Some of you might have already seen the article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine this weekend about Will Allen, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but I thought I would share it anyway. Mr. Allen has managed to create a local food system to feed 10,000 plus people–in mostly underserved and low-income populations. It is an inspiring article and points out the value of connecting people to their food in very direct ways, making it affordable and sustainable, and creating community through food and agriculture. Plus, he is able to keep enough food waste out of landfills to make 100,000 pounds of compost every 4 months!

While not to the same scale, Brooklyn has a couple of local ag projects that do similar work—Added Value in Red Hook and East New York Farms in East New York.

Added Value is a 3-acre farm on the site of an old parking lot. They produce vegetables for the local CSA and have youth farming programs and a media center. They also are involved in education in schools and grow vegetables for local restaurants. They run two farmers markets in Red Hook.

East New York Farms started as a local community garden and connected resident backyard gardeners—many whom were seniors—with youth. They also have the added benefit of running a farmers market that sells produce grown in the neighborhood as well as some upstate farmers and is affordable to the people that live in the community.

East New York Farms runs its farmers market from June 28 to November 15, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the corner of New Lots and Schenck Avenue.

Added Value’s farmers markets start on July 5. The Thursday Market is at 6 Wolcot (at Dwight) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays at The Red Hook Farm at Columbia and Beard Streets from 9 a.m. to 3 pm.

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