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A Cafe for the Common Good

A Cafe for the Common Good

The Common Good Soup Kitchen Community started as a small-scale project on Mount Desert Island, Maine. The recently unemployed, world-class chef Bill Morrison started making soup in his kitchen from scratch using healthy grains and vegetables. In the winter, the community on the island can become very isolated. It was a particularly brutal one in 2008 and Bill knew there were many people who were housebound. So, he started delivering his soup to senior residences […]

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April 3, 2014 at 10:33 amCulture

The Incredible Edible Egg

The Incredible Edible Egg

I met Linda Thompson on a crisp morning at her house just outside of the tiny town of Florence, Texas. She recently moved to this location and says that it wasn’t easy finding a landlord that was open to her raising hens, even though she is several miles outside of the city. Many places, like nearby Austin, have passed laws limiting how many hens you can have within city limits. I approached her and noticed […]

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January 3, 2014 at 8:30 amFeatures

Brief Interviews on Local Farms: Rooftop Ready Seeds

Brief Interviews on Local Farms: Rooftop Ready Seeds

In addition to acting as farm manager for Riverpark Farm, Zach Pickens is the founder of a seed company that specifically saves seeds adapted for the rooftops of New York City. Following is my interview with Rooftop Ready Seeds founder, Zach Pickens. Monica Johnson: Tell me a little bit about Rooftop Ready Seeds. It started in 2010, so it’s a fairly new company. What motivated you to start the company? Zach Pickens: “I started seed […]

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November 6, 2013 at 8:00 amColumns Culture Farm and Food Profiles

Brief Interviews on Local Farms: Riverpark Farm

Riverpark restaurant exterior 
[Monica Johnson]

In 2011, a large urban farm was created to service the highly acclaimed Riverpark restaurant. Utilizing a stalled construction site, the farm was designed with mobility in mind using lined milk crates. This makes it easy to move and create the size and shape of the farm. At the beginning of this year, construction resumed and the milk crates were relocated. Now, the farm now exists a few feet away from its original location. Following […]

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October 30, 2013 at 9:00 amColumns Culture Farm and Food Profiles

Brief Interviews on Local Farms: OKO Farms

Plants growing in an aquaponics system at Oko Farms
[Monica Johnson]

OKO Farms is an aquaponic farm located in Brooklyn founded by three collaborating parties: Moore Street Market, the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), and OKO Farms. Aquaponics is becoming a popular way to farm as it simulates a symbiotic and naturally occurring system between plants and fish and provides both for consumption. Following is my interview with Yemi Amu and Jonathan Boe, co-founders of OKO farms. MJ: You are an aquaponic farm located at the […]

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October 23, 2013 at 9:00 amColumns Culture Farm and Food Profiles

Brief Interviews on Local Farms: S.A.V.E. Farms

Oyster mushrooms at SAVE Farms
[credit: Monica Johnson]

Anya Pozdeeva and Christopher Toole run an afterschool program in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Here, more than any other part of NYC, needs their help as this area has some of the most polluted air in the World. They teach kids about creating a healthy urban ecosystem that includes aquaponics, permaculture, foraging, and food justice. Their business ventures include the Society for Aquaponic Values and Education (SAVE) and Vertically Integrated Farms. Following […]

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October 16, 2013 at 9:00 amColumns Culture Farm and Food Profiles

Brief Interviews on Local Farms: Feedback Farms

Feedback Farms
[Monica Johnson]

Feedback Farms was founded in 2011 by four people: Tom Hallaran, Clare Sullivan, Kallie Weinkle, and Gregory Sogorka, with the idea of turning vacant lots into farms and offering results to the public from various urban agricultural research projects they conduct. They currently have two lots that are working farms, both located in Brooklyn. Following is my interview with two of the founding partners, Gregory and Tom. Monica Johnson: Tell me what Feedback Farms is […]

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October 9, 2013 at 8:30 amColumns Food Fund Fridays

Two Days at the Texas FARFA Conference

Two Days at the Texas FARFA Conference

Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is a national organization that is based in Texas and acts as “an advocate for independent farmers, ranchers, livestock owners, and homesteaders, as well as the consumers who support them.” They are involved in such issues as animal identification, food safety, raw milk, the farm bill, and GMOs. Held over two days just outside of Austin, the 7th annual conference addressed national issues, but the focus of the conference […]

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October 4, 2013 at 10:15 amReviews

Brief Interviews on Local Farms: EcoStation

One of EcoStation's Hoop Houses
[Monica Johnson]

EcoStation is a collective of projects nestled into the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. The three main projects of EcoStation are the Bushwick Campus Farm, a farm located on the grounds of a high school, the Bushwick Farmers Markets, a food market serving 5 weekly locations, and the Farm-in-the-Sky, a farm that explores the growing possibilities unique to rooftop fruit and vegetable production. Following is my interview with Maggie Cheney, the director of farms and education […]

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October 2, 2013 at 8:00 amColumns Culture Farm and Food Profiles

Brief Interviews on Local Farms: Eagle Street Farms

Rows of staked peppers at Eagle St Farm
[Monica Johnson]

Situated among the hipsters and ever-expanding condos, a 6000 square foot rooftop farm thrives atop a film and television studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Founded in 2009, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is the first commercial rooftop farm in New York City. The first few seasons, Eagle Street grew a little bit of everything, but now focuses on hot peppers, kale, lettuce mixes, herbs, and hot sauce that is sold to local restaurants and at markets. Earlier […]

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September 25, 2013 at 8:00 amColumns Culture Farm and Food Profiles