New York has a lot of perks – the nightlife, the food, the access to culture and the endless opportunities for adventure. However, while it does offer much in the category of parks, with Central Park and other smaller ones to enjoy yourself in, there is not much space for the urbanite who enjoys digging into the dirt and enjoys gardening and planting. However, modern problems require modern solutions, so enter urban agriculture – with rooftop and community gardens, where growers and plant caretakers alike can sink their teeth into cultivating plants, flowers, vegetables and even keep bees. New York’s 3 best neighborhoods for urban gardens in NYC.
SOUTH BRONX AND RANDALLS ISLAND
Starting in some of the lesser-known neighborhoods for urban farming, we come to the South Bronx. It has the La Finca del Sur Community Garden, a farming cooperative specifically created by Black and Latina women, where owners can grow vegetables for personal use, and aid in bridging the gap in areas known as food deserts. Another option is ,surprisingly, is the Randall’s Island Urban Farm located on Randall’s Island, which offers classes to children and adults on food choices, the environment, and to teach essential life skills. The Urban Farm also teaches sustainable practices such as rainwater collection, photosynthesis, pollination, and crop rotation. While it is impossible to find apartments on the island itself, it is a short trip via the 4,5,6 trains from East Harlem.
HELLS KITCHEN AND BATTERY PARK
As we go more south from Randall’s Island, we find the Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project and the Battery Urban Farm. The former provides 4000 square feet of growing area, a fresh produce pantry, and education on urban farming. The latter, found near Battery Park, offers programs for adults and youth, with tours for undergraduates and graduates and other programs, such as yoga, and bird walks. Volunteers can also work in the Farm’s gardens and help maintain the beehives or the oyster restoration station – with sustainability woven in the very fabric of each of the Farm’s components. Both the Hell’s Kitchen and Battery Park neighborhoods offer a plethora of apartments for the greenery loving gardener to choose from for the immediate proximity to either of these urban farms.
SUNSET PARK, NAVY YARDS, AND LIC
Of course, the most well-known urban farms are the Brooklyn Granges – one in Sunset Park, the second in Brooklyn Navy Yard (Williamsburg) and the last in Long Island City. They all offer rooftop farms, green space building, CSA boxes for local with fresh veggies, workshops around sustainability and food education, and beekeeping. They also offer farm to table dinners, and curriculum tailored to youth, as well as refugees and immigrants who usually bring cultural and agricultural traditions that can be applied to urban farming. The Brooklyn Granges can really be a godsend for diverse audiences living nearby in Brooklyn and Long Island City who not only want to learn about sustainability but feel that living close to a large urban farm is the best and most affordable way to feed their families in such an expensive city.
We hope that these options of 3 best neighborhoods for urban gardens in NYC helps those urban gardeners who follow us. They’re great for cultivating their green thumbs, and also near some great NYC apartments! Urban gardeners: Any other neighborhoods you like?
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