In the spring of 2010, in partnership with Brownsville Multi-service Center (BMS) and East New York Urban Youth Corps, Slow Food NYC obtained the fallow 4,000 square foot "Ujima" Garden in Brownsville, Brooklyn, with attached kitchen and classroom. With the help of member support and the work of many volunteers, we were able to clear the land and build our first farm.
In the summer of 2010, Slow Food NYC inaugurated a six-week, four-hour a day program, serving over 40 neighborhood youth at no cost to them or their families. By the following year, the program expanded to a full-day, six-week program with both high school and elementary school students participating. High school students from the neighborhood worked alongside the younger children as mentors under the guidance of the managing farmer.
Managing Farmer Spotlight
Max Lerner is a native New York environmental scientist, teacher, and now our Managing Farmer at Ujima Garden. Recently appointed to the position, he is re-inventing both the programming and the site itself to ensure that the community benefits to the fullest extent. Through community outreach, he will be running an intensive farm-to-table summer camp free of charge where everyone involved will learn the value and joy of not only improving their diet by getting outside and growing their own produce, but also by reaping the benefit in the kitchen by learning how to cook new and interesting foods. He will also be infusing a myriad of environmentally-focused lessons into the curriculum, and the farm will harbor chickens, bees, and a slew of composting projects to make sure students are always engaged in something fresh and exciting.
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