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Urban Grow Center Exterior.jpg

Urban Grow Center Produce Market 1.jpg
The produce market.

Urban Grow Center produce market cu 1.jpg

Urban Grow Center produce market cu2.jpg

Urban Grow Center produce market cu3 (honey bears).jpg

Urban Grow Center -Gardener's resource room.jpg
The gardeners' resource room.

Urban Grow Center Gardening Books.jpg

Urban Grow Center free seeds.jpg

Urban Grow Center Clean Room.jpg
The clean room, where produce that comes in is cleaned and stored.

Urban Grow Center -Volunteer Center.jpg
The volunteer center.

Urban Grow Center office space 2.jpg
Office space.

A tour of the new Urban Grow Center

On River Street.

Two big pieces of news out of Capital District Community Gardens today. The first is that it's no longer Capital District Community Gardens. After 40 years the regional food org that runs eleven programs including the Veggie Mobile, Community Gardens, and Healthy Convenience Store program has changed its name to Capital Roots.

The new name comes as Capital Roots officially opens its long-anticipated Urban Grow Center in a rehabbed, 165-year-old industrial building in Troy.

The 12,000-square-foot building includes a produce market, gardeners'resource center, green roof, and community meeting space.

Here are few more details and a look around...

The concept

The Urban Grow Center is located on River Street in Troy, but executive director Amy Klein says it's meant to be a regional hub which she hopes will be a model for other communities around the country. She says the center is a place for the whole community -- gardeners, farmers, consumers and community organizations.

"It's a place for famers from all over the region to sell their products, where child care facilities can buy products using us as a conduit, group homes -- these are the connections that we are helping to make," Klein says. "You can't just eat out of one neighborhood or city or county even. Even if you eat as locally as possible the best you can do is to eat regionally. Which would be a phenomenal thing if we all ate more regionally. We're best when we are a region, when we look at ourselves as a region."

But getting people to think regionally can be a challenge. "Many of us work in silos in our region," says Klein. "Whether it is issue silos or silos from a geographic standpoint, so that is a difficulty, but I do think that food breaks down a lot of those barriers -- growing it, cooking it, enjoying it."

The building

There are a bunch of large format photos of the building above -- click or scroll all the way up.


The gardeners' resource room.

The 165 year old industrial building has been refitted to include indoor loading bays, a clean room, a resource room for gardeners, meeting space for the community, offices and space for volunteers and interns.

Klein says it was designed to be functional but it also has an open, airy, fun feeling. "We wanted everybody that comes here to walk away with a smile on their face."

Phase 2

Capital Roots has raised $2.2 million for phase 1 of the Urban Grow Center, and hopes to raise the last $600,000 for this phase by the end of this year. Then, says Klein, comes phase 2, which includes a hydroponic greenhouse for year-round growing and a commercial kitchen.

"It's a very exciting phase," says Klein. "It's about taking our job training program that we have been doing with youth through our Produce Project and expanding it to employ adults. And people are very excited about the commercial kitchen because there is such a need for commercial grade kitchen space and there is a tremendous desire to incubate food based businesses. Also, the concept of bringing together the food hub and the business incubation makes so much sense."

Capital Roots advertises on All Over Albany.

Find It

Urban Grow Center
594 River Street
Troy, NY 12180

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