Travis Lesser from Cityscape Farm Supply
Cityscape Farm Supply Makes Urban Gardening Easy The distance between farm and table just got a lot shorter. It all started when Smeal College of Business alum Travis Lesser stood on the roof of his uncle’s brownstone in Philadelphia and brainstormed about ways to maximize rooftop space to grow food. He came back to Happy Valley and teamed up with friend, agricultural guru Woody Wilson, and a business was born. Cityscape Farm Supply LLC builds raised beds for small-scale vegetable farming from local white pine. Their online store caters to what they call patio farming, or "gardening for people who want fresh food, but don’t really want to garden" (please, take my money!). In addition to the handmade beds, they also sell compost tea brewing kits and chemical-free fertilizers. Unfamiliar with compost tea? This, along with other tips and tricks, is outlined on their blog at cityscapefarmsupply.com, making it easy 30
LOCAL FOOD GUIDE
for both novices and experts to enjoy home-grown vegetables, no matter how little space they have. “Not only are our beds great for small spaces,” Travis says, “but at 28 inches in height, they are perfect for people with knee or back pain that can’t bend down very far. In fact, our first customers at Taproot Kitchen made the purchase because of their wheelchair accessibility.” Researchers say that within the past five years, the number of households who grow their own food has increased from 36 million to 42 million — the biggest jump in a decade. People are turning to gardening as an alternative to traditionally grown vegetables that are often grown with chemical fertilizers, or to offset the cost of buying organically grown produce. And they are finding it easier and easier to do so no matter how big or small their growing space. It’s the perfect time and perfect place for Cityscape to take root. USA Today names State College as the healthiest city in Pennsylvania, with only 10% of adults rating their health as fair or poor, as opposed to the state average of 14%. It also ranks in the top 25 most active cities in the country. It’s no wonder that people who live in Happy Valley would take ownership of the food they eat, especially when Cityscape makes it so easy. Ready to get your hands dirty and enjoy some of your own vegetables this summer no matter how small your roof, backyard or patio? Check it out at cityscapefarmsupply.com, Facebook @cityscapefarmsupply or Instagram @cityscapefarmsupply.