Looking for Urban Farmers

From the photo archives of the Library of Congress: Oswego, New York. A citizen showing his wife vegetables from his victory garden as she starts on her way to church.
Homegrown Evolution is writing a profile of urban farmers for a new magazine. We’ve got the West covered, but we are still looking for some folks to profile who:

1. Live in one of the five boroughs of New York City and grow edibles and/or keep livestock.

2. Live in Detroit. We hear rumors of folks keeping herds of goats in Motown!

3. Have photos of your activities.

Send us an email or leave a comment if you fit this description, or if you know of someone who does. All efforts, from the modest to the massive, are interesting to us.


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  1. I’ll get back with you next year. We live in a suburb of Detroit (West Bloomfield) and are planning to farm our acre lot in a subdivision. I also pre-ordered 6 chicks for my husband’s birthday in December. They should coming in the next few months.
    Also, I own a grocery delivery service. I normally shop at the nearby grocery store. I usually try to stear my customers to purchasing either locally grown or organic/naturally grown products. I’m expanding my service to shopping at the farmer’s market to support the local farmers. I’ll let you know how it works out!

  2. Detroit is not east coast. Why not someone in NC. My neighbors do some amazing stuff in their yard.

  3. Yeah, if by “East Coast” you mean “Northeast” then say so, don’t imply the rest of the east coast doesn’t exist or is not worthy of consideration.

  4. Do you know about the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)? If you have property, USDA renames it ‘premises’, that houses just one livestock animal (33 species, clams to cows, horses and pot bellied pigs included), you will be assigned a premises registration number. In the next prong, each animal will need an animal identification number. In the third prong, animal movements will need to be reported to a database within 24 hours.

    We need help fighting this concrete blimp. See my blog, henwhisperer.blogspot.com. See NoNAIS.org.

  5. I live in downtown Detroit. The goats of Detroit belong to a school a couple of miles from me- called Catherine Ferguson Academy. It’s a public school for teen and pregnant moms. There are also chickens, rabbits, bees, and they tend a very large garden and orchard. CFA also serves as a cluster headquarters for Detroit’s Garden Resource Program.

    I keep a sizable kitchen garden on my condo porch, and would be interested in participating.

  6. i’m a member of the Two Coves Community Garden in astoria (Queens) new york.
    we’re starting our second full year this spring.

    picture isn’t great of the garden, but it’s the only one i could find online. :}
    the garden is in an industrial area, next to public housing.

    if you’re interested, i can hook you up with some very well-spoken/quoteable members.

  7. I live in NY and am about to take a beekeeping course.I’m starting to grow shitakkes in my apartment and do community gardening in the spring and summer. Also, want to get some window boxes going with edibles come spring.

  8. I’m just beginning a project in Northern Manhattan, but nothing much to show, yet. We have access to a quarter acre of privately owned land. It’s very difficult to access, as it’s 30′ up at the original grade of that neighborhood (bed rock dynamited to make streets level). It’s the block adjacent to the Dyckman Farmhouse museum, which might also be interesting.

    We intend to keep some chickens at first, but will also do what we can to have a few crops go in.

    See also “Garden Girl TV” (Patti Mareno) for her work in Boston and television show on this topic.

  9. hello, i live in brooklyn NY and am an urban farmer. on our ~12’x14′ deck we have figs, grapes, berries, a cherry tree, bamboo, and grow numerous herbs and annuals. vermicompost our food waste. tarp greenhouse extended the season into januayr before the extreme cold knocked us out. next year will do more to heat the space so we can grow year round. considering light livestock raising, e.g. rabbits, as well as beekeeping. we fish for additional protein. happy to share our experiences more, but not interested in publicity for ourselves. you can email me for more information – [email protected]

  10. i started growing organic veggies and fruit last spring in our back yard – i live in queens ny – our baby chicks arrived last week (egg layers) – and i am planning on growing food in the front yard this year on a large scale regardless of the weird emotional attachment my husband has to the lawn! – i grew (snuck)some veggies (corn, cabbage, tomatoes) last year and also had an herb bed in front which i invited my neighbors to share.

    oh – and to Alia from astoria – i ride past your community garden farm every morning on my way to work – awesome job!!! i was thrilled when i saw it. and its a very friendly, happy and inviting place with all the welcoming signs hanging up! keep up the great work.

  11. Would you let us know the name of the “new magazine” for which you are writing? Does it focus on sustainablity and alternative living issues? I’m always looking for more reading material and inspiration.

  12. Anonymous in Queens: as of this past Saturday, we now have a Community Plot that anyone (not just formal plot holders) can come and work in during garden open hours. We’re still negotiating some of the details– but if you want to work outside your own yard sometime, come visit on a Saturday afternoon! :)… (er, later. Hopefully by mid-March there will be some dirt to dig. and eventually maybe even a bike rack!)

  13. There is a huge amount of stuff going on here in Milwaukee, Wisc. Best known of course is Will Allen of Growing Power. He’s been doing aquaculture for a decade on the last full farm located within the city of Milwaukee. His ideas are spreading fast, be it at a local school with an aquaculture system in its greenhouse to the new fish farm going in at the former industrial site on the south side. And that’s just in Milwaukee. Aside from Will Allen, we have many homeowners turning their yards into gardens and semi-coordinated efforts among urban ag folks on a number of fronts. It’s good!

  14. I’m an urban farmer in Detroit. There is more then one herd of goats here and quite a few flocks of chickens. You can cyber visit one of the farms it’s next to a church and is a non-profit venue to help supply for for our food pantry and soup kitchen. AS well as educate our pre-school and neighbors about the importance of fresh food and thinking globally and acting locally. http://www.myspace.com/spiritofhope_farm
    You can also find me on facebook search perma detroit.
    If you are in Detroit we have a permaculture study group and workshop you can hook up with us through either page. Thank You.
    Great blog I’ll be back.

  15. Google a garden called El Flamboyán in the Bronx. Until two years ago it was called El Rincón Criollo. They’ve been holding it down for over 20 year in the boogie down, chickens, music, food growing and all. Chema is one of the main gardeners. They are some amazing elders and can tell you about how Puerto Ricans have been keeping chickens in vacant lots – turned -NYC casita gardens since the 1950s.

  16. I am interested in hearing from anyone who has goats in Detroit. I am preparing to bring a couple goats to my backyard in a suburb near Detroit and am wondering if any county ordinances rule goats in the backyard out – there are no city ordinances against it and unless I can find a reason in county laws, I will be going ahead with goats and chickens in my backyard. Please email [email protected] if possible.

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