15 Urban Farms and Gardens Bringing Fresh Produce and Food Education to New Yorkers

by Lily Zaballos

When you think of local food in New York City you may picture food grown upstate in the Hudson Valley or in the tri-state area, but thousands of pounds of produce are produced each year right in NYC’s five boroughs. These urban farms and gardens are using a variety of hydroponics, aquaponics, green houses, rooftop farming, and regenerative agricultural practices to bring fresh produce to New Yorkers while also providing educational programming, workshops, and events for NYC residents young and old. 

Have an urban farm or garden you think should be on our list? Please email us at [email protected]

Due to COVID-19 some farms have changed their operating times or educational program offerings. Check their websites for COVID-19 changes and guidelines prior to visiting.

Urban Farms:

Brooklyn Grange

Mission: “Brooklyn Grange farms rooftops, builds green spaces, and promotes sustainable living and local ecology through food, education, and events. We believe that social enterprise is a powerful driver of positive change, and that businesses should be a nourishing part of their community.”

Location: Long Island City Farm, 37-18 Northern Blvd. Roof, Long Island City, Queens 11101; Brooklyn Navy Yard Farm, 63 Flushing Ave, Building 3, Roof Brooklyn, NY 11205; Sunset Park Farm, 850 Third Ave, Roof Brooklyn, NY 11232.

Category: Retail, Rooftop 

Size: 5.6 acres across three farms 

What they produce: Produce, honey

Whom they serve: Local communities, restaurants, retailers, food pantries and community organizations. 

Onsite programs: Events and educational programs. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), weekly market and open house: Saturdays, May-October at the Long Island City Farm. Brooklyn Grange, wanting to realize the full educational potential of the rooftop farm, founded City Growers, an educational nonprofit to transform the farm into a learning laboratory for youth ages 4-18. City Growers is staffed by trained educators and provides tours, workshops and activities for young people who may be coming on a class field trip, but also engages older youth in more intensive apprenticeships in farming, beekeeping and green career pathways. 

Founded: 2010. 

Director: Ben Flanner

Profit or Nonprofit: For-profit

Email/contact information: [email protected] 

Interesting fact: Each of Brooklyn Grange’s farms is specially built on a rooftop, using a green roof system that absorbs millions of gallons of rainwater each year and uses it to produce vibrant fruits and vegetables. 

The Battery Urban Farm

Mission: “The Battery Urban Farm is an educational farm where New York City’s students, residents, and visitors experience sustainable farming, enjoy tasting organic fresh foods, and learn environmental stewardship.”

Location: The Battery, State St &, Battery Pl, New York, NY 10004.

Category: Educational, Youth, Community Program, Park Program

Size: 1 acre

What they produce: Over 100 varieties of vegetables.  

Whom they serve: NYC students and individuals from across the five boroughs.

Onsite programs: Field trips, educational programs for youth, School Plot program for local schools, teacher training programs, and produce distribution to PS 276 and PS 234 through Grow to Learn NYC, The Coalition for the Homeless, and to Drive Change. 

Founded: 2011

Director: Sean Kiely, Park Manager

Profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit, run by the Battery Conservancy. 

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: The farm offers students the opportunity to learn about water ecology through three oyster restoration stations off The Battery’s waterfront. 

Eagle Street Rooftop Farms

Mission: “Eagle Street Rooftop Farms is a 6,000 square foot green roof organic vegetable farm located on a warehouse rooftop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. On the shoreline of the East River and with a sweeping view of the Manhattan skyline, the farm realizes the benefits of a green roofing while bringing hyper-local produce to the North Brooklyn community.”

Location: 44 Eagle St, Brooklyn, NY 11222. 

Category: Retail, Educational, Rooftop

Size: 0.13 acres 

What they produce: Produce, honey, eggs

Whom they serve: The Greenpoint community, local restaurants.

Onsite programs: Market open the last Sunday of the month from 1pm–4pm from May-October. Education programs and events. 

Founded: 2009

Director: Annie Novak, operating farmer

Profit or Nonprofit: Forprofit

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: Eagle Street Rooftop Farms was the first rooftop soil farm in New York City. 

