project leader
Emilio P
343 Meeker Ave
New Jersey (South Ward of Newark)
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Thank you note from the project leader!

the project


SWAG Project is an urban farming and educational program. We grow food and build community. For the last 3 years we have been working with locals schools to educate south ward students and the broader community.

We have an abundant small farm, run a steady weekly market, provide multiple educational outreach programs to the surrounding area, and serve as a community center. We focus on nutrition and hands-on garden based projects that introduce fresh and healthy foods to the local area. In the last season alone we grew (and sold or gave away) over 1,500 lbs. of organic fruits and vegetables!

Last year we interacted with over 500 students from our two partner schools, and over 150 additional teen and college volunteers from across Newark, New Jersey, and New York.

                                                      Peshine Avenue School Students Planting at SWAG Project Farm


Our project started small: everything we achieve is a product of our volunteer team built on community collaboration, but we have big plans to grow!

We began three years ago based on the idea that a handful of local institutions (with some outside help) could come together at this key location in the South Ward of Newark, NJ to improve Health, Openness, Personal Growth and Entrepreneurship (HOPE) in the community and especially for students.

the steps

In 2013 we are going to enhance both our farming operations and our frequency and structure of community and student learning opportunities.

First, we are going to adopt a new 5,000 ft lot through the city of Newark's 'Adopt-a-lot' program. Having this additional 5,000 sq. ft. of space will TRIPLE our Farming activities! (That means over 4,500 lbs of food!!).

Second - This Fall and Winter, we will be meeting with our various community partners (especially the schools) to plan a schedule of farming and environmental related hands-on activities and looking at how each week of farming will overlay with school events and timelines (Including how each schools children will be a part of building and designing the new farm space). 

Third - We will engage two new farm interns in Winter/ Spring: A Farm & Market Intern and an Education and Grants intern.  These two new team members will be responsible for helping us plan out the coming 2012 season We already a framework for important topics like crop rotation, landscaping, community volunteer relations, market operations, and record keeping - these interns will help us flesh out the tasks associated with each area of work.

Fourth - In early Spring, we'll purchase all of the soil, seeds and additional materials and tools needed to build out the new farm and reboot our existing space.  In late march we will begin clearing the land with our volunteer teams and building out the rows for the new farm space.  Once the farm is laid out we will ebgin engaging the local school children and partnering with their teachers so that each interested class can have a schedule of farm/ garden time.

why we're doing it


We believe that everyone has the right to healthy, nutritious food! And we also believe that people have the right to understand why that’s important, where their food comes from, and how their local environment affects their food and health choices.  Unfortunately, in many neighborhoods, the South Ward included, that’s not the case! We recently completed a partner study with Drexel University that exposed a number of challenges for residents in our surrounding area. It showed us that the South Ward contains racially and socioeconomically isolated, largely poor and disproportionately unhealthy populations when compared to other NJ cities and communities! SWAG Project aims to change some of the factors that lead to these inequalities.  We have been able to create some early successes in the neighborhood through our current programming, but we know that improved healthy food access, as well as opportunities for positive youth activities are urgently needed. We hope SWAG Project can help 'plant the seeds of hope,' and continue to change the health and social outcomes in our own community.


SWAG Team here! Just wanted to say a quick, heartfelt thank you to all our friends, family, farmers, and other supporters who have helped us in the past few weeks. (And special big thanks to some of our foreign donors who worked with us creatively to make sure they could support the project!!) We are almost there and it's all because of you!! We will be signing the lease on the land at the end of this month and starting to move soil in mid-March! If you have a strong back to lend, please come be a part of our ground breaking!! We're so excited to move forward with the farm, and with all of our on our team!! Please check out our Facebook page for other updates as we move forward with building the new farm and also to start our new Youth Farmers Internship!


The $4,000 we are requesting will go towards purchase of healthy organic soil, organic seeds, tools and supplies.

Soil/compost mix, 50 cubic yards @ $40 per (includes delivery costs): $2000

Seeds from Johnny seed catalog and seedlings from local nurseries like Greater Newark Conservancy and Orange Nursery: $1,600 (number based on 4x multiplier of our seed/seedling budget from 2011 to reflect 4x growing space capacity)

2 open rounded shovels (40), 20 pair garden gloves (40), wheelbarrow (75) plastic tool storage box (220), other (25): $400

ioby materials and labor = $35

Third party credit card processing fee (3%) = $120

Total = $4,155.


Thank you note from the project leader!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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