Battery Urban Farm

April 30, 2013  • 

Battery Urban Farm is a one acre educational farm, located in the historic Battery, the 25 acre park at the tip of Manhattan. Home to over 80 varieties of organically-grown vegetables, fruits, flowers, grains and companion plants, the farm welcomes local teachers, parents, students and the downtown community to join in planting, cultivating and harvesting fresh, organic produce from April through November.

The idea for Battery Urban Farm was sparked in November of 2010, when The Battery Conservancy was approached by eight students from Millennium High School. These Environmental Club students asked if they could grow a vegetable garden in the park. The Battery Conservancy recognized the need for more green space for school children downtown and urban students across the city and quickly got to work: Five months, four thousand bamboo sticks and 352 cubic yards of organic soil later, Battery Urban Farm was born.

From the seeds of this modest idea, the Farm went from serving eight students at Millennium High School to 860 students at 11 schools in its first year to more than 1,800 students at 30 schools and community organizations. While the Farm and its offices were flooded by Hurricane Sandy at the end of 2012, it is actively rebuilding in the same location and hasn’t lost sight of its mission to empower New York City children and the community to make healthier eating choices through garden education; inspire and encourage the creation of edible gardens in communities throughout New York City and globally; and to cultivate a broader awareness of sustainability through responsible waste management and gardening practices.

“I believe that you make more pos­i­tive change when you inspire healthy eat­ing habits than you do when you limit unhealthy ones,” says Lauren Kaplan, the Farm’s Project Coordinator. “Rather than spend­ing our time try­ing to tax or out­law the bad foods, let’s edu­cate kids on what good food is and get them excited about it by allow­ing them to grow it, tend it, har­vest it, pre­pare it and taste it them­selves.”

Visit the Battery Urban Farm website to learn what’s growing in lower Manhattan!