Cloud 9 fosters leadership, resilience, and environmental stewardship through youth and community-led food and garden programs. We cultivate sustainable communities where people of all ages grow, learn, and share.
Cloud 9 partners with organizations and buildings to design, build, and support the growth of community-led gardens and farms in Philadelphia.
Cloud 9 offers community-led design facilitation, project management, training, and community programs.
Cloud 9 offers workshops, training, and supports the development of community-led food access and garden programs throughout Philadelphia.
Our Workshops are hosted by a number of partners, including:
Mural Arts Philadelphia
Friends Rehabilitation Program
Free Library of Philadelphia
Guild House West
Sol Garden Studio
Restaurants and Bars
Cloud 9 operates a community-led Food Pantry at Guild House West, a 155-unit apartment building for low-income seniors. Distributions are held every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.
Cloud 9 conducts weekly maintenance on a series of rain gardens at The Haverford Triangle as part of The Philadelphia Water Department's (PWD) Soak It Up Adoption (SIUA) Program.
Contact us if you'd like to host a workshop or are interested in starting a garden or food access program!
Our Farms & Gardens
Cloud 9 operates 3 community-led farm and garden programs. Each is developed and managed in partnership with the community the site serves to make sure our work is tailored to meet their needs and goals.
The Urbanstead Farm is located within Francisville Village, a 42-unit housing complex for low-income seniors managed by Community Ventures. Urbanstead grows food for the community, operates a seasonal farm stand, and hosts learning opportunities for people of all ages, and internships for youth and young adults.
At Opportunities Towers, a 275-unit apartment building for low-income seniors, Cloud 9 has built a Community Garden with help from YouthBuild student volunteers. 15 gardeners grow produce and flowers in 10 accessible garden beds.
In West Philadelphia's Belmont neighborhood, Cloud 9 is partnering with Friends Rehabilitation Program, an affordable housing and social service provider, to develop and implement a community-led food production and distribution plan, the Belmont Agrihood Project (BAP). Based on goals established in community meetings, Cloud 9 is helping build backyard garden beds, distribute produce in partnership with Greener Partners, with the growth of a number of neighborhood gardens, and is preparing to build a greenhouse and develop market opportunities.
Community-led gardens and food access programs benefit the health of ecosystems, communities, and individuals by
Supporting biodiversity in urban environments
Increasing local food production and access
Solutions tailored to community needs and goals
Since 2012, Cloud 9 Community Farms (formerly known as Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm) has supported community-led food access and youth gardening leadership programs in Philadelphia. Cloud 9 began as a dream to create beautiful, productive rooftop farms where people build more resilient communities by coming together to grow food, learn from one another, and share the harvest.
In 2020, Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm merged with longtime partner, Urbanstead, to strengthen our programming, organizational capacity, and outreach. The newly reimagined Cloud 9 Community Farms combines the best of Urbanstead’s established youth work with Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm’s community-led gardening and food access programs. Cloud 9 Community Farms is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit with a mission to foster leadership, resilience, and environmental stewardship through youth and community-led food and garden programs.
Cloud 9 works closely with community members to design, build, and grow gardens that meet their needs and build upon their gifts and skills. Our gardens provide food, healing, and spaces for community members to connect with one another and their environment. Currently, Cloud 9 operates a series of rain gardens in West Philadelphia, an urban farm in Francisville, a food pantry, and three community gardens. Our programs support low-income seniors and families, and youth leadership development.
Rania is the founding director of Cloud 9. Rania has over 15 years of experience in sustainable farming and farm education, as well as a Masters in Social Innovation and Sustainability.
Andy returned home to Pennsylvania after years of working on urban farms in exotic locations like Cleveland and St. Louis. He has been growing with Cloud 9 since 2018. Some of his passions include Japanese turnips, farm cats, and Eagles football.
Danyell is an experienced urban farmer, community organizer, and general contractor. Danyell founded the Friends Garden for Peace and Understanding, served as the community garden manager of Mantua Peace Gardens, and an elected member of the People’s Emergency Center Neighborhood Advisory Committee. Danyell leads Cloud 9’s recovery-focused programs at The Kirkbride Center and Kensington Storefront.
Urbanstead Farm Manager
Kuan is a Philadelphia native and a Multi dimensional artist. Kuan manages the Urbastead Farm, youth programs, farmstand, and volunteer activities. Kuan Started Gardening with his grandmother when he was young. He has always loved plants and has a great deal of plans to bring more plants to the people. Kuan is also a Vibrational Healer & Co owner of a Wellness studio in Spring Arts Entitled “Sol Garden Studio." Kuan is dedicated to community growth and providing resources to those without access.
Culinary Educator and Communications Manager
Erik has a Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts & Science from Drexel University, and a culinary arts background. Erik has a contagious passion for delicious, healthy, accessible food.
Shannon managed the Urbanstead Farm and youth programs for 3 years before stepping into her role on the Development team. Shannon brings her depth of experience with the organization and programming to Cloud 9's fundraising efforts.
Kayla is an undergraduate at Drexel University studying Geoscience with a minor in Environmental Studies. Kayla has been gardening for most of her life alongside her family and is a creative at heart. In early 2021, she began an internship with Cloud 9 to document, share, and seek funding for community-led farming, educational programming, and food access efforts.