Visit a Farm this Summer: The Trip Is Shorter Than You Think

by Alexina Cather, MPH

By Lauren Lindstrom

Looking to get your hands in the dirt this summer or simply escape the concrete heat? No need to leave the boroughs of New York City! Take respite in the cool of the vegetable vines by visiting one of the city’s bountiful farms, which produce a delicious array of fresh, micro-local products—from rice to rutabagas. These farms bring endless benefits to city dwellers: increasing access to healthy foods, supporting neighborhood economies, contributing to the social cohesion of a community, teaching and training kids and adults alike about farming, food justice, and the environment, and so much more.

In the first of five posts, we highlight three nonprofit farms focusing on employing, training, and teaching youth farmers. All of these farms welcome visitors on designated days.

Red Hook Community Farm

Location: 580 Columbia Street, Brooklyn (Red Hook)

Founded: In 2001 by Added Value, a youth-led urban farming and compost operation that hires and mentors youth to run two farms and a farmers market

One of the many reasons they’re amazing: They compost more than 200 tons of organic waste annually

What’s growing: Annual vegetables and perennial herbs, including greens, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, leeks, and root vegetables

Farm size: 2.75 acres

Amount produced annually: More than 20,000 pounds of produce from Added Value’s two farms combined (the second of which is highlighted later in our Farm Series)

Where to find their products: At their Saturday farmers’ market, through their sliding-scale CSA, and at local restaurants and partner organizations; they also donate to a local food pantry and distribute produce to their teen farm apprentices

When to visit: Open to the public during their weekly volunteer hours (Fridays from 9am-12pm and Saturdays from 10:30am-1pm) or Farmers’ Market (Saturdays from 10am-3pm from Jun 18-Nov 19)  

Take the kids: They welcome school groups, teen programs, and summer camps; see their website for more information

Online: Follow Added Value on Facebook and Instagram

The Youth Farm

Location: 600 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn (Prospect Lefferts Gardens)

Founded: In 2011, as a partnership between the High School for Public Service and BK Farmyards

One of the many reasons they’re amazing: The farm is an outdoor classroom and green job incubator, training youth and adults to increase their knowledge of farming and food justice, through the Summer Youth program, the Urban Farm Training Program, and other tours and workshops

Farm size: 1 acre

What’s growing: More than 80 varieties of flowers and 80+ varieties of vegetables, including callaloo, chili peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, bitter melon, kale, and collard greens

Amount produced annually: 10,000 pounds of vegetables and ~20,000 stems of cut flowers

Where to find their products: At their weekly farmers’ market and CSA, and at restaurants in Brooklyn, including Wilma Jean, Nightiengale 9, Buttermilk Channel, 61 Local, By Brooklyn, and GRDN; the food is also used in youth education classes

When to visit: Open to the public on scheduled volunteer days every first and third Saturday of the month from 10am-3pm (May-Nov) and during their Farmers Market every Wednesday from 2:30-6:30pm (Jun-Oct)

Take the kids: The farm welcomes scheduled class visits for preK-12th grade students; contact to learn more

Online: Follow them on Facebook and Twitter

UCC Youth Farm

Location: 613 New Lots Avenue, Brooklyn (East New York)

Founded: In 2000, by East New York Farms to produce locally grown food and create an outdoor educational space in the neighborhood

One of the many reasons they’re amazing: Through East New York (ENY) Farm’s 9-month Internship Program, youth learn about sustainable farming techniques, health, leadership, community development, and social justice, and grow healthy, chemical-free food to sell at the farmers markets

Farm size: ½ acre

What’s growing: More than 70 varieties of vegetables, including cherry tomatoes, okra, long beans, cilantro, Swiss chard, and bitter melon

Amount produced annually: ~10,000 pounds of produce

Where to find their products: At the ENY Farmers Market held every Saturday from 9am-3pm (Jun-Nov) at New Lots & Schenck, and at the ENY Farm Stand every Wednesday from 3:30-6:30pm (Jul-Oct) at New Lots & Georgia

When to visit: Open to the public during open volunteer days from 10am-2pm on the first and third Saturdays of the month (Apr-Oct)

Take the kids: They conduct tours for more than 1000 visitors and volunteers every year from schools, colleges, and community groups from ENY and beyond; visit their website for more information

Online: Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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