Frequently Asked Questions
1. What do you grow on the farms? What happens to the produce?
We grow a variety of annual vegetables and perennial herbs on our farms - greens, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, leeks, root vegetables, and more. Plus three varieties of kale! The produce is either sold at our farm stands, distributed to families through our farm-share (CSA) program, donated to the local food pantry, or taken home by our teen farm apprentices. We also occasionally sell to local restaurants and partner organizations.
2. Vegetables from Red Hook?! Isn't the soil contaminated?
The soil at the farm is actually 24 inches of compost in one massive raised bed, built on top of concrete. The compost came from NYC's Department of Sanitation and has been amended with compost that we produce on site. We test our soil regularly for contaminants - and it's safe for food production.
3. How did the farm weather Hurricane Sandy?
The farm was heavily impacted by the 2012 superstorm - 2 feet of brackish water inundated the farm, rendering the soil no longer arable. To recover, we had to remove all the original soil and completely replace it with fresh compost (see #2 above). We also lost our bees, a lot of farm equipment, and had to take down our greenhouse. Steadily, we've been able to rebuild post-Sandy, with support from the city, volunteers, and supporters.
4. Can I come visit?
5. Can my school / camp / group come visit?
We generally schedule school visits in the fall and spring on Wednesday mornings, and camp visits on various mornings in the summer. See the School Visits page to see what dates are available and submit a form with the information we need to move forward with scheduling a visit. We also work with companies who want to arrange community service days for their staff.
6. When can I drop off compost? What do you accept?
Drop off food scraps from your kitchen whenever the farm is open - Friday and Saturday mornings as well as various other times. We accept most types of food waste EXCEPT meat, dairy, oils, and cooked foods.
7. Do you sell compost?
We currently do not sell compost - we use it all to nourish the soil on the farm. Prior to Hurricane Sandy we did sell or donate compost, and may do so again in the future.
8. Do you have bees? Chickens?
We have three beehives that are tended by a wonderful volunteer beekeeper, Tim O’Neal of Borough Bees. We mainly keep the bees for their generous pollination services, and leave the honey so the hives can sustain their own populations, especially over the winter. As for chickens... not yet!
9. How do I sign up to volunteer? Can my child/grandchild volunteer?
We love volunteers! Some come to us through our partnership with NY Cares, others just show up during our open volunteer hours. Youth over the age of 14 are welcome to come during regular open hours; younger children must be accompanied by an adult.
10. Are you hiring? Taking interns?
Check our employment page for updates on internship and job opportunities.
11. Weren’t you called Added Value before? What happened?
Added Value was the non-profit that built the farms and offered programming for the Red Hook community from 2001-2018. All the staff and programs from Added Value were absorbed by Red Hook Initiative in the fall of 2018.