Built over what was once a deserted baseball field, it is not only a working farm that grows produce, but a central site for youth empowerment and experiential learning programs. The farm engages community members, particularly young people, in learning about sustainable food systems while improving the urban neighborhood’s access to healthy and affordable food. Recently, 49 Deutsche Bank Group Technology employees went to the farm for two days of team-building and volunteer service. Among other things, they planted seedlings of escarole and kohlrabi that would be picked in three weeks time to be sold at local restaurants as young, tender vegetables. They also planted lettuce seeds that would begin life in a greenhouse before being transplanted outside for the last crop year. Others kept busy composting, digging and weeding.
Mitch McCann was just one volunteer who got a lot from his day on the farm. “This was a great volunteer experience that was fun and educational. The Added Value Farm is a wonderful place which people are using to enrich their surrounding community. I was glad that the workers took the time to explain the overall mission of the farm and how they serve their neighborhood”.
The community farm is just one of the initiatives of the nonprofit organization, Added Value, which seeks to promote sustainable development and nurture young leaders in Brooklyn. This year, other employee groups have volunteered at Added Value’s second farm located on Governors Island. For more information about Added Value, visit their website.