Why Bed-Stuy Farm Is Important
Grocery shopping in Bedford-Stuyvesant can be a real challenge. Fast food joints abound, but if you want fresh vegetables and fruits you have to take the subway or bus to other neighborhoods. If you're an elder or sick, the trip might be more than you can do. If you're a kid, you probably think food is always wrapped in plastic and full of salt and corn syrup.
The two Reverends Robert and DeVanie Jackson were running an emergency food program
in the neighborhood. They realized the donated foods they were handing out often weren't fresh...which wasn't helping people's health.
Behind their building lay a vacant lot, strewn with trash. The Jacksons got GreenThumb status from the City and went to work. They cleaned the lot up, trucked in good soil and started planting. Twice, contractors broke the locks at night and dumped truckloads of construction debris atop the cleaned lot. The Jacksons were slapped with fines for someone else's illegal dumping, but they cleaned up the lot again, and replanted. Now they have a working farm that produces over 7000 pounds of produce per year and feeds 3000 people a month. It's called Bed-Stuy Farm
and it's a magnet for the community. It's also an educational center, offering courses in farming and nutrition. It supplies the emergency food program as well as a farmers market. This thriving urban farm attracts people from all over the world -- farmers, filmmakers, restaurateurs, food activists, and a busload of delegates to a UN food conference.Why Bed-Stuy Farm Is Being Threatened
No longer a vacant lot and a dumping ground, the farm has become desirable to others. It is in danger of being sold by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to developers to repay a debt incurred by Neighborhood Partnership Housing Development/Direct Building Management. How You Can Help
We want 2000 signatures so our elected officials know this farm is important and shouldn't be destroyed for gentrification. HPD has its choice of many other vacant lots. It would do well to consider them before this lot, which in its current form is contributing to the neighborhood in such a positive and healthy way. Please sign our petition and help us save Bed-Stuy Farm
Dan Rather Reports: Up on the Farm (Episode 425
) on iTunesA Farm in Danger
, video on Blip.TV, November 11, 2009Saving the Bed-Stuy Farm: Choose Better Nutrition, Not Demolition
. Kerry Trueman's blog on the Huffington Post, Aug. 4, 2009NY Daily News story
, Weds. July 29, 2009: Brooklyn Rescue Mission could lose half its Bed-Stuy Farm to development plans
Whereas, the Bed-Stuy Farm is in danger of being sold by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to developers to repay a debt incurred by Neighborhood Partnership Housing Development/Direct Building Management.
Whereas, the Bed-Stuy Farm produces over 7,000 lbs of fresh produce every year and is a serious agricultural training center for farmers and gardeners young and old. The Farm's emergency food program has been feeding people fresh, nutritious foods and created educational projects that encourage healthy eating. Organizations that serve the people's needs are most effective when they come from the people of our neighborhoods
We, the undersigned, support the integrity of the Bed-Stuy Farm and ask you to help stop the NYC HPD from threatening to dissolve the Farm and find other ways to pay its debts. We ask you to support the Bed-Stuy Farm and the many people it serves. (More at Save the Bed-Stuy Farm)