Skip the Greenmarket and Get Produce Straight From These 5 Queens Farms

By Katie Honan on August 17, 2014 8:40pm 

 The Edgemere Farm hosts community dinners and grows produce for local restaurants.
The Edgemere Farm hosts community dinners and grows produce for local restaurants.
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Edgemere Farm

QUEENS — While some may be able to proudly display their green thumbs inside their small apartments, not every city dweller can grow herbs or veggies on their fire escape.

Luckily the borough has plenty of farms and gardens, both big and small, where you can buy fresh produce right from where it was grown and picked.

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Here's a roundup of five in Queens, including the state's oldest continually farmed land. 

Edgemere Farm, 385 Beach 45th St., Edgemere

This farm was built in 2013 on a half-acre of land as part of the city’s Gardens for Healthy Communities program, according to the farm's website.

“This site is a farm incubator: a place where new farmers and growers can benefit from shared resources and collective marketing expertise,” the site says.

Farmers looking to grow and sell produce in the city use the space, and the site also provides veggies to local restaurants. 

There is also a weekly community dinner every Thursday with meals by local restaurants, including Cuisine by Claudette in Rockaway Park and Goody’s in Arverne, and chefs from around the city. Tickets are $5 for kids, $15 for adults for a multi-course meal.

For more information (and photos of the farm's chickens) visit their website.

Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park

This farm in Floral Park is the city’s “largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland” — 47 acres that’s the oldest continually farmed land in the entire state.

It’s a production farm, according to Ali Abate from the Queens County Farm Museum, and it sells produce Wednesday through Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. The farm's bounty can also be found at the Union Square Farmers Market on Sundays.

The Farm Museum is in production for four seasons, growing greens and herbs in greenhouses and selling seasonal produce. The recent batch includes tomatoes, eggplants, herbs and squash, Abate said, and earlier in the summer they had a lot of kale and chard.

 Produce grown at the Culinary Kids farm.
Produce grown at the Culinary Kids farm.
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Culinary Kids

Admission is usually free unless there is an event — upcoming events include a field photography workshop, an antique motorcycle show and the 32nd annual Queens County Fair on Sept 20 and 21.

For more information on programs and directions, visit the farm's website.

Culinary Kids Farm, Beach 31st Street and Seagirt Boulevard, Far Rockaway

This Far Rockaway farm sells what it grows every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features an array of fruits and veggies and herbs, according to Chef Malisa Rivera, a co-founder of the program and farm.

They have 10 different herbs, greens like spinach and callaloo, root vegetables like carrots and kholrabi, onions and tomatoes.

“We take organic growing very seriously as chefs,” she said. “Micro local food systems are the wave of the future globally.”

The organization also holds a day camp  and a youth entrepreneurship program to teach older kids about operating their own farmer’s market.

Visit their site for more information on what's available. 

Brooklyn Grange, 37-18 Northern Blvd., Long Island City

The flagship farm of the Brooklyn Grange that sits atop a six-story building began cultivation in 2010 and is the first of its two farms (the second is at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.)

They sell the produce grown on the 1-acre farm every Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. through November and there's also a community CSA program (although registration is closed for this year).

You can buy a variety of fruits and vegetables — the most abundant crop is tomatoes, with 40 types planted, according to the farmers. There's also greens, peppers, kale, herbs, carrots and beans, among many other crops.

Rockaway Youth Task Force Farm, Beach 58th Street and Beach Channel Drive, Edgemere

This local youth group lets community members grow their own produce in raised flower beds.

The group works with locals to not only provide education about planting and growing your own food but about healthy eating, according to the organization's website.

Members of the youth-run group also run a farmers' market on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., featuring some of what they grow. 

For more information, visit their website. 

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