This March, be prepared to get dirty in Brooklyn at a new school farm in Brownsville. The project is pioneered by Nora Painten, who has experience with a Brownsville school garden through her work with Slow Food NYC. While riding her bike through the neighborhood, Nora noticed an empty lot that got lots of sunlight and looked abandoned. On further inspection, she discovered that it was owned by the city and was a very short distance to Public School 232.
Nora started planning an educational farm there with a special program for students at PS 232. Teachers of all subjects could teach aspects of their curriculum there, and a select group of older students would become stewards that help take care of the farm over the summer, and distribute nutritious food to the community. In an interview with Slow Food USA, Nora reported “The most important part of the project is to bring food education and fresh produce into a neighborhood where there is very little of that… It’s about getting to all kids early and turning them into life long healthy eaters. If they become healthy eaters as kids, that turns into demand and buying power at the farmers market and for local food products.”
The proposal gained a lot of public support from the local community, and Nora was able to raise funds through a kickstarter page. Nora’s plan for March is to clean up the site and start building the planters, benches, and other necessary elements in time to start classes for students in May, with the help of plenty of volunteers of course! Volunteer days are scheduled for March 4, 10, 11, 17, 24, and 25. The farm is in need of both tools and manpower. Be sure to RSVP by sending an email to email@example.com with “Brownsville Build” in the subject line. Visit Inhabitat’s blog post for more details on the project.