Welcome to Battery Urban Farm!
Battery Urban Farm is a one acre educational farm, located in the historic Battery, the 25 acre park at the tip of Manhattan. Our turkey-shaped farm is home to over 100 varieties of organically-grown vegetables, fruits, flowers, grains, and companion plants, as well as thousands of student farmers; millions of visitors from all over the world; and one very city-savvy wild turkey.
Battery Urban Farm is open for the growing season, from April through November. During this time we welcome teachers, parents, students and our downtown community to join us in planting, cultivating and harvesting fresh organic produce. We provide an outdoor classroom space for teachers and offer a variety of farm-based learning opportunities, including school-year programming; Farm Field Trips for schools and camp groups; a City Seedlings Summer Program; a Farm Education Apprenticeship for young adults; a Teacher Training program; and more.
As an educational farm, the food we grow is harvested with students, donated to school cafeterias, donated to food pantries, and occasionally offered for sale by suggested donation at our two annual community events: Earth Festival and Harvest Festival.
To see what’s happening on the farm, follow us Facebook or Twitter, or sign up for our mailing list where you can receive our monthly e-news! Past editions of the e-news have covered everything from innovative lessons, seasonal recipes, special events, school projects and general fun around the farm:
- June 2013: Whole Foods Market 5% Day, cherry tomatoes, and a Red-Tailed Hawk moves in
- August 2013: From Plant to Pesto, purple beauties for God’s Love We Deliver, and a sneak peek into next month’s Dirt
- September 2013: Sledgehammers, tiny farmers, and a recipe round-up
- November 2013: Winter farm vocabulary and a visit from Zelda, resident wild turkey
For even more information visit our Frequently Asked Questions page!
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. We embraced the idea, 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, we went from serving eight students at Millennium to 860 students at 11 schools in our first year and 1,800 students at 30 schools and community organizations in 2012. We’re growing — fast. Help us keep up the good work!
- Empower New York City children and community to make healthier eating choices through garden education.
- Inspire and encourage the creation of edible gardens in communities throughout NYC and globally.
- Cultivate environmental stewardship and a broader awareness of sustainability through responsible waste management and gardening practices.
The Battery Conservancy has seen support for Battery Urban Farm grow quickly and steadily, with the number of students and schools often doubling from year to year! And we’re still g(r)owing strong:
- 2011: 860 students, 11 schools
- 2012: 1,800 students, 30 schools
- 2013: 2,700 students, 50 schools
In addition to teaching thousands of children about food and farming, thousands of pounds of our produce goes to 2 public school cafeterias and 2 downtown food pantries. In a world where obesity and other diet-related illnesses run rampant and many children cannot identify common vegetables in their whole, natural state, there is a growing and pressing need for garden education. Battery Urban Farm fills this need, serving a crucial role as a vital, educational, public green space for our burgeoning downtown residential community and urban children across all of New York City.
But don’t just take it from us! Here’s what some of our teachers are saying:
- “Students really enjoyed watching plants grow from seed to fruit. Many had not known how common foods like tomatoes, peppers and string beans grow.” – Teacher, Millennium HS
- “Students took the veggies home [and] some parents commented that new produce items were introduced to their children’s diet because of the urban farm.” – Teacher, PS/IS 276
- “I was surprised at how much my students were at play in the farm. They learned without realizing they were learning—seeming to forget that we were even at school. I was surprised by their curiosity and enthusiasm.” — Teacher, Cooke Center Academy
- “I’ve grown plants with my students at the greenhouse at our school, but growing in a community farm is so much more rewarding. The level of interaction and inspiration is key: my students get to learn from other people at the farm and share their knowledge with other students and visitors. … This experience has enabled them to have a sense of shared purpose and community.” – Teacher, City-As School
- “There is a sense of responsibility gained in caring for plants – they are bringing this back to the classroom! The way they care for each other and the classroom is definitely attributed to what they are learning at the farm.” — Teacher, PS/IS 276
Or take it from the kids themselves:
- “This is so sweet – I love it.” “Can I have thirds?” “This is the best trip ever!” — students during a class radish tasting
- “I would rather stay here and eat salad than go to recess.” – 1st grade student
- “I know what love is for plants: WATER.” — 3rd grade student
- “I love fruits on the farm!” — student after tasting a string bean during a “Parts of the Plant” lesson
- “Thank you for showing me how to harvest now when my plants are ready to harvest I will know how to. Maybe I can show my family so when they have plants they will know how to too.” – from student thank-you letter
- “Is the farm open to the public? I want to bring my mom.” – 1st grade student
Thanks to the enthusiastic hard work of hundreds of community volunteers, residents, student farmers and Battery Conservancy staff, we’re growing — fast — with even more interested students, teachers, class groups and families every day. In 2013 alone we expect to work with upwards of 2,000 student farmers. Your support will enable Battery Urban Farm — and all of our beloved student farmers — to keep on growing.