Category Archives: KCC Urban Farm

Bringing it Home at KCC Urban Farm

KCC Urban Farm was just awarded a grant from Ample Table for Everyone, a non-profit that works to “mitigate food insecurity in the five boroughs of New York City by addressing the key causes: lack of time, lack of money, inaccessibility to nutritious food, and unfamiliarity with a variety of healthy ingredients, cooking methods and recipes.”

distribution fall15Our program, Bringing it Home, will teach participants basic cooking skills using both familiar and unfamiliar produce. BiH will empower everyone with the skills and confidence to cook at home for themselves and their families.

Visit Bringing it Home on the blog to find out more about the program including the schedule of workshops and recipes that have been created by students and staff.

See you on the Farm!


KCC Urban Farm Veggie of the Week: Ground Cherries


Recipes by student Farmer Chef Lilja with the assistance of Farmer Mike

KCC Urban Farm Veggie of the Week: Ground Cherries (Physalis Pruinosa)


  • Ground cherries are thought to be originated in Central and South America.
  • The ground cherry is a species of Physalis, and it is technically a fruit. It is part of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, eggplants, and tomatillos.
  • It is best to plant ground cherries indoors 6-7 weeks before transplant. Transplanting takes place after the danger of frost has passed, and the soil is warm.
  • Ground cherries can produce up to 300 fruits per plant, and can keep going until frost season.


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A Slice of Farm Life: Mount Compost

By Benjamin Hanon, KCC Urban Farm student aide10559659_777328102289207_4604875111502288765_n


Today’s story is about turning our compost pile, with the help of the nice folks over at the Liberty Partnerships Program at Kingsborough.

In the deepest depths of the kingdom of Kingsborough’s Urban Farm, towards the T1 building and behind the student beds lies the mysterious Mount Compost. Rumor has it that this mountain is made of garden waste and the bodies of fruits and vegetables that never get eaten. They say that mysterious figures wearing sun hats and farm clothes add to the mountain every week. It is believed that otherworldly forces transform this plant matter into soil. I know the truth. Mount Compost is made of much more than just the bodies of our fallen plant brethren. Mount Compost is composed of a network of of Bacteria, Fungi, and Protists that digest plant matter and convert it into the rich soil that we use on the farm.

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Farm Hands

By Lilja Walter, KCC Urban Farm student aide11222936_1021180417903973_6387449318426881408_o

Every day I look at the progression of the tan on my arms. I trace over the marks and splotches that the plants have bestowed upon my epidermal layer. They are the gentle kisses that the farm leaves behind after a hard days labor. On the train I am wrapped in my cozy dirt blanket. The light dusting protects all of my exposed parts from the cold train car, allowing me to rest rather than shiver. As I am lulled into sleep I admire the soil locked behind my fingernails. I feel my fingers worming through the land as I try to free my loves from the saboteur weeds stealing their nutrients.

I dig my arms deeper into the soil.

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A Slice of Farm Life: Tales From the Field

By Ben Hanon, KCC Urban Farm Student Aide


Today’s story is about staff distribution, one of the most exciting times of the year. We hope you enjoy!

The sign outside the farm gate seemed simple enough. It told the staff and faculty what time the distribution of vegetables began. 11:30 A.M. on the dot, never a second too early, and never a second too late. From the back of the farm looking out, the farm crew could see a sea of bodies. Bodies of people who had dedicated themselves to two things. The first was serving the Kingsborough community to the best of their ability, the second was getting their farm fresh organic veggies before our stock ran low. This crowd had been waiting all year as students came and went as they pleased to student only distributions of produce. They were ready, they were hungry, and we were ready to serve them.

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Welcome Cris Izaguirre, new Farm Manager at KCC Urban Farm!

10333808_10152116532037705_1215833138407859233_oWe’re excited to introduce KCC Urban Farm’s new Farm Manager, Cris Izaguirre!

Cris completed the Ecological Horticulture Apprenticeship at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems in Santa Cruz, California (the same training program as our previous, Farm Manager, Silvia Torres!).  Previously, Cris worked on permaculture and Native Hawaiian farms on the Big Island of Hawaii, while also assisting elementary school gardening classes at Honaunau Elementary School. Having worked part-time as a Farm Assistant pre- and post-Hurricane Sandy at KCC Urban Farm, Cris feels like they are returning to their farming home.

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KCC Urban Farm Produce Distribution

KCC Students! Did you know you can get FREE and FRESH farm produce grown and harvested on campus from KCC Urban Farm? Not only will you get bunches of produce, but you’ll also be able to sample yummy recipes of what you can make with what you take. Distributions happen every Thursday beginning at 11:30 and will continue until everything is gone.

Locations alternate between KCC’s Single Stop (V-231) and KCC Urban Farm (between T8 and T2). This week’s distribution is at Single Stop. Stop by at 11:30, bring your KCC ID, and get ready for fresh, delicious, and healthy food!

Cookshop at Kingsborough

Cookshop at KCC is a collaboration between KCC’s Single Stop and KCC Urban Farm. Intended Cookshopfor students and at least one family member, participants will:

  • Learn how to cook a nutritional meal with cheap and accessible fresh produce
  • Learn about budgeting for eating healthy
  • Leave with all the groceries needed to prepare that day’s recipe

Classes are Monday evenings from 5:00-6:30 and run from June 22nd-July 27th. If you are interested in signing up, contact Hattie Elmore from KCC’s Single Stop either at or 718.368.5411.



KCC Urban Farm is Hiring


Student research assistant Adriana Valerio measuring brix in kale leaves

2014 student research assistant Adriana Valerio measuring brix in kale leaves

We are looking for students who are interested in gaining lab experience by helping KCC Urban Farm measure nutrients in our soil and plant tissue. Duties will include using testing kits to track select nutrients for some of our crops and amending KCC Urban Farm soil based on soil test results. No experience is necessary, but students should be responsible, dependable, and enjoy working outside. Applicants should also ideally be able to commit to both spring and summer semesters.

Research assistants will be hired as student aides and must be full time. To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and class schedule to by April 13, 2015.