On a late summer day in 2002, Ian Marvy and Ben Balcolm, an upstate farmer selling at the Red Hook Farmers’ Market went for a long stroll to see the harbor and have lunch. As they crossed the intersection of Columbia and Sigourney Streets Ben paused to consider an empty baseball field. Rather than seeing a broken fence, smashed bottles and a field of weeds, Ben saw a farm with great solar exposure, wind protection, and a chain link fence for security. The vision and foresight of this rural farmer inspired us to take action and work to build a vibrant urban farm right here in the heart of Red Hook. In August 2003, Added Value partnered with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and Cornell University Cooperative Extension to transform an entire city block from a dilapidated playground into a center for urban agriculture. Red Hook Community Farm has become a vibrant community resource where young and old work, study and grow together as they sow, nurture and harvest plants on a 2.75 acre urban farm. The Farm is an intergenerational space that serves as an experiential educational environment for youth, adults and senior citizens. It provides sustenance to residents, creates meaningful work for neighborhood teens, generates thousands of dollars of economic activity and improves community food security. Added Value's Red Hook Community Farm also hosts the Red Hook CSA, a CSA that provides members with organic produce from the farm throughout the growing season, as well as the Red Hook Farmers Market, which offers organic produce from the farm along with other goods from regional dairies and producers, at the farm, every Saturday from 10am to 4pm, from June to October. Red Hook Farmer's Market: From June to October, the Farmers Market is open every Saturday, 10:00 am to 4 pm, at the Red Hook Community Farm. It is designed to help invigorate social interaction in the neighborhood while increasing low-income residents’ access to healthy foods and providing neighborhood teens with real-life job training. In addition to cash sales and FMNP coupons, we utilize a cellular EBT device allowing customers to use federal benefits and credit cards throughout the Market, increasing access for residents and expanding the client base for regional farmers. The Market features regional fruit and vegetable vendors and pasture-raised poultry and eggs. Profits from our sale of produce are cycled back into the program to support stipends for our youth participants.
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