April 14, 2014 – Over the past five weeks, we covered a lot of territory and visited the neighborhoods in Rittenhouse and Fairmount, Old City and Elfreth’s Alley, University City and Powelton Village, Fishtown and Queen Village, and Chestnut Hill and Manayunk.
Today, in our last part of the series, we’ll take a closer look at South Philadelphia and the Italian Market area, and Northeast Philadelphia, where a working farm sits among the crowded residential streets.
The heart and soul of Philadelphia’s southern region is the Italian Market that runs along 9th Street. I drove to the heart of Little Italy where the streets are narrow and there’s not a Starbuck’s, Walgreens or Olive Garden in site.
As one of the oldest and largest working markets in the U.S., the Italian Market is still predominantly Italian, but also includes some items from other cultures.
From fresh produce, cheese, pasta, baked goods, seafood, and Italian Water Ice, to antique shops, herbal shops, jewelry and more, Philadelphia’s Italian Market has something for everyone.
There are also a variety of excellent Italian restaurants and pizza shops, and of course, the famous Pat’s Steaks and Geno’s Steaks at the southern end.
Philadelphia’s 9th Street Italian Market is off the beaten path as far as city attractions go, but if you’re looking for a unique way to spend an afternoon and a lot of good food, it’s worth the trip.
Large urban cities and farming rarely go hand in hand, but in Philadelphia, it is part of the culture in the Northeast section of the city.
Fox Chase Farm, located at 8500 Pine Road, is closed to the public, except during public events.
The farm, complete with plenty of livestock, sits on 112 acres near Pennypack Creek.
The farm has existed at this location for over 200 years, and has been known by various names.
Friends of Fox Chase Farm, an all-volunteer group with over 400 member families, keeps the farm working. In 2005, the farm was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
While Fox Chase Farm is a working farm on grand scale proportions, there are smaller urban centers and agriculture projects in Philadelphia that grow local produce. These centers are scattered throughout Philadelphia, in Kensington, North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, and other areas of the city. Additionally, there is the Walter Biddle Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences in Northwest Philadelphia (Roxborough) that trains students to be future farmers.