A shout-out for the Added Value farm stands in Red Hook
Just letting people know that the Added Value farm stands are out there and going strong.
Surprisingly, even people in the South Brooklyn area, much less those in Manhattan and the greater NYC area, are unaware that we have a productive farm right in our own backyard. The Added-Value people run this farm in Red Hook, with the involvement of the area's youth and teens, to grow local produce that they sell Greenmarket-style (though they are NOT affiliated with Greenmarket). It's a great program you can learn more about here:
I have bought from them in past years and I've been waiting for them to open back up this season (they only go from summer-fall) but was concerned that the opening of the new Fairway may hinder their business. As it turns out they dropped their Wednesday stand day in front of the library, but they are still open Saturdays at the farm. Latest announcement:
For those coming from outside the neighborhood heading for the ballfields' Latin food especially on Saturday, walk just a couple blocks further and check out the farm.
PS. I'm not related at all to Added Value; just a happy customer getting good produce and supporting a neighborhood cause.
You can find this information in an article linked to on the website:
In response to those concerned about vegetables growing on or near asphalt, Marvy assures doubters that first of all, “New York City does not have much of a lead problem.” Second, a cap over the land can be very helpful in an industrial district. The land had served as a ball field for over 80 years but before that it was a rail switching yard for the shipping industry.
As far as oil in the asphalt, Marvy adds, “Most contaminants don’t leach up, they leach down.” Most of the plants on the farm have roots that are 5 inches or less, whereas the soil is over a foot and a half deep. In addition, farm managers test the soil periodically to monitor any potential hazards.
In addition, many high-end restaurants use their produce, including Ici and 360, which I doubt they would do if there were questions about the provenance of the product.
Just to put things in perspective here...
you walk in it and breathe in it, at least your digestive system can get rid of it, even if "it" is there at all.
At least the plants on your fire escape are grown in potted soil, as opposed to produce flown in from leaden lands like Mexico (all due respect to Mexico) or that weird irradated and tinkered with stuff on our own land... that's probalbly grown on some Superfund site anyhow...
Sorry, I could go on and on, but if one chooses to be that paranoid about home turf, then what out there is known to be trusted?
Acid rain? You got to be kidding. Acid rain falls on every farm in the Northeast US and is one of the reasons farmers have to regularly add limestone to the soil in most places. If you believe that's dangerous you'd have no local procuce to eat.
The Added Value vegetables are local, fresh and help a local cause; if in the area give them a try.
added value is great - actually 360 in red hook works with them some too - i think getting ingredients or whatever. you should also check out east new york farms - they have a farmer's market every saturday at the end of the 3 line in new lotts - with local grown produce (and they do it with lots of topsoil and with attention to health and safety concerns etc.) - lots of caribbean specialty crops - also freshly made food and crafts. the added value folks are the ones who actually tipped me off to this market.
What's the difference between what Added Value is doing and the Slow Food movement?
Anyway - here are the two restaurants that support Added Value in Brooklyn . . .from Added Value's web site
In addition to our Farmers' Market and CSA we a pleased to have worked with food providers who have committee have committed themselves to providing the highest quality food to their customers. Currently we work intensively with two locally owned business Restaurant 360 and Restaurant Ici. Throughout the year 360 and ICI work with our staff and youth leaders to make sure that their customers can enjoy the freshest produce available in America and that a portion of the dollars you spend on an excellent meal goes to support the growth of a new generation youth leaders.
i think - and i know less about the slow food movement than about folks like added value - that the difference may lie in added value's focus on building sustainable food systems in urban settings where poor communities of color (primarily) are affected by "food deserts" - lack of affordable access to healthy food and nutrition education - mostly fast food joints etc. it's part of a larger food justice movement that focuses on how race and class affect access to healthy, sustainable diets/ways of living. another group who does this work is bhealthy - whose founder also co-authored the book grub with anna moore lappe.
I'm a local brooklyn Chef who works with Added Value, and love them, and their produce.
What Added Value is doing is exactly what Slow Food is about. Local food, local labor, sustainable small economies etc. Ian Marvy has created an amazing special thing with Added Value, and the kids who are working there turn out pretty amazingly themselves. Their food is great, but they provide sooo much more to our community!
Added Value is pretty great. There is another farm/garden, Urban Oasis, near Downstate Medical Center.
It's a vocational program at Kingsboro Psychiatric Center. The veggies and herbs grown at UO reflect the cuisine of the surrounding Carribbean neighborhood: Bitter Melon, Eggplant, Collards, Kale, Corn, Malabar Spinach, Long Beans, Okra, Cucumbers, Sweet & Hot Peppers, Basil, Thyme, Lemon Balm, and Callaloo. In addition they offer houseplants, and seasonal fruits (not grown on site).
It's open Wednesdays from 3-6pm, through November. It's located at 681 Clarkson Ave between Albany and Utica Aves.
They sell organic produce at the farmstand Wednesday afternoons from 1 ish through 5:30pm, June through November. 681 Clarkson Ave, between Utica and Albany Aves. *they accept EBT and Farmer's Market Checks*
I enjoyed Added Value produce at the Good Fork in Red Hook the other night. The heirloom tomatos were superb, as was the corn.
I'm reading the Omnivore's Dilemma right now, and this fits right in with the view of local/sustainable agriculture advocated there, but this goes one step farther by also being an active educational program for local kids.
It's hard to think of a cause more worth supporting, and as a Chowhound, I can say that the produce was excellent -- their heirlooms tasted as good as the Blue Hill Stone Barns ones!