A Farm Grows in Brooklyn

In The New York Times this week, there’s an article about Kristen Schafenacker, the senior farm assistant at Added Value, an urban farm in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Added Value is a non-profit organization that promotes the sustainable development by nurturing a new generation of young leaders. By training neighborhood teenagers and working with thousands of volunteers, they have helped revitalize local parks and transformed vacant lands into vibrant Urban Farms.

Kristen, who’s from Indiana, got interested in food and community while attending Mount Holyoke College and decided to study farming. Although she wanted a job in a city, she likes getting her hands in the dirt. A former boss from Heifer International pointed her toward the job at Added Value.

Kristen is now a farmer in Brooklyn, managing one full growing acre of an urban farm, which is growing on top of an old football and baseball field.

Because Red Hook is a mix of young artists, a healthy amount of people from the South and a lot of people from Puerto Rico, they grow things that appeal to those cultural groups and take up minimal space: collard greens, tomatoes, peppers, greens, root crops, beans, herbs, eggplant, and bitter melon. 

Next year? Kristen hopes to grow more okra and foods that appeal to the Caribbean palate.


2 responses to “A Farm Grows in Brooklyn

  1. This is my nephew’s contribution to back-to-nature in the urban jungle. Check it out:


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