HANDS in Orange, NJ Plants Their Own Garden

HANDS is a non-profit that focuses on housing and neighborhood development through the high impact development of empty or troubled properties.  In many ways their goals and practices align with ours, in terms of healthy and sustainable community development.  From their website they write, “The HANDS’ strategy is built upon a working philosophy that believes that neighborhoods are revitalized by the actions of hundreds of individuals investing their time, their funds, their energy, and their hopes in the future of that neighborhood. HANDS believes the role of the CDC is to leverage those investment decisions, to bolster public sector action, and to generate more private sector investment.”  Together, and with Daily Soup, one of our recent ventures was to plant a small demonstration garden, which certainly fits snugly in their strategy of individuals investing time and energy for their neighborhood as a whole.

Arturo’s Pizzeria Harvests Their Own Vegetables


Dan Richer is the passionate and talented Chef Owner of Arturo’s Osteria and Pizzeria in Maplewood, NJ and a frequent supporter of Brick City Urban farms. A champion of local and seasonal cooking here in Northern New Jersey, on Saturdays they offer a 6-course tasting menu. One recent Saturday featured local vegetables from the Greenmarket at Union Square in New York.  And you guessed it, this Saturday May 30th, they will present a menu featuring produce from your very own Brick City Urban Farms for $45. For reservations call 973-378-4500. If this Saturday doesn’t work for you, they are open 7 days a week and offer great tasting wood fired pizza and authentic Italian pastas, small plates, and salads. For more information visit their website at www.arturosnj.com Support local!

Get Some Greens!

 

We have lots of Lettuce, Arugula, Kohlrabi, Collard Greens, Spring Onions, Swiss Chard, Spinach, and more ready to go!  And of course everyone’s summer favorite, tomatoes, are in the ground and look set to shoot up.  They may look small now, but before we know it they’ll be unwieldy and delicious.

Gramercy Tavern and Neighborhood Friends

 
Here at Brick City Urban Farms we have been lucky enough to have countless individuals help us along the way.  Our friends spread the word, gave advice, and even dug in and got their hands dirty.  This year has been no different.  Just recently some of our new friends from Gramercy Tavern in New York City stopped by, and some of our old friends from the neighorhood have been around all over again. Gramercy helped out by planting our heirloom Tomatoes, while the kids were sowing some of our bean seeds.  The folks from Gramercy Tavern even took back some things to put into service that very night!

The Farm Stand is Open


We are now selling fresh Lettuce, Collards, Scallions, Broccoli, Arugula and more from our site at Washington and Spruce.  Officially we are open for business from 3-7 Monday thru Fridays, and working out our weekend hours.  So stop by, check out our progress, and take home a beautiful salad mix sometime this week.

Help Decide What We Grow!

We hope that you stayed warm this winter and are dreaming about the hot, sunny, days to come. Here at Brick City Urban Farms we are ready to get our hands back in the dirt again. We’ve been daydreaming about cucumbers, okra and fresh basil and we are so looking forward to offering the best locally grown produce for you and your families right in downtown Newark. We are thrilled to announce that Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District has agreed to give us a 2nd season of “the farm” on their Washington/Spruce Street Lot! We also have a rooftop location in the Ironbound and we plan to be in other areas throughout the city. 

So while we count the days until the last frost of the season, we thought that we would collect some information from you all in order to make sure that everyone is able to find what they are looking for, when they are looking for it at our farms this summer! 

Please take a few minutes to fill out our survey and tell us what you would like us to grow and share your thoughts, ideas, frustrations with us so that we can work together to make Brick City Urban Farms (Season II) the best ever! (click anywhere on this paragraph to view the survey)

We are looking forward to working with you in the coming months!

Gearing Up

This last week we have had a real push to clear our lot in Lincoln Park and prepare the Earthboxes for all our seedlings in the coming weeks.  Thankfully, some of our friends from Torchlight Academy came down to help out.

The 2009 Growing Season is Nearly Here!

Thank you to everyone for coming by and expressing your interest at the Mindful Living NJ Fair in Maplewood yesterday.  It was great to talk to so many of you who share the same goals of a fresher, healthier, and more delicious way of living.  

We have just recently been putting the finishing touches on our most recent plan, and you could consider the fair our first unveiling of it.  In addition to our current efforts in which we provide some of the only access to great vegetables for many Newarkers and beautify otherwise unused lots, we plan to offer a Backyard Harvest, for those who wish to experience what Brick City Urban Farms has to offer, but in their very own backyard, rooftop, driveway, or patio.  It’s a great way to have truly local produce right at your backdoor, and is a uniquely enriching experience for whole families. And it’s cheaper and more convenient than traveling to the supermarket!

 If you would like more information please fill out the following brief form.

 

Thanks for stopping by and you’ll be seeing more and more of us as the weather warms.

Torchlight Academy’s Field Trip

Just this summer the Torchlight Educational Academy and Tutoring Center moved into the building adjacent to our farm, and we had the pleasure of hosting their pre-k through middle school students, staff and parents earlier this week. They had lots of great questions, helped harvest, and brought home some goodies from the farm. We hope this is just one of many visits.

Summer Round Up

Welcome back! It sure has been a while, and we apologize for slacking a little bit in the update department. Don’t worry though, we have kept busy, focusing our attention on our beautiful tomato, pepper, and eggplant harvest, our first neighborhood and restaurant sales, and even the addition of our new rooftop site, with views of all of Newark and even New York City.

Billy Haberthur was one of our earliest supporters, back when our farm was still an empty lot, and without him and his forklift we may not have even been able to unload our first potting soil.

Ever since, we’ve been using his office at North American Facilities Group as a make shift office and podcast studio. Even more recently he offered us his rooftop, already replete with chairs, grills, an inflatable pool, and ceramic full size cows. We have just begun to see the cauliflower, collard greens, and varieties of lettuce and spinach start to take off. It even made it onto the cover of Newark Live, a Star-Ledger creation.

Back on the original Lincoln Park site, we have been nearly overrun with our vegetables coming into their full maturity. The unique heirlooms and delicious hybrids have been a wonderful addition to our harvest, as local restauranteur Dan from Arturo’s, a great Italian restaurant offering authentic fare, has taken note and began to take whatever tomatoes we can offer him.

Lastly, there are a few people who we couldn’t have done without. Our friend Tom Venezia from County to County Landscaping has been an invaluable source of knowledge and expertise, and his son Tommy spent many days down on the farm with us.

Our super volunteer Belinda, whom we met at the Lincoln Park Music Festival has spent three full days a week for the past month, and has become an integral part of our efforts.