Farm and Market Now Open

Hello Again, South Newark!

Dr. Q, Emilio and our dear friend Amarilys (Garden of Worker Bees, Food Corps.) at the Jersey Cares awards dinner 2016 where SWAG Project won Community Project of the Year!

599291_420280361405979_240156891_nOur farms at 343 Meeker Ave + 438-440 Peshine Ave are now open for the summer!

Check out our social media on the contacts page for updates about all the great things happening. Or stop over and say hello, and discuss how you can be involved in changing yourself, your City and the food system!

Volunteer hours are from 10am-1pm every Monday and Wednesday, you must register here through Jersey Cares.

Jamie Bruno is an artist, gardener and educator living in Newark, NJ. She has worked in urban agriculture for five years, primarily in Farm to School projects, garden education and on site compost management. Currently Jamie is a Resident Artist with the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership and CoLAB Arts in New Brunswick, NJ. She is excited to be working with SWAG Project as the Senior Market Manager.

The market is open at Beth Israel Hospital, main lobby on Lyons Avenue from 11am-4pm every Thursday.

(We will not hold our usual on-site farm stand at SWAG this summer, but may pop up again this fall.)

And stay tuned for our re-vamped farm share prepay program, the most affordable way to get a weekly supply of our fresh, clean produce supplemented with fruit and special items from other NJ family farms. This year we are bringing back the shares in a smaller quantity at the best possible price while maintaining variety and quality.

A special thanks to our generous donors including Charity Service Center; and to the Whole Cities Foundation, Slow Foods Northern NJ, the City of Newark Adopt-a-Lot program, TEAM Academy, Peshine Avenue School, First Tabernacle Newark, Jersey Cares, TuckrBox, the Newark Urban Ag Alliance, Greater Newark Conservancy, Rutgers University and all of our other outstanding corporate, institutional and local supporters, family and friends.


SWAG Project Pilot CSA 2015


SWAG Project is super excited to announce its 2015 trial CSA program that lets us bring you a fixed box of beautiful fall veggies! Please see the overview below,and contact us to join the program!
How our CSA will work
Our CSA or Community Sourced Agriculture share program will run for 5 weeks, starting in October and going through mid Nov.
Dates: October 16th, October 23, October 30, November 6, and (maybe) November 13.
Each person who signs up will get a fixed ‘share’ or box/bag of seasonal fall fruits and vegetables (and some other specialty items when possible).  Each CSA share will be a mix of 7-10 items. There will be a mix of roots, greens, tubers, fruits, etc.  While there will be some overlapping items week to week, some items will change throughout the CSA.  Share size will be between 8-15 lbs depending on the items included each week.  All shareholders will receive the same items as their fellow shareholders and the box will be fixed each week.  Items will change week to week.
What produce can I expect from this CSA
At SWAG we are focused on local, organic (or Biodynamic, sustainably grown, IPM) products.  We are in the North East and the growing season here will dictate what is available.  We want people to have a mix of items they can cook with and be excited about.  This year, we expect to include a mix of some of the following items each week:
Kale, Chard, Collards, Lettuce, Cabbage
Carrots, Beets, Parsnip, Kohlrabi, Fennel
Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes
Onions, Garlic, Leeks
Eggplant, Peppers (in October perhaps)
Squash (butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti, etc)
Fruit: Apple, Pear, Quince, Grapes
Specialty: Mushrooms, Honey, Grains, Juices, etc.
Some of this produce will come from our farm and some will come from other partner farms across NJ.
Each share will cost $20/week. CASH only please.
Shares will be paid for the week BEFORE they are picked up. People interested in joining will ‘sign-up’ with swag no later than Oct 7th. The first payment will be made no later than Oct 9th.  We are asking that all people who sign up for the CSA commit to the first two weeks/shares. 
Ongoing payment will be made at pickup.  Shareholders who want a share the following week will need to bring payment for the next week/share to the market at the time they are picking up their current share. EG: Shareholders picking up a share on the 16th will bring the $20 for the following week (Oct 23rd) share, and the same for following weeks.
Friday’s between 12pm – 5:30pm you will be able to pick up your ‘share’ from the market at SWAG.
Rainy-day pick-up will be inside the tabernacle building.
If you cannot make the pickup, please arrange to have someone else collect it for you.  This person can also make a payment on your behalf for the next week.
If you want to be in the CSA, please email us ( no later that Oct 7th and bring payment to the SWAG farm stand no later than Oct 9th (Friday).  As mentioned above, we are asking people to commit to the first two weeks. It will be $20 due at that time and $20 due at the first pickup (payment after that will be on a weekly basis)
You can copy and paste the below if you are signing up for the CSA
I want to participate in the SWAG 2014 CSA
Phone Number:
Please answer the following questions if you sign up for the CSA
1) Name 1 to 3 Fall items you would be excited to cook with!
2) Name 1 Fall item you would not like to receive (if there is one).
3) Please let us know if you would be interested in also receiving cheese or meat products for an additional charge (if we have enough interest we will let people know in advance what the item will be and the additional cost.)

