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Editor’s note: Whoo-hoo! Our first photo feature! We’re pleased to introduce another new Nona contributor, Valery Rizzo. Valery is a Park Slope-based professional photographer with a love of good food and all things Brooklyn. She’ll be sharing a photo feature with us each month.

In her first feature, Valery brings it with a dreamy Holga-shot series on Brooklyn farms and gardens. Enjoy!

Photos and story by Valery Rizzo

Spring is here – the time of year for planting and growing, when we can get outside and reconnect with both the planet and with our communities. Brooklyn offers the perfect urban environment for this – with its many parks and trees it is home to large open spaces, vacant lots, backyards and rooftops perfect for growing vegetables, raising chickens for eggs or beekeeping to harvest honey and to pollinate our farms and gardens. It can also be  very relaxing!

I’ve been photographing urban farmers, gardeners and beekeepers in Brooklyn for over a year. Here are some of my favorite selections. I hope they’ll inspire you to try your hand at gardening, to join a CSA to get the freshest seasonal produce from local farms, or to sample the bounty at Brooklyn’s many Greenmarkets and farmers markets.

Annie Novak of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint

Ben Flanner, now of The Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm in Long Island City, at Eagle Street

David Rothauser and Sean Bempong tending hives on John Howe's roof in Fort Greene

Laura Comerford planting seeds for her backyard garden in Sunset Park

Spring at the Lincoln-Berkeley Community Garden in Park Slope

Jesus, watering his tomato and zucchini plants in his lush garden in front of his apartment building on Union Street, in Park Slope

Larissa and Djuna Phillips, tending to their chickens in their backyard in Park Slope

Djuna

The Ladies


Valery Rizzo is a Brooklyn-based stock, assignment and fine art photographer, specializing in lifestyle, food, and travel imagery with a focus on portraiture. Valery studied photography at The International Center of Photography, The School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute. 

She has exhibited her work at Soho Photo, The powerHouse Arena, The Edward Carter Gallery, The Atlantic Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, Thomas Werner Gallery, Westbeth Gallery, The Gallery in Stamford New York and The AOP in London and is presently working on her first monograph, ” Brooklyn”, shot entirely with plastic cameras. For more, check out her website at www.valeryrizzo.com

Valery also loves good food. You can follow all her food adventures at her blog, Eating Brooklyn.

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3 Responses to Photo Feature: Brooklyn’s Urban Farms and Gardens

  1. Pingback: Words of Wisdom : Valery Rizzo | ToyCamera.com

  2. Charisse says:

    Def inspired to do something with my backyard! A few days ago, there were so many features on urban gardening because of earth day. I’ve tried my hand at growing some herbs in my balcony. With any luck, I’m hoping to branch out with tomatoes!

    I’m seeing a resurgence in home gardening, which is really refreshing. First, my friends are starting their very own balcony gardens and then I walked into Whole Foods and saw that they were teaming up with Yes to Carrots to help schools build gardens by giving away grants.

    p.s. LOVE MY CSA subscription!

  3. Kathleen Conway says:

    First time to your page, I have to say Valery did a wonderful job
    exploring and reporting on a very colorful aspect of Brooklyn.
    (And of course I enjoyed her photography)

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