Welcome Shannon

Welcome to the newest addition to the AV team - NYCHA Farm Manager Shannon Outlaw! After graduating from the Green City Force farm corps 3 years ago, Shannon worked with landscapers and on an organic farm. She is a passionate herbalist and a budding permaculture designer. We are excited to have her on board to mentor the GCF team and keep the NYCHA farm in tiptop shape! Thank you to the Fund for Public Health NY for funding for this position, and Green City Force for a wonderful ongoing partnership.

Check out more AV news in the September newsletter.

Cora Dance Offers Free Workshops on the Farm!

Our friends at Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance invite youth and adults to join in a free dance workshop, meet Cora staff and students, and learn about Cora programs - on the farm! Saturday, August 13 and 20 at 11:30am and again at 1pm. "Cora Dance provides a space where ALL people come together to celebrate, take pride in and gain appreciation for all types of dance, unifying and uplifting the entire community by providing exceptional art for everyone."  Wear your farmer hats and dancing shoes!

Check out more AV news in the August newsletter.

Image: Cora Dance

Image: Cora Dance

Red Hook To Philly: AV Visits Life Do Grow Farm

A report-back from Katherine Cunalata- As a new member of Added Value's Red Hook Community Farm for the summer of 2016, I was given the opportunity to visit another farm called Life Do Grow in Philadelphia. The youth farmers, having a perfect combination of personalities, welcomed myself and my coworkers on their farm. With open arms and a whole lot of excitement, they got the chance to show us how they get things done over in Philly. What they showed us ranged from composting to aquaponics and a little cozy education center. After my trip to Philly, I realized that the majority of New York community farms know a few things about what is called the Food Justice Movement. 

This was a day where other farms got the chance to come together and talk about how the Food Justice Movement should be approached as well as what the raw definition of Food Justice is. The day ended with a lot of encouragement towards the youth to take a stand against this issue by starting at the root of it: food distribution. Many discussed trying to help the community make healthier food choices, not only for the sake of eating better but for the sake of nipping at the starting point of most issues closely related to the reason why the Food Justice Movement came into existence like jobs, the economy, immigration, greed in the food industry (and other companies/ industries), hunger, etc. The list continues because our most important source of sustenance, food (water is just as important too), is being manipulated and turned into a "commodity" rather than a key need for human survival. New York City's community farms are aiming to raise awareness about this issue and encourage young people to think deeper about what really exists behind the scenes in terms of what we eat, how we got it, who made it, and so on. 

We live in a world where we turn the other cheek in order to find some bliss in ignorance but this place will definitely find a way to open our eyes a day too late. Therefore, the solution starts with the youth of today who will drive tomorrow into a better future so that generations later will know some humanity and peace.

Sell At Our Market

Are you an artisanal chocolatier or a fermentation aficionado? Do you make a killer salsa or a smokin' hot sauce? We are currently seeking local vendors to join our weekly Saturday farmers market, June 18 to November 19. Test new products, expand your market, and get your goodies out there to the people! We also invite neighborhood organizations to table and promote their Red Hook programs and events. Contact education@added-value.org for more info.

Check out more AV news in the April newsletter.

Conference Round Up

Tis the season for urban farming conferences, and Added Value's youth have been working the circuit! They presented a workshop on youth-led markets at the City Grower's Education Conference in February, the Just Food Conference last weekend, and are heading up to the Bronx for the GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference next weekend. They also accepted the McKinley Hightower Beyah Award as part of the Youth Empowerment Summit planning committee, for excellence in food justice activism!                            

Check out more AV news in the March newsletter.

School for Visual Arts Students Feature AV in New Video

During the fall, we were honored to work with Rebecca, Melanie, Sandra, and Edgardo from the School for Visual Arts to produce a wonderful video featuring Added Value's youth. The video was debuted at our 2015 closing celebration on December 10. Check out fall intern Domingo's farm rap during the closing credits!

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Brownstoner Blog Highlights the NYCHA Farm

"Crown Heights resident Sade Bennett is just one of many Brooklynites benefiting from a growing initiative to create gardens in Brooklyn’s food deserts. Through her work on a single-acre farm, the 25-year-old has learned how to grow and cook produce, bringing her closer to goals of bettering her health and community..."

Read the full article: Multimillion-Dollar Farm Program Aims to Feed Underserved Brooklyn Communities.

AV's Winter "Hiatus"

As Added Value's Director Saara heads out soon for maternity leave, the monthly newsletter will go on hiatus until spring. Does that mean everyone will be hibernating? Of course not! Compost operations continue at full swing, so we'll still need weekly volunteers on Fridays and Saturdays to build and turn hot piles in cold weather. And though we've put the farms to bed for the winter, staff will be eagerly preparing for spring programs and plantings. Time to break out the seed catalogs!

Check out more AV news in the December newsletter.

Youth Food Summit

Added Value's teens have been busy this fall both on and off the farm. Together with EcoStation NYC, East NY Farms!, Teenergetic, the High Line, Community Food Advocates, and the Children's Aid Society, they've been organizing the upcoming Youth Empowerment Summit, an advocacy forum for creating systemic change in the food system. This Saturday, Nov. 7, 9am-4pm, at St. Paul's Chapel - email pcfor.yes@gmail.com for more info.                  

Check out more news in the November newsletter.


New ED Joins AV

This May, Added Value welcomed Saara Nafici as the new Executive Director. Saara brings over a decade of experience in inquiry-based, experiential environmental education with youth. She worked in garden and bicycle-based programs in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Boston before running the teen apprenticeship at Brooklyn Botanic Garden for seven years. Saara is excited to help the farms, our youth, and the organization continue to grow.

Check out more AV news in the September newsletter.