So that’s what it looks like?

By Catherine Dammer-Jones For the first 19 years of my life, I had never seen broccoli grow. Or cabbage. Or peppers. Or almost any other fruit or vegetable I regularly ate. The produce I ate was packaged and harvested out of my sight, possibly trucked hundreds of miles to be stacked on a grocery store…

Urbanity and the Agricultural Ideal

By Ethan Johns America is the land of self-determination, self-sufficiency, liberalism, rugged individualism. Founded on the ideals of the yeoman farmer and grown by concepts of frontier-oriented manifest destiny, land ownership and stewardship was the original marker of a citizen in America. While the nation has accepted that land-owners are not the only citizens entitled…

Urban Agriculture: Need for a focusing event

I am a Social Research and Public Policy major taking “Introduction to Urban Agriculture” class. Although these two subjects in one sentence might sound odd at first, one will eventually understand that the two are in fact not mutually exclusive. Recently, a couple of policy recommendations to encourage urban agriculture and the provision of healthy…

What’s Dirt Got to Do With It?

I love dirt. Dirt is important to me. When I was six my sister refused to let me sit on her bed because apparently there was dirt in my hair (there was). It didn’t really bother me though because the time I spent outside, investigating each blade of grass and each creepy crawler, was worth…

From Communes to Cabs

When I first arrived at the NYU Urban Farm, I was quickly struck by one thing in particular- how orderly everything seemed to be. My only previous experience in agriculture had been at a permaculture-style farm community called Gaia Yoga Gardens on the Big Island of Hawaii. Needless to say, the farming practices and were…

Artists on the Farm? Musings on art’s place in urban agriculture

For the past few years, my focus has see-sawed between visual art and a concern for the natural environment (two painfully general, but hopefully generative foci). This isn’t to suggest that these lenses are mutually exclusive. In fact, they overlap in fundamental places. Artists and environmentalists share a broad interest in effecting the way people…

Going Back to My Roots

Farming the Sustainable Way From the Mediterranean Coast to the Urban Campus By Julia K. Haramis, @nutritionista, http://www.nycnutritionista.com When I first entered the NYU Urban Farm Lab for my Introduction to Urban Agriculture class I was surprised by the sentimental emotions that hit me – it was a combination of feeling like things had come full…

Turn Turn Turn

By Linda Stern There is a song by Pete Seeger called Turn Turn Turn. As the title suggests it is about renewal. The garden analogies are endless. The farmer turns and loosens soil in order to promote new growth. Plants emerge and then when they die we take their stalks and leaves cut them up…

Fall to Winter: Reflections from a teacher and farmer

When I agreed to take the job as instructor of the Intro to Urban Agriculture course I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The idea of designing, leading and building a brand new farm was both thrilling and terrifying. Yet, just like all things in life, we learn by doing and won’t…