Local nonprofit farm to move efforts to a permanent location

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Andrew Kuo/Senior Staff

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Only a few blocks away from the Occupy the Farm demonstrations, a less contentious community farm is expanding in Berkeley.

Urban Adamah, a farm influenced by Jewish tradition, will be moving from its temporary place on Parker Street to a permanent home on Sixth Street, where it will continue to provide educational opportunities and fresh produce for the Berkeley community.

The farm is currently in negotiations to purchase a 2.2-acre lot on Sixth Street for $2.5 million. The organization has raised $1.3 million through donations as of Friday and will have to raise the remaining funds and hold land inspections by August to finalize the purchase.

Founded in 2010 by Adam Berman, Urban Adamah is a nonprofit educational farm and community center that aims to serve the Berkeley community. By integrating Jewish customs with mindfulness and social action, the organization seeks to spread values such as kindness, justice and love through sustainable agriculture.

“This is a project that is designed to open people’s hearts and build connections to the earth and to the bounty,” Berman said.

Urban Adamah holds summer camps, after-school programs and programs for local churches and synagogues. It also sponsors a three-month residential fellowship program for young adults and holds a free food market every Wednesday in partnership with local social services and food banks.

Berman and the members of the Urban Adamah community were attracted to the Sixth Street property for its location, size and proximity to the Codornices Creek. By moving to the lot on Sixth Street, Urban Adamah will be able to produce four times the amount of food that it currently grows and hold twice the number of education programs for the community, according to Berman.

“I think getting involved in sustainable agriculture is a meaningful enterprise on multiple levels,” Berman said. “It connects people to their food and inspires them to eat more healthily.”

Members of the Berkeley community have also expressed excitement about Urban Adamah’s efforts.

“Urban Adamah is an amazing organization,” said Councilmember Darryl Moore, whose district includes the current location of the farm. “They have been able to convert a vacant field in my district into an amazing urban garden … I’m 100 percent excited about their new space.”

Councilmember Linda Maio said she is pleased to have Urban Adamah move into her district because there are no other nonprofits in Berkeley like it that provide the community with such open agricultural space.

“There’s nothing better than to have an urban garden right next to (Codornices) Creek instead of a cement building,” Maio said.

Berman said he believes that Urban Adamah has created a strong community bond between the various types of people in Berkeley. Through food, he says he hopes that people can build connections with others as well as with the earth.

Contact Jennie Yoon at [email protected]