Join us for Operation Cleanup


Operation Cleanup – Love your neighborhood and your city!

Please join our community partners at Newark SAS on Saturday, April 25, 2015 for a neighborhood cleanup celebration in honor of Earth Day!   Nobody likes to live in an area filled with trash and all types of pollution so this year we’re collaborating with local communities, faith institutions and businesses to make our neighborhoods happier, cleaner places!

You can lend a helping hand by volunteering, spreading the word, or donating supplies or light refreshments as a means to support the beautification of your neighborhood. We are inviting all residents to either help organize a cleanup in their own neighborhood or join a group at a location listed below.  Events will run from 10am to 2pm.

Be the change you want to see in the world, and bring a friend or family member with you.


Alnisa Miller, Organizer  973.391.3961

Brenda Anderson, Office of Recycling  973.733.3861

Tobias A. Fox, Organizer  646.399.0337

Meeting location: 385 South Orange Ave.



Angie Smith, Organizer  973.280.4049

Meeting Location: Orange Public Library, 348 Main St.

East Orange

Najah Amatul–Ali 973.234.3635 or

Royston Allman 973.380.7238

Meeting Locations:

The Jersey Explorer Children’s Museum, 192 Dodd Street

Masjid As-Habul Yameen, 224 N. 18th Street

Open Positions at SWAG Project


The SWAG Project farm team is excited to offer various seasonal internship opportunities this growing season to students and community members interested in taking an initial step into the world of urban farming and community development. Please see the list below and attached descriptions.

– Communications + Social Media Intern: Communications Internship_SWAG 2015

– Market + Farm Intern: Farm and Market Internship_SWAG 2015

– Community Outreach + Volunteer Coordinator: Community Outreach Coordinator_SWAG 2015

Please review the description and send a resume and cover letter with the heading ‘Position Name – Your Name’ to

Although the opportunities are unpaid positions, these experiences will provide participants with a fundamental understanding of key issues in our food system and their relationship to urban agriculture, helping interns to develop and hone the necessary skills and knowledge required for employment in the non-profit, community development and food system sectors. We will work with any student’s academic institution to assist the individual in receiving college credit if possible, or pay a small stipend for transportation costs.

#FundSWAG Fundraising Push

Thanks to all of you dear friends, family and partners who donated yesterday to help SWAG Project create IMG_1177stronger communities through food. Because of you we raised over $700 in donations yesterday alone.
This pushed us past our halfway mark of $3000! Please continue to share our fundraiser throughout the next month.  We have until the end of March to make our total goal of $6k to fund sustainability and the 2015 season at SWAG.  Funding this year will go to supporting new sustainability interns, creation of a new composting program and the construction of a new greenhouse!

And if you haven’t already, PLEASE Donate to the project – $25, $50, $100 –  any amount helps continue our food justice and community development efforts in Newark and beyond!  To donate, follow this link:  ‪#‎fundSWAG‬ IMG_4514

Heros in Our Backyard!

Last year, SWAG Project was chosen by ioby as one of their 2014 Hero projects. This lovely video, made by Good Eye Video, gives an overview of our community development and local food project and it’s goals. We are incredibly thankful to ioby for highlighting our work, for helping us raise funds to continue making our neighborhood a more livable and lively place, and for making us a part of the creation of this short film.  Were also incredibly thankful to all the local community members and partners who have made SWAG what it is!

Below is the blog published by ioby as part of the ‘Hero’ highlight, we hope you enjoy!

And please remember to support sustainability at SWAG through this years ioby fundraiser here.


