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About Us

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.

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Our 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 Agriculture

Why Community-led?

Community-led gardens and food access programs benefit the health of ecosystems, communities, and individuals by

Community ownership

Supporting biodiversity in urban environments

Increasing local food production and access

Solutions tailored to community needs and goals

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Our History

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.

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Our Team

Staff

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Danyell Brent
Farm Director

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.

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Andy Kissinger
Program Director

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.

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Cathy Davies
Co-Interim Executive Director

Cathy Davies. Ph.D.  runs a food safety consultancy, Food Safety Mid Atlantic, which she started to support small and mid sized businesses with food safety and product development.

Additionally, Cathy is writing a book, Food Science and Food Systems: A Need for Change. The goal of this book is to bridge the gap between food scientists and people working to strengthen the food system. 

Cathy’s life purpose is to create, build and support a food system that is safe, resilient, equitable, and healthy.

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Isabelle Coupet
Co-Interim Executive Director

Isabelle (she/her) came to Cloud 9 Community Farms as a Development Assistant through Drexel University's Co-op program, working with Cloud 9's staff's daily gardening and outreach efforts. She now serves as one of Cloud 9's Interim Executive Director

 

Isabelle is passionate about Cloud 9's mission and commitment to providing green space, education, and food to people in Philadelphia. 

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Shannon Mathews
Development Co-Manager

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.

Board of Directors

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Cathy Davies
President & Co-Interim Executive Director
Food Safety Mid-Atlantic

Cathy Davies. Ph.D.  runs a food safety consultancy, Food Safety Mid Atlantic, which she started to support small and mid sized businesses with food safety and product development. She helps clients develop robust food safety programs and scale up their businesses while maintaining integrity with their values. 

Additionally, Cathy is writing a book, Food Science and Food Systems: A Need for Change. The goal of this book is to bridge the gap between food scientists and people working to strengthen the food system. 

Cathy’s life purpose is to create, build and support a food system that is safe, resilient, equitable, and healthy.

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Isabelle Coupet
Vice President & Co-Interim Executive Director
Green Building United

Isabelle (she/her) came to Cloud 9 Community Farms as a Development Assistant through Drexel University's Co-op program, working with Cloud 9's staff's daily gardening and outreach efforts. She now serves as one of Cloud 9's Interim Executive Director

 

Isabelle is passionate about Cloud 9's mission and commitment to providing green space, education, and food to people in Philadelphia. 

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Maeve Pollack
Board Secretary
Friends of the Wissahickon

​Maeve was introduced to Cloud 9 Community Farms through Young Involved Philadelphia's (YIP) Board Prep Program and currently serves as the Secretary of Cloud 9's Board. 

 

Maeve is passionate about equitable access to green spaces in cities and enjoys gardening and eating fresh foods. With a background in fundraising, communications, and event management for non-profit organizations, she is excited to contribute to the continued growth of Cloud 9.

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Courtney Leahey
Board Treasurer
Lutron

Courtney is a creative thinker that seeks opportunities to help brands tell their stories

She has experience as a hardworking, curious, and self-motivated Account Manager with over four years of international marketing experience, and is an expert at developing trust-based relationships, creating product designs, building client experiences, and managing custom project briefs.

She is energized by innovation, social responsibility, and cross-cultural communications
 

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Lacey Cornell
Vetri Community Partnership

Lacey is passionate about sustainable foodways and local food movements, composting/recycling, and teaching young members of our society about preparing healthy meals and gardening. Her current position is with Vetri Community Partnership in Philadelphia, PA where she manages educators working with elementary students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade about food, nutrition, and culture through hands-on cooking.

Brenda Tucker
Advisor

Guild House West 
Food Pantry Manager

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Brenda Tucker
Advisor
Guild House West 

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Monisha Ravi
Vice President - At Large
pureIntegration

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