Help Healthy Bodega Initiative & Red Jacket Orchard Bring Local Produce to Bodegas

It’s summer. There’s produce, plenty of it local. It’s coming to supermarkets, restaurants and Greenmarkets throughout New York City. But one place you won’t hardly ever find it at is a bodega, those convenient, often round-the-clock shops where you can get toothpaste and telephone cards or tonight’s dinner of ramen and chips. Unfortunately, this is the only type of grocery store that exists in increasingly more communities here. That’s why the Healthy Bodegas Initiative was formed in 2005, aimed at … Read More

Support Urban Farming at Roberta’s Pizza Tonight

posted in: Events, Farms, NYC Events | 3

On Friday, as I sat in the converted shipping container outside of Roberta’s Pizza that’s home to Heritage Radio Network preparing for the first Cheap Date episode with my guests Keith and Rachel, we were interrupted by a series of loud, clanking noises coming from the roof above. “Can they stop farming now?” I think I muttered. But really, it was music to my ears. There is more than a tree growing in Brooklyn, or for that matter, cities all over: … Read More

A (Rainy) Volunteer Day at Stone Barns

posted in: Farms | 11

If April showers bring May flowers, then June showers bring July… peppers! Zucchini! Tomatoes, purple string beans and strawberries! And okay, more flowers, too. And that’s just the beginning of what’s in store as summer harvest time approaches at Stone Barns Center For Food and Agriculture. I recently heard a local farmer recommend to anyone wanting to volunteer at a farm, “Don’t go in July and August,” – when it’s all nice out and everything’s coming out of the soil … Read More

A Rooftop Farm for the Future

posted in: Farms | 32

A rustic scarecrow looms before the skyline of Manhattan’s midtown skyscrapers. Under its watch lie more than 30 varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs on a rooftop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. But its real scarecrows, the overseers of this rooftop farming project, are Ben Flanner and Annie Novak. I asked if they’d had any problems with pest. “Lately, we’ve just begun getting some bugs. Both good and bad bugs. But even if they’re the bad ones, bugs are a good … Read More

A CSA Trip to Sang Lee Farms

posted in: Farms, Ruminations | 10

Imagine walking into the office of an industrial agriculture giant, the kind that produces 99% of the food we eat, and saying, “Hey, I’m really interested in learning more about agriculture. Could you tell me a few things about what you do?” Would someone jump up from behind the counter and say, “Sure, let me show you around. Let me take out valuable time from my day, put you on a haystack as we drive around the premises and I’ll … Read More

From Gardening to Farming: A Glimpse at Long Island’s Garden of Eve Farm

posted in: Farms, Ruminations | 14

Not so long ago, I tended to associate Long Island with being stuck in squawking traffic on the LIE and guys in wifebeaters who wouldn’t think to eat an apple if the tree plopped one in his hand. True, the eastern trail of New York City never exactly conjured an agrarian idyll, replete with rustic farmstands and coastal pastures producing everything from grass-fed beef to tasty wines. But perhaps that’s just the Jersey in me speaking (ironic as it may … Read More

A Trip to Apple Pond Farm

It was only a matter of time before my love affair with small, sustainable farming would take me outside of New York City (yes, Melissa, I hope to visit Garden of Eve sometime!). No matter the rain, cold or wind we’ve been having lately. No matter the ice and snow that laced the rocky cliffs of the Catskills on the drive upstate — and up some 1,200 feet in elevation. It’s spring, at least on paper! And so I went … Read More

A Day at Queens County Farm Museum

posted in: Farms, Ruminations | 12

Spring is officially here, and to celebrate the first day of nature’s annual renewal, I took a field trip out to a farm. Only I didn’t leave the city. At the end of the E and F subway lines and a quick hop eastward on a bus lies the Queens County Farm Museum, the oldest continually farmed tract of land in the city, and now the site of a renewed agricultural program that’s growing still. But unlike Stone Barns or … Read More