Erik and myself spoke on Saturday, March 24th at Union Docs at the event “Examining Urban Farming” asking- what is the future of the farm in the city?
Not so long ago, tomato plants occupying fire escapes and dispersed community garden plots defined what it meant to grown your own food within city limits. Over the last two decades, young farmers and food advocates have brazenly imagined another way. Taking over rooftops and vacant lots, utilizing forgotten, creative and unexpected spaces, the once piecemeal community garden transformed into an urban farm. As the city turns its attention to becoming a greener place, with the adoption of PlaNYC, there is no doubt this group will have a hand in carving out a place for farming in the city’s future.
Today’s panel brings together six people – a documentarian, two farmers, a writer and two planners- that actively expand, rethink and redefine the foodscape of New York City.
Curated with Meg Kelly.
Seeing Green: The Value of Urban Agriculture measures the stormwater management potential of three urban farms; Brooklyn Grange (a rooftop farm), Added Value (raised beds) and the NYC Parks Department’s Five Borough Administrative Building (an experimental green roof station). The aim is to create a model for future research that can be replicated anywhere, to help validate and support urban farms. Seeing Green was co-founded by Tyler Caruso and Erik Facteau.
Annie Novak is founder and director of Growing Chefs, field-to-fork food education program; the Assistant Manager of the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden at the New York Botanical Gardens, and co-founder and farmer of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in partnership with Goode Green and Broadway Stages.
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.
Scott Nyerges is a Brooklyn-based photographer and filmmaker. His video work has been shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, while his photography has been featured in Momentum magazine and Architectural Digest’s shopAD blog. Additional work can be seen at scottnyerges.com.
Molly Culver is Farm Manager for bk farmyards. She has been an active urban farmer and food justice advocate in NYC since 2004, and holds a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Molly is a Just Food trainer and Farm School NYC teacher, and leads workshops on horticulture, food preservation, and animal husbandry.
The Youth Farm is a partnership of the High School for Public Service and Green Guerillas, with staff support from bk farmyards. We are turning the school’s 1.25 acre lawn into a thriving, productive and educational farm.
Nicola Twilley is author of the blog Edible Geography and co-director of Studio-X, part of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation’s global network of urban futures think tanks. She is also co-founder of the Foodprint Project and Future Plural, a former Food Editor at GOOD magazine, and a freelance writer and curator with work published in The Atlantic, Volume, Dwell, Business Insider, and Wired UK.
Meg Kelly is current Collaborative Fellow at UnionDocs and Research and Design Assistant at Urban Landscape Lab. Over the last couple of years, she split her time between New York and India. She hails a background in architecture and is always into thinking about the different versions of the future of the city.