Mariposa Fundraising for Mill Creek Farm through September 2

Have you visited Mill Creek Farm?


Knowing how your food is grown and raised is an important part of being an informed consumer, but how often do you actually visit the farms that provide your food? Mill Creek Farm, located at 49 and Brown Street in West Philadelphia, is just a quick bike ride away. For the last 8 years MCF has hosted educational tours for volunteers, and neighbors highlighting sustainable growing practices, storm water management, and green building techniques. Look for upcoming volunteer days on our calendar and get in on the action, then find Mill Creek Farm on Facebook and share your experiences.

Can’t make it out to volunteer? Now through September 2,contribute to food justice work in West Philly by donating to Mill Creek Farm at the register. Your donations will support:

• Community and youth education on how food is grown and where it comes from.

• A market stand in the Mill Creek neighborhood where there would otherwise be no fresh food

• 100% chemical free and sustainable farming techniques

Find out more information by picking up a flier at the register or by visiting

where tax deductible donations are accepted.

Brought to you by Mariposa’s Food Justice and Anti-Racism working group, the Mariposa Board and the Mill Creek Farm community.



Mariposa and Non-Profit Affiliation: FAQs and Survey

Mariposa Co-op currently has the opportunity to seek an affiliation with Mill Creek Farm’s 501(c)3 umbrella, called “A Little Taste of Everything” (or ALTOE). Please fill out this four question survey so that the Food Justice & Anti-Racism work group and the membership can find out what members think about the board exploring this affiliation. The Membership will make a decision regarding this opportunity at the  Annual General Membership meeting on Sunday, March 3 at Calvary Church.

Frequently Asked Questions about a affiliation between Mariposa Food Co-op and Mill Creek Farm

What is the Mill Creek Farm?

The Mill Creek Farm is an educational urban farm located at 49th and Brown Streets in West Philadelphia that is dedicated to improving local access to fresh produce, building a healthy community and environment, and promoting a just and sustainable food system.

The Mill Creek Farm grows food without using chemicals to improve access to fresh food in the community, and provides farm-based community education to promote a healthy food system and environment. The farm offers service learning and volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups, tours, community workdays, summer jobs for youth, after-school programs, and public workshops. The farm features fruit trees, bees, and structures that demonstrate sustainable and natural building techniques including a composting toilet, living roof, cob oven, solar panels, and use of recycled and salvaged materials in construction and a mosaic.

What kind of affiliation is proposed?

The proposed affiliation would create a new program area between Mariposa Food Co-op and Mill Creek Farm’s non-profit entity, while they remain independent organizations with independent Boards, etc.

What is in it for Mariposa in this relationship?

The affiliation would allow Mariposa Food Co-op’s education, food justice, and other charitable programs to operate under the 501(c)3 instead of under Mariposa’s operations budget (without having to set up a 501(c)3 from scratch, which Mariposa would not likely be able to do). This will build on an existing relationship that includes Mariposa workshifts at Mill Creek Farm, selling farm produce at the Baltimore Avenue store, and collaboration on educational programs.

How do members benefit? How does the community benefit?

The Mariposa Membership has an opportunity to play a key role in initiating a process that will benefit West Philadelphia and greater Philadelphia communities. Following in the footsteps of other food co-ops, Mariposa would support its membership and community through greater access to farming, education, internship programs, youth empowerment, and food justice activities. Our membership and our community will benefit from increased workshops and community events, and through opening up a new revenue stream to pay for these programs (which currently are paid for by Mariposa’s sales).

Isn’t Mariposa a Non-Profit?

Not really! Some businesses operate as not-for-profit, but being a tax-deductible non-profit is a specific Federal designation set aside for public service groups. The IRS code is “501(c)3.” Because all co-ops are owned by private individuals (even if some of their services- such as shopping- are open to the public), they are all barred from being treated like public, tax deductible organizations. (This means that, despite our good public works and community outreach, donations to Mariposa Food Co-op are not tax-deductible for donors and Mariposa is not eligible for certain grant funding.)

How much will this cost? Is it financially feasible?

Costs for this project will be carefully assessed by the Mariposa Board and Mariposa’s Finance Committee before enacting an affiliation.

Estimated cost for 2013, start-up: $15,000 contribution towards Executive Director salary, plus any legal fees associated with the logistics of creating a legal affiliation.

other costs: Future costs would be covered by revenue brought in through fundraising including individual donations, foundations, events, etc that the non-profit’s staff and board would be responsible for. Mariposa would not incur direct costs for this effort.

What are the other legal implications?

A lawyer supporting Mill Creek Farm with its affiliation explorations, and working on a pro-bono basis, is helping to highlight details regarding legal feasibility for Mariposa as well.

How can I get involved?

You may also donate to the Mill Creek Farm (which IS tax deductible ) by visiting this website:

California’s Prop 37 highlights the difference between GMOs and Organic foods

GMO vs Organic prop 37

things worth noting/ zooming in about are the “natural products” lines on the left which were systematically bought out by corporations (such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, General Mills, and Kellogg) as part of their strategic green-washing campaigns.  Those supporting the organic food industry on the right of the poster include Organic Valley, Dr.Bronners, and Eden Foods.


