A new generation of farmers in Pittsburgh are using food as a means to restore blighted city space and in the process introducing innovative solutions to the lack of healthy food access in depressed areas in the city.

This short documentary introduces us to three farms– Garfield Community Farm, Braddock Farm and Hazelwood Food Forest–that are working to feed their neighborhoods, improve spoiled soil, and build community. Small farms, says New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, are key to solving the hunger problem on multiple scales. Smallholder farms introduce innovations that result in efficiencies that industrial farming has not been able to achieve.

These three farms not only demonstrate the breadth of positive impact that small farms can have within the area it serves but also, as a collective, how Pittsburgh is leading the way in harnessing farms as catalysts for broad change. Pittsburgh is one of a few cities that has the open urban space and the creative talent to restore unused land to tangible productivity.

What is unique about this project is that there are no films that document the range of urban farming practices that the three farms employ and their individual and collective impact. We’re inspired by this project because it highlights agricultural innovation that modern urban policy recognizes as one of the keys to economic development. The project raises awareness for the lead that Pittsburgh is taking in urban farming innovation – something that has not received the same coverage as leads the city has taken on technology, medicine, life science and even the arts.