B'klyn HS To Sow Own Urban Farm For Fresh Food


Students in Brooklyn are getting down and dirty for the sake of a healthier community.

Students at the High School for Public Service in East Flatbush are building a 10,000-square-foot vegetable farm on the campus' front lawn. Kids plan to sell their produce in the neighborhood, where fresh greens aren't always made available, and obesity rates are high.

Principal Ben Shuldiner, 32, says he hopes students will learn the skills and science behind a farm, all while serving their community. So far, the school has already raised more than $14,000 to put toward the operation.

In an unprecedented step, a more than 200-square-foot greenhouse will be designed in cooperation with BK Farmyards, an urban farming collective. It will sit on campus at the old Wingate High School on Kingston Ave.

Students are set to break ground in early April, planting tomatoes, eggplant and kale. The first vegetables will be harvested around the beginning of June, including lettuce, radishes, peas and other greens.

School officials say the greenhouse is just the first of many phases to better the health of students and families, of whom more than 90 percent are classified as low-income. In four years, a farm is expected to cover the school's entire 1-ache yard.

By next year, students also plan to sell their fruits and vegetables at a farmers market in front of the school. For now, kids at the school have first dibs.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times