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Urban Farm Expo Set for Saturday in North Braddock

Garden columnist Doug Oster, Burgh Bees, Pittsburgh Poultry, Garfield Farms and sustainable agriculture group will be on hand, and there will be tours of an urban farm house for sale.

North Braddock Cares and Mon Valley Initiative are hosting "Plow Ahead: Urban Farm Expo" from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at 705 Parkview Ave. in North Braddock.

The event will celebrate the renovation of the Parkview Avenue house, the first project in the Mon Valley Micro Farms initiative.

The expo will feature information and presentations from local urban gardening experts, including local gardener enthusiast and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Doug Oster from 3-3:20 p.m.; Burgh Bees from 2-2:40 p.m.; Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture from 4:20-4:40; Pittsburgh Poultry from 3:40 to 4 p.m.

Additional groups, such as Garfield Farms, will have informational tables set up.

Refreshments will be available. The event is free and open to the public.

Along with the expo, the Parkview Avenue house will be open for tours. The three bedroom, 1.5 bathroom house is an artist or gardener’s dream, according to Jo Ellen Welsh, director of community outreach for the Mon Valley Initiative.

Designed by Lami Grubb and rehabilitated by Weber Construction, it is located on a large double lot with ample space for vegetable and food gardens or to house certain livestock. The three-car garage is perfect as a studio, workspace or just for storage, Welsh said. There is both a porch and a patio for additional outdoor entertaining space.

Inside the house, the first floor has an open-floor plan with a kitchen, formal dining room, living room and powder room. Upstairs are the three bedrooms, including the master with a walk-in closet and the full bathroom. The home is for sale for a first mortgage of $60,000 with 6-percent seller assist sold to households making less than 80 percent of the area median income.

Mon Valley Initiative is a nonprofit coalition of 10 community development corporations working together to unite the communities and restore the economic vitality of the Mon Valley. Representatives from the real estate and outreach teams will be available during the open house to answer questions about the project.

The Mon Valley Micro Farms initiative combines the traditional rehab for resale model with an aggressive demolition strategy to create “micro farms,” which include a one-quarter to two acres of cleared property specifically for small scale urban agriculture.

For information on the Urban Farm Expo, Mon Valley Micro Farms, Mon Valley Initiative or North Braddock Cares, contact Welsh at 412-464-4000, ext. 4023. 

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