Over the past few years, North Brooklyn Farms, the working urban farm that lets you get your hands dirty, has become a waterfront haven and a surefire spot for cool events. Their farm stands allow you to literally see the plot your food comes from and gave you to a reason to eat your hard-earned volunteer work. The crowds last year showed that North Brooklyn Farms had definitely become a part of the neighborhood. Despite its popularity, the farm faced a huge challenge over the winter. Two Trees, the company developing the Domino Sugar complex, began building Water Street, taking a good chunk away from the farm and the neighboring dirt bike course. The construction is just a reminder that the farm is on borrowed time, a utopia that must come to an end. But until that happens, North Brooklyn Farms will be living it up, with its new layout.
To make up for the loss of land, North Brooklyn Farms did get a more space from the Domino site. So, though they have about the same amount of space, it’s now a longer plot and required them to consult with their landscape architects, Nelson Byrd Woltz, again. What was formerly the lawn, is now a part of their back picnic area, complete with a winding path and new plots. Instead, we now have a huge grassy “front lawn” for lounging, dancing, and hopefully soon, yoga. I recommend laying across the bump by the path, possibly nicknamed “The Wave,” for a good back stretch.
The redesign also gave them space to finally have a formal kitchen area, a useful addition since North Brooklyn Farms throws a number of private and public dinners throughout the growing season. At least two of their most popular will be coming back this year, a 4th of July Fireworks Party and the fall Beergarden beer festival. The space somehow fits more people than before, according to Kenneth Moore, their Events Director, but you should probably still get tickets early, as they expect to sell out.
Another new thing to expect this year is a bit more produce during the markets. Co-founder Ryan Watson is also a farmer upstate at Wild Russet Farm in Jeffersonville in Sullivan County. When he comes down to the old hood, he will be bringing along goodies that we can’t really grow in abundance here. There are also some new lights for Tom Fruin’s Stained Glass greenhouse to make it extra sparkly at night, and the farm crew has gotten a new four-legged friend in the form of Jam, a rescue dog from Puerto Rico. She’s very good at welcoming new visitors and lounging in the sun.
North Brooklyn Farms is located at 320 Kent Avenue. They are open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am – 8 pm unless closed for a private event. Follow them on Instagram (@nbk_farms) for up-to-date information.