East New York Farms!

Mission: “The mission of East New York Farms! is to organize youth and adults to address food justice in our community by promoting local sustainable agriculture and community-led economic development. East New York Farms! is a project of the United Community Centers in partnership with local residents.”

Location: East New York Farms! Operates two urban farms and two gardens in East New York: The UCC Youth Farm, Pink Houses Community Farm, Fresh Farm, and Wortman Avenue Community Garden.

Category: Educational, Youth, Community Program, Retail 

Size: UCC Youth Farm, 0.5 acres; Pink Houses Community Farm, 0.5 acres; plus two community gardens

What they produce: Produce, honey. 

Whom they serve: Garden members, residents of the NYCHA Pink Houses development, the local East New York community. 

Onsite programs: Farm tours, workshops and events. Seasonal ENY Farmers’ Market, Saturdays from 1-3pm at 620 Schenck Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11207. Compost Station with year-round community drop-off at the Saturday Farmers’ Market. 

Founded: 1998

Director: Iyeshima Harris

Profit or Nonprofit: Community-run organization 

Email/contact information: Phone: (718) 649-7979, Garden Manager and Outreach Coordinator: Tiana Rainford, [email protected]

Interesting fact:The Wortman Avenue Community Garden is home to the New York Healthy Soils Initiative, a project that works to educate members of the Wortman Avenue Garden and other local community gardens about the importance of healthy soil. 

Harlem Grown

Mission: “Harlem Grown is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire youth to lead healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition.”

Location: Harlem Grown operates 12 urban farms in East, West, and Central Harlem. Its Flagship site is located at 118 W 134th St, New York, NY 10030.

Category: Educational, Youth, Community Program 

Size: 134 Street Farm, 0.33 acres; plus 11 additional sites 

What they produce: Produce, eggs, honey

Whom they serve: Harlem residents, with a focus on local youth. 

Onsite programs: Workshops, events, farm tours, summer camps, composting. 

Founded: 2011

Director: Tony Hillery 

Profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: A new picture book about the history and mission of Harlem Grown was released just this year, check it out here

Oko Farms

Mission: “Practice and promote aquaponics as a sustainable farming method that mitigates the impact of climate change, and increases food security for New York City. Spread the knowledge and skills required to practice aquaponics farming by educating children and adults of all racial and socio-economic backgrounds.”

Location: 104 Moore Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206.

Size: 0.06 acres

Category: Educational, Community Program

What they produce: Vegetables and fish 

Whom they serve: The Bushwick community, individuals interested in aquaponics. 

Onsite programs: Aquaponics training, virtual workshops and events. 

Founded: 2013

Director: Yemi Amu 

Profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: The farm uses an aquaponic system to raise freshwater fish and vegetables, making it NYC’s first outdoor, publicly accessible aquatic farm. 

Rabbit’s Garden

Mission: “In the work that we do, we strive to work towards a world in which food is grown sustainably and distributed equitably and in which all people have agency in their food systems.”

Location: Staten Island Urby Apartments, 7 Navy Pier Court, Staten Island, NY 10304.

Size: 0.11 acres

Category: Retail, Community Program

What they produce: Produce and flowers

Whom they serve: Staten Island Urby Apartment building residents, local restaurants, farmers’ markets,  retailers. 

Onsite programs: Seasonal weekly sliding-scale Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), pick-up Wednesday in the Urby cafe from 3 – 7pm. Workshops, events, farm-to-table dinners. 

Founded: 2019. 

Director: Olivia Gamber, owner and farmer in residence.

Profit or Nonprofit: For-profit

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: The farm is located in the center of the Staten Island Urby Apartment building and utilizes bio-dynamic and bio-intensive practices to grow produce and provide a communal area to local residents. 

Randall’s Island Urban Farm

Mission: “The mission of the Farm is to offer local children and families the chance to experience and learn from agriculture in an urban setting, as well as to teach essential life skills and support academic learning through hands-on classes exploring how choices about food affect their health, the environment and their communities.”

Location: Wards Meadow Loop, New York, NY 10035.

Category: Educational, Youth, Community Program, Park Program

Size: 0.9 acres

What they produce: Produce, rice, eggs 

Whom they serve: NYC children and families. 

