When community farms close, local residents lose access to green space, fresh produce, and public gathering spaces. And in Bushwick, all three of these elements are already lacking to some extent.
Bushwick City Farm has provided seven years of fruits, veggies, eggs, and community to local residents near 345 Stockton St. where they’re located, but they received a letter earlier this month from the owners of the land asking them to vacate the property. The reason? Development.
By August 31, the farm and all of its equipment, plants, and animals will have to be out of the space, James Telfer of Bushwick City Farm tells Bushwick Daily.
The farm provides free eggs for 10-15 families, 15-35 lbs of fresh produce, and space for 20-30 families to harvest additional food weekly. Just last month, they hosted a well-attended fundraiser called “Chicken Sh*t Bingo” where chicken poop plays a big role in determining the winners of a large-scale bingo game!
In addition to the farm’s role in feeding neighbors, Telfer says, “I feel like [B]ushwick is geographically probably the farthest spot in the city from any major park. Von King and Maria Hernandez are both pretty far from BCF, so we put up a playground and basketball hoop and such for the kids. It’s a safe space for them. It’s a gathering place for the community where people can have a party or a bbq without having to rent a hall. [W]e even had a wedding in there once.”
Even though it may be impossible to keep the location at this point, the organization hopes that there will be a way to save some of the existing structures and vegetation. Telfer adds, “we’re running petitions and calling representatives in the hopes that there is some way to mitigate the loss and not have to destroy everything we’ve built.”
Do you have a space where Bushwick City Farm could move to? Are you able to call your local representative and see what can be done at the city or state level? Can you sign this petition? Check out the farm’s call to action of Facebook below:
Earlier this year, a nearby community garden space, The Secret Garden, was just cleared to make way for a condo building. It looks like the disappointing trend of green spaces succumbing to development will continue.
Featured image by Alix Piorun.