Urban Adamah: A Story with Legs

by Sarah Henry on February 28, 2012 · 10 comments

in berkeley bites,civil eats,community gardens,edible east bay magazine,food security,grist,growing greens

The farm Urban Adamah through the eyes of artist Alan Leon in Edible East Bay.

In journalism, like many professions, we have expressions that have been around for years to describe what we do. For instance, a story has a lede, nut graph, and walk off — a beginning, summary paragraph early on, and an end.

And sometimes a story has legs, a phrase used by American reporters to mean a story that sticks around.

As a freelance writer, it’s good to stumble upon a story with legs, the kind of tale that editors and readers want to hear more about. Last year, articles about food swaps, cookbook clubs, and an edible education, all had legs.

As does the story of an urban farm with a religious twist that I first learned about when it moved in within walking distance of my house.

Urban Adamah's Adam Berman. Photo: Christina Diaz

As a frequent chronicler of urban farms, I covered the opening of Urban Adamah for Berkeleyside last summer.

The farm’s presence is a welcome addition to a flatland community that, while gentrifying, still has a gritty side.

In the past month alone, for example, there have been more than 20 daytime break-ins in the area I call home.

I stopped by the farm with Jewish roots a week ago and the sight of that bountiful winter greens garden made me want to do a happy dance.

And I was reminded that good things happen in areas hit by bad news, and the people who strive to make positive change in a community deserve support and recognition.

This year, I’ve had the opportunity to ask the farm’s executive director, Adam Berman, about the genesis of the faith-based program and plans to replicate this model elsewhere in a profile for Grist.

And I featured the farm in depth for a cover story for the spring issue of Edible East Bay.

Care to learn more about the farm’s approach to urban agriculture, environmental education, food security, community building, and spiritual growth?

Walk on over to these stories and dig in.

You might also like:

Urban Farmer Willow Rosenthal Plants Seeds in Berkeley
Joy Moore Community Food Reformer
Garden Teacher Kim Allen Offers Youth Space to Grow
Urban Farmer Jim Montgomery of Green Faerie Farm
Adventures of an Urban Farm Gal
The Urban Homestead: An Old Idea is New Again
Operation Frontline: Teaching the Needy to Cook


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jane Boursaw March 1, 2012 at 10:56 am

Way to rack up the story mileage! As a fellow writer, always trying to think outside the box on ways to sell a story.


Sarah Henry March 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

And you do it well, Jane.


merr March 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I’m most impressed – and love your writing, Sarah. I feel like being able to see many sides and angles of a story shows a depth in the writer, as well as the subject matter.
merr´s last [type] ..stuck/unstuck: writing after baby arrives


Sarah Henry March 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm

That’s very kind, Meredith. The way I look at it is each publication has its own sense of self and a target audience and while I write in my own voice I do tailor my copy to the needs of the outlet in question. There’s the obvious stuff, like local vs. national, and then the more nuanced stuff like POV and subject matter. In this case, if you were covering the farm for a Jewish newspaper the focus would likely hone in on the spiritual side, more so than, say, if you were writing for an urban farming mag, where you might linger longer over the challenges of growing food in a city. Make sense?


MyKidsEatSquid March 3, 2012 at 7:06 am

It is nice to find a story worthy of plenty of coverage.


Sarah Henry March 26, 2012 at 8:32 am

The good thing, MKES, is that there are so many stories like that on my beat.


Sheryl March 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I think it takes a very special talent to see so far inside a story as to make it a centipede…and you do it so well, Sarah.


Sarah Henry March 26, 2012 at 8:33 am

Ha! Love the centipede analogy, Sheryl, and the kind words, but seriously, so many of these stories practically tell themselves.


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