Onsite programs: Edible Education Program for youth, public Exploration Days, composting, outdoor kitchen.

Founded: 2010

Director: Ciara Sidell, Urban Farm Manager

Profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: The farm is home to an outdoor kitchen equipped with a bike-powered blender that kids can use to make smoothies, sauces, and more during educational programs. 

Red Hook Farms

Mission: “Red Hook Farms is a youth-­centered urban farming and food justice program in Red Hook, Brooklyn. We create opportunities for teens to expand their knowledge base, develop their leadership skills, and positively engage with each other, their community, and the environment. Since 2001, we have strived to transform vacant lands into vibrant urban farms, improve access to healthy, affordable produce, and nurture a new generation of green leaders.”

Location: Columbia Street Farm, 560 Columbia Street Brooklyn, NY 11231. Wolcott Street Farm, 30 Wolcott Street Brooklyn, NY 11231. 

Category: Educational, Youth, Community Program, Retail 

Size: Columbia Street Farm, 2.75 acres; Wolcott Street Farm, 1.1 acre 

What they produce: Produce

Whom they serve: The Red Hook community, NYCHA residents at the Red Hook Houses West. 

Onsite programs: Seasonal farm stands: Saturdays, 10am-3pm at 560 Columbia Street Brooklyn, NY 11231, and Wednesdays, 12-7PM at 110 W 9th St Brooklyn, NY 11231. Weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Fresh Food Box for NYCHA residents. Community compost drop-off at Columbia Street Garden, Saturdays 10am-1pm, April-November. 

Founded: 2001

Director: Saara Nafici

Profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: Red Hook Farms offers The Youth Farmers program, a paid apprenticeship for teens living in the Red Hook area that teaches them about farming, composting, marketing and community outreach. 

Queens County Farm Museum

Mission: “The site includes historic farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, farm vehicles and implements, planting fields, an orchard, and an herb garden. Our farm animals and tranquil agrarian environment provide the opportunity to leave the hectic daily pace behind for an enjoyable visit to a farm without leaving the city.”

Location: 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, Queens, NY 11004.

Size: 47 acres 

Category: Educational, Youth, Community Program, Historical Site, Retail

What they produce:Produce, flowers, eggs, honey, yarn 

Whom they serve: The NYC community at large. 

Onsite programs: Seasonal farm stand, Wednesday- Sunday, 11am-3pm; community compost drop-off, daily, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM; seasonal weekly flower Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Field trips, guided tours, events.

Founded: The farm dates back to 1697, but was opened to the public in 1975. 

Director: Jennifer Walden Weprin

Profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: The farm occupies New York City’s largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland and is one of the longest continuously farmed sites in New York State. 

Gardens:

Green Bronx Machine Food for Others Garden

Mission: “Green Bronx Machine builds healthy, equitable, and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and 21st Century workforce development. Dedicated to cultivating minds and harvesting hope, our school-based model using urban agriculture aligned to key school performance indicators grows healthy students and healthy schools to transform communities that are fragmented and marginalized into neighborhoods that are inclusive and thriving.”

Location: From the Bronx to the world! GBM serves over 500 schools in 20 states and 5 nations!

Category: School garden, whole school education, professional development

Size: Over 300 feet long and 50 feet wide (on a formally abandoned city street)

What they produce: Produce, healthy students, high-performing schools, graduates, registered voters, living wage jobs and members of the middle class!

Whom they serve: Their local South Bronx community, students, families and Sloan Kettering cancer patients. Additionally, GBM serves schools in all five-boroughs in multiple languages including the first wheelchair accessible commercial farm and training kitchen in NYC and offers GBM Institute in partnership with NYC Department of Education.

Onsite programs: The National Health, Wellness and Learning Center at CS 55 complete with indoor / outdoor farm / technology hub / low-cost, highly replicable, intercative classroom, afterschool and summe camp programs, and the largest, organic soil farm in the Bronx.

