Feedback farms formed in 2011 around the idea of making temporary farms on vacant Brooklyn lots. While rooftop farming is becoming increasingly popular in NYC, farming on vacant lots has distinct advantages including potentially lower costs, less wind, flexible growth mediums, and ease of access.
Right now in NYC, there are an abundance of stalled construction projects - the economic crisis of 2008 left many developers unable to get financing to break ground or unable to complete construction projects in the five boroughs.While construction is pending or stalled, lots often become impromptu trash dumps and rat warrens. This is where Feedback Farms comes in. We take over lots at the behest of private landowners and public agencies, maintain the lots, keep them clean, shovel the sidewalk and we use them to grow vegetables.
In 2012, on at least two geographically distinct lots in Brooklyn we will conduct field trials of several growing mediums and sub irrigated planters designed for mobility and with integrated remote monitoring capability. Our produce will be available at select farmers markets and restaurants.
A Big Thanks! to our friends at: 596acres, NYC HPD, The NYC Dept. of Sanitation, Green Thumb, IOBY, and the Brooklyn Borough President's Office.
Tom, Clare, Kallie and Gregory
Feedback Farms seeks to grow and maintain a profitable network of small scale farming operations by developing systems and appropriate technology to overcome challenges of land tenancy, scale and labor in the city. Feedback Farms promotes environmental and economic sustainability within the organization as well as in the broader community via community engagement and education.
Clare Sullivan is currently the Environmental Coordinator of the Millennium Village project in the Tropical Agriculture and rural Environment Program of Columbia University. Before that she worked in a variety of capacities in the food service industry - running a collective bakery in St. Louis, working as a pastry chef in New York and doing agricultural research at the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru. Clare is also a serial crew leader for the Student Conservation Association and has served on it's advisory board. She has M.A. in International Affairs with a focus on Environmental Policy from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a B.A. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Having graduated from the the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Furniture Design, Kallie moved to NYC in 2008 where she has committed herself to supporting the local food and agricultural community by focusing on expanding local food production, education and availability.
Kallie has a unique farming background having gained her vegetable production experience as a farm hand at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm. She also has extensive experience in curriculum development and as an instructor for farming and environmental education at both Eagle Street and the New York Botanic Gardens in the Bronx. In 2011 Kallie founded the Eldert st CSA, in Bushwick, Brooklyn, which she continues to oversee.
In her free time, Kallie holds a full time position as Market Coordinator for Hot Bread Kitchen, a social enterprise bakery located in Harlem where she works closely with Greenmarket, managing all of Hot Bread Kitchen's market operations.
Tom got his first taste of farming in the 1990's when he attended high school in Vermont with a working organic farm. In the following years he spent several seasons working on farms in Maine and Connecticut and he's been trying to find his way back to the land ever since. Along the way he worked in bioinformatics at the Washington University Genome sequencing Center, at a collective bakery, a biofuels production plant, and in online advertising. Since 2009 Tom's day job has been running IB5k.com a new media production and software engineering company based in Manhattan.
Tom Lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter Maeve, a few blocks from feedback farms' Bergen St. lots.
Has a wide background and experience set that ranges from programming, classical/jazz composition, and mathematics. He and Tom discussed the idea for Feedback farms in a parked car in Bushwick during the summer of 2011; in that a moment a string of events led to the birth of an idea and a group of people committed to realizing a project. With his knowledge of software and wireless hardware he is applying new exciting ways to transform the urban agriculture landscape. The integration of skillsets with the other members of Feedback farms is ideal to his sense of intellectual cross-pollination and cooperation.
Lots at 348 Bergen St. Boerum Hill Brooklyn.
3 Blocks from Atlantic Terminal 2,3,4,5,B,Q,D,N,R,LIRR
3 Blocks from the 2,3 at Bergen.
In 2012 we will conduct field experiments on at least two geographically distinct lots in Brooklyn. We will conduct trials of several growing mediums and sub irrigated planters designed for mobility and with integrated remote monitoring capability.
Planters will be equipped with tensiometers, temperature, photo sensors and RFID chips to enable tracking of ambient light, moisture and temperature as well as location, planting date, variety, watering schedule, harvest time, and yield. We hope to learn which sub irrigated planters and growing medium are optimum for urban farming. In 2013 we will expand using this data to inform our decisions.
The concept of appropriate technology guides our technology development program but our research agenda mandates that we develop technology that is far more intensive than would be required for agriculture on its own.
Our technical development breaks down into two distinct areas:
Mobile farming operations in NYC require modular, lightweight, low cost, planter design.
306 Dean St
We could use the following, got one(or 2)?
These folks are good friends
Sites and organizations with utility
306 Dean St