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Growing urban agriculture in Bridgeport, CT

Extension Education

Jacqueline Kowalski

University of Connecticut


Connecticut is a densely populated, geographically small state with a growing urban agriculture presence. Challenges to urban food production in the state’s urban centers include extremely limited growing space, lack of capital resources and policy differences between cities. Bridgeport, CT is a coastal city with over 25% of the population experiencing food insecurity.  In 2022 the University of Connecticut Extension, in partnership with Green Village Initiative, Inc. reactivated a beginning urban farmer training program to grow the number of urban farmers in the Bridgeport, CT area and increase the amount of fresh produce available to the local community. The 7-month long course consisted of indoor classroom and lab activities, hands-on production training in an outdoor growing space and participation at a farmers’ market. In-field topics included intensive vegetable production, irrigation, soil science, IPM, and food safety. Agribusiness development and food justice topics were also incorporated in classroom activities.  Participants indicated they gained knowledge in all topics presented (with the exception of one individual on the topic of food justice) and that the most helpful part of the training program was the in-field and market experience. Fifteen persons participated and seven completed the program. Two have initiated farms in the 2023 growing season. This program will be offered in again in Bridgeport, CT and expanded to New Haven, CT in 2023.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Jacqueline Kowalski, Ellie Angerame
  1. Kowalski, J. Associate Extension Educator, University of Connecticut, Connecticut, 06801
  2. Angerame, E. Executive Director, Green Village Initiative, Inc., Connecticut, 06608