Although this blog is dedicated to mapping Brooklyn, occasionally I'll venture across the bridges to report on noteworthy places on the isle of Manhattan (and further afield.) Last week, I attended the Urban Agriculture Conference, which focuses on sustainable farming in urban environments. As part of the 2 1/2-day event, conference goers got a chance to visit some of the farms that are sprouting up around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The Brooklyn tour was full by the time I registered, but as it turned out, the Manhattan trip was wildly interesting from beginning to end, starting with at 10am visit to Battery Urban Farm.
Until last week, I had no idea there was a 1-acre farm that sat on the edge of the financial district. It's mainly an educational farm, with site-sponsored programs and plots of land for schools to teach kids about where their food comes from. In addition to the neat rows of lettuces, kale, and radishes for food production, there's also a fun teepee area where kids can play with seeds and plant vegetables of their own choosing. In the spring and fall, the food goes toward school lunches, while in the summer the crops are sold through a farm share.
Fun fact: the farm is shaped like a turkey, as a tribute to Zelda (named after Zelda Fitzgerald), the wild turkey that has been roaming Battery Park for the last decade.
It's really incredibly how, even in the densest of urban environments, the city has managed to carve out green spaces for educational and community-building purposes.
Another interesting note: It's the first farm I've been on where, standing in the middle of crops, you can actually feel the subway rumbling right beneath your feet.
More farm visit recaps coming this week, including Riverpark and the rooftop farm of the Waldorf-Astoria!