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The Five Borough Farm

Its no wonder why Food Inc. is in so many Netflix queues – people realize the social, health, economic, and ecological benefits of eating local, fresh food. And now NYC is getting in on the act by creating new public spaces that can produce food closer to its populace. It wasn’t very long ago (ok maybe it was a couple hundred years) that farms flourished in the City. Much of the island of Manhattan remained pastoral well into the mid 19th Century. A trip north of 14th was an escape to the country. The Design Trust for Public Space will work to bring together key stakeholders to expand urban agriculture throughout New York City. The City hopes to follow in the same footsteps as Detroit in transforming underutlized or abandoned lots in all five borughs into urban farms.

Partnering with Added Value, a working urban farm in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the Five Borough Farm project will inventory existing agricultural activity in the five boroughs and assess underutilized arable land in order to identify opportunities for City agencies to support urban agriculture.

“The project will develop metrics that measure urban agriculture’s broad range of benefits, including youth empowerment, impacts on obesity rates, employment opportunities, access to healthy food, stormwater retention, and many other indicators. The goal of the project is to create a pilot that can demonstrate the vitality of urban agriculture and its importance to New York City’s public realm.”

The Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint Brooklyn