Urban Gardening and Community Health

Field Trip

Patchwork Urban Farms is a cooperative, multi-plot farm in the city of Asheville. Farmer-founders Sunil Patel and Teddy Pitsiokos grow and produce eggs, herbs, flowers, and perennial food crops on 15 patches, all within the city limits. They aim to integrate land, landowners, farmers, workers, and consumers to re-vision and re-establish a vibrant, village-scale food economy. The field trip will visit its main hub at Pearson Community Space in the historic Montford neighborhood.

Amy Lanou, professor of health and wellness at University of North Carolina Asheville and a Patchwork land partner, will discuss the connection between urban agriculture and community health, looking both at professional farm models such as Patchwork as well as community gardens, which incorporate social justice, sustainability, and economic viability, in addition to mental and nutritional health.

Field trips will combine a small-group tour of a local farm, garden, or market with a more informal presentation and discussion on important healthy eating topics. Buses will transport conferees to the location and back. Return times are approximate.


Sunil Patel

Sunil Patel

Sunil Patel is the founder and farmer of Patchwork Urban Farms, multi-plot urban farm creating sharing networks around abundant landscapes in Asheville.

Amy Lanou

Amy Joy Lanou

Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., is chair and professor of health and wellness for the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNC Asheville).