For those of you voting in California, Prop 37 would require GMO labeling and increase transparency about the processes under which food is grown. Vote YES on Prop 37, November 6th.

This little news clip has more info:


Black Nature at Bartram’s Garden- Saturday March 24th

What: Black Nature at Bartram’s Garden

Join us as we explore the meaning of “black nature” and the connections between black identity and the environment. Panelists include Chris Bolden-Newsome, Third-generation Farmer, Food Justice Educator, Syd Carpenter, Gardener, Sculptor and Professor of Studio Art at Swarthmore College, Valerie Erwin, Chef and Proprietor at Geechee Girl Rice Cafe, Evie Shockley, Poet and Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University and Jeanne Thompson, Safety & Environmental Manager, BJ’s Wholesale Club.

When: Saturday, March 24th, 2012, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Where: Bartram’s Garden, 54th and Lindbergh Avenue

Cost: Admission is a sliding scale of $5 – $10, or free for members.

RSVP: to or (215)729-5281.

Hope to see you there!

Milwaukee’s Growing Power Building Five Story Vertical Farm

From GROWING POWER in Milwaukee, WI:

Dear Friends,

Growing Power is undertaking something that has never been done before. We will build the first five-story vertical farm in the world. Our vertical farm will have south-facing greenhouse areas for the year-round production of plants, vegetables, and herbs. The building will provide educational classrooms, conference spaces, a demonstration kitchen, food processing and storage areas, freezers, and loading docks to further support our mission as a local and national resource for learning about urban sustainable food production. Administrative offices, volunteer spaces, and staff support areas will be closely connected to the greenhouse and educational areas to allow for active observation and participation. In essence, the vertical farm will be a hub of economic activity, community building, educational opportunities, and resource sharing for the Milwaukee community and the world.

Locally and globally, growing food naturally and sustainably has become a necessity more so than ever during these trying times. This is something we have to do in the future to be able to provide sustainable, high quality food to everyone in all situations. At Growing Power, we have proven that this model can be replicated. Ultimately, we are all responsible for making sure everyone has access to high quality food. A vertical farm will increase local food production and improve food access while creating thousands of jobs.

In Milwaukee, the Mayor and City Council support our vertical farm building and have passed the zoning requirements for Growing Power to build the five story vertical farm, which is located five blocks from the largest housing project in the city of Milwaukee. We invite you to join us. We’re in a capital campaign and asking for at least $25 or more to make our vertical farm a reality. Everyone can be a part of this solution. To show our appreciation, your name will be inscribed on a plaque that will be displayed at the vertical farm.

Learn More:

The Daily Pennsylvanian :: Youth bring local produce to West Philadelphia communities

The Daily Pennsylvanian :: Youth bring local produce to West Philadelphia communities.

Patrick Hulce | DP


The Youth Grower’s Market on Friday in West Philadelphia’s Malcolm X Park featured food grown by the community’s high-school students in their schools’ own farms. The market was organized in part by the Urban Nutrition Initiative, part of Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships.

This Friday, business-minded Philadelphia youth gathered at Malcolm X Park in West Philadelphia to bring healthy, local produce to their communities.

The Youth Grower’s Market was the last in the first season of these events organized by the Urban Nutrition Initiative — part of Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships — which works with 75 high-school student interns to help them grow, cook and sell healthy food.

The market marked the first time different youth organizations from around the city ­— including Teens for Good and the Youth Urban Mobile Market — and UNI schools Sayre High School, Saul High School, Bartram High School and the School of the Future were brought together. The event saw about 15 high-school students selling produce they grew themselves.

The UNI works with students in Academically Based Community Service courses, as well as volunteers from Penn, to provide high-school students with mentoring and college preparation assistance. Students in the program also have the opportunity to travel to visit colleges and speak at food justice conferences.

The goal of the Youth Grower’s Market was to “bring healthy food to a neighborhood where it’s not otherwise readily available,” according to UNI Director Danny Gerber. “We found that youth farm stands have a great way of encouraging people to purchase produce, support the youth and engage in dialogue … it builds a sense of community around food,” he added.

Taj Jones, who is a manager of a YUMM bicycle-driven food cart, said that growing and selling produce at Youth Grower’s Markets has “helped [him] become a better public speaker, citizen and business leader.”

This summer, UNI also hosted a national conference at Penn that brought 150 youth leaders from over 20 states together to create a Youth Food Bill of Rights as part of their discussion of how youth can improve the food system, Tyler Holmberg, project director at Bartram’s Community Farm and Food Resource Center, said. “It was a forum for students to meet other youth doing this work … and work to increase access [to healthy food] in neighborhoods with high rates of diet-related diseases,” he said.

“This is a movement where young people are taking control of their food system,” Gerber added.