Urban Ag in Lancaster: What is urban agriculture, and how do I get involved in the city?

February 28, 2024

Urban agriculture has been up-and-coming for many years in Pennsylvania. But what exactly is
urban agriculture, why does it exist, and how do you get started? If you want to learn more about
urban farming and how to get involved in Lancaster, you're in the right place.

What is Urban Agriculture?

The Oxford Dictionary defines urban agriculture as "the practice of farming within an urban
environment, especially the cultivation of food crops for human consumption." While this is a
broad definition, urban farming will look different depending on the state and community due to
differing local policies. Urban farms can include institutional gardens, community gardens,
community farms, or commercial farms.

For many cities, urban agriculture is essential for providing fresh, local foods to citizens without
the added financial and environmental costs of transportation. Lancaster is unique – farmland
and city are side-by-side, so transportation costs are low. However, Lancaster City still benefits
significantly from urban agriculture. It offers Lancaster locals the chance to begin new hobbies,
creates a sense of community, improves air quality, and helps to prevent flooding.

Urban Farming in Lancaster

Despite Lancaster County's agricultural aptitude, the city also practices urban farming. So, if
you're looking to do some gardening or farming in the city, there are many opportunities for you.
Backyard Farming Co-op
The Backyard Farming Co-op is a group of gardeners and farmers in Lancaster City who aim to
provide food security for city residents in need. This group maintains private and public gardens
and offers networking opportunities. To volunteer, click here to contact the Backyard Farming

Discerning Eye Community Agriculture
Discerning Eye Community Agriculture, or DECA, is dedicated to giving back to Lancaster City
through various gardening and agricultural volunteer opportunities. If you're looking to make a
positive impact on the city but can only volunteer intermittently, this is the group to join. Follow
DECA on Instagram and Facebook, or click here to check out their calendar of volunteer events.
Urban Edge Farm
Urban Edge Farm is located within the city limits of Lancaster, and it was granted Lancaster
City's first-ever "Community Gardening" zoning variance. While this farm is not open to the
public during regular business hours, there are classes and workshops you can sign up for and
various volunteer opportunities. To become a volunteer, email Urban Edge Farm at

Participating in urban agriculture is a great way to exercise healthy hobbies and give back to
your community. If you're looking for even more opportunities, LFT is always looking for
volunteers to help with both city and farmland events! 
To become a volunteer, email us at, and be on the lookout for
tree plantings in the coming months. When you volunteer with us, you help spread awareness
about Lancaster County agriculture and raise funds for our precious farmland.
Whether you volunteer at a city garden or an LFT event, you're giving back to your community
and positively impacting Lancaster County's landscape. So, get out and get your hands dirty at a
community garden this spring!



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