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Jul 2, 2015 10:00 AM ET

Archived: Ryan & Henry – North Brooklyn Farms: We convert vacant lots into productive green spaces to make plants, dirt and the experience of growing vegetables available to everyone

iCrowdNewswire - Jul 2, 2015
Personal Story

Henry Sweets :

I first harvested Okra while gardening with my Grandfather when I was 10 years old. Twenty years later, I moved to Brooklyn to pursue my dream of creating a farm in the city where people could gather, relax, eat food and be human together. The dream became a reality, and is now growing in a bigger and more beautiful space than I ever could have imagined.

Ryan Watson:

My transition from office worker to urban farmer began in 2013 after years in front of a computer screen stuck inside an air conditioned office. Though I was raised in Los Angeles I was surrounded by family and friends who were backyard farmers, urban homesteaders and those who taught me to see the potential productivity that lay beneath the earth. When I moved to Brooklyn the prevalence of vacant land – hundreds of acres – beckoned me to find a piece of land and make it productive. In the fall of 2013, during an internship at the Battery Urban Farm I met Henry Sweets. We both shared the vision to transform vacant land into something productive and sought out to build a publicly accessible urban farm in our neighborhood. The result was North Brooklyn Farms.

Business Description

At North Brooklyn Farms, we convert vacant lots into productive green spaces to make plants, dirt and the experience of growing vegetables available to everyone.

Two summers ago, we built our first farm in Havemeyer Park. This year, we have a new waterfront location at the footprint of the former Domino Sugar Factory refinery building, which has been off-limits to the public for more than 150 years. This time, we have more land, a bigger vision and a longer lease at this location.

We exist to provide a green space for the community. A place where children can run around barefoot, where produce is grown, where people can temporarily escape the stress of the urban environment, without leaving their neighborhood. We are a farm, a venue, a place to meditate, a real-world classroom. We’ve started the build, but it’s a big undertaking, and we need your support. The money you contribute will go to buying soil (lots and lots of clean soil) materials and equipment so we can finish the park and make this space as beautiful as it deserves to be.

What is the purpose of this loan?

This loan will help us grow our business by creating a more functional space for the public and our staff to enjoy. Specifically, the loan will help pay for:

1) Expanded Infrastructure -$2,500: More water & electricity points allow for more convenient access and expanded event capacity.

2) Clean fill for topographical features – $2,200: Raised features will enable more visitors to have sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline above our fence line.

3) Container Frame-out and Insulation – $2,500: Insulated shipping container for walk-in refrigerator; this will allow us to harvest and store more than 10x our current capacity.

4) Lawn Expansion – $2,800: Additional materials for expanded lawn will increase event capacity of the farm.

Contact Information:


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