Founded: 2014

Director: Stephen Ritz

Profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: Green Bronx Machine has been ranked a Top Ten Health and Wellness Program in America by the Harkin Institute and named a Top 100 Educational Innovation in the world for three consecutive years by HundrEd. Invited to the Obama White House three times, GBM is the only program in the US to install gardens both inside and outside of the White House. GBM is proud to be featured in the new documentary, Generation Growth.

GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island

Mission: “The GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island is a one acre urban farm that aims to engage, excite, and educate its visitors in all aspects of urban farming. GrowNYC offers field trips at the Teaching Garden to NYC students and summer camp participants, giving kids the opportunity to plant, water, harvest, and cook the garden’s wide array of vegetables, herbs, and fruits.”

Location: 778 Enright Rd, New York, NY 10004.

Size: 1 acre

Category: Educational, Youth, Community Program, Park Program

What they produce: Produce and flowers

Whom they serve: NYC youth and their families. Produce is distributed to local organizations serving 

food-insecure New Yorkers. 

Onsite programs: Field trips, garden and nutrition workshops, summer camps. Public weekend hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4.

Founded: 2014

Director: Gerard Lordahl

Profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit operated through GrowNYC under the jurisdiction of NYC Parks and Recreation.

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Teaching Garden has shifted its educational offerings online with the Virtual Teaching Garden program. More information on virtual programs here

Hattie Carthan Community Garden and Market 

Mission:  “To increase access to locally grown fresh food, farm culture and intergenerational agricultural education to all facets of the community in a neighborhood classified as a ‘fresh food desert.’”

Location: 654A Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216.

Size: 2 acres

Category: Community Garden, Resale, Educational, Community Program

What they produce: Produce 

Whom they serve: The Bedford-Stuyvesant community. 

Onsite programs: Weekly seasonal market, Saturdays 9am-3pm. Workshops, events. 

Founded: The garden was founded in 1991, and the Hattie Carthan Community Market was founded in 2009.

Director: Yonnette Fleming, Market Project Director 

Profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit community-run organization under the jurisdiction of NYC Parks and Recreation.

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: The garden is named after Hattie Carthan, a 20th century black female activist and environmentalist who advocated for the Bed-Stuy community. 

La Finca del Sur

Mission: “La Finca del Sur/South Bronx Farmers is an urban farm cooperative led by Latina and Black women and their allies. We are committed to building healthy neighborhoods through economic empowerment, increased nutritional awareness, training and education, and advocating for social and political equality and food justice in low-income communities.”

Location: 110 E 138th St, The Bronx, NY 10451.

Size: 2.5 acres

Category: Community Garden, Retail, Educational, Community Program.

What they produce: Produce and flowers 

Whom they serve: The local Mott Haven community. 

Onsite programs: Workshops and events. 

Founded: 2009

Director: N/A, volunteer run garden.

Profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit

Email/contact information: 646-725-2162, [email protected]

Interesting fact: Though they don’t host their own market. Produce and flowers grown at the farm are  sold at the local South Bronx Farmers Market. 

Phoenix Community Garden

Mission: “The Phoenix Community Garden in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn grows nearly 2,000 pounds of beans, corn, collards, bitter melon, tomatoes, zucchini, herbs and callaloo to feed the neighborhood.  The Garden provides fresh food, green space, and community to folks in Ocean Hill-Brownsville.”

Location: 2037 Fulton Street Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY 11233.

Size: 0.45 acres

Category: Community Garden, Resale, Educational, Community Program

What they produce: Produce. 

Whom they serve: Garden members and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville community. 

Onsite programs: Community workshops and events. Weekly farm stand. Weekly Fresh Food Boxes, pick up Saturdays 11am-3pm at the Phoenix Community Garden Gate, 32 Somers Street; Elder Box program. 

Founded: 2007

Director: N/A, community-led organization. 

Profit or Nonprofit: Community-run organization under the jurisdiction of NYC Parks and Recreation.

Email/contact information: [email protected]

Interesting fact: The Elder Box program is a new initiative that delivers free boxes of fresh produce from the garden to local home-bound elders on a weekly basis. Donate a box here.

Related Articles

Subscribe To Weekly NYC Food Policy Watch Newsletter
Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news, reports and event information
No Thanks
Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
×
×