Last year, we started cooking up a video series designed to feature some of the real heroes of the ioby community – projects and leaders we wanted to set squarely in the limelight, and hold up as role models and as inspiration. Among those we featured was SWAG of Newark: a thriving urban community farm that today educates around 700 local students per year, sells wonderful fresh produce at its own market, and has become a source of great pride and pleasure in the South Ward of Newark. The farm has even served as a wonderful resource for the unemployed or underemployed who seek a creative, confidence-building, social outlet while they search for new work.


In fact, so much has happened at SWAG since the video went into production – not least of all their latest ioby campaign, to which you can still donate here – that we wanted to accompany the video’s release with a little update. Here’s where they are now:

The last year has seen SWAG delve deeper than ever into an analysis of what sustainability means for the farm, and for the South Ward community. Becoming sustainable with a capital “S” will mean closing loops on environmental impact, on financial self-reliance, and in terms of community leadership. SWAG co-founder Alexandra Payne is thrilled about the developments on all three.

“In a lot of smaller communities that are poor communities,” says Payne, “you see these big ups and downs in how well projects work based on funding or based on how well things are going in the city or based on these small pots of money that are available. What this sustainability project is partially about doing is making it possible for the farm to continue its basic operations without having to worry about that. So without having to worry about issues like where will our seed money come from every year, or can we afford to buy seedlings and  supplies, or can we afford that outside organic fertilizer, or can we afford to pay the neighbor for water? Can we afford local interns?”


How will SWAG close those loops? Well, first, they’ll make their own soil, for free. Plans are in the works for two huge new compost bins will turn organic farm waste into fresh soil for next year. “For a quarter-acre farm,” says Payne, “you do need a decent amount of soil additives to keep soil healthy, and we prefer not to buy those, not have them all be purchased cow manure or mushroom compost. We prefer to make them because you get a better mix of components, and because it means that we can do it right on farm and have more of a closed loop.” Second, a hoop-house for germinating seedlings will go up in the fall, so that SWAG won’t have to look to expensive nurseries at the start of each growing season. Taken together, these two new initiatives will mean greater security through the unpredictable ebbs and flows of external funding.

Another hugely important part of SWAG’s vision for its sustainable future is that they be able to afford to pay local interns. Some of the interns they’ve had have come back year after year, both shaping the project and being shaped by it – even choosing college majors according to new passions they discovered on the farm. “It’s really great for us to have interns who can really run small pieces of the project,” says Payne, “and who feel comfortable leading the classes and who when they’re at the market can talk to people about ‘this is why we’re doing this and these are our goals’ and who can really start to internalize that and see the project as their own.”

SWAG Whole Farm

But Payne and the SWAG Team don’t want those dedicated interns to have to choose between the farm and earning money. Starting with their current ioby campaign and moving forward, she plans to offer interns a stipend, as well as lunches and travel reimbursements. “We really want to invest in interns from the local community,” she says.

As part of that transition toward even stronger community-directed leadership, Payne would like to see volunteer numbers going up, so that each person takes on fewer hours. “Like a co-op,” she says, so that the joy of the work spreads further, but the burden for each person is lighter, reducing burnout.

Vincent watermelon

Meanwhile, an exciting transition is afoot at the farm. Payne and her team are readying the farm for a passing of the baton, in terms of leadership. SWAG belongs, she says, to the South Ward community, and that is where its future leaders will be found. “We’re there to give some direction and help raise funds and help people dream about what the farm could be, and in the future I’d love to step back and have a group of residents and students who’ve been there really take the day to day reigns of the project,” Payne says.

She and her team plan to step back a bit, starting this spring – very slowly and consciously, of course – and she’s excited to start talking about where the first satellite projects might pop up. They already have small satellites in Baltimore and outside of Philly, and want to continue to expand in the model of SWAG. “I don’t think we ever see ourselves not being a part of those projects; I just think it’s important at a community level to have them be very community directed. So once it’s stable and on its feet, that’s what I see happening.”

To support SWAG during this time of innovation and transition, and to learn more about the farm’s new initiatives, click here.

575641_360919704008712_668437568_nTo view the original article, click here

Give Green + Support SWAG for #Giving Tuesday


Today is #givingtuesday your chance to give back! Please consider supporting SWAG Project sustainability campaign!

Find us here ( on the IOBY site and read all about our plans for 2015.

Give today with an ioby gift card from Groupon and they will match your $10 donation!

Use this link: to get the Groupon giving card, or go directly to the SWAG Project page below.

SWAG can’t exist without your support!  If you have time, send this on to your friends and family and encourage them to donate as well!