Urban Gardening in Brooklyn

Take a tour of three urban farms in Brooklyn.

March 7, 2014

The benefits of growing food in urban environments, both to the environments themselves and to the people who inhabit them, are enormous. And the practice has deep roots in New York City. Filmmakers Gabriella Bass and Clara Inés Schuhmacher spent over a year documenting the movement, asking everyday New Yorkers why and how they grow food in their own urban settings, and exploring the impact of these choices both on them and on their communities. From pleasure to business to social change, their stories are diverse, and compelling. There’s the story of an accidental backyard farm in Bushwick and a couple’s work to make it their own, of the farmer who found her roots not only in the soil but in the people around her, and of a computer-scientist-turned-food scientist who’s pioneering new methods in production.

Meet the Farmers

Annie Novak
Founder and Farmer, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm
Greenpoint, Brooklyn


Annie’s resources for starting a rooftop farm:

  • Good Green, a rooftop farm design and installation firm;
  • Just Food, a non-profit organization that connects communities and local farms with the resources and support they need to make fresh, locally grown food accessible to all New Yorkers. 
  • Growing Chefs, Annie’s own non-profit, which connects food from field to fork in an effort to raise a generation of healthier eaters, more confident chefs, and more ecologically-minded citizens.

Jeremy Sapienza & Luis Velazquez
Owners, Cafetería La Mejor  & backyard farmers
Bushwick, Brooklyn

Lee Mandell & Chloe Bass
Founder & Chief Hydroponicist, and Communications & Outreach Specialist, respectively
Boswyck Farms
Bushwick, Brooklyn

Photo: (cc) kpaulus/flickr