The Safe Urban Harvests Study: An assessment of urban farms and community gardens in Baltimore City

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2019: $15,000.00
Projected End Date: 11/30/2022
Grant Recipient: Johns Hopkins University
Region: Northeast
State: Maryland
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Keeve Nachman, PhD
Johns Hopkins BSPH
To investigate potential metal contamination risks associated with urban agriculture in Baltimore City, Center for a Livable Future researchers collaborated with the Farm Alliance of Baltimore, Parks & People Foundation, Baltimore City Office of Sustainability, and University of Maryland Extension – Baltimore City to design and implement the “Safe Urban Harvests Study.” During the 2017 growing season, researchers surveyed 104 farms and gardens in Baltimore City to learn about their growing practices and tested their soil, irrigation water, and produce for harmful metals. For comparative purposes, the researchers also collected and analyzed conventional and organic produce from grocery stores and farmers markets. The study found that, with rare exceptions, urban farmers and gardeners can continue growing safely in Baltimore City. This report summarizes the findings, and provides guidance on ways to reduce exposures to contaminants in urban agriculture.
Raychel Santo, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Sara Lupolt, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Brent Kim, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Keeve Nachman, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Target audiences:
Farmers/Ranchers; Educators; Researchers; Consumers
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.