A number of non-profit and community-based organizations have been exploring New York City’s potential to be a center for urban agriculture. Added Value and the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Brooklyn, New York have been working to foster community development and sustainability in a number of innovative ways.
Eagle Street Rooftop farm is a 6,000 square foot green roof organic vegetable farm located atop a warehouse rooftop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. During New York City’s growing season, the farmers at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm supply a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, an onsite farm market, and bicycle fresh produce to area restaurants. The rooftop farm also hosts a range of farm-based educational and volunteer programs in partnership with with the food education organization Growing Chefs.
In April 2000, Added Value, an urban farm in Red Hook, Brooklyn, was formed in an attempt to simultaneously offer the Red Hook community access to healthy local produce and to promote youth empowerment. In May of 2001, Red Hook’s only supermarket closed its doors, leaving a serious demand for healthy produce in the community. Since 2001, Added Value has provided year-long training to more than 115 neighborhood teens. The teens’ responsibilities range from the development of agriculture-related business to the electronic documentation of the food justice movement and community education and mobilization. They work an average of seventeen hours each week in the gardens, at market and on the computers, and they receive a monthly stipend for their efforts to improve the community.
What innovative community-based food-justice initiatives are located in your town or city?
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