(Didn’t I say at one point that this wasn’t a photo blog? It’s rapidly turning into one. Maybe I’ll have enough time in the winter to catch up on all the posts I want to write.)

Three-quarters of our family ventured to Braddock, PA last weekend. On purpose. (For those not in the know, Braddock has had more than its fair share of hardship over the last several decades.) Grow Pittsburgh, the city’s urban ag organization, has a partnership with the county as well, and uses county-owned land to grow produce commercially, both for local restaurants and for sale to area residents at a farm stand. GP had a member open house at the site, in part to show off the first year of production in an expanded area.

I schlepped my husband and our three year old down on a Saturday evening not knowing what to expect. When I was a kid, I was always told to avoid places like Braddock – then again, I was also told to avoid places like the neighborhood where I currently live, so who knows what my parents were actually thinking. I knew the history, knew the Edgar Thomson Works were still running, but had no reason to ever really make Braddock a destination.

Man, were we pleasantly surprised. GP has almost an acre of land in production on the main drag of town. Sure, the steel works humming in the background gives it a bit of a post-apocalyptic feel, but in a town that needs support, Braddock Farms seems to deliver. The locals we talked to loved the farm and appreciated the variety available at the farm stand, the farm is obviously professionally run and lovingly maintained, and the chickens, well… you haven’t lived until you’ve BOCK BOCK BOCK-ed at a chicken at the top of your lungs.

See for yourself – and go to the flickr set for more: