'Ag in the City’ Network and Resources

Across New Jersey, like much of the U.S., interest in urban agriculture is increasing. It takes many forms: community gardens, urban farms, farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture, school gardens and much more. Through urban agriculture, people are building community while producing food and undertaking environmental stewardship.

The Office of Agriculture and Urban Programs aims to make a state-wide assessment of urban agricultural efforts and develop public forums to share ideas and information.

Below you will find projects, documents and presentations related to NJ urban agriculture. Or link to our videos page.


Urban Agriculture & Food Systems Convening
MARCH 21 – MARCH 22, 2019

Greetings AITC Network:

Continuing the theme from our 2017 meeting ‘Organizing for Collective Action,’ this year’s focus: ‘Cooperation for Collective Impact’ brings five incredible speakers to our event at Rutgers Camden.  This 3rd AITC convening on a Rutgers University campus also marks our first two-day event, with multiple-groups and an international speaker!

On Thursday afternoon, April DeSimone & Braden Crooks, Co-Founders & Partners of, Designing the We, guide us through ‘Undesign the Redline,’ a meticulously curated exhibition documenting the history of redlining in communities of color.  We emerge on the other side of this exhibit in group dialogue about new visions for community building and ecosystem development – centered on cooperatively owned and locally controlled institutions.

Friday’s speakers focus on cooperative models that:
·         Engage and Train Cubans in small-scale and sustainable agriculture techniques that produce 4 million tons of fresh produce annually in Havana.   Isis Salcines-Milla, will talk about her experience as Farm Director for Organopónico Vivero Alamar, one of Havana’s largest and most successful urban farms.
·         Address issues of structural racism and injustice in the food system impacting farmers and communities of color.  Amani Olugbala, from Soul Fire Farm, will lead an interactive workshop imparting strategies to increase farmland stewardship by people of color, provide more leadership and training opportunities for youth, and forge deeper connections and healing between our communities.
·         Restore local economies, institutions and build wealth for communities of color.  Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard offers a history and critique of cooperative economic thought and practice and her impressions on opportunities for a revival of that practice.

We hope you can join us for both days of fantastic speakers, presentations, and dialogue. Please follow the link to register and for information on discounted hotel for those needing overnight accommodations.   https://cityag.camden.rutgers.edu/

New Jersey Urban Agriculture Information and Resources
(click titles to link to full documents):

New Jersey Council for the Humanities

We are pleased to announce that we have received an incubation grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to support a new research project, Cultivating Justice: African American Values and Experiences in Rural and Urban Agriculture. This project involves a public workshop of experts and practitioners to discuss multiple perspectives shaping African American agriculture – rural to urban, historical to contemporary – to be documented for a pilot interactive website. For more information on NJCH, please visit their website: http://njhumanities.org/njch-announces-latest-incubation-grant-awards/. We will keep you updated on our progress.

Ag in the City – Organizing for Collective Action 2017 Meeting

Rutgers University – New Brunswick Kathleen W. Ludwig – Global Village Learning Center Friday, December 8th, 2017

Urban Farmer's Market Conference

Newark, NJ; April 4, 2018. Read FLyer and Agenda

Integrating Re-Use of Abandoned Properties for Healthy Food Options in Trenton, New Jersey

Through a 2014 partnership between the Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability (CUES) and Isles, this project examined redevelopment potential of properties in Trenton for food-related uses. It is organized into three phases: geographic information systems (GIS) modeling; field mapping of properties; and community surveys through questionnaires and focus groups.

National Community Gardening Survey

From 2011-2012, Rutgers faculty members Laura Lawson and Luke Drake collaborated with the American Community Gardening Association to conduct a survey of organizations involved in community gardening efforts. Some 445 organizations responded to the survey, representing over 8,000 community gardens in 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and eight Canadian provinces. This document provides a larger perspective on national efforts and a point of comparison to study New Jersey’s efforts.

Building Gardens and Capacity with the Community Gardening Movement in New Brunswick

In 2013, through funding received from the Rutgers Community-University Research Partnership, Rutgers Landscape Architecture faculty and students partnered with members of the New Brunswick Community Garden Coalition to develop design proposals and implement improvements to the Shiloh Community Garden, Jardín de Esperanza, and Archibald Community Garden.

Gardening the Garden State

In 2013, a group of students from the Department of Landscape Architecture conducted a series of case studies of community gardens in New Jersey. Sites ranged from West Milford in North Jersey to Moorestown in South Jersey. This was an initial exploration that helped shed light on the diversity of community gardens in the state.

Ag + Landscape Colloquium

This annual course taught by Arianna Lindberg explores different aspects of agriculture in the state. In 2013, the class conducted case studies of multiple urban garden efforts. In 2015, the class conducted case studies of urban school gardens in New Jersey. 2017 they explored farmers markets and their communities.

Ag+Landscape: The Community Behind the Garden

2015 Class Booklet: Urban School Gardens: FoodCorps Case Studies

Urban School Garden Diagrams

Sustainable Farming on the Urban Fringe

This site provides practical insights for farmers, communities, and policy makers looking to maintain thriving, healthy, durable farms in New Jersey's densely packed urban fringe. The Sustainable Farming on the Urban Fringe Newsletter Archive is also a helpful resource.

New Jersey Master Gardeners Program

A program of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension, the Master Gardener program provides education and training in gardening to the general public. Anyone with an interest in gardening and a commitment to volunteer service can become a Rutgers Master Gardener. No previous education or training in horticulture is required.

Presentations (click titles to link to presentations):

Best Management Practice for Community Gardens: Examples from Urban, Suburban, and Rural New Jersey

This presentation at the 2013 American Community Gardening Association conference includes additional materials contributed by audience members after the presentation.

Best Management Practices for Community Gardens

This document is based on a presentation given in 2013 at the New Jersey Community Garden Conference, Ferlinghuysen Arboretum.

A Brief History of Urban Garden Programs in the United States

This presentation summarizes the history of urban gardening in the United States. It is based on the book, City Bountiful: A Century of Community Gardening in America, by Laura Lawson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005).