Category Archives: Urban Farming

Happiness Is a Warm Farm

This blog is not all about complaining, I promise. It is also about promise. Here in Brooklyn, there is much for me to complain about, but also much for me to be happy for. One thing I am happy for is the Red Hook Community Farm.

I still remember the day my husband and I accidentally found this agricultural oasis. We went walking to Ikea for god-knows-what (a step stool? a light socket on a wire? toilet bowl brush?) soon after we moved here, in October 2009. Turning the corner, after the row upon row of decrepit school busses in a parking lot, we saw it: an old ball field sprouting kale, cabbage, radish, peppers, and okra. We bought a pumpkin and carried it for over a mile to our apartment. My husband started working there shortly after on a volunteer basis.

Sunday was their second annual harvest festival, and our second annual visit to the event. We chatted with Tim the bee guy, the farm hands, and the local youth like old friends. We petted chickens and fed llamas. We drank Fauzia’s lemonade and ate fresh coconut (not local, of course). We drank in the sun and the greens and the topsoil. It’s nice after pounding the pavement to be pounding the black earth instead.

I need to volunteer here more often, like my husband. I’ve tried, I’ve gone a few times, but I don’t like being the worker under the orders of an overseer. It’s a bad attitude on my part, but I prefer to be my own boss. I just have to remember that it’s no use being one’s own boss if one doesn’t know what one is doing–this is the learning phase, and a pupil needs a teacher, after all. So I’ll be back here soon, listening to the beekeeper explain how he prepares his hives for overwintering, and helping turn under all the beautiful greens we saw yesterday.