NYU’s Urban Farm Lab celebrated its second harvest on October 2nd with an outdoor farm festival. Guests picked the summer’s crop of vegetables and feasted on food prepared with the bounty of the harvest season.
Second grader, Ananya Parekh, was among the guests who walked the vegetable beds in search of the ripest offerings. Ananya took home a bag of greens for her school lunch. A huge fan of vegetables, she wrote a poem to commemorate the event: “Vegetables, are crunchy, munchy, and sweet,/The rainbow colors is what I love to eat!”
The NYU Urban Farm is located behind the Silver Tower residences on the corner of Wooster and West Houston Streets in New York City. NYU’s farmers harvest in plain sight of New York City traffic and pedestrians.
The lab is an outdoor classroom that promotes hands-on activities related to urban agriculture and food systems. Under the leadership of Jennifer Berg, director of the graduate food studies program at NYU Steinhardt, and Amy Bentley, associate professor of food studies at NYU Steinhardt, the farm brings together faculty, students, and community members who plant, water, weed, and more to grow crops in the heart of the city.
After several years of planning, the NYU Urban Farm Lab grew its first crops in 2013, thanks to a Green Grant from NYU’s Office of Sustainability.
Now in its second year, the farm is seeing growth – and not just in its plants.
“Our ‘Introduction to Urban Agriculture’ course went from one section of students to three full sections,” says Bentley. Faculty and students also built working compost bins, and improved the farm’s soil through compost application and rotating crops with cash and cover crops.
“Even though we had a late start getting our plants outside thanks to last winter’s weather, we still had a great season,” says Laurel Greyson, manager of the NYU Urban Farm and adjunct instructor of food studies.
This season the farm grew beets, kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli, swiss chard, salad mix, arugula, little gem lettuce, turnips, radishes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, herbs, and flowers.
(Photo credit: Debra Weinstein)