AJ Monsma

Water is the Source of Life

Water is the Source of Life

Farming on a small scale makes it more possible to run exclusively on captured rain water. Our farm is steadily heading towards that goal.

Farming in Community

Farming in Community

Our farm sits within a living & abundant neighborhood. As a mission-based farm, we place equal value on our neighbors as we do our plants.

This is a farm, not a dumpster

This is a farm, not a dumpster

Though it's always disheartening to find dumped garbage around our farm, the abundance of beauty that grows around it softens the blow. Flowers will find a way! Dealing with litter and garbage is a significant obstacle for our urban farm.

Vandalism as a Part of Life

Vandalism as a Part of Life

We upgraded to three locks after our shed was broken into two nights in a row. Vandalism is an unfortunate reality of farming in urban areas, from senseless killing of chickens to purposeful theft of machinery, our farm has weathered countless acts of destruction throughout our years of operation. The best method of preventing vandalism is building community.

Darkness & Light

Darkness & Light

Creating abundance & beauty is not for the fainthearted; our farm is not a stranger to bullets. Our farm is a ministry of a church and we believe that God will prevail over the violence of our neighborhood.

Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

The Ezekiel passage speaks for itself. The mission of our farm is not to grow food; it's to allow God to do his work of restoration through us. Desolate places are not endings, but beginnings.

Everyone Loves Food

Everyone Loves Food

Food brings people together. Our cobb oven & concrete table are useful tools to this end.

Don't Forget the Seating & Shade

Don't Forget the Seating & Shade

If a goal of an urban farm is to nurture relationships & build community, you have to be intentional when it comes to comfort & accessibility. We have designated community spaces at our farm.

Rain or Shine

Rain or Shine

Many folks assume that urban farmers don't face pressure from large pests, such as deer + groundhogs. Both are extremely persistant nusances that eat significant portions of our crops. Good fencing is hard to find outside funding for, so we often rely on less effective fencing measures. Here, I'm installing some fencing on a particularly rainy afternoon.

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Sometimes it takes special eyes to see the progress of our farm - you have to look beyond the chaos that is sometimes glaringly in the forefront.

Farm Baby

Farm Baby

Keeping my baby away from poisonous plants and busy streets keeps me on my toes while I'm at work at the farm.

Nature vs Invasives

Nature vs Invasives

Removing invasive species - such as Japanese knotweed - while safeguarding and/or reintroducing natives like milkweed + motherwort takes time, attention, and patience. Helping Mother Nature restore her precious and miraculous balance is a long process.

All images, titles, and captions © AJ Monsma | 2019 | The Female Farmer Photovoice Project

The Female Farmer Photovoice Project

SHARE YOUR STORIES ● SHARE YOUR STRUGGLES ● SHARE YOUR STRENGTHS

This project is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture,
through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under subaward number GNE18-190-32231 
and is made possible with support from the Pennsylvania Women’s Agricultural Network (PA-WAgN).

Website © 2019 by Hannah Whitley

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Work in Progress

Sometimes it takes special eyes to see the progress of our farm - you have to look beyond the chaos that is sometimes glaringly in the forefront.