the Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden. After several years of transition, the farm is now firmly rooted at Bartram’s Garden and in our Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood, with an African focus for our work, strong local leadership guiding our vision, and renewed resources and partnerships to sustain youth development, community health, and food sovereignty.
The farm is the embodiment and natural progression of our strong community connections, growing successfully at Bartram’s Garden over the past six years. The farm has fostered a deeper relationship with the land and increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables within our community, especially for the older African American families and new West African immigrants who are making Southwest Philadelphia their home. At the same time, the Garden has been fortunate to welcome more neighbors than ever before to take full advantage of our riverfront, living classroom, and space for outdoor respite.
The four-acre Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden:
- is powered by roughly 20 paid local high school interns
- produces and distributes over 15,000 pounds of food each year
- works with more than 50 local families in our community garden
- manages weekly neighborhood farmstands and grocery partnerships to sell its produce affordably and locally
- distributes over 80,000 vegetable transplants to over 130 farms and gardens around Philadelphia through the PHS City Harvest Program
- hosts more than 1,500 volunteers annually
To develop an African focus for the farm’s core purpose, co-directors Chris Bolden-Newsome and Ty Holmberg have engaged in many conversations with the community gardeners, student interns, and local leaders. At the farm, we are committed to living the praxis of Sankofa, a constant “remembering” as we move forward with our lives as individuals, nourished by active engagement of our people’s shared narratives in America. The concept of Sankofa is derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Africa. Sankofa is expressed in the Akan language as “se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenkyi.” Literally translated, it means, “It is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.” The farm has been guided by the idea of Sankofa since its inception and we work daily to bring this consciousness in our Southwest Philadelphia community.
With this optimistic new focus, the farm has devoted this year towards deepening our work within our community. With their help, we have developed an identity that reflects and confronts our history and, ultimately, embraces the healing power of Sankofa and the land.
Thursdays, 3:30–5:30 pm: 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard
Saturdays, 10am–2 pm: Clark Park Farmers Market, 43rd and Chester
Our work depends on our community. Your generosity has a direct impact for youth and families in Southwest Philadelphia. Please click here to support the Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden.