I was hired by a Brooklyn-based food pantry, to run their existing gardens, assist with their education programs, and oversee the building of two very large gardens. One is a 7,000 square foot garden in a nearby vacant lot, and the other is a 20,000 "mini-farm" in the Rockaways.
I'll create some postings showing the step-by-step construction. Given that we started the project pretty late in the growing season, I'll also have a lot to post about Fall plantings. For now, just a quick overview.
Earlier this Spring, a smaller garden was created in the large vacant lot in Bed-Stuy, as a collaboration between my employer and a nearby school. It consisted of around a dozen 4' x 16' wooden raised bed planters. The problem was that this left a lot of unused space. The space actually wasn't just unused, but it took a great effort to keep the lot from just filling up with weeds.
Our goal was to turn most of the space into a vegetable garden. Rather than create dozens of more wooden raised beds, we instead just added rows of soil and paths, as would be in a farm. We're also constructing a small greenhouse, soon a three bin composting system, and then some teaching, cooking and other gathering areas.
This space will be used both as a school garden, and a production garden for the food pantry. We may even have enough produce to support a small farmer's market.
This farm will grow produce for some other local food banks, sell at our own farmers market, and maybe sell produce to some